How to deal with the boss from hell without losing your darn mind

Nothing makes the office environment more unpleasant than having a tyrant for a boss.

Whether she's constantly shouting at you, taking credit for all your ideas or generally treating you like her personal slave, working for an unpleasant person can be immensely stressful and unhealthy for your psyche.

Sure, you can always quit your job, but why let her 'win'?

Try these four tips first. (Of course, if you're experiencing physical or sexual harassment, don't take it lightly and speak to someone from HR, stat.)

Do Your Research

Have a chat with your co-workers to see if they feel the same way.

You don't have to go into the gruesome little details - you want to protect yourself from colleagues who may want to score points by going straight to your boss to tell her about your gripe.

Find out what their relationship is like with her; it's perfectly possible that she treats everyone in the same nasty manner.

And, if possible, find a mentor in your company who can give you practical advice and be your bedrock of sanity when you need it the most.


Be Honest

Your boss might sound unreasonable but ask yourself if it's you who is the 'problematic' one, not her. Take a long and hard look at yourself in the metaphorical mirror.

Are you living up to the expectations of your job? Are you performing at an acceptable standard? Are your co-workers delivering better work?

Try seeing things from your boss's point of view to gain a better understanding of whether or not it's your performance that's the issue here. We hate to say this, but your boss's draconian behaviour may be justifiable if you're the one who's falling short.

Talk To Her

There's no point skirting around the issue. The best way to deal with your angst is to tell her how you feel - only do this face-to-face though, not via email or phone.

Don't just barge into her office, either; arrange a formal meeting to chat about your progress.

Make a list of what you want to discuss and be specific about any incidents that have rubbed you the wrong way. Doing so may serve as a wake-up call for your boss, who might not even have realised that she's been behaving badly towards you.


Keep Calm and Carry On

If you don't have the confidence to approach your boss right now, changing your attitude towards the situation could help, too.

Here's a useful mantra to repeat to yourself on days when you're feeling bad: Don't overreact, don't argue and never play the victim.

If you know you've not done anything wrong, keep your chin up and go on with your daily duties. This may be a long shot but hey, she might respect your tenacity and be nicer to you as a result.

And if she persists in being a total b**ch, you'll still have the upper hand because you'd have gone home knowing that you've not let her affect your mood or your health.