Keeping Your Inner Protagonist in Check

Yes, your boss is terrible. They make horrible decisions that hurt overall productivity. They don’t understand their own impact and are openly nepotistic. Worse, you boss clearly has it out for you. Your inner protagonist is screaming.

One of these statements isn’t true.

No, your boss really is terrible. If they are making decisions without collaboration or consideration, then what they are doing will ultimately hurt the company, rather than help it. They are idiotic and nepotistic. And yes, they are creating a toxic environment. But are they really targeting you?

Let’s take a step back as employees. And I am sure there a lot of factors at play. But as terrible as your boss is, do you really think that they spend their evenings twirling their mustache and plotting against you? Is there really some Machiavellian conspiracy against you at work? Your inner protagonist is a narcissist.

Your boss is an idiot not a supervillain.

You are an employee, not a caped crusader.

Even worse, both you and your boss are entirely replaceable, cogs in a larger machine.

You are absolutely the hero of your own life. Your life isn’t -and shouldn’t be- in the office. When you can absorb that perspective, all of the imagined insults and bullying can fade away.

This should not, in any way, lead to apathy. It should open you up to take risks, to speak out, and to move on when the time is right. You should be free to demand collaboration, to question poor decisions, and to work with others to create a better work environment.

In spite of your boss but not out of spite.

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