Everyone from brain surgeons to people with careers without a degree need a good boss. Your life becomes almost intolerable if you can’t stand your work situation. As a result, you treat everyone in your family poorly and you just don’t have fun. Life is too short to live this way. Fortunately you can take steps to vastly improve the situation. While most people would look for a new career or possible home business idea to focus their energy on, you’re better off to deal with the problem at hand. You can make it work and enjoy the benefits or find out that it’s not going to happen and put all your energy into finding another gig.

Here’s how you fix your boss:

1. Switch Shoes

Understand that unless your boss is very unusual, he doesn’t think of himself as a jerk. This may be hard for you to believe in light of all the evidence you see. But my experience tells me that the less reasonable they are the less able they are to see the truth of the matter. So don’t assume it’s obvious. If anything, you should keep top of mind the fact that your boss thinks he is fair.

2. Lift Back The Curtain

If your employer is being unreasonable it’s because he or she is afraid of something. Of course the fact that they are taking it out on you is making their situation more difficult but they don’t see that. They may not even know they are in fear but what’s important is that you keep in mind that their poor behavior all stems from their own fear. And remember that it may have nothing what-so-ever to do with you.

3. Make Nice

Without kissing up to your boss, get some one-on-one time with her. Tell her that you would like to be more effective at work and would welcome her input on how to do so. Ask her to meet you after or before work or to go out for lunch. There is almost no boss in the world who would be able to turn this request down.

4. Dig Deep

Once you are mano el mano with your boss, ask questions. Find out what’s important to her. Ask how she thinks you could improve? Ask what she looks for and values. Find out what would make her job easier? Don’t stop asking questions until you understand where her fear is coming from and what you can do to make things better.

To be frank, even if you don’t uncover anything, the mere fact that you’ve taken the time to acknowledge your boss as a human being (something none of your co-workers have ever done) will probably tame your boss. But armed with this new understanding of what makes her tick, you’re bound to be able to use this information to your advantage.

Of course you’ll learn what it is that she’s been looking for and not getting. So if you can supply that missing link, you’ve got it made.

What do you do if your boss has unreasonable demands?

When your boss has an unreasonable demand, ask if she thinks it’s possible and ask her how she would like it to get done. One of two things will happen.

First, she’ll suggest something that you may not have considered before in which case you’ll learn something and improve your relationship with your boss at the same time. Or, this may be the first time your boss has considered the problem and realize that she’s asking for the impossible. Either way, you both win.

5. When all else fails

If your boss either refuses to meet with you or fails to communicate well or respond to your questions, you’ve learned what you need to learn. Basically, there is no making this person happy and it’s critical for you to ask yourself if it’s time to change your career.

This is a guest post from Neal Frankle. He is a Certified Financial Planner in Los Angeles and also owns one of my favorite personal finance blogs, Wealth Pilgrim.