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Withstand a withering boss

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in Dealing with Bosses,Office Management

If you work for a hothead who screams and curses, do you yell back? Ratcheting up your fury won’t solve the problem. And your outburst may land you in a heap of trouble because you might let slip an inflammatory comment that sinks your reputation.

The best response is to detach mentally from the boss’s antics. Stay still and impassive when faced with a verbal onslaught. Listen half-heartedly. Let your mind focus on more important matters until you can slip away.

If you’re unduly proud, you may feel compelled to defend yourself. But beware: You risk prolonging the exchange by speaking up. So weigh the benefit of standing your ground against the cost of further explosions.

The best way to cope with a foul-mouthed, verbally abusive boss is to bolster your confidence, says Kathi Elster, co-author of Working for You Isn’t Working for Me. She suggests keeping a daily log of your accomplishments so that you can review your successes when you might otherwise feel defeated.

“It’s also important not to isolate yourself,” she adds. “Don’t go home and sulk. Get out, socialize and meet others who might expose you to new career opportunities.”

Reach out to former employers who might serve as mentors. Ideally, you want to connect with people with less volatile personalities who admire your strengths and will remind you not to take it personally when your boss erupts.

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