In my work as a consultant, I deal with different personality types all of the time. Inevitably, I run into the dreaded micro-manager. There is really only one way to cope with this kind of non-management style:
Don’t engage. Don’t let their freak out become your freak out.
The term ‘micro-manager’ is a bit of an oxymoron because it does not manage anything. All it does is aggravate the situation and induce anxiety. We should relabel the term ‘micro-aggravator.’
It’s about them, not you.
We all have the inclination to take micro-management personally. The reason why it induces anxiety in those subjected to this “management” style is because it makes you feel as if you are not trusted to do the job for which you were hired. Maybe you don’t, but it is more likely that they live in a constant state of anxiety and use micro-management as a coping mechanism.
They live in the doubtful state of “what if” instead of the trusting state of what is.
Of course, as a coping mechanism, micro-managing is less than helpful. It doesn’t lessen the anxiety of the “manager.” In fact, it only elevates it. And of course, that elevated anxiety will undoubtedly bleed onto everyone around them.
Don’t let all of that anxiety bleed into your mental state or your work. Separate yourself from it. Do your job and do it well. Stay relaxed. Remember that the other person is in an elevated state of anxiety. The more relaxed you are, the more relaxed they will become.
You may never be able to break them from their helicopter mode of living, but you can at least disassociate yourself from the effects of it.