I work for an immature and aggressive man. In my 18 months on the job, he's chewed me out about 4 to 6 times. The first time was just one month into the job. It put me in tears in the bathroom. The second and third time had me in tears in his office. The last time just left me numb. Anyone who's read about how NOT to fight with your spouse knows not to use words like "always" and "never" during the fight. These are some of his favorite words. Before I came to work here, I was warned that he "had lot of testosterone", but I didn't understand what that meant. Now I know that it means he is easily threatened and picks fights. He's like a bull who sees everything in shades of red.
So how do I cope? If I were religious, I would believe that God sent him to me for a reason. Fortunately, I am very spiritual, and I do believe that he is in my life for a reason and that I have a very important life lesson associated with this challenge. My father always said that my skin was too thin and that I needed to thicken it up if I was going to be successful. I fought this, thinking that the only way to have thick skin was to be callous to others, to not sympathize or feel their pain. But I think I can learn to have thick skin, to let these fights roll off my back, and still be a compassionate and loving person to others. First and foremost, I need to remember that 99% of how people act is from their own internal pressures and stresses. His blowups aren't because I am a total screwup, but they are his reactions to me because of his experiences and outlook. When I'm insecure, I do wonder about what I'm doing wrong to cause it, though. Then I overanalyze what I'm doing and how I should change.
My main problem is that I need at least 8 more months to vest in my retirement, then I'm a free agent. Also, I took the job for a reason and that reason hasn't really changed, despite working for a challenging individual.
So, for now, I'll practice making like a duck and keeping centered.