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My brother-in-law is my boss. Talks down to me. Help!

Posted by
on Jul 31 2016 at 18:52
Member since: 31 July 2016
Work advice I am working for my brother-in-law which makes him my boss and he treats me poorly. He doesn’t acknowledge me when I speak, talks over me, and says demeaning things to me, but I don’t know what to do because he is my sister’s husband therefore there is a fine line of how to handle this. I do not know whether or not to approach my sister about it because I feel like that would be overstepping a boundary bringing work into personal.

My brother-in-law is my boss. Talks down to me. Help!

Reply from
on Jul 31 2016 at 20:27
Member since: 16 July 2016

I can understand your situation. If you are not dependent on an abusive person life is easier. I would send resumes for other opportunities.

In the mean time, I would want to make sure I let him know that he was not defining me. Meaning, he is telling you that you are someone that he can treat this way. You are going to let him know otherwise.

I would type up a memo for him with 4 headings and clear points under.

What you do

Why I think you do it

How it makes me feel

What I need

Can you think of these answers?

Keeping it very straight like this, less emotional, on paper...helps get the entire point across. He will either give you what you need or not. This type of response to a situation like this also gives you back a sense of control. Empowerment. You will not feel as hurt... just having written this out.

In the 'why i think you do it' you might consider that he relaxes to much around you, not feeling the need to be careful. Or that he is too focused on work. There are all kinds of reasons, none of which are actually acceptable, but what you want is to give him and OUT. A way to place reasoning somewhere that makes him feel understood not having to use his EGO to react him reasons to change quickly.

In the 'how it makes me feel' I would be honest and say that you have had to accept the behaviour and be tolerant of his because you are understanding and excusing the things he says and does. I would also say that it makes me wonder if you treat my sister poorly. But most of all, I would say that it hurts, makes me feel disrespected, not valued. It hurts because I think that you are a jerk. And I want to care for you.

THEN, I would edit it all out.... take most of what I wrote in the how it makes me feel section... so that it had more power. If he read it as is, he would start to feed into his ego again to make himself feel better, and further off the track of your solution. So keep it simple, and just say that you feel disrespected and not valued.

That should do it.

My attitude is that if someone doesn't care for me, its their problem.....I don't need your friendship or care, but I would appreciate the absence of your disrespect and abuse. There are entirely too many other wonderful and fulfilling things in my life, to let another disrespect me or hurt me. There is a real fight for control in the world, those that are not feeding themselves with love, are feeding themselves off of others.

My brother-in-law is my boss. Talks down to me. Help!

Reply from
on Jul 31 2016 at 20:30
Member since: 16 July 2016
If you are hurting inside...

If you feel as though your IDENTITY has changed, your SELF CONFIDENCE, your BELIEF in YOURSELF has changed

If he has gotten to you...

That is a different and more important problem that needs attention.

Do you feel this way?

My brother-in-law is my boss. Talks down to me. Help!

Reply from
on Jul 31 2016 at 20:41
Member since: 16 July 2016
As an alternative to the first letter that i mentioned giving him.

You might get your point across differently.

I might give him a very detailed resume.

Chances are that he hired you without really looking at one.

Im a bit of a funny girl, so I might create a cover letter... with humour. A letter that explained that I am interested in this position and be specific with all that you DO do.. and go into all of my skills that are valuable. ALL KINDS of skills that you might not gather from the list of past employment. All the things that he should be appreciating in you.

You can also mention things so that he sees it listed, and is reminded that he should be that way as well.

It is a lot to manage a company, you might end up being a real asset to him if you find ways to TEACH him, make him a better person. This is one way to do that.

Making a point.. with humour goes A LONG way!!!!

Maybe hes not aware of all of your skills, and needs to be reminded of how valuable you are.

I think that it is good first step. If it doesn't work, the letter as a second step. Or all together!! Doing it all together lightens up the focus in the letter.

Good Luck

My brother-in-law is my boss. Talks down to me. Help!

Reply from
on Jul 31 2016 at 23:53
Member since: 29 December 2013
The challenge for this guy is to treat all of his employees the same regardless if they are family or not. His next challenge is to consider whether having family working for him is a good idea, regardless of their work ethic and skills. Going by your post, he hasn't a clue how to treat people respectfully, let alone how to treat his employees.

Your challenge is to ask yourself if you need and want to work for him because your career should be all about you and your job satisfaction. You need a work role where you are valued and your skills and strengths are appreciated. If your current role isn't all about you, and you aren't being respected, then you should consider looking elsewhere to work.

You need to understand you should never accept less than what you would expect from others with everything you do in life and this includes your career. While you accept the 'abuse' from your bother in law, you are basically betraying yourself. Forget about your sister, you need to solve this issue yourself by taking positive action which benefits you and your career.

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