Let’s face it. Most people, at some point of their career, unless they are extremely lucky, will have to work with a difficult boss. Most people already do.

Bad bosses seem to be everywhere. People who think they can treat their subordinates any way they want. This is enough to make a large number of people become emotional and depressed with their jobs and to make some decide that they have had enough and resign.

Since most employees are afraid of the possibility of being fired, most of them prefer not to say anything and put up with the situation.

Nevertheless, this may not be the best way to deal with a difficult boss.

Some people are difficult to deal with. But an unreasonable boss can make the situation at work intolerable.

So, how do you deal with a difficult boss? If you currently find yourself in a situation like this and quitting your job is not an option, here are five steps to help keep your sanity:

1. Stay calm and maintain your composure

If your boss gives you some unfair criticism or engages in an abusive or aggressive behaviour, as difficult as it may sound to you, don’t let your boss’s mood affect yours and don’t engage or respond in the same manner.

Avoid conflict. Instead of escalating into an argument, discuss problems politely, maintaining your composure and calm. Try to listen, react positively and continue doing your work as normal.

The main point of you being the “calm one” during these interactions is for you to be the model of behaviour for your boss. You will be the mature one. You will be the grown-up. This is emotional intelligence in action.

2. Document any unfair situations

In case you find yourself in an uncomfortable or serious situation because of your boss’s behaviour, documented evidence is your best ally.

You must document what happened, when it happened, who was around and whom you spoke to about it. Because, if at some point, you need to talk to your boss or a higher authority, you will have a documented list to take with you as a useful record of the occasions when you were treated unfairly.

3. Be brave and talk to your boss

Although letting your boss know how difficult it is to work with him may seem a daunting task, it is possible that being open about the situation will lead to a better relationship that will help you and the organisation.

Ask for a meeting with your boss when you know he will be in the office and at a time that is free of disruptions.

When talking to your boss, remember to speak calmly and politely. Present the list you made in the previous step, tell him what you have seen and experienced and how it seems to affect your performance.

Let your boss also know you are worthy of his respect and request that he gives you the respect you deserve. Finally, suggest a solution to resolve things.

4. Report the behaviour to a higher authority

If your boss keeps making your life difficult, don’t be afraid to report him. Take your concerns to the upper management or your human resources department.

 It will help more if your co-workers do the same too. If you don’t talk to a higher authority or your HR department, how do you expect them to get the information they need to take action?

5. Know when to walk away

And finally, if you don’t see any change over a reasonable amount of time, then maybe this company isn’t the kind of company that you want to work for anyway. Sometimes, leaving a difficult and stressful situation is the best thing you can do for yourself.

Remember, if you want to learn how to get along with difficult people like your boss, you don’t have to be aggressive or hostile when you want to get your point across. Stay calm and maintain your composure when you are interacting with them and you will start seeing the difference.