Oh No, I Hate My Boss. What Should I Do Now?

By Jack Flynn
Oct. 9, 2022
Articles In Life At Work Guide

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You’re not going to like everyone you work with all the time, and sometimes your boss is going to be the person you end up hating.

While hate is a strong word, many people feel unheard, overwhelmed, and even taken advantage of in the workplace. In fact, a staggering 64% of Americans report unhappiness in the workplace, largely due to their bosses.

So, knowing that, what can you do when you do not see eye to eye with your boss? You could quit, of course, but this article will provide you with other solutions and steps you can take to improve your situation.

Key Takeaways:

  • When improving your situation with your boss it’s important to communicate with them and figure out the reason why you don’t like them.

  • If you don’t want to talk to your boss, simply find ways to make the overall workplace more positive and pleasant.

  • Even if you hate your boss, don’t go around badmouthing them because it could end up huring your career.

I Hate My Boss. What Should I Do Now?

Why It’s Important To Get Along With Your Boss

When you have a good relationship with your boss, your job tends to be easier and you enjoy it more. Having that relationship can help boost job satisfaction and your motivation.

Having excellent communication with your boss leads to well-delivered feed back, you feel like they are understanding your needs, and they encourage you to keep excelling at your work.

How to Deal With a Boss You Hate

Before we dive into the aspects of your boss that drive you crazy and how to deal with them, it’s important to remember that you and your boss are both humans. With a bit of patience, you might be surprised to find that there are ways to get through to your boss. You might even be able to start building a positive relationship with them!

However, to achieve this, you also need to be willing to put in some effort or address aspects of your own behavior that could be driving your boss mad as well. Improvement is a two-way street.

So take a deep breath, and open your mind to the possibilities of coping with your currently hated boss.

Examples of Frustrating Bosses

To understand how to improve your situation with your boss, you first need to understand the aspects of your boss that bother you the most. Luckily, we’ve gathered a list of the negative traits your boss could have:

  1. The Control Freak

    This boss loves to micromanage and control every aspect of the workplace, from what you wear to where you put your coffee on your desk.

    You’ll probably get frustrated with this boss’ constant critiques and corrections. Maybe you’re bombarded with emails, phone calls, or meetings.

    What to do:

    With a control freak, communication is key. If you feel their constant corrections are doing more harm than good, mention that reducing them will help you improve your work.

    For the most part, control freaks act the way they do because they want everything to be perfect (in the way they feel it should be). So, if you express that you’re more likely to achieve their vision through space and positive communication, they might just back off.

  2. The Negative Nancy

    Bosses tend to have a “bottom line” resting on their shoulders or are trying to manage too many people all at once. This can lead to immense stress, and in turn, negativity. While sometimes it makes sense to be negative, an overly negative boss can affect the company culture.

    You might be accustomed to this behavior if you sense that your boss doesn’t believe in you or the team or always has a negative comment.

    What to do:

    One of the best ways to combat negativity is through, you guessed it: positivity. Tell your team members they’re doing a good job, and believe in yourself. Once the company culture shifts from negative to positive, your boss might learn from the positive reinforcement.

  3. The “Hands-Off”

    By far one of the most frustrating bosses, the “hands-off” boss doesn’t seem to remember what it’s like to be one of their employees. This boss does the bare minimum but is happy to take all the credit. Honestly, it rarely seems like they do any work at all!

    You’ve probably experienced this type of boss if you’re being ordered around to do other tasks when you’re already busy, even if the boss isn’t doing anything. Or maybe they gave you a ridiculous deadline for something because they don’t know how long it takes to complete.

    What to do:

    The best bosses are shaped by the work of their employees. However, in this case, your boss might be really out of touch. If you feel a conversation would be ineffective, it might be a good idea to reach out to HR.

  4. The Robot

    Cold and Unfriendly, this boss doesn’t care about anything that doesn’t further their bottom line. These bosses can be stressful to deal with because they don’t give you the empathy you deserve.

    You’ve likely dealt with this boss if you’ve ever been coldly denied an important time-off request or been expected to crunch way too hard on a project or task.

    What to do:

    If your boss lacks empathy because they only want success and results, challenge this notion. Try to discuss the fact that this behavior will lead to high turnover and low productivity. Then, when all else fails, head to HR.

  5. The Blamer

    What could be worse than a boss expecting you to do everything for them? Well, one who blames their team for every shortcoming is close. This boss will blame you or your co-workers for every failure, even though they contributed to it.

    You’ve likely experienced this boss if you’ve been told that a project flopped because of you or your teammates, even though your boss played a role.

    What to do:

    Highlight the importance of communication. Instead of perpetuating the negative company culture, work to understand what’s going wrong with your co-workers, your boss, or even yourself. Then, communicate these issues to everyone without directly blaming anyone. The overall goal should be finding solutions.

  6. The Bully

    By far the worst boss, the bully harasses you or other co-workers physically or mentally. You’ve probably experienced this boss if you’ve ever been subjected to inappropriate comments, physical harassment, or abuse.

    What to do:

    Do not approach your boss directly. If you want to keep your job, reach out to HR. And, if that fails, you may need to leave the situation for good.

How to Improve the Situation With Your Boss

Now that you can identify which aspects of your boss frustrate you the most, here are some of the best ways you can improve your situation:

  1. Communicate empathetically. Regardless of which “bad boss” you’re dealing with, it’s important to remember that they still deserve empathy. Odds are, your boss might be just as stressed out as you are.

    If you recognize that your boss might just be a decent person with glaring weaknesses, you can begin to approach the situation more positively and empathetically. If your boss is willing to communicate with you, take a moment to listen to their stresses and grievances, just as you should expect them to listen to yours.

    You might be surprised how much your boss opens up to you.

  2. Examine your role. I know, I know, you wouldn’t be reading this article if you weren’t convinced your boss was the bad guy. While you’re correct to some extent, it’s also valuable to acknowledge what you could be doing better.

    Are you contributing to a negative work environment? Do you ignore your boss when they consistently try to correct something you do wrong? These things could be making your boss “hate” you!

    While there’s no shame in not being perfect, it’s also important to own your flaws. Take some time to examine your role in the toxic relationship with your boss, and be willing to improve. Your boss might be far more receptive to your criticism and be more willing to change when you do this.

  3. Introduce positivity. You don’t necessarily need to march into your boss’ office like a mother wanting to talk to their unruly teenage son expecting a serious conversation.

    If you don’t want to talk to your boss, simply find ways to make the overall workplace more positive. Compliment your co-workers, congratulate others, and even take the time to say something nice to your boss.

    While you shouldn’t push this too far and risk being taken advantage of, you can build a more positive work environment through the way you interact with others.

  4. Alert HR. When you’re desperate for help and don’t know where else to turn, it might be time to alert HR or some other higher-level department of the situation. This is usually the best solution if communication fails or if you’re experiencing harassment.

    In this case, though, you need evidence. Approaching the higher-ups without evidence could worsen your situation, so you’ll want to ensure that you can prove your boss’s misdeeds.

  5. Don’t badmouth your boss. Even if you hate your boss, it’s a good idea to not badmouth them and say negative things. If it gets around and gets back to you, it could potentially hurt your career.

    We suggest talking to those closest to you, but don’t take it too far. Talking about it to someone can benefit your mental health and emotions. If you keep bottling up your emotions it could lead to your personal life suffering and a possible outburst at work.

When You Need to Move On

While this job might be important to you, it’s also important to know when you need to let go. If you’re being harassed, manipulated, taken advantage of, or physically and mentally abused in the workplace, it might be time to leave. No job is worth sacrificing your mental and physical health.

And, if you hate your job, this might be the sign you need to quit. It’s okay to take your career in a different direction.

Final Thoughts

If you love your job, but you’re dealing with a difficult boss, there are ways you can improve your situation. Communicate, show empathy, and be positive. Your boss is human, and they might respond more positively than you’d expect.

However, if you find that your job isn’t worth stress and frustration, it’s also okay to move on.

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Jack Flynn

Jack Flynn is a writer for Zippia. In his professional career he’s written over 100 research papers, articles and blog posts. Some of his most popular published works include his writing about economic terms and research into job classifications. Jack received his BS from Hampshire College.

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