Dear Maura: How do I talk to my scary boss?

Solve your life dilemmas with expert advice from Maura O’Neill

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Sunday World

Dear Maura: I’m petrified of my boss. But I love my job so I’m willing to put up with her. We all sit at desks and her office is up from us. I dread when I hear her door opening and she comes to chat.

It’s not a ‘chat’ more a grilling about what we’re doing, finding fault. Some girls pass her off and have a laugh.

I just freeze when she stops at my desk. I’m sure she doesn’t know what to make of me because I’m quiet. The rest of the staff are all bubbly. I wish I was more like them, how easy life would be. I do my job, I’m good at it, at least I know that. My dream is to go to work and not worry about silly stuff that takes so much out of me.

If I could talk to the boss then I could begin to settle into the job and not worry. In fairness she does say if we’ve an issue her door is always open. But the thoughts of that just makes me feel sick. What would I say to her anyway? I’m a nervous wreck because I’m basically a shy person who doesn’t like small talk.

Answer:I was just like you years ago when I worked in radio, always feeing that because I was the quiet person nobody really got me. But I was wrong.

Worrying about what others think exaggerates the situation beyond the reality. The only person who is working overtime on analysing you is you.I bet everyone just accepts you as you are.

The ‘boss’ she is just playing her role a certain way, presuming she is keeping you all on your toes. The others don’t let her get to them, but as a quiet individual your reaction is different.

Talk to her. Keep the conversation within the context of work. Steer her to specifics so you come out feeling that this woman just has a way of dealing with people, and it’s not personal. Grow your confidence through the skills you use in your work.

Read more: Dear Maura: My ex twisted break-up truth

Could being apart save our marriage?

Dear Maura: My husband thinks an opportunity for him to work abroad will save our marriage. He’s going to France for two months. We’re in a rut and both of us know it. It’s marriage by numbers.

We don’t go out anymore, and only get excited if we agree on what box-set to watch or what takeout to get.I know where he’s coming from, but I worry he’ll come home and think we should split.

He’s a good-looking man, and I’m getting anxious this is his first step to leaving me. We just got lazy. With lockdowns and all, we just stopped doing things. Now we’re just going through the motions

Answer:Looks like your husband’s idea has worked after all, as you are now realising what has influenced this point you have reached in your relationship.

You are right, you both took each other and your marriage for granted. Neither one of you made an effort, so both are to blame.

There is hope though as you are thinking about what being together really means, and the effort it takes.

Visit France often, and let your husband know you miss him. Hopefully he will travel home when he can too. Make the most of this time apart to realise how much you both want to be together.

Email your problems to:

Dr Angela Brokmann

Maura O’Neill

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