Workplace Stress
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September 27, 2017

Dealing with a boss from hell? Find your inner warrior

No matter the scenario, workplace relationship issues are stressful, challenging and can create health issues

You’ve landed your dream job: great pay, higher title, private office, and an assistant. You’ve finally “arrived” or so you think until your new boss’s other side comes out and you see the Mr. Hyde of the Dr. Jekyll who hired you.

Or perhaps you are the boss and you’ve hired an employee that turns out not to be a team player, efficient, dedicated or on-time. On top of that they give you attitude, making your life a living hell.

Maybe you’ve started a business with a friend and you find yourself doing most of the work, or as the business grows and gets more successful your partner becomes controlling and greedy.

No matter what the scenario, workplace relationship issues are stressful, challenging and can create health issues such as migraines, stomach problems, to getting every cold that passes through.

I’ll never forget calling my spiritual mentor from underneath my desk crying because my boss had it out for me. I felt so small, helpless and trapped. Not only was I caught up in the idea that it was my “dream job” after months of job searching, I was also the sole provider for my family. The combination made the thought of leaving unbearable. My mental construct was an absolute trap. I had more colds that season than ever. Looking back I know they were a form of protection.

Losing perspective gives more power to the one creating the trouble.

However, if we are able to look deep within, we can see these workplace relationship challenges as opportunities to grow and learn more about ourselves. If we are able to clearly look at our fears, we will find what needs to be healed.

The abuse I felt from my boss directly mirrored the feelings I had in my house growing up. I was never fast enough, good enough, etc.

This belief created the cycle of the more I tried, the more I’d mess up. Have you every had that experience? It's awful.

Stress reduction leads to a better life. Your adrenals will not be in overdrive due to the constant state of fight or flight. You will eventually learn how to have more courage and less fear, especially the more you live on your edge.

I remember one time with this same boss, I was asked to look over a spreadsheet to find all of the same items. Knowing this boss expected me to make mistakes and mess up, I scoured the spreadsheet several times. I even had my assistant, who I also protected from my boss, look over it. Feeling confident, I walked into her office and handed her the spreadsheet with all the highlighted items. She took one glance at it and found the one I missed. I nearly lost it. I realized then that no matter how hard I tried, my confidence was too far gone. It was a waste of time.

What is a person to do in this situation?

If you are having an experience like this, whether you are a boss, an employee, coworker or partner, my guess is you are empathic and compassionate, so being kinder and more compassionate is not the way out.

Regain your perspective by taking a wider view of the situation and removing yourself from the victim mentality. Map out several possibilities to how this situation could unfold differently and write down action steps. This will help you feel more empowered and free up your mind.

Investigate your emotions by looking inward. By allowing your emotions and getting curious about them, there is a wealth of information waiting for you to discover. Do your best not to react from an emotional place. Give yourself the space and time required to sort out how you feel and would like to respond, if you even want to respond.

Find the original wounding now that you are in touch with your emotions. See if you can track the emotion back to a time in your life when you felt the same way. We often times forget that we, as human beings, are also governed by the laws of nature and are susceptible to cycles of energy patterns. You might become keenly aware that this very situation has happened several times in your life and is a reoccurring theme.

Dig deeper to stop this reoccurring theme by finding the original wounding. A therapist, coach, or spiritual mentor, can help with this. Without going deeper and healing the original wound, this pattern will show up again. How one heals the original wound is deeply personal and there is no quick fix for everyone. You are uniquely you.

Find your inner warrior. Once you’ve done the deeper work with guidance, you will probably notice some shifts already happening. You will no longer be seeking approval, respect, admiration, acceptance, or validation from the other person. This will remove all the power they had over you. You will be freed up to speak your mind respectfully because you will no longer be in fear of not receiving the above mentioned. Then if you do decide to leave your job, let the employee go, or break up the partnership, you are doing it from a fully self-aware state.

Imagine yourself as the hero or heroine of your own life. How good is a movie if the main character gives up and cries under their desk in the middle of the second act? Not very good. It’s far more exciting to see the lead rise to his or her potential and stand up for themselves. The scene in the movie is written so the hero or heroine can learn and overcome their fear. Your life is no different.

Stress reduction leads to a better life. Your adrenals will not be in overdrive due to the constant state of fight or flight. You will eventually learn how to have more courage and less fear, especially the more you live on your edge.

Are you curious what happened to me at my job with the hell boss? I followed all the steps above and then found a new job within months. My new boss was an awesome and very kind man. I did not totally dissolve the energy pattern I had with my hell boss but it showed up in lesser degrees and finally dissipated, or so it appears at this moment. I may be challenged again but I’ll face it with strength and equanimity.

You are a warrior, too, and it is when we are challenged, the warrior is given an opportunity to show up.


Stacey J. Warner is a certified life coach, equus coach and yoga teacher. She received her bachelor of arts in drama from the University of Washington and currently resides in Los Angeles. She is the founder of The Intensives for Radical Healing, Consciousness, and Grace. Her one passion in life is to lessen the suffering of others through deep inner work and laughter. To learn more, visit: www.staceyjwarner.com.