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How employees can handle mentally abusive bosses

Try taking a walk or talking to a friend or family member to help simmer down that workplace stress.



Jobs can be stressful at times, but they are certainly something people can’t avoid doing. To make things more tolerable for an employee, a nice working environment is a must, and part of that means having a great and understanding boss. However, not all bosses are leaders as some tend to bring more stress than motivation.

Horrible bosses do exist and come in all shapes and sizes. The worst boss to work for are those who are mentally abusive, and it’s a pretty common trait in industries too. According to Statista, the leading trait of such bosses is disrespect, which is a form of mental abuse.

These bosses find delight in mentally tormenting their employees, whether they are aware of it or not. While resignation is an option, it’s not always the best choice, especially if the job pays well and other aspects are great.

There are other ways to cope with this kind of boss. Therapist Alyssa Petersel, founder and CEO of online therapist community My Wellbeing, shares a few tips with The Muse on what employees can do in these cases.

1. Control your stress

For every trigger a person has when it comes to stress, there is also a corresponding tool to manage the tension. There are those who find comfort in stress balls, breathing exercises, or even reading. What’s important, according to Petersel, is to find the right stress management tool for us. By doing so, it’ll be easier to remain calm and collected after interacting with the boss.

Coffee break

Grab some coffee or take a walk. Give yourself a break from all the toxicity in your workplace. (Source)

2. Distance yourself from toxicity

Implementing some boundaries from the toxic workplace and people like bullies and abusive bosses is also recommended. It could mean a lot of things, but it is essentially giving yourself some time away from toxicity. People could take lunch breaks or a short walk outside the building. Anything that can separate you from the horrible environment for a little while will work.

3. Find love and support in other places

Perhaps the most important tip of all is to find support in others. Be it co-workers or family and friends outside the office, finding comfort in others can take away a great deal of stress. What happens at work must stay at work, so once the employee goes home, he or she must be free from all the stressful events in the office.

Learning how to cope with a horrible boss basically means understanding and handling one’s stress levels. Stress management will go a great deal in terms of quality and productivity. It will also be near impossible to change the attitude of an abusive boss, but teaching ourselves to become stronger in the face of adversity is one of the best ways to make a tough work environment significantly better.

(Featured image via DepositPhotos)

Anne Kings is a reporter for the financial sector, often tackling Wall Street and shareholders' interests. She also covers the intersection of media and technology, and delves into interesting topics on entertainment. Sometimes she also writes about the cannabis industry, in particular CBD and hemp. She is currently based in New York.