How To Deal with Hostile Bosses

Hostile bosses can make life seemingly unbearable. You spend more than half of your day at the office or at the workplace. Thus, you spend more than half of your adult life working with your boss, that is, if you choose to work with him for a long period of time.

You can definitely get frustrated when you are at a situation when you love what you are doing at work except for one thing—your boss is hostile toward you, and he makes you feel unimportant all the time. The worst hostility is when a person wishes ill of you even though you cannot remember a time that you did anything bad to him. It is usually unprovoked.

Here is some advice on how to deal with a hostile boss.

  • Act as professionally as you can. More often than not, your boss is provoking you to react violently to what he has to say. He is finding holes in order to put you in uncomfortable situations. Do not give him this opportunity. Although, you may find it difficult to act professionally, even if your boss berates you and/or your work, people will eventually see the truth. This is especially true if your boss has his own boss. If your boss’ supervisor and other workmates observe that you deliver quality outputs and you relate in a professional manner at all times, they will eventually find the fault in your boss and not in you.
  • Disregard urges to retaliate. Negative remarks beget violent reactions. It is the easiest way out. Emotions are difficult to dictate, as they have a distinct part in your brain that processes innate reactions. It will take a lot of self-control and judgment on your part to discard your urge to retaliate. Remember, you want to prove your boss wrong. You do not want to aggravate the situation and allow your boss to influence others to think ill of you.
  • Take administrative action. If your boss has become too much and his actions have become out of line, you should take matters to the proper authorities. If you have a union in your company, tell them your concern and they will advise you the right thing to do. If not, put your complain into writing and submit it your Human Resource personnel. Prior to this, you should have collected enough evidence to prove your claim. If you must, record conversations or put hidden video cameras at your desk. This may sound like overkill, but you can resort to this only if your boss has crossed the line of being rude to insulting you in front of many people. You can also do this if you think that you have a good future in your job, despite your relationship with your boss.

Lastly, understand where your boss is coming from. It is often said that when a person hates another, it is most likely that he is insecure of the other. It can also be that what he sees in the behavior and attitude of another mirrors his own inadequacies. These are unconscious manifestations. Many people may refute this explanation, as they will object that it is not their reason for hating another. More often than not, these people are in denial. Look within and you will understand that your boss does not feel beautiful inside and confident enough to stop finding fault in another person.


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