Get advice on how to deal with jerks at work Check out the book 'Jerks At Work' and other titles by Ken Lloyd Ph.D. Return to the homepage Learn more about Ken Lloyd, Ph.D. Submit a question to Ken Lloyd, Ph.D.

You asked, Ken answers ...

This item is filed under these categories:
Bullies Quitting Time Career Planning Control Freaks Placating Self-Insight Conflict

When I disagreed with my boss in the past, he would persist until I backed off. As long as I agree with him, we work well together. Now I hear myself saying things I don't even believe just to stay in his good graces. I am in mid-career, and I am wondering if this is what I want to be doing. Any suggestions?

There is nothing wrong with trying to stay in the good graces of your boss, but not if it means you cannot stay in the good graces of yourself. Although there are people who make a career of agreeing with higher-ups, others find that this course of action is not agreeable at all.

It sounds like you are consciously or unconsciously starting to realize that your constant state of compromise is accompanied by a steep and increasing price tag. The more you say and do things that go against your beliefs, the more internal conflict you will experience.

If you are starting to question the kind of person you are becoming, you have essentially three options. You can to try to rationalize your current behavior, such as by focusing on personal or financial needs. This could be a difficult sell. A second approach is to commit to stand up for your beliefs at work. Perhaps some training in persuasive communication might help. A third approach is look for a job that will actually allow you to be you and not someone else.

Take a serious look at what you seek in your job, your career, and your life, and you will pick the best option for yourself.

Comment on this item

Your name (optional)
If you leave this blank, we'll list you as "Website visitor"

Your comments
Please keep your comments focused on the topic. Thanks!