I keep seeing articles listing all the ways people can be victimized or "bullied" at work. To some extent these can be useful in validating the very real challenges that run rampant in so many organizations.
However, they often don't provide any guidance in shifting our mindsets and actions from victim to protagonist. The power imbalances between supervisors and employees make taking action tricky at times, and we can't change external circumstances, but we can change how we respond and do so in ways that are more empowering.
Naming the problem is only the first step.
Adjusting how we respond is the bulk of the work. Yes we can look elsewhere and should choose the best work environment we can find. Unfortunately poor behavior by supervisors and coworkers is so prevalent that we also at times need to address issues where we are.
A few thoughts:
1 - When someone attacks you or your work, set a boundary and establish rules for engagement. State that you are happy to discuss work related matters in a calm, productive manner, and offer to set a time for when you are both ready to sit down down and problem solve. Do this directly with the person in question - it will be the most effective. Then stand by it (when they try it again, remind them of the rules of engagement and walk away - do not engage in damaging interactions).
2 - Publicize your work and accomplishments to the company beyond your boss to the extent possible. This will make it harder for them to own the narrative around your contributions and ensure that you are telling your own story.
3 - If they start spouting buzzwords or empty goals, inquire about exactly what they mean and intend by the statement, and what actions they plan to take to support it. Do this in a curious and not a smug tone.
4 - Document your work and communication in case you need it to refute negative feedback later. Not a list of complaints, but a list of accomplishments, positive feedback from others, and communication where you did your part to steer unproductive conversations to working toward shared company initiatives/goals, problem solving, and growth.
5 - Focus your energy on positive contributions and where you can stand your ground firmly, calmly, and professionally. Ignore the nonsense that doesn't impact you. We all have bad days and act poorly at times, generally due to our own mismanaged stress. Your goal is to make it clear that you do not accept being on the receiving end of their rants, and that you are 100% committed to working together for the benefit of the company/project/mission in a respectful manner.