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Bullies Assertiveness Inconsiderate Actions Insecurity Moodiness Condescending Treatment

I am a legal secretary, and my boss is often moody, rude, abrupt, impatient, and unfriendly, and gets very defensive if I even hint about any of this. He said he does not have to apologize to me because I am not his wife. I am doing a good job, and it is hard to find another job. Any advice?

You are dealing with a boss who has more baggage than a 747 on a holiday weekend. His comment about his wife does not belong in any business discussion, and he has no right to be taking out any of his personal frustrations on you.

He is a classical bully, and his behavior is only going to get worse unless you intervene. You should tell him on the spot that his behavior is unacceptable and inappropriate, and you are not going to stand for it any more. Research is now showing that it can also help if you try to mirror some of his physical behaviors and speech patterns.

At the same time, since he flips in and out of his bully mode, you can also try the old-fashioned approach in which you discuss the situation with him between storms. Show him how his behaviors have led to errors and delays, and then let him see how much better you and the department can operate if he will cooperate.

He does not hold all of the cards. You can go to his boss if he has one. In addition, you are a skilled, knowledgeable, and trained employee. No matter what your boss says, he does not want to go through the time, cost and likely turnover associated with an attempt to replace you. Granted that you do not want to change jobs, do not forget that even in a questionable economy, there are still excellent opportunities for excellent employees.

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