We spend a large chunk of time at work on a daily and weekly basis. In another post, I addressed, “I hate my job”, and what to do when work is miserable.
Similarly, when you despise your boss, work can be just as miserable. In this post, I want to address what to do when you hate your boss.
Have compassion – your boss is human
One thing you can do is to recognize that your boss has both strengths and weaknesses, like any other human being. Your boss is a human being and along with being human, comes mistakes and weaknesses. Once you see your boss as being human with weaknesses just like anyone else, you can learn to have some compassion.
Even if you despise your boss for their weaknesses and/or mistreatment, you can have compassion for them. They may not be nice. They may not treat you well or with respect. They may even humiliate you in front of other people. Or, perhaps they are a control freak and micromanage you. I have experienced each of the above scenarios myself.
But when we see our boss as more than just a boss and as a human being who may have many problems and mental issues themselves, we can develop greater compassion.
Perhaps your boss was mistreated as a child or in their relationships and takes it out on others. Perhaps your boss is having serious personal issues and is taking it out on you and your peers. Or, perhaps your boss is insecure and fearful of mistakes, and that is why they are so controlling.
You never know what may be going on underneath it all, so try to develop compassion. See them as a person with problems and issues that you may not know anything about.
Often, when people mistreat others, they are quite unhappy in their lives and are miserable people. Or, if they are a control freak, then they don’t feel like they have a sense of power and need to feel they do. You can even pity and feel sorry for your boss for being this way.
View your boss as you would a child if they are having a tantrum
I have been yelled at, mistreated, disrespected and abused myself at work by various bosses. I am not saying that this is easy to deal with, because it is not.
When I am being yelled at, I imagine that person as a petulant child having a tantrum. Their words and abuse cannot harm me as I know it is coming from a very immature or perhaps even an insecure place.
Your boss may feel threatened by you and that is why they are disrespectful. Most often, I have found this to be the case with abusive bosses who mistreat those under them. They have been inept and inadequate in their own jobs and have seen me and others as a threat to their sense of security and power.
When you can view your boss as you would a child, you will see them from a different light, with not as much power over you. This lessens the strength of their poor behavior and mistreatment of you.
Protect yourself emotionally
One way I have dealt with a hateful and/or abusive boss in the past is to place an invisible, imaginary and impenetrable shield around myself to protect myself emotionally. Words cannot harm me, as I always have been taught.
Just as you can imagine your hateful boss as being a child, imagine your boss as you would a school bully throwing their weight around the school yard. Bullies bully others because they are insecure and feel inferior, ultimately.
When you can know this and protect yourself emotionally by shielding yourself from their toxic behavior and words, you will feel stronger and capable of coping.
Talk to your human resources department
Another avenue is to bring the bad behavior to the attention of your human resources department, if the behavior has become intolerable to manage. Most likely, human resources will offer a mediation meeting between you and your boss. Explore the options and resources available to you.
Request a transfer to another boss or department
When you hate your boss, you can also explore the possibility of changing departments and/or bosses with your human resources department. I have known this to happen, and it can be successful. Again, talk to human resources and see what the possibilities are.
Get a new job
A last resort is to simply look for another job and leave the company. I have also done this. Sometimes, it can just be far too much to handle.
Perhaps a mediation meeting accomplished nothing and you see no improvements, if you have tried this avenue. Perhaps your boss retaliated and it has become worse for you. In this case, I would just leave.
So there are some approaches for what to do when you hate your boss. I hope you have found them to be helpful, and here’s to greater happiness at work!