Tough day today at my job. My self-confidence was smacked down to the ground. It felt like that, literally. My face hit the proverbial pavement, in the torrential rain we had here today.

My boss uses passive-aggressive tactics to undermine his staff on a routine basis, and today was a whopper example of that, directed right at me.

I’m using harsh language because his behavior didn’t just feel abusive, it was abusive.

He has been told by higher-ups that he needs to change his management style. He has asked me why morale is so low, and I’ve told him. His own boss sent him and another person at his level to a mediator because they didn’t get along. Then, all of the rest of us were dragged to a “staff day” so we could try to create a better team.

He has everything he needs to make positive changes in how he interacts with people, but he is refusing to do it. I don’t know what’s stopping him, but based on some other factors — he’s more than 100 pounds overweight and doesn’t do anything to take care of himself, and he looks sad all the time — I think it’s something very deep he’s grappling with.

The only thing that has kept me even mildly afloat today is the realization that I didn’t cause his behavior. In years past, I would have thought that, believed that. Today, I know it’s not true. He is in control of his own behavior, not me.

Trauma therapy taught me a lot, including recognizing that people do mean things because they choose to do them, not because I cause them to do them.

I hope I can remember that lesson when I see him tomorrow.

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