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Mental Health Center

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Work it Out: Dealing with a Difficult Boss

Got a toxic manager? Here's how to survive and even thrive.

Skills for Handling Toxic Managers

Hone these skills for coping with a difficult boss.

Practice basic self-care. Ground yourself with positive thought patterns, regular exercise, and plenty of rest. In tough times, self-care is non-negotiable.

Set boundaries. Other people can only affect you if you allow them to do so. It's your responsibility to "filter" and manage negative thoughts. Focus on aligning with your reality, not complaining.

Optimize communication. Imagine being available and receptive to your boss's comments, and sharing your own needs in a non-contentious way. Create a kind of "verbal agreement" to effectively support your boss -- so you can both get the job done. Try saying: "I want to be good at this. One thing that will help me is this."

Expert Tip

"You may share the same values with your boss, but you may also have a personality conflict. Even so, never lay so many expectations that you make yourself sick." -- Tevis Rose Trower, MA.

Find more articles, browse back issues, and read the current issue of "WebMD the Magazine."

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Reviewed on July 15, 2012

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