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Forums / Anxiety / A BOSS WHO IS A BULLY AND DEMEANING

Topic: A BOSS WHO IS A BULLY AND DEMEANING

5 posts, 0 answered
  1. The Bro
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    The Bro avatar
    193 posts
    2 September 2021

    Hi everyone

    When the Queensland premier was in Tokyo to present for the 2032 Olympics recently, some of you may have seen the footage of John Coates 'ordering' the Premier to attend the opening ceremony. His words and demeanor were widely criticised as bullying by the media. Your could see on her face the anxiety it caused the Premier.

    I thought I would share a passage of my life where I had a boss who caused me a good deal of anxiety for several months.

    My job involved regular presentations to prospects and clients where solutions to their business issues were tabled. I was going pretty well with a good success rate. The company was run by a person who was creative, energetic and persuasive - but who displayed little empathy to staff.

    Twice in a row in meetings I was running, he completely overran my recommendations, presented his own concepts without warning, and as a result created a confused client. His ideas were fine, but the point is the disregard for my presentation, no warning, and no apologies on his part were brutal.

    After the second time this happened, the client rang me and asked what was going on. He liked my ideas, also likes my boss's ideas, but wanted to know why he rubbished my work in front of a client.

    Of course this was already causing me some anxiety, and only added to it, as my work demanded a certain level of confidence that I was finding difficult to maintain.

    So I thought long and hard, prepared carefully, and went to see my boss. I asked if my work was contributing to the business and received a big 'Yes'. I then said I could contribute more, loved my work, respected his ability, but was not happy about being overruled with no warning in presentations. Then I held my breath as he was a known bully.

    To my relief he immediately said 'You know what I like - that you are strong and told told me how you feel. I will see if I can moderate a little and also let you know in advance if I want to change your ideas'.

    BINGO!

    Yes a weight was lifted, we became much better working partners, my anxiety fell, and my boss even told me my work was good from time to time!

    To me, the moral is that it is important to have self respect, and for others in turn to respect that. If not, act on it!

    But take care to prepare first and be very specific with your words reasons for discontent.

    Has anyone else in the forums experienced anxiety brought on by a boss who is unfair, a bully or demeaned them?

    Happy to hear how you coped!

    Regards, The Bro

  2. sbella02
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    sbella02 avatar
    60 posts
    3 September 2021 in reply to The Bro

    The Bro,

    Thank you so much for sharing, I can see why you were experiencing anxiety about this situation. It's great to hear that you confronted the issue head-on, and spoke directly with your boss about your feelings. That takes a lot of courage, well done.

    As someone who previously dealt with a boss who was unfair, demeaning, and unempathetic towards the staff (especially the long standing staff), this post speaks to me. This was a part-time job for me that I ended up leaving due to the toxicity created by the bosses, despite enjoying the work itself and social connections I formed with other colleagues. I totally agree with your point on self-respect and making sure that others give you the respect you deserve; after two and a half years, I eventually realised that I wasn't happy with how I was being treated and felt I deserved more, so I quit. I also had several other outlets (studying, singing, watching YouTube) where I could distract from my mind from anything I would worry about when I was at work, and I had the luxury of being able to quit and fall back on another job, which I understand is not possible for everybody who is having work trouble.

    It's fantastic to hear that you're enjoying your time a lot more, and that your boss has begun treating you with more respect and fairness. What were your coping mechanisms during the few months where your boss was being demeaning and unempathetic, if you don't mind sharing?

    Just reminding you that if you have anything else you'd like to talk about, we're always here for a chat!

    SB

  3. The Bro
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    193 posts
    3 September 2021 in reply to sbella02

    Hi SBella02 and thanks for replying!

    You have made some very good points.

    To answer your question about my coping mechanisms, I rely mainly on regular, quite high levels of physical exertion - riding and SUP paddling. I find this helps calm and focus my mind, and the endorphins create a sense of calm and well being.

    I am also practising self analysis a lot more - trying to remove emotions a lot more and ask myself 'why is this this happening, what if, and what might the solution be?' more often. This helps heaps!

    Bye for now, The Bro

  4. white knight
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    white knight avatar
    9398 posts
    3 September 2021 in reply to The Bro

    Hi the bro,

    A great thread. Very interesting as we get a lot of members that have issues with their workplace that doesnt help them with their mental health.

    Due to mania I've had no less than 80 jobs with 15 professions, 80+ cars etc etc. Such jobs included prison officer, RAAF, dog ranger, security and PI. I'm also a HSP- highly sensitive person and research showed me that up to 20% of the population as HSP. I's add "ultra" to my case. Hence I'd leave jobs at the first sign of a bully boss.

    As a young prison officer at 21yo (the youngest ever in Victorian prison history) I had to learn quickly. I found that in a disciplined environment whereby senior or more experienced officers were concerned if they wanted me to do a task their volume and words were not dissimilar to when they addressed the prisoners. I was therefore constantly informing them that "I'm not behind bars so please lower your volume and treat me better".

    Such training to be a warder was so intense but you did learn proper supervision skills even though many fell into that bullying mentality. So when I left the jail job I knew the proper way to supervise people to a/ get the best out of them for production and b/ to create a happy workplace. There was a catch!- because I had that ability I saw many flaws in my own bosses. Not unlike what you described in your first post but also in their need to not appear to be "mates". Most had the inability to be really friendly and direct their instructions effectively at the same time with sufficient praise and encouragement.

    Hence out of all the jobs I had I would say only 2 had the supervision qualities I admired. One remained a friend 40 years later.

    Like sbella said in one of her jobs she ended up quitting. That is a realistic option because the average workforce is toxic in different ways. For example- I worked at a phone provider once installing piped underground, hard physical work. As I was a hard worker and always treated my workmates with respect, I would always be given the tasks that needed such exertion, where the guy that socialised to the early hours the night before and didnt have the same values got the easy jobs. Then you complain and you are seen as dobbing in your workmate.

    My answer eventually was to find a career that led to working alone. Such job came in investigations running my own business, a one man operation. I remained in that for 18 years.

    TonyWK

    1 person found this helpful
  5. The Bro
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    193 posts
    5 September 2021 in reply to white knight

    Gidday TonyWK

    Thanks heaps for responding - yes your comments about bosses are so true.

    Over the years I have often said that just because person can create and run a company means nothing when it comes to managing people.

    The very people who resist training on people management are those who need it the most.

    Great to hear that you found what you wanted and things worked out.

    Onwards and upwards!

    The Bro

    1 person found this helpful

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