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I happen to work with a boss who overreacts to vague reasons. He has impulsive/ bipolar behavior, where he is fine with one incident and the next day/month he loses his mind over the same. e.g we had an event at our company, So I casually declined the invitation, as I was not interested in attending it. He lost his mind and was on his nerves and coerced me to attend it, finally I had to attend it.

When a similar event happened next time, he wasn't interested and on the contrary he told me he din't want to attend it, and asked me whether I wanted to attend it? Apart from work he reprimands people for not attending any event and not having a social life. He instills fear to coerce things we are genuinely uninterested in.

I am confused, as to how do I deal with such boss? If I provide any reason, he would say that I give a lot of excuses or have some rude statement under his hat. It has become difficult to say NO to such a person, On the work front I try to do my job pretty decent, my only concern is I am uninterested in such extra-curricular activities where I am forced to be a part of.

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  • Extra-curricular activities in the workplace are .. bizarre. Totally bizarre. It's not 1970. Do your work, wave goodbye for the evening with a smile, and go home to the children. – Fattie Dec 4 '18 at 16:12
  • Find a legit reason not to go like... a tire rotation, how inconvenient. – RandomUs1r Dec 4 '18 at 16:46
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Unfortunately, the only real answer here is this:

If you don't like your situation, change it.

Get another job. We could argue the merits all day about standing up for yourself and escalating this higher, but all of these things will just make work unpleasant in the long run. If your Boss truly behaves in this manner, just get out as soon as you can and carry on.

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    Also remember that "new job" can mean different position in the same company. If you like the work and the company, but just this boss is bad for you, moving to another team / department / branch can be an easier move than finding a new job on the open market. – Kallmanation Dec 4 '18 at 17:32
  • @Kallmanation very true ill try to work that into an edit later – SaggingRufus Dec 4 '18 at 17:49
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There is this type of people who simply don't care. They can be screamed at and abused at work but they just smile and are able to relax in the evening without losing sleep over the situation in the job.

But the huge majority of us isn't like that. We can build up our resilience a bit - by developing good, reliable relationship out of the office, by doing therapy, etc. - but an abusive boss will still affect our wellbeing. For all those people the only viable solution is to admit the situation doesn't depend on them and they can't influence their boss's behavior and search for a new job.

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During my experience in engineering set up as junior manager I have worked with lot of bosses having different behaviors. During working under such boss as subordinate capacity sometimes it become miserable but considering job security and career progression in mind subordinate is required to be adjusted himself . In my opinion you should try to contain your interaction with your boss and restrict to only essential requirement so that he can't bother you with his behavior. In subordinate capacity you cannot refuse to attend such gatherings even you don't like it. By regularly attending such activities you can make good working relationship with the boss.

In above answers you have been suggested to change your job but in my opinion it is not at all appropriate if you are comfortable with your job, changing of job with such small reasons is not at all correct decision bcos it is not guaranteed that in new job you can again face such boss.

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You could document everything and try to get your boss fired over this harassment, but this probably isn't worth your time. Documenting everything is standard whenever you run into trouble at the office these days, but trying to get your boss fired is honestly not a good idea. It takes too long. It's somewhat career limiting. It takes too much effort. It doesn't get you a pay raise like a new job probably will. Most of the time it's not worth it.

As an intermediate step, something to try before you jump ship and hunt for a new job, I'd talk to HR about your boss's behavior and how it interferes with your personal and work life. HR isn't really at your company for your benefit, HR is more or less to protect the company from you. This is just something you can try before committing to a new job search. It could make things worse, and if you're in the USA and your boss tries to retaliate against you for talking to HR you can sue the company.

Other than these two options, you basically have to put up with it or quit.

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There is honestly nothing you can do with this, other than get a new job.

Your boss is your boss - she or he is the boss. That's that.

  • If you have a "thick skin" you can just utterly ignore it, and it means nothing to you. You do your work, take the pay, and go home to your family.

(Only old, experienced people can do that.)

  • Otherwise - new job.

That's it.

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