How to Cope With Workplace Stress From Your Boss

Gabriella LobiancoCareer Seekers, Career Tips, How ToLeave a Comment

Business man in grocery store saying to Chucky the doll, "You can't change those displays to kill people!" Chucky, standing with a knife, says, "Those are some sharp words!"

Chucky! Put down those knives!

Take yourself back to when you were a child and all you wanted to do was please your parents. You try, and try to please them but somehow what you did was never good enough. Fast forward a decade and those “parents” have now become your boss. Workplace stress is a common factor as to why people are unhappy. Many times, the communication between employee and manager is what can make or break you emotionally.

Dawn of workplace stress

Workplace stress has been a relevant topic even before your grandparents. However, the view workers had of their bosses has changed. During the Great Depression, employees were hard workers who took work as a gift and did not complain to their boss. The pressure of competing for work was the main cause to workplace stress. So, when you feel like chewing out your boss, just remember that at least you’ll still have a job the next day.

Baby Boomers are who we prominently see as bosses today. These individuals grew up witnessing rebellion of authority and hoped for a more ideal tomorrow. Knowing the background of your manager is huge into understanding how to tame your boss. Baby Boomers respond to professional attitudes, and education. They witnessed their parents struggle to succeed and that attitude of, no pain no gain, can be a reason why they become a scary boss.

By knowing some background on your bosses, you will lessen the blow of having workplace stress.

Your personal American Werewolf

If you have ever had a scary boss, you know how it feels to try and avoid conversation with them. You become tense and unsure of what to say in any situation. To avoid the awkwardness, you find yourself searching for anything to do to look busy. You even take on that one task that none of your coworkers ever want to do. These feelings are the norm in a lot of workplace stress situations. Just know you are not alone. In fact, one in four people fear being yelled at by their manager.

Not everyone gets anxious around their boss, but what makes their situation different from yours? Their time at the company has allowed them to learn the ins and outs of who their boss is. Having seniority also means they understand that workplace stress from their supervisor is not entirely addressed at them. These individuals have seen the pressure your boss feels from corporate America. They understand how it leads to their boss having a short fuse for their employees.

Fear of being the ‘Carrie’ of a joke

There will be times when you feel like the smallest person at the office. You start to feel like every negative criticism from your boss is directed at you. Instead of laughing with your boss, you feel laughed at. Having a supervisor as your bully is one of the worst workplace stress scenarios possible. You work in constant fear of always doing something wrong.

You feel:

  • Restricted
  • Timid
  • Insecure

Finding ways to address your fear can help you conquer what gives you workplace stress:

  • Create a list
  • Speak Aloud

Getting praise from our peers is an instinct that lets us know that we’re doing a good job. That’s why when it comes to work, we take it to heart when our boss gets on our nerves about the minutiae of our objectives. The fear of being not liked causes workplace stress and that takes over how we perceive communication from our peers. Instead of cowering in fear, we should embrace the idea of getting down to the root of our anxiety and take back our workplace identities.

Confronting your worries will lessen the dreadful feeling of going into work and communicating to an understanding with your boss.

Silence of the staff

Addressing workplace stress is an opportunity that helps you communicate with your boss better. Asking your boss, “I want to be a stronger employee for our organization, is it possible that we can meet and discuss ways I could better help?”, is a great way to break the ice.

When you’re constantly at your workplace more than you’re at home, you start to confuse the two. Very often, we take what happens at work to heart and forget that the people who we work with are in the same situations as we are. The situation being, we do not want to be there longer than we have to be. We are all human. It’s important to realize that constructive criticism in the workplace is not to be taken personally.

The Sixth Sense

If you truly want to better your relationship with your boss and lessen workplace stress, consider going above and beyond as an employee. Being complimented on your work ethic, makes everyone feel good. Make it your priority as an employee to go above and beyond for your job. If you have confidence while doing your job, you’ll feel irreplaceable.

Iconic scene from the movie the Office Space. The boss in suspenders and a tie is saying "So yeah, if you can just slave over your work till you're dead, that would be great."

“Be good at something. It makes you valuable.”

– Randy Pausch

Setting personal goals and priorities that you can link to your bosses own set of goals is a way to alleviate workplace stress.

Final Destination

How you deal with workplace stress is a display of growth. It builds you up as a person and you learn how to deal with all sorts of personalities. If you have attempted to better your workplace stress environment but had no luck, revamp your resume and search for opportunities. LinkedIn is a great tool for recruiters to find their ideal candidate. To find more ways of dealing with workplace stress and related criteria, visit The employee, manager relationship is a hard nut to crack but with the correct use of communication, you can start chipping away at the shell.