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Before you can make things better, you have to stop making them worse... Have you considered that being critical, judgmental, or invalidating toward the other parent, no matter what she or he just did will only make matters worse? Someone has to be do something. This means finding the motivation to stop making things worse, learning how to interrupt your own negative responses, body language, facial expressions, voice tone, and learning how to inhibit your urges to do things that you later realize are contributing to the tensions.
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Author Topic: What to do after I've been triggered by a raging co-dependent co worker?  (Read 363 times)
mamachelle
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« on: June 27, 2013, 01:03:58 PM »

I’m feeling very confused and angry over an incident at work this week. I have been ruminating and it’s because I was triggered and a boundary was crossed and I am finding it hard to process. It brought up issues in me with my abusive exBPDH and probably a lot of other things as well.  The boundary was there, it was crossed, and now I am questioning whether to let this person back in to my friendly trust and what kind of relationship I can have with this formerly friendly co-worker who I now feel very unsafe around. It's about me now... . and I realize that, and I just need to figure out next steps.

The situation is basically that I sent an email out on Saturday to all the employees at my small company to ‘please put an inventory list on all new boxes being put in our warehouse so we can find things.’  I also asked that any thing being pulled from our front offices be cleared before it goes back there. In the email were references, not specific, to files missing and other important active things being lost and moved around recently.

On Monday, my co-worker came in and stormed to my office and dropped a box there of contracts and said “HERE ARE THE DAMN CONTRACTS!” I’ve been dealing with TWENTY FIVE YEARS of this disorganization.  25 years this company has been in business. All this Stuff, How dare you send this email out on a Saturday! You are a wimp. You are starting World War 3.!”

I said to him, I didn’t ask for that box, (turns out my boss had asked for it because he couldn’t find it after it had been moved!)  I said I don’t know what you are talking about. This email wasn’t directed right at you and I think it’s reasonable to want an inventory list on boxes!

The fighting between me and him continued for 10 minutes. It got loud and angry. He was screaming at me in front of the staff except my boss who was not there of course... . that our boss is a Bipolar Hoarder with OCD and that blah blah blah—he himself was making a huge difference with all his work in the warehouse and  just going on and on. He screamed at me about my office which is also a holding place for important company business and it is not entirely neat but it’s not his business.

Finally in the end he was left sputtering and just realizing he was acting nuts and looked terrible and had said terrible things and basically just went into quiet mode.

Now he is being nice and business like… however

It really traumatized me.

This guy is seen by my boss and others as a really nice guy. He is an old friend of my boss. He has only been working with us about a year. He’s an out of work singer who is also doing a lot of odd jobs for my boss including babysitting, dog walking, garden planting. He has no real understanding of the business and he’s only been working here for less than a year.

He is very co-dependent as far as I can tell. Aggresively co-dependent. He has been a primary care taker of his mother in law who just passed. He tells me stories of how he is acting almost as a behavior therapist with my boss’s kids who have serious serious behavior issues. He is taking the chinese born wife of his wife’s blood nephew to a divorce lawyer as his nephew has abandoned her. He is constantly a care taker it seems since he is out of work.

The other aspect leading up to all this is that a Sales Person I hired less than a year ago and who bills herself as a personal organizer and life coach has been his partner lately. The two of them have become these co-dependent care takers for my boss.  It is really difficult as my boss is in addition to all the things my co-worker called him is also probably sociopathic and this new gal seems to think by being sweet and nice and offering to “cut up apples and put them in a baggie “ for him and other such nonsense that she can help him.

She thinks he is like Mr. Magoo when in reality he is a highly intelligent guy and watching her and this other employee monopolizing my boss time with the warehouse organizing and other non-income producing things is making me a bit nuts.

I have worked here 9 years and have worked in the industry for about 20. I have been working since I was 16 and I have never seen anything like this aggressive co-dependent stuff and I just can’t seem to let that incident go.

Help?

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Grey Kitty
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« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2013, 05:52:56 PM »

I'm still trying to figure out the situation here... . so pardon me if I'm taking you in the wrong direction(s)

How much contact do you normally have with this guy, prior to the incident?

You say that everybody (but the boss) heard you and this guy fighting for 10 minutes. Did you stay calm and handle yourself well? Just because everybody heard him blow up at you doesn't mean that anybody believes what he said or thinks you did anything wrong.

Just yesterday I heard a guy GOING OFF in the busy waiting room about delays for his appointment, and trying to get the people there to tell him if this dr's office was always late, apparently trying to turn the waiting room into a lynch mob. I think everybody averted their eyes, not wanting to get involved except the poor receptionist who got the office manager to invite him into a private room. Only after he left, there were a few mild WTF kinda comments.

The other aspect leading up to all this is that a Sales Person I hired less than a year ago and who bills herself as a personal organizer and life coach has been his partner lately. The two of them have become these co-dependent care takers for my boss.  It is really difficult as my boss is in addition to all the things my co-worker called him is also probably sociopathic and this new gal seems to think by being sweet and nice and offering to “cut up apples and put them in a baggie “ for him and other such nonsense that she can help him.

She thinks he is like Mr. Magoo when in reality he is a highly intelligent guy and watching her and this other employee monopolizing my boss time with the warehouse organizing and other non-income producing things is making me a bit nuts.

I have worked here 9 years and have worked in the industry for about 20. I have been working since I was 16 and I have never seen anything like this aggressive co-dependent stuff and I just can’t seem to let that incident go.

I'm assuming that this guy who went off on you doesn't report to you or anything... . you mention hiring the Sales Person.

It sounds like your boss is the real problem, more than these two people. He sets the tone for the organization, and it isn't good. (Is he everybody's boss, or just yours? Is there a boss over him?) If your boss had it together, he wouldn't let people manipulate him.

If this is the case, then do you want to step in and try to counter-manipulate your boss or try to influence him in some other way?
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P.F.Change
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« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2013, 06:07:27 PM »

Have you determined which boundaries were crossed? Do you want to confront the person about it and see if the matter can he resolved?

Do you normally allow others to yell at you? Is it your job to listen to your coworkers' frustration with their boss?

Wishing you peace,

PF
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« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2013, 06:10:51 PM »

***crossed with PFChange

First, what exactly is meant by "aggressively codependent"? I don't know that I've ever heard that term used before.

I’m feeling very confused and angry over an incident at work this week. I have been ruminating and it’s because I was triggered and a boundary was crossed and I am finding it hard to process. It brought up issues in me with my abusive exBPDH and probably a lot of other things as well.  The boundary was there, it was crossed, and now I am questioning whether to let this person back in to my friendly trust and what kind of relationship I can have with this formerly friendly co-worker who I now feel very unsafe around. It's about me now... . and I realize that, and I just need to figure out next steps.

What was the boundary specifically? Had you ever expressed that boundary?

What value were you trying to uphold?

~DreamGirl
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mamachelle
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« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2013, 02:26:53 PM »

Thank you all for replying.

I realize this is a long long reply and I can’t tailor it to each comment. I do want to say though that my boss is a problem for sure in all this dynamic. He does however give me almost complete autonomy and independence. He trusts my judgement. We have a good working relationship. We both come out of the DIY punk /art movement and we share many of the same sensibilities. We expect the employees to be independent and generally we trust people to make good decisions. When they don’t it’s our job to correct. So it’s easy to blame my boss, but my boss for all his faults, is still running this profitable business. We are still running when most of these small businesses like ours went under 10 years ago or were bought out by larger companies. I am working with things I love and I even got to bring my youngest to work for his first 10 months,. I really have nothing to complain about and so that is another reason why I am defensive and protecting that company stuff in the warehouse. It’s not all my boss’s it’s the company’s.

And yes, I yelled back. I acted inappropriate I guess but mostly I was just saying over and over that I didn’t direct the email just at him and that I can’t understand why he is so upset and I don’t want him mad at me and apologizing for… what I don’t even remember now but it was traumatic.

And yes, occasionally things get a little scrappy and I do have a temper-- but have not been to that level for years and years. And never like this where I was attacked personally for even sending an email- called underhanded and a wimp.

The email used SET techniques and I really was trying to be fair.

So about the values and boundaries----

I value open honest calm communication and transparency at work. We are all adults here.



Raging at me as a manager (yes I am one of his managers) and at me personally as a work friend, in the office after an email that was sent to the entire staff goes against this.

The email was not directed at him but was meant to let him and others know that the practice of moving active files without permission to the warehouse and boxing things up without  inventory had to stop.


The raging itself involved getting in my personal space which violated a personal boundary.



This physical closeness and the intensity basically out of nowhere triggered the fear going back to my BPDH and probably my uNPDSmom1. There is something about having a man in my face raging at me that just is not good, not tolerable, and also it was completely out of character for this person.

There was another issue too in that he continued to sputter and say mean things and walked back to the warehouse and snidely and loudly said—“here look this mystery box had the coffee pot in it and so I just labeled it coffee pot!” and now it sits in the back and everytime I go back there I see the stupid box labeled coffee pot and I think, hey, at least there is one box I know what is in.

Also, his recovery was quick, no apology and it reminded me of BPDH and how he could change his tune on a dime.



I value those who help others, not from a position of superiority but from a position of equals helping each other along a path.



My boss for all his flaws has not only loaned this employee money from the company to keep going when his career started to dry up, but he is employing him and is basically his sole source of income. The income this man is benefitting from is because of the business deals brokered by my boss and I. It is the hours I put in with our clients and vendors and suppliers. It is the company’s money that my boss is so generously loaning and using to employ this guy.

So, when he raged about my boss, his friend, and listed off all his psychiatric diagnoses. When he raged about how this business was so disorganized and HE was dealing with 25 years of misfiled paperwork and unlabeled boxes I had to counter that was not true. The warehouse has boxes and boxes that are labeled. It is the recent stuff that he and this other employee have been boxing that have no labels.

Also, he asserted in his anger that if I couldn’t or anyone couldn’t find something that all we had to do was ASK HIM. I  replied, I subscribe to the ‘Mack truck’ theory and people should be able to reasonably find things if you got hit by a Mack truck. Also as you like to remind everyone you may be called off to Europe to sing in a performance at a moment’s notice and how can we contact you then?

Finally, I value honesty and owning up to your mistakes and not blaming others.



What started the whole email going was that images we needed for a job went missing. We are talking thousands of dollars for a sale here. The images went missing from the sales area. The new sales gal, had cleaned up and boxed up her files and these images were no where to be found.  My boss was blamed because he is known for pulling images out and leaving them around. However, my gut told me and the computer told me that these images were misfiled and probably in a box somewhere.

I went looking and my boss went looking and they were not there. The sale went through with alternate pictures.

A few weeks later another set of images had gone missing for another big sale. Again my boss was blamed.  I found them misfiled with a note from the Sales gal who had no recollection or refilling/ misfiling  mind you--- and a date saying “pictures for boss to go through 2/13”

This time I went back to the warehouse and discovered all these unlabeled boxes. One set of them were dumped in a back aisle of the warehouse and they was a note taped to some of them for the book keeper to go through. When I questioned the employee about them he said “oh these are the book keepers she knows they are there. It’s her job.” Later when he was raging about them to me he screamed that the book keeper’s office was a mess and he had “helped” her by getting these out of there as the papers were just all over and overflowing and again that this was HER MESS.

Funny thing was though, the book keeper had been hounded by these 2 to “help her clean out her office” and had pushed her to box the stuff up. I had witnessed this. She had no idea that they were sitting in the back like that. When she looked through them with me she found confidential files had been pulled out of a box and put into an unmarked dusty file cabinet. She also found various files placed in these boxes and other boxes put in the pile that she really didn’t know what they were from or why they were there.

These are just a couple examples. 

As for aggressive co-dependency. I don’t know what else to call it. I made the term up because the two of them talk constantly of all the poor people they are helping.

I realize it could be a Seinfeld or Curb your Enthusiasm episode in the making but it’s people who go out of their way to help others to make themselves feel better and who define themselves by those they help and then in the case of my co-worker rage, get defensive, or deny when someone they are helping asks them to be more accountable and to do it in a way that is truly helpful.

NEWS UPDATE:

Today my boss bought the office lunch. At the end, when me and the book keeper had already gotten up from eating and were walking out the door, the raging employee apologized to all but was really looking at my boss and the sales gal for “Being loud” on Monday. Apology not to me who he had attacked but a general one to no one in particular.

At any rate, thanks for reading if you’ve read this far. I need to get back to my work day.

I think I’ve made up my mind that after writing and reading this that these two are really not the lovely helpful professional people they want the world to see and that I really need to keep my guard up and keep protecting my company and my livelihood from the dis-organization and also the condescension in their helpfulness.

In other words, I feel that I am dealing with something deeper going on and frankly I can’t trust them as I am seeing a pattern now that I am stepping back.

It’s ok, but it still stings. I learned something about myself and also about co-dependency here. I had always thought the articles on bpdfamily.com about codep were a bit harsh at times, maybe they are-- but it's not a pretty thing when it is turned against you.

 mamachelle

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DreamGirl
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« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2013, 03:17:11 PM »

mamachelle,

Values are something we hold for ourselves.

Boundaries are about us and upholding our values.

For example, this is your value:

"I value open and honest, calm communication and transparency at work"

When someone tries to compromise this, you set the boundary based on your value. When a coworker starts screaming at you, setting the boundary would be something along the lines of "It's not acceptable to me we scream at each other in the workplace, if you want to discuss this openly and calmly, I will. Otherwise I'm not willing to engage in this conversation."

If he keeps screaming then you express that you are not willing to participate.

And you walk away.

He gets to abide by his own value system and it does not have to be the same as yours. He needs to value your boundaries but does not have to adhere to your value system. My boss and I yell at each other every once in a while - I even have been known to use colorful adjectives (foul language) because it's an accepted practice in my workplace (rough neck construction workers). We just don't share in the same values as you in the workplace (calm communication). Not right or wrong - just not right for you. You can't expect him to change his values (which he obviously thought was OK) no more then can he expect you to engage in a screaming match. You can just choose not to participate. Boundary set. Value upheld.

mamachelle, this is Personal Inventory where we have others assess our situations and give feedback as to what they see. On the Victim to Survivor to Thriver chart  - where do you see yourself?

Why does the fact that he's a co-dependent Martyr bother you so much?

You obviously were traumatized by this coworker - is it based on his actions or your past? A little of both? Is it an appropriate reaction to be affected as deeply as you are to the circumstances?

What coping skills are you using to deal with the trauma? Are they healthy coping skills?

Do you think it's appropriate to sweep this under the rug and not address it while you are both in a calm state? (which is the very best time to set boundaries) Do you owe him an apology for yelling? According to you, that's not part of your value system. And like you said, you are all adults - which means you should be having adult relationships.

I know you know this, but we can't justify our busting our own values based on other's actions.

You deal with a lot of disordered people in your life (hubs ex-wife, your exH, your stepkids, your stepmom) and you seem to work in an environment with co-dependency issues.  Besides your husband's help, how do you stay grounded in a world of chaos? Do you think it affects your ability in guaging situations?

What about WiseMind? Do you think your solutions are a perfect balance of logic emotion?

~DreamGirl  
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« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2013, 04:01:17 PM »

mamachelle,

Values are something we hold for ourselves.

Boundaries are about us and upholding our values.

For example, this is your value:

"I value open and honest, calm communication and transparency at work"

When someone tries to compromise this, you set the boundary based on your value. When a coworker starts screaming at you, setting the boundary would be something along the lines of "It's not acceptable to me we scream at each other in the workplace, if you want to discuss this openly and calmly, I will. Otherwise I'm not willing to engage in this conversation."

If he keeps screaming then you express that you are not willing to participate.

And you walk away.

He gets to abide by his own value system and it does not have to be the same as yours. He needs to value your boundaries but does not have to adhere to your value system. My boss and I yell at each other every once in a while - I even have been known to use colorful adjectives (foul language) because it's an accepted practice in my workplace (rough neck construction workers). We just don't share in the same values as you in the workplace (calm communication). Not right or wrong - just not right for you. You can't expect him to change his values (which he obviously thought was OK) no more then can he expect you to engage in a screaming match. You can just choose not to participate. Boundary set. Value upheld.

Yes-- This is a good example. I need to walk away if it happens again. Please understand that this literally came out of no where from someone who I had thought was a nice guy and who I had worked with and he'd never shown this side. So it caught me by surprise.

mamachelle, this is Personal Inventory where we have others assess our situations and give feedback as to what they see. On the Victim to Survivor to Thriver chart  - where do you see yourself?

thriver-- trying to protect myself from the toxic at this point. I had thought he was not toxic. Now he is toxic. I am still processing this.

Why does the fact that he's a co-dependent Martyr bother you so much?

I think because it gets under my skin. It is annoying and yes it reminds me of UNPDsmom1 who would go out and do all this charity work and come home and rage.

You obviously were traumatized by this coworker - is it based on his actions or your past? A little of both? Is it an appropriate reaction to be affected as deeply as you are to the circumstances?

Both. It's not appropriate. It's crazy. I got crazy, but then that is why I am trying to process it here.

What coping skills are you using to deal with the trauma? Are they healthy coping skills?

Talking with my co-workers. I talked to my boss about it. I talk to my husband. Will talk to my therapist tomorrow thank goodness. Now that is a very good question.

Talking is really not coping skill. It's a start. I am basically putting it out in the open. Not taking blame for his actions. Trying to figure out ways to avoid having this happen again.

I need to find ways to be a better manager of disordered people.

Do you think it's appropriate to sweep this under the rug and not address it while you are both in a calm state? (which is the very best time to set boundaries) Do you owe him an apology for yelling? According to you, that's not part of your value system. And like you said, you are all adults - which means you should be having adult relationships.

I can't bring myself to apologize again, I was apologizing and apologizing during the argument. i was begging him almost that I really did not mean to upset him about this. I became the helpless girl. Emotions took over.

Maybe at some point I can, but right now it is too raw.

I know you know this, but we can't justify our busting our own values based on other's actions.

You deal with a lot of disordered people in your life (hubs ex-wife, your exH, your stepkids, your stepmom) and you seem to work in an environment with co-dependency issues.  Besides your husband's help, how do you stay grounded in a world of chaos? Do you think it affects your ability in guaging situations?

What about WiseMind? Do you think your solutions are a perfect balance of logic emotion?

~DreamGirl  

I have therapy tomorrow with my angelic therapist. She has known me for 13 years. I would have processed this with her but it came on during the week.

In this case, there were witnesses who told me this guy was completely out of line. They told me he looked like he was going to hit you mamachelle.

Frankly, I do think that my over reactions are stemming from this feeling that here was this supposedly safe person who has now become toxic.

ok-- from my   DBT

I'm doing the best that I can in the situation.

he's doing the best he can.

I still can't bring myself today to try to repair anything. It feels safer to let it go "under the rug" when talking with him. He did sort of apologize. My boss is aware. My co-workers are aware. I'm just not able to do anything more because reaching out to him feels unsafe right now and since his behavior is not normally like this it's like I'm dealing with an aberration.

Finally, I've asked for the inventory lists on the boxes. If they do not appear then I will go through my boss to get the job done. I am not going to put myself back in the line of fire.

Thanks DG... . you are tough on me and that is ok. I need this.

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« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2013, 06:46:51 PM »

I'm just chiming in because I think I see the situation a little differently. The behaviour of your co-worker was ENTIRELY inappropriate. Not simply 'toxic' but abusive. On-lookers thought he might actually HIT you! You said yourself that you felt threatened and that he violated your physical boundaries. This is not okay, not in the least. This is workplace harassment. If there is an employee file, there should be a note put there about this incident. If he feels it's okay to behave like this toward his manager - can you imagine what he might do to manipulate one of the other staff? Both you and your boss have an obligation to protect your staff from an employee who shows such poor judgement and lack of self-control. In fact, this has the potential to become a legal liability issue if there is ever an incident in the future between him and another staff member. A written 'warning' would be appropriate (coming from your boss, not you).

Have you considered that some of your discomfort may stem from fear rather than anger? Perhaps you were more shook up by all of this than you realize? Is it possible that the loss of control of your previously safe workplace environment has triggered an ongoing fight/flight response? You have been with this company for a long time. You are in a position of authority there. You are happy with the work and the work environment... . Then along comes someone who effectively yanks the rug out from under you. He is taking control, undermining your authority, blaming you, accusing you of not being as on top of things as he his (despite the difference in how long each of you has worked there)... . And all of this is taking place DAYS after the actual email was sent... . volatile and bizarre and, well, dangerous.

I agree that it would have been better had you simply walked away from the argument. Easy to say with the benefit of hindsight and some time to think on it. Thankfully the rage dissipated and you aren't physically injured. I realize that it's difficult when you are friends with coworkers and they violate your trust. From a third party perspective though, this is appalling - screaming at your boss is usually a good way to get fired (unless you have an established r/s there that makes it okay - clearly this was not the case).

Just my .02
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« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2013, 04:48:30 PM »

I had a screaming coworker and my T said you do not have to put up with that, you tell the person that you will talk to them when they are calmer.

But... . when someone is coming at me screaming, cussing, my reaction isn't stand up for myself.  I'm scared, I'm shaking, I'm having anxiety attacks.  So yelling back would be like a step up.  Staying calm and saying, hey!  Not cool! that is a huge goal.

I do think your coworker is going to eventually shoot themselves in the foot.  Getting out of sorts over a box?
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« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2013, 04:59:59 PM »

Thanks for that post arabella... . oh and rose tiger we were posting at the same time Smiling (click to insert in post)

I can say that yes, fear is the right word. The co-worker came in through a back door r/s with the boss. If it came down to it-- I'd file a claim but he's a contractor and my boss' friend. I'm hoping he gets out of here and gets a singing job elsewhere. Soon the un air conditioned warehouse will be like 100 degrees so maybe boss will have him walking his dog.  

The initial fear, panic and confusion is subsiding as I have now talked with my boss, my therapist, and another consultant who is also a 'boss', mentor to me about the situation.

There is more to the dynamic including the possible romantic (emotional affair?) involvement of the raging co-worker and the sales gal... . and the Sales gal trying to play like a mOmmy "want me to cut up some apples in a baggy for you?"   to both my boss and co-worker.

The consultant had up to this point put the co-worker on a pedestal (but he can not stand the sales gal) and so I was hesitant to say anything bad about the co-worker. I finally got my courage up yesterday and after I told him this stuff going on he was supportive and told me some more things about this co-worker that opened my eyes to a few things I hadn't known.

So being able to discuss the dynamic with my therapist and the consultant has helped me figure out some things for me going forward.

My T says the two of them are trying to "come together" as a whole and try to fix the warehouse and other things and push a move to a nicer location, and help and help and THEY ARE IN WAY OVER THEIR HEADS.

She says it is obvious that the raging co-worker is coming from a Place of Fear. He is terrified. He hates being in that warehouse and working for my boss. He was highly competent in his singing but he really knows nothing about this business that he is in now.

She said the words-- codependent and enmeshed and boundaries and red flags are all over  with this guy-- and yes, she is worried for me. She understands the work dynamic and that yes, I need this job.

She and my consultant see these two esp together as a danger. The T says I need to go to my boss with a plan and with my concerns. I think I can do that and start opening his eyes to the issues without making him defensive. Or if he gets defensive... . i'll keep going but with a different tact.

I also will plan on doing what I call the Good cop/ Bad Cop routine. My boss and I have used it in the past with employees and so one of us will find the mistake and then The boss will point it out and we play this game which works in that I am not the one doing the disciplining. We already started this last week by default with the raging guy as I caught him in an errant email and I had  my boss tell him what was wrong.

Anyway, I am feeling cautiously better. thanks Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2013, 05:29:09 PM »

 Doing the right thing (click to insert in post) mamachelle, you sound like you are looking at a difficult situation and have a plan to improve it with a couple contingencies worked out.

In other words, you have recognized the power and influence you do have. You sound much better than the confused/angry/scared beginning.

In fact you sound so much better that I'm going to ask if you are still looking for advice from us?
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« Reply #11 on: June 30, 2013, 05:50:48 PM »

Grey Kitty,

I think I'm ok now. If not I'll be baaack. 

mamachelle

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« Reply #12 on: June 30, 2013, 10:10:16 PM »

I think I'm ok now. If not I'll be baaack. 

hehe!  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2013, 10:54:37 PM »

Yes-- This is a good example. I need to walk away if it happens again. Please understand that this literally came out of no where from someone who I had thought was a nice guy and who I had worked with and he'd never shown this side. So it caught me by surprise.

Being caught by surprise is hard. It takes practice when you are caught off guard to remain calm, to avoid being triggered. A knee jerk reaction is common.

Talking is really not coping skill. It's a start. I am basically putting it out in the open. Not taking blame for his actions. Trying to figure out ways to avoid having this happen again.

I need to find ways to be a better manager of disordered people.



How do you plan to "manage" this man? We can only manage our behavior. Managing with your coping skills may yield some better results. Is he disordered and toxic or is he incredibly insecure?

Talking with my co-workers. I talked to my boss about it. I talk to my husband. Will talk to my therapist tomorrow thank goodness. Now that is a very good question.

I can see talking with your boss to explain to him what you will do, for you, if this situation happens again. Such as, leave the building for a walk to cool down, take the afternoon off, etc... . insert any healthy coping skill. Talking with your co workers, wasn't this situation loud, within earshot of them all already? Co rumination actually increases your anger and hurt. This can inflame your emotions instead of calm them. This actually makes your statement below about the state of your emotions worse.

I can't bring myself to apologize again, I was apologizing and apologizing during the argument. i was begging him almost that I really did not mean to upset him about this. I became the helpless girl. Emotions took over.

Apologize for what at this point? He was verbally abusive.

You say he lives in fear mamachelle. Would it be possible to find some compassion for this man since you know he is living in fear? Can you picture him as a child? How would your perception and your reactions to him change if so? I have been in a similar situation, not that long ago, what helped me was to make a list in my mind of what this person does "right". For example, he has a job, he has been nice many times before, he does do things for others (though his motives may not be pure, that's not my call), etc... . I try to balance my very "blackening" since being hurt by another person. I try to adjust my expectations going forward. This doesn't excuse the behavior, it does however change my perception of it and it helps me control me in future situations. It also helps take away some of the fear of the unexpected/unpredictable.

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“Consider how hard it is to change yourself and you'll understand what little chance you have in trying to change others.” ~Jacob M. Braude
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« Reply #14 on: July 05, 2013, 01:24:14 PM »

How do you plan to "manage" this man? We can only manage our behavior. Managing with your coping skills may yield some better results. Is he disordered and toxic or is he incredibly insecure?

I meant manage in a work environment with lots of dysfunction and poor boundaries.

For a start I’m closing him off from anything other than work or polite banter in conversations….no more sitting and listening to his personal issues with my boss and boss’ kids.

Also not sharing my frustrations with my SS or others (teachers, coaches, usual suspects) which I would share in response to hearing about his MIL dementia or my boss’s kids. Or his nephew or what have you…

Over sharing was a mistake… it usually is—but sometimes it is appropriate and helpful so I’m not beating myself up. Just stopping it.

I do think now he is disordered. Insecure yes. My T said his behaviors were ‘diagnostic’. Meaning, something going on here that mamachelle needs to give a wide berth to as she has enough disordered souls in her life.

Talking with your co workers, wasn't this situation loud, within earshot of them all already? Co rumination actually increases your anger and hurt. This can inflame your emotions instead of calm them

Co rumination is dangerous and did make things worse.

Ouch. I needed to get perspective and also to let a few employees know that the email was in response to legitimate concerns. It’s ok now, the one I talk most to is the bookkeeper. She was caught up in this because raging co-worker blamed her for some of this. Also this bookkeeper had shared her concerns with me for a few months about both raging guy and sales gal. She is from another country and these two often act superior to her as well. It’s subtle but she comes to me because we are friends and I can tell my boss stuff she doesn’t always feel comfortable with.

You say he lives in fear mamachelle. Would it be possible to find some compassion for this man since you know he is living in fear? Can you picture him as a child? How would your perception and your reactions to him change if so?

Suzn, I have heard a lot about his childhood and have a relatively happy picture of it with a lot of wild stories he has told me about his brothers. So I went a different route and pictured him as an old man. It helps.

I was able to bring myself to give him some work to do this week. Turns out, I am home with a sick kiddo today and he is helping by getting this task done.

Thanks again to you and all who have helped me in this thread. Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

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