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Thread: Being made to feel stupid by others

  1. #1

    Default Being made to feel stupid by others

    Maybe I am just more sensitive than the average person, but I have these raw nerves about some things and I just fail utterly at protecting them. One specific issue is when someone makes me feel like I am stupid for things I can't help. My boss, for example, is a 62 year old battle axe who, for over six years I've tried to humanize, but every time I am close she says or does something to me that triggers murderous thoughts, because she treats me like the dog who pissed on her carpet. It's over really minor things, too.

    Last night she asks me to replace the ribbon in a printer. OK, not a problem. However, I don't know where they keep the replacements, so I ask. And she gives me this incredulous look, and asks me in that over the top sarcastic manner, "you DON'T know not knowing where the ribbons are?" As if I should know and I'm stupid for not knowing.

    Again today, there's a delivery going to a place I've never been to a street I haven't heard of. It looks like a mistake because it just says "North St". North what street? We have dozens of North _____ Streets. I look on the map and don't see it listed where it would fall alphabetically so I try calling the customer, no answer. So I write that on the ticket, no such street, no answer.

    Apparently there is a North Street, and it was listed last after all the other North _____ Streets. That doesn't seem proper to me, but whatever, I didn't see it in my rush to get the deliveries out (they were piling up). So I get a patronizing snark from my boss, who couldn't find anything in our zone if her life depended on it. But she made me feel dumb for not knowing where a street I've never been to and couldn't find on a map was.

    This has happened at least once a week for 6 years and three months. You can't talk to her or reason with her. I'm damned no matter what- if I ask for clarification so I don't make a mistake, I'm stupid for not knowing. If I make a judgment and it's not the decision she would have made, I'm an imbecile who should know better. She belittles everyone and she's a bully. My natural instinct is to crush bullies but then I'd be out of a job. I want to quit and move on but I can't because my husband hasn't found a steady gig yet since being laid off and if I leave we're screwed financially. I don't know how much more abuse I can take, though. I can barely keep a lid on my rage when this happens and I end up fighting with my husband who doesn't think this shoud get to me as much as it does.

    But it does and I can't help that. At my wit's end.

  2. #2


    Hey buddy i'm not to sure what to say about it but sounds like you can't win you need the job but you don't need the abuse form your boss because that's what it is abuse. May be try having a meeting with your boss ? or if that's a no no and will not work the only thing you can do is start looking for a new job as its effecting your home life. The worst thing you can do tho is get mad at your boss and say some think you may regret as people like your boss love it and gives them the right or so they think to use their god like powers over you. Then again i don't know your boss so may be there some think going on in her life that;s made her the way she is
    keep cool dude and some think may come to you. but your Not stupid you have given me lots of great advice over time. If all else fails grab your lightsaber and bash it over her head Super hugs Leo

  3. #3


    I can feel the bile and hatred rising just by reading your post as I worked for similar people as this in my past. The few people I worked with were a lot younger than 62 but I'm sure they were just as set in their ways as your boss seems to be and to be honest, I stopped working for them pretty damn quickly.

    Does the boss treat everyone like this or is it only you who seems to get the shitty attitude ?

  4. #4


    MattiKins: I suggest you look for a better/nice place to work?

    I've had this in the past, "superiors" who act like they are "superior" in every way, give you crap about everything and let you know that they think the dirt beneath their shoes is worth more than you.
    I can have a bit of a temper in such situations and usually make it known that I don't appreciate it and that they can find someone else to play those games with.

    Long story short: I'm self employed these days...

    Mind you: Those of us who are not insanely rich or don't have to work for other reasons will spent a LARGE PART of their lives AT WORK.
    And in my book, I simply believe that your work should give you a good amount of satisfaction, and should NOT make you feel bad day after day... as otherwise most of your life will be spent in partial misery only looking towards the light at the end of your shift ...

  5. #5


    If she acts like this she is not a good business woman and I wonder how she keeps help. I have worked for people like this and have walked off the job. No one has th take being belittled from any one. You try to please these people only to get a slap in the face. I know jobs are hard to find these days but this woman is taking advantage of that fact. Eather that my BS or you will be without a job. If anything this woman needs to take a course in good management.

  6. #6


    look up her nostrils: it puts everything into [some surreal kind] of perspective.
    i have no choice but to spend my life looking up people's nostrils and doing so means that nobody is 'superior' to me: everyone's just a snotbag.

    make it obvious and comment on any bogies/hairs she's got: "ARE YOU LISTENING TO ME?!"
    "sorry, but i was distracted by the, know....bogey up your nose."

    another nice self-assuring trick is to imagine the state of the person's knicker gusset. if asked by workmates how you cope with being demeaned, just tell them; eventually, the ridiculousness of it will become associated with her, upon her appearance, and her 'stature' will be diminished and position undermined.

  7. #7


    I know that getting out of there would be the best move, just have to wait till the hubbers gets a job and we get out of our hole. She does this to everyone pretty much. It's not just me. I'm just more sensitive to it because I am a smart, well-read, creative, hard working person and the one thing that pushes my buttons more than anything is people treating me like I am stupid.

  8. #8


    Quote Originally Posted by MattiKins View Post
    I know that getting out of there would be the best move, just have to wait till the hubbers gets a job and we get out of our hole. She does this to everyone pretty much. It's not just me. I'm just more sensitive to it because I am a smart, well-read, creative, hard working person and the one thing that pushes my buttons more than anything is people treating me like I am stupid.
    That one has always gotten to me. Being treated like I know nothing.

  9. #9


    I know this sounds weird but I'm actually relieved she's just a nasty person, the alternative would be a lot worse to deal with.

    I would love to suggest something like, ask her to repeat what she just said then whip out a notepad and start writing it down but you need this job at the moment and rocking the boat may not be the best of ideas.

    One thing I do find that helps me is to become Monosyllabic (thank google for spelling) I get a small glint of calmness descend over me while I ponder all their words then respond with as short an answer as possible. It gets particularly good when they then continue with another spew of words to an even shorter answer (this is usually the time that little vein in their temple starts pulsing) Only once or twice have they ever continued to rail against the calm and each time I've taken a step back as I'm expecting a head explosion.

  10. #10


    Quote Originally Posted by ade View Post
    look up her nostrils: it puts everything into [some surreal kind] of perspective.
    Ha ha ha! Genius!

    I've had similar problems with "over-sensitivity" and it's helped to realise that the other person's "unreasonableness" comes from some kind of deep-rooted insecurity that they are acting out.

    Your boss sounds insecure and somewhat narcissistic, in that she wants to be seen as better than you. THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT SHE IS BETTER THAN YOU, OR THAT ANYONE WHO SEES THIS INTERACTION BELIEVES THAT SHE IS BETTER THAN YOU.

    In short, she's making a fool of herself because she feels weak -- not strong.

    She probably deals with everyone (who will take it) like this. It's probably nothing personal and she probably doesn't even really think you're incompetent when she berates you over trivial matters. It's just a game she's playing to make her feel better about herself.

    So, my advice would be to try to break the "game" by either just ignoring it and showing how completely-not-wound-up you are, and therefore how ineffective she is in trying to be seen as "better than you" because you don't even entertain the idea... OR directly confront it.

    She rolls her eyes when you ask her a simple question. Ask her if she would expect you to know where all the relevant stationery is kept. Ask if it might be possible for her to arrange a training session for you and your colleagues so that you are all "up to speed" with everything.

    If she's just bluffing and trying to make you look small, she will look a right idiot in front of everyone as she teaches you all to suck eggs. The other choice she has is to back off... Maybe a good option for her and a bit of peace for you. "Touch me, and I will expose your foolishness for all to laugh at. Be cool, bitch."

    You don't need to "catch" her every time she does it... If you can't think of a good response, just let it pass and know that she will give you more opportunities to show up her foolishness. You just need to call her out once or twice and she will think twice about doing it again.

    Illegitimi non carborundum!

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