How do you deal with serious anxiety and stress?

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by LogicfromLogic, Aug 10, 2015.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. I've really been trying to stay positive about things. My boss used to be super close with me (thus why I realize why they say don't ever work with someone you are very close with) but she's been yelling at me...over stupid things. She tore my head off today because I had to get stitches out of my hand (which the doctor gave the wrong address so yeah I still have stitches) and left for a half hour.

    Mind you, I stated that i had this appointment a week before and she said alright. Either she wasn't listening or she forgot, but I did tell her ahead of time.

    She lets onto me how I should have rescheduled (which there was no way that I could they were booked with other patients for a week and I needed them out. I tore one), and how someone was needed there to represent the workplace (which there were two other directors there, there was no problem). The supervisor drove me to the doctor's appointment and back and we weren't gone longer than twenty minutes.

    Absolutely nothing happened; not even a crying client. And she tears into me like I've pushed someone down the stairs and cursed them out. Now I'm far from sensitive; I can take a great heap of shit and shrug it off. Yes, I rant more often but my daily doings and happiness aren't normally effected by problems in my social life because I normally can get over them really fast.

    Except within the last couple of days I have been dealing with a suicidal friend who is now in the psychiatric ward in the hospital. She has a son that her husband has no fucking clue how to handle, so I've been going over and doing daily chores for her, taking care of him and basically what she'd do if she were there after work.

    Even after telling my boss this, again she used to be a good friend to me, and she still sees the need to constantly slap at me for something small. And she constantly does this. she finds me out and yells at me for even things that I haven't even done wrong.

    But here's the kicker; I can't quit. I need the money to move and to pay medical bills. Those surgeries weren't cheap even with the medical insurance that I have (I have a basic plan, I'm in debt at this point). Quitting isn't an option but she's gotten me so scared to go into work that I'm close to a breaking point. I can't handle this; I can handle these separately, but together at once I just can't handle it.

    I've never gotten this bad with anxiety attacks but I can feel my heart beating fast and it hurts, I have no idea how to handle this anymore. Before with my panic attacks I was able to stop and breathe, but right now I am so nervous that I'm considering calling in sick tomorrow.

    Any advice on how to handle this?
  2. You said this boss used to be your friend?

    Have you ever tried just sitting down with her and having an honest discussion on how you're feeling?
    It's possible that she's just so absorbed in her work that she has no idea that she's making you feel this way.
    • Thank Thank x 1
  3. Multiple times and she does not even acknowledge what I am talking about. I don't think she even cares.

    I'm calmed down now though.
  4. It might nog be fair tot you, but The way I read it, she is projecting her stress onto you. To solve this trying to get her to sympathise will not work until she gets a grip on her own life. Your options are to see if you can help relieve that stress by channeling it in a more positive way, or smile and nod until you are no longer a good stress relief and she leaves you alone. Either way understand it's likely moreso an empty expression of stress than an actual disdain for your person and that you being stressed likely makes you an easy target because you are strongly affected by her words. People who feel miserable often try to make others the same way. It sounds to me your boss is under that kinda stress. Doesn't excuse her actions, but might help you relativate the (lack of) weight behind her words.

    Or I'm wrong. Idk. I've been drinking.
    #4 Kestrel, Aug 10, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2015
    • Like Like x 1
    • Thank Thank x 1
  5. It sounds like you need to find another job. =/ You've sat down with your boss and tried to get her to see reason, but it's obvious that she doesn't care. If it gets to the point where she is doing things that are illegal, you could also talk to her supervisor and see if things can be solved that way. Other than that though, I would definitely start to find another job.

    Also, if you need help with your medical bills, you can look into government aid. You won't be guaranteed to get it, but it might help you out.
    • Love Love x 1
    • Thank Thank x 1
  6. It could very well be what Kestrel suggests the cause is.
    But if that is the case I would still be agreeing with Zen's advice.
    May your boss be expressing grief or not they've chosen to do it in a way that harms you, even after you've taken efforts to explain that to her and work with her.

    You shouldn't be expected to make yourself even more miserable for this individual if their method of coping is treating you as a punching bag.
    • Thank Thank x 1
  7. Thank you all for your advice, my stress levels have calmed. i will try out the suggestions.
  8. Doesn't you workplace have a Human Relations department, a personnel manager or something of that sort? Cuz situations like this are the very few times that they are actually useful. If you go to them and complain about these issues (you can demand to remain anon and they can't reveal anything you'd share to a third party if you state so) they will most certainly take it seriously and help out. But before you rush into them, are you sure you don't wanna confront your boss first? If I were you, I'd ask if we could talk privately and then explain to her how I feel about the situation and that she's actually eroding your self-confidence and you performance by constantly shouting at you. Indeed, it may not help, but it's quite likely to. We are all human, who is to say she's not under a lot of pressure herself, either in the company or in her personal life, and she doesn't know how to deal with it through other means.

    Also, stop doing the chores of your friend, it's not your life, it's not your job, nor are you obliged to do so at the cost of your own mental stability.
    • Thank Thank x 1
  9. The friend thing isn't that big of a problem. It's not my responsibility no but it's something I feel the need to do. It's not her son's fault his father is an asshat. She's coming home either tomorrow or the next day, only there for a few hours in the day and even then the babysitter comes by and picks little guy up for school and swim lessons. but I do understand what you are saying, there really needs to be a better boundary here.

    I've confronted her on multiple occasions. One (the recent) I told her that i didn't feel comfortable with her screaming into my face and cussing me out because I had to get my stitches taken out. I made a valid point to her, all my co-workers also believe that she is being very unreasonable with this (it's strange, she's been getting really weird. Today she tried to vent to me of all people...I don't know what the hell is going on in this woman's head).

    She doesn't take criticism well. Nobody enjoys it, but this woman takes it to the extreme. she'll deny ever having a problem and gaslight you (she'll make you believe you are the problem and not she).

    She wasn't like this a year ago. She's progressing into this mean, self centered unstable person and while I am very upset with how she is treating me, and there's no excuse for it, I am recognizing that something isn't right here. Personality changes and mood swings, she is very unpredictable. I'm beginning to wonder if we are dealing with a build up to an all out meltdown with her.

    And to answer your question no, we have no department for that. I've used logic, compassion and understanding with her; it's like attacking a brick wall with a toothpick. What I might end up doing (which my problems both seem to solve themselves and be aided by good people like you because when i get into these anxiety attacks I kind of become blind to the solution, something I really need to work on to better myself), like what i did today, is find anything, even a mundane thing, to be excited about for the following day and not ever talking to her alone. Ever.

    At least until I can call her friend again and not boss, because this is just not working out. She's just not cut out for leadership and I think she knows it, so she lashes out in the only way she was taught to.
  10. Okay. I've sobered up a bit. Most of the post still applies, just imagine it wasn't typed up as poorly.

    Criticism can be a really difficult thing to deal with. Even healthy people can sometimes deal with it really poorly. Here's something that might be an option if you want to try talking to her again. I read you use the word confronted, and I think that's exactly what's blowing up in your face.

    Something I've learned when I first had to deal with bullies, was to take one of them alone and ask "Why are you bullying me?" Now you probably shouldn't use the word bullying, 'cause, y'know, it's a judgement and easy to be interpreted as an attack. However, it might be a good idea to, when you've calmed down, ask something like "Hey, why did you call me out that way yesterday?" Try to put this really politely. Take care not to be an aggressor in any way, because if you do it's easy for your boss to tell herself it's you being a bitch to rid herself of a feeling of responsibility. At the same time, try to avoid sounding like a victim, because then 'you're just being a crybaby'. Your goal isn't to tell her she is wrong, hell, your (direct) goal isn't even to get her to stop. Your goal is trying to get her to think about her actions. Change has to come from within. Empathy didn't work, so it has to come from the ego.

    Things to keep in mind during this conversation;
    • Keep calm.
    • Let her finish at all times no matter how nonsensical.
    • Don't allow the subject to be swayed. Repeat your question if she tries to avoid it.
    • Keep calm.
    • Keep it in a private space where nobody can hear you talk. Avoid any external threat.
    • Don't judge during this conversation.
    • Keep calm.

    It's important your boss has a conversation with herself. Much more important than it is to have one with you. You cannot reason with the unreasonable. It has to come from within. The only thing you can do is facilitate that.

    Or again, if it's too much to handle or it simply doesn't work; smile and nod, imagine bears with funny hats dancing to gangam style or something and always remember her words represent more an expression of stress than a criticism of you. Once it stops affecting you it will go away. It might get worse before that, but that's desperation. So if that happens stick to your guns and understand it's a sign that the approach is working.

    And @Gen. Gwazi Magnum PI @Zen
    srsly gais lern2read (or at least respect that shit)
    #10 Kestrel, Aug 12, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2015
    • Thank Thank x 1
  11. I think both you and Kestrel are on the right track here.

    I can semi-relate having working in ECE (early childhood education) and ABA (Applied Behavioural Analysis) Autism Therapy.
    Both of you which put you in a leadership role regardless of having a boss or not, because you are still in charge of all the children you got.

    When you feel out of your league, overwhelmed and burden is placed on you where you can't handle it then it becomes a natural reaction to lash out at others and try to cover one's lack of skill for other's short comings.
    And people simply walking up to you and suggesting you're what's wrong can cause huge backlash.

    So getting them to honestly question themselves is probably the best way to go. Let them see the issue for themselves, rather than having it bashed into them.
    If your friend is going through a hard time it might be a bad call to just end it outright.
    Especially if the well being of others like that child is involved.

    But at the same time, it's a friendship. Friendships go two ways and you shouldn't be afraid to stick up for yourself and look after your own well being too.
    We suggested starting the search for another job, not outright quitting. Nice try though. :P
    • Thank Thank x 1
  12. Main problem is that when I am talking to her, I am nothing but calm. The anxiety hits me when I am alone. I have this thing (I learned how to do this when I was a child) where I will show no emotion when i am being growled at by someone or being told very bad news. I shut down in a kind of way I guess you would say, so she doesn't get the reaction that she wants out of me.

    @Kestrel, though I will work those into the next talk I have with her, thank you.

    Thank you all for your advice.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.