It was particularly confusing because this boss is sometimes really nice and sometimes really horrible. She seems to take delight in upsetting and confusing people and making them wrong. It sounds as though her behavior is passive-aggressive – it’s like the person is smiling at you and saying nice things while she’s stabbing you in the back.
People like this can leave you doubting yourself and afraid to speak up. They can affect you so much that it begins to affect other areas of your life as well, because you can’t just forget about it when you leave work and it can make you dread going to work. For many people, the situation becomes so unbearable they have to quit their job.
These kinds of situations and people can make you feel powerless. Particularly when the person is in a position of authority, as in this case. But you are not powerless, there are things you can do. Here are some suggestions – I know these work because I use them all the time:
- First – it’s helpful to know where this is coming from, because the question we often ask is 'why?' Why is this person doing this to me and others? Why is this person behaving this way? I am not a psychologist, but here’s what I’ve learned from my own experiences – these people can be carrying a lot of pain and self-loathing. Their pain is so great, that the only way they think they can gain any relief is to pass some of it on to others, and they do it in any way they can. This does not excuse their behavior, but it can help to explain it. Because people who feel good about themselves and their lives would not feel the need to treat others this way.
- If you feel strong enough, address the behavior with the person – but you’ll want to keep emotion out of it, and stick purely to the facts. Of course, this can be difficult when the person is your boss, which is where the next tips come in.
- Set an intention before every interaction with this person – so if it’s at work, set your intention before you go in to work. The intention is that you will not allow this person (or anyone else) to take or manipulate your energy in any way. You will not allow them to affect you in any way.
- Before you go into work or have an interaction with this person, spend a few moments visualizing yourself surrounded by white light – you can imagine it as a shield, or a force field, whatever feels good to you, but the purpose of it is to keep your energy intact and to allow anything they send your way to simply bounce back.
- Become an observer. Once you know that your energy cannot be affected, it’s easier for you to simply observe their behavior and not be triggered by it. You can observe what’s happening without emotion. When you refuse to engage energetically and emotionally with them, they will have to find relief elsewhere.
- Ask yourself this question – “what is it that I need to learn about myself from this person so that I can move on?” You may not receive an answer right away, but you will eventually. Difficult people teach us a lot about ourselves and are usually in our lives for a reason. Once you know that reason, you don’t need the experience any more.
These tips may sound simple, but they are extremely effective. Try them, and let me know how you get on!
Here’s an affirmation you can use to help:
“I release the need to allow anyone to take or manipulate my energy in any way. I am safe.”
P.S. I mentioned it in my last post, and it's worth mentioning again - if you are an Empath or Highly Sensitive person these people (energy vampires) may well be drawn to you. Judith Orloff's book The Empath's Survival Guide offers helpful advice on how to deal with all kinds of things that can negatively affect your energy.