Thursday, September 12, 2013

Irritable Boss Syndrome


 
 

The Symptoms

Are you suffering from any of the following symptoms:

Lack of Sleep                                                                                        Yes   No

Panic driving to work.                                                                            Yes   No

Feelings of worthlessness?                                                                   Yes   No

Sudden drop in  self esteem?                                                               Yes   No

Frequent desire to punch a hole in the wall of your cubicle?                Yes   No

If you’ve answered Yes to one or more of these questions, you could be suffering from IBS (Irritable Boss Syndrome).
 
It is a wonder how we can be fully functioning adults, able to maintain successful relationships, raise children, and function in society, yet in the one area that we spend the largest amount of time, our confidence can plummet with one razor tongued barb from a thoughtless boss.

Your friends would never suspect that you were so inept (as your boss so frequently points out).  Your husband wouldn’t leave you near the stove if he knew how careless you were (much less alone with the children!).  There goes Champ sprinting towards the kennel right now!

The Cause
Clearly something has caused a shift to your equilibrium if you are now at the point where you have forgotten how truly capable, intelligent and valuable you are.

IBS is a rising epidemic plaguing the country and is perpetuated by the Irritable Boss. It can manifest itself in many forms:

1. Jeckyll and Hyde- This type of boss is completely unpredictable. You don’t know what you are walking into on a daily, and sometimes hourly basis.  One day is nice boss, the other is mean boss and there is no rhyme or reason to it.

2. The Beast- Enjoys to embarrass team members in front of co-workers and even clients. It is more important for them to look good even at the expense of their own employees. It's not a team effort to them, it's a ME ME ME effort.

3. The Narcissist- Flaunts her wealth- expensive jewelry and furs or he flaunts his boy toys, corporate jets, yachts while complaining that the company isn’t making enough money. The narcissist only cares about how good they look, and how much money you can bring into the company, so they can spend it on themselves.

4. Power trip- creates projects just because he/she can. There doesn't appear to be an innate value in the assignment, it is obviously created out of a need to keep their ego inflated.

A combination of any of the above can lead to ABS- Abusive Boss Syndrome.  This is highly toxic and treatment is required immediately.

There are wonderful bosses out there.  Those that encourage, inspire and want you to succeed as much as they do.   But there are those who are insecure, feel threatened, or are just plain mean!

The Irritable Boss doesn’t want to hear that you are overwhelmed. When someone else takes notice of your mile high stack of work, while you are rocking in full fetal position in the corner, the Irritable Boss will be forced to inquire: “Why didn’t you ask for help?” Comments and reviews are often negatively fueled with personal comments rather than professional.  Your time is not valued.

The Side Affects:
When IBS strikes, there can be many side affects which can spread far beyond your own body:

1. Lack of sleep/Pit in Stomach

2.  Stress

3.  Moodiness/Depression

4.  Illness

5.  Your home starts to look as unkempt as you now do.

6.  You are too stressed to give your kids the attention they need.

7.  Spouse- we know the spouse gets affected the hardest with this affliction! They may conduct an intervention for your sake, and theirs!

The Cure:
The ideal remedy is to have the Irritable Boss removed entirely, but this is not always an option. (especially if the boss is running the company, and there is no higher up to go to).

Do:
1. Document specific incidents.

2. If possible, talk to the Irritable Boss directly in a positive manner to see if changes can be made.

3. Talk to HR or higher ups. You need to report it for anyone to help you.

4. Remover yourself from the IB by moving to a different department.

5. Find a new job. You can do it! It's easier to find a job while you have a job. Find some recruiters and have them do the work for you.

6. Don’t let one person define you. It is easy to start questioning yourself but no one deserves to be treated with disrespect or abuse (in any area of their life).

7. Vent (but not to co-workers. This can easily travel through the office, and you could be seen as a complainer or gossiper. You need to rise above the situation and be professional, even if the Irritable Boss isn’t.

8. Relax. Find ways to blow off steam.  Before you go into work- stretch, meditate, take deep breaths. At lunch time, go for a walk, get a 10 minute massage.  Exercise is a great stress buster too, so if you have time, work out!

Remember, you can’t control your Irritable Boss, but it doesn’t have to control you.  You can control how you respond to it with lots of practice.

Don’t:
1. Don’t send anything negative via email. Big brother is watching, and companies can access  your email anytime they need to.

2. Don’t gossip or talk negatively about your Irritable Boss. It may be tempting to commiserate, but it can backfire, and make you look like the bad egg.

3. Don't take this personally.  The root cause of the Irritable Boss varies, but most of their actions are due to lack of self esteem or trouble in their own personal life.  It's amazing that someone who feels badly about themselves wants to make someone else feel worse.  It never helps to judge someone else's motives, because we don't have the opportunity to walk in someone else's shoes.  Whatever has caused them to be an IB has nothing to do with you. How someone treats you is their business, how you react is yours. I repeat, don't take it personally.
 
How To Avoid A Recurrence:
There is no “perfect” job. We are not perfect, but we have the right to be respected.

Find out what is causing you to feel the most vulnerable, and solve it. You need to feel strong no matter what the outcome is with the IB.

Empower yourself by:
1. Going back to school. If there was something you always wanted to do or study...make it a reality!  "You are never to old to be what you might have been." -George Eliot
 
2. Update your resume. Notice how many skills you have, there are plenty of companies that would appreciate you!
 
3. Declutter. This may sound obscure, but actually organizing your closets, files, clothes will give you a sense of peace and focus.  You can donate your extra items, or have a yard sale.

3. Save money. Pay off bills.  Getting out of debt makes your feel more secure, less vulnerable. Having extra money in the bank helps quite a bit too, so save, save, save!

4. Don’t make your job your whole life. You are at work a large portion of your time, but it doesn't have to be all that you are. Spend time with family, friends, hobbies, sports activities, anything that makes you feel like you!
 
5. Find your inner peace.  Some people find peace in church, in a garden, going for a walk on the beach, through meditation, prayer or yoga. Find what works for you.  Having a quiet place in your mind can make all the difference!
 
I hope you haven't had an experience with Irritable Boss Syndrome, but if you have, these suggestions should help you make a full recovery!  You are beautiful, smart, and wonderful, now and always!
 
With Gratitude,
 
Kerri
 
 

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