Source: The Courier Express
Avoid the Bad Boss Blues
By Jessica Perkins

When Christopher Sharp began a new position as a supervisor at his workplace, things started off well. The pay was right and the job seemed perfect for his skill set. However, within four months, Sharp realized that the scope of the work was not at all what had been presented to him.

He confronted his boss multiple times, but she always dismissed his concerns. Her unresponsive attitude compounded his frustration, making the job unbearable. Eventually his work stress began to impact his family life. That’s when Sharp decided it was time to move on to something else.

Sharp’s story is familiar to many. According to the American Psychological Association, 75% of American workers point to their boss as their biggest stressor.

Whether dealing with an unresponsive, hypercritical, micromanaging or simply incompetent boss, the relationship an employee has with his employer is crucial to job satisfaction and overall wellness.

Interactions with a bad boss can lead to a lack of confidence or poor job performance. They can also cause physical health problems like high blood pressure, weight gain, depression, anxiety and sleep deprivation.

As a therapist specializing in career counseling, Margie McCarty of Rochester, N.Y., sees situations like Sharp’s every day. When a bad situation at work becomes overwhelming, she advises her clients to look for other options, if only to feel better.

“Although there may be practical reasons why you cannot leave your job, having options can be empowering. Without options, we can feel stuck or helpless,” McCarty says.

“Job searching, looking into returning to school or learning a new skill can help increase your ability to deal with your boss.”

The Dos and Don’ts
Commiserating about your boss with other disgruntled employees might beel good in the moment, but McCarty says to avoid gossiping, since it only fans the unhappy flames. Instead, she suggests talking to someone who can be objective, such as a spouse, friend or therapist.

She also suggests focusing on the positive attributes of your boss.

“This is often easier said than done, but it’s likely your boss isn’t completely evil,” she says.

“Knowing that your boss is a loving grandparent or is an amazing golfer, or that he donates time or money to a worthy organization can help temper your negative feelings.”

Focus on You
If you’re dealing with a bad boss, you should take care of yourself outside of the work day.

“Getting good sleep, drinking enough water, eating regularly, exercising and maintaining healthy, supportive relationships can make a big difference in your work day,” McCarty says.

When work is the biggest part of your life, it’s much easier for a bad boss to take over your mental and physical well-being. If your jobs is where you find the majority of your identity, focus on something else—find a hobby, spend time with family or engage in spiritual activities.

Workers cannot control the behavior of their bosses, however they can control the way they respond to those actions. Learning to enjoy simple pleasures outside of work can bring freedom and relief after an exhausting day at the office.

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