It can be hard to deal with a manager who acts like Jekyll and Hyde. You never know if the friend or the bully will show up. Whatever you do, don’t take it personally; you may have just said something that triggered a larger issue for them, or maybe you were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Try to look beyond the yelling and listen to what your manager is saying, not how he’s saying it. It’s also a good idea to look for triggers or patterns in his behavior. Figuring out the cause of your boss’s mood swings — whether it’s low blood sugar, pressure from clients, or something emotional — will help you develop strategies for coping. Finally, make sure you stay calm. Responding angrily will only aggravate the situation. You don’t want to say something in the heat of the moment that you regret later.
Adapted from “How to Deal with a Boss Who Behaves Unpredictably,” by Carolyn O’Hara