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Rebound from abusive boss

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in Dealing with Bosses,Office Management

Q: I work out of my home and deal with my boss via phone and e-mail. His swearing and nastiness are intolerable. After a year of this, I’ve got headaches, insomnia, back pains and digestive trouble. My self-esteem is shot, but I don’t quit because I like being home-based. Am I trapped or what?

A: If you have a great job otherwise and you don’t want to quit, the trick is finding ways to cope with a bully. First, realize that you choose how to respond when he misbehaves. Let his antics bounce off you. Laugh it off. Why take it personally? Second, don’t perceive yourself as a victim. Your list of symptoms and use of the word “trapped” make it sound like you’re powerless, when in fact you can shrug off his rudeness or assert yourself when he crosses a line. There’s no reason to suffer quietly. On the other hand, if you truly find the situation intolerable, there are more and more telecommuting options available.

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