Shouting Boss Make Me Dizzy!


I’ve been in my current job for only 8 weeks but I really hate where I work. It’s a small company and my boss is the MD. He is well known for his outbursts and only yesterday an auditor walked out because he shouted at her (over something she had to do as part of her job). He hasn’t shown any aggression towards me but I get anxious to the point of nausea and dizziness about going into work because I don’t know what the day will hold. I also feel stressed because I am responsible for a part of the company that has ¬£300,000 annual turnover, and I’ve never had that amount of responsibility before. My contract ends in 7 weeks but I’m worried that the stress I’m under is making me ill. Should I stick it out to the end of my contract, and make sure I have another job to go to, or should I just leave now and take some time out? Many thanks for any advice you can give.


Stressed in the UK


Dear Stressed in the UK:

I can empathize with you having a boss that is potentially explosive and may vent his anger outbursts on you. It is very likely to happen because he is reacting rather than responding to his stresses and he doesn’t understand that. The worst thing you can do is to react to him. Learning how to respond in a positive manner to your situation is better than quitting and looking for another job. It is also an opportunity to learn from the potential conflict. Your boss may also learn with your help.

It will be a challenge for you to think about and learn a new technique of verbal judo that David Burns tells of in his book, FEELING GOOD. A good way to respond is to ask questions as to just exactly what is making your boss angry. You will find that often it is his own attitude that causes him to react.

You will find how to resolve conflict in my book, POWERFUL PARTNERING…WITH WORDS I NEVER LEARNED IN MEDICAL SCHOOL, by becoming a response/able person, responding rather than reacting. You may see the book on my website:

You face a choice: quit your job or hang in there, try to learn a new way to handle difficult people. It is a challenge that should pay off. You are a responsible person. Now try to become a RESPONSE/ABLE PERSON. It is not easy but I’d like to see you try it.

Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOs. Please feel free to let us know how you cope–what works and does not.

E. L. Hollenberg, MD,