Dear Carolyn: My boss is a bad guy. There’s not much more to it. I’m looking, diligently, for another job — not an easy thing to find right now, especially in my field — but while I do that and cross my fingers, how do I maintain my sanity? We’re a tiny workplace that he runs, there’s no human resources department, and quitting is not an option because getting hired while you’re unemployed is SO much harder.
And yes, I attend to hobbies/friends/etc., but I work long-ish hours, and this has been going on long enough that it’s hard to control the bleed into my personal life, especially because he can be very personal.
How are you at distancing yourself, as if what you experience with your boss isn’t a relationship, but instead a thing you watch as if you’re safely behind glass? It has come up in my online chats as imagining yourself as a scientist or anthropologist — so, you’d be studying the specimen that is your boss.
You have to do your job, yes, but let’s say you regard interacting with him as nothing more emotional than going to the grocery store — and there’s traffic but you gotta get what you gotta get. It’s essentially a decision that none of this is any more personal than traffic, and just as far beyond your control, and just as necessary to get through.
As for its bleeding into your personal life, I can only suggest you treat it as your escape from work — and configure it accordingly.