When my manager, blatantly miscommunicated several things to me a couple of years ago, and scapegoated me by saying a comment I NEVER once heard said about me, in any context ever, "you communicate badly-- you need to communicate better", I took it seriously.

Fast forward, two years later. I'm doing wonderful at my job, yet I cannot get over that incident. I thought about it some more. Why did she say that to me? Why did she address it to me after her mistake? Why was she not aware of the real reason I missed the meeting?

Out of all useful bits of knowledge I gathered over the years, it's kinda comical that psychology came in the most handy at the workplace. There's very little to be gained from trying to psychoanalyze strangers, friends, and family... but it's almost saved my life at the job.

You see, if I attack an approach even in the most formal tones, or even worse, defend my approach, there's nothing coming from that. The situation now becomes my situation. When I become "aware" of the truth of the situation I become able to control the situation, not just myself. That way, you're not in a fisticuff fight with your boss, and you are not left defeated by the situation. Exercising control of the situation in such a manner that they are left defeated by the situation, not by you directly, is the only way you can win as an employee.
Any other way, you'll get under-appreciated, underpaid, overworked, overlooked, etc.
So, my boss at the time, was defeated by the situation of her being a bad leader; and instead of clarifying those feelings to me or ignoring them entirely... she validated her false self using her real emotions.

You can only reverse that, by developing fake emotions, to display a real self.

They can't blame you, and when they feel self-defeated, they cannot pretend it was you who caused it (bringing it back to a sane level of reality). They might rage if they're childish but it will not cause a single hair in your body to twitch because you did not "respond to their email" or "throw someone under the bus for their convenience", the situation did, they beat themselves by attacking you while the situation came down on them.
If I had to explain I would say that the situation is controlled by creating a mirror of the employee that follows their orders perfectly. That employee won't feel defensive: they already do everything right. The employee is crafted by becoming aware of the teams impacted in the situation and their true intent and creating "the situation", "the owner".
"The owner" reflects to people from the perspective of the situation and not from your own. This way you can't make a wrong move and are not emotionally involved with yourself.
It enables you to emotionally notice others. It also makes you safe, because you have the situation-mirror that's really doing the battling. The situation-mirror eventually creates a situation where the other person starts attacking reality (the situation) instead of attacking you.

Now, it's up to you whether you want to use that as a way to cooperate with your boss to beat this new reality, or as a way to gain coherence on your reality outside of your boss. I have noticed most people tend to realize this somewhere along the line and retreat and stop fighting, and quit their jobs.

I've been doing this in a corporate environment for a couple of weeks. I have already become greatly stressed and subjugated by the company for which my company works for. 20 of them sit here every day and devalue everything. Yet.... They're completely incompetent, spoilt, lazy and worst of all, they control how the software is being created. There isn't a single person on their side responsible for their requests to make sense and work with each other. So you can imagine how much blame they need to assign to us devs. They don't know what they want but want something anyway and then they'll see if that's what they want but everything under the tightest deadline possible. They're all clients and they all escalate to the board of directors any bad word directed at them. So you can imagine the narcissism that develops in that environment.
I have made them argue with reality and self-defeat numerous times. They have now started to back off and are being more polite and courteous. They have also not escalated anything anymore. Just as I was faking "happy" while I felt intimidated by them. I have not committed a single angry act and yet they are not feeling superior anymore. The reality of the situation is that we need to make a software and if you make them battle this instead of battling you, they can't beat you.

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    TL;DR: reality cannot be beaten. No matter how strong the delusion.
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    Also, really happy and also proud for you you managed to get on top of such adverse situations. That's Yoda level of patience and control.
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    @NeatNerdPrime Thank you! I picked up BJJ again, and it does wonders for my mental resilience lol. I would have been breaking down crying at day 1 if this was a year ago.
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    @NeatNerdPrime Also, perfect tldr. LOL.
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    Well, unless you're one of the akibarangers
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    Those are a lot of absolutes, a lot of them I don't agree with.

    I've been able to make it very unpleasant for people that were actually mismanaging shit a few times. And without repercussions. Power is always at play, a position does not necessarily grant it.
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