My peer is a high C that obsesses with nuances that do not matter and criticizes everything I do on a daily (or near daily basis).  In the begining I would placate him and integrate his suggestions. However, he forgets that he was the one who made the suggestion and even criticizes the actions I've taken based on his suggestions.


When I agree with his point and say I will implicate his suggestion, he turns around and says that I cannot and begin to argue the opposite point of view pointing out the problems with doing the opposite. When I ask him for an actionable solution he throws his hands up and says that he is not in a positon to make decision--that is for me to decide with my boss--but then complains to my boss that I disregard his advice. 


On my performance review I was deducted half of the salary increase I was promised in my offer letter because 'I refuse to listen to [the highC] when he criticises me' and second because I lack confidence and the younger people in the company do not respect me. (The younger people in the company do not respect me because this peer is undermining my decisions and openly criticizes and un-does the decisions I make and instructions I give to the junior people for exectuting my projects, arguing that it is better for the project if we do things his way.  However, the decisions he un-does are materially not-important, for example, the number of spaces to put after a period. We literally have had half hour discusion on where to add a comma.)


For the first six months I was able to manage his insanity because we were peers. However, right before my performance evaluation our CEO announced that we had 10 month of financial runway but were 2 years from generating sales. As a result, my supervisor has become super risk-averse, to the point where we managers cannot make decisions autonomously--all decisions are made as a group.


At first my supervisor was reasonable and was the buffer that allowed me to cope with the insanity of the high C, because after all she wanted me to get work done. But now she criticizes me for not being receptive to the help of the high-C. She says that its not enough that I impliment the actions that this high-C recommends, I need to actually believe that I am wrong and "show my peers my vulnerable underbelly." I am suppose to say that I am wrong even when I am not, and more so, I am suppose to actually believe that I am wrong. (Even if the advice I was given is non-sense that would hurt my project). 

When I stand up for myself and say that I cannot possibly have achieved XYZ because this person did not give me their deliverable, she criticizes me for pointing the blame to the person who screwed things up--instead of owning their mistake. She says that by not taking responibility for other people's mistakes I am not a team-player. 


I have palpitatons and my chest tightens up as a drive in to work. Every day I walk in I know that I will be the subject of drama, that someone will have done something, that will be blamed on me, and that I will need to take responsibility for even if I did nothing wrong. I have not gone to HR because I want a good reference from my supervisor when I leave.  


Any advice on how to survive until I give notice?




pucciot's picture
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It sounds like you are in a difficult situation.


Your emotion is clouding the details of behavior.  So I am having a tough time coming up with specific recommendations.

But,  I wonder if you can help the situation a little be by changing how you "defend yourself"

I would suggest that you make it in their best interest to work with you in a certain way.

** Using the Peer FeedBack Model...

When you point this out , then  this is what I do -- or how I feel --- etc.

When you tell me to do things this way without fully explaining,  then  this is what I do -- or how I feel --- etc.

When you don't let me find my own best way of doing this, then  this is what I do -- or how I feel --- etc.

Stay Frosty and calm.

Repeat the same FeedBack each time they do the same thing.

They will get frustrated with your responses -- but, they may get the message that the way they are dealing with you isn't working and they may try a different way.

Stay Frosty and calm.


* Invite them to coffee.  Kill them with kindness.  Build the relationship.  Talk about baseball or something they like.  Learn about their favorite team.       

It may not stop the criticism -- but it may improve the tone that they take with you.  




The Peer Feedback Model


Good Luck