How to Deal with a Difficult Boss

If you treat people nicely, they’ll treat you the same way. That’s how it should be in a perfect world. But that world and those people don’t exist. Here’s how to deal with a difficult boss and reduce stress at work.

There are people who love to play games, but have no idea what fair-play is. There are people who would unscrupulously use any tactic just to sabotage others. As if they get happier by making someone miserable. Well, don’t give them that pleasure!

When you meet difficult people the best you can do is – avoid them. Ideally you would exclude them from your life. Sometimes, there are no correct methods for facing those people. With some people it is better not to talk at all. However, when it comes to your boss, unless you want to change the job, that method is unavoidable. You should simply make it less painful.

Do Your Job

Concentrate on your work. Do your job the best way you can. Don’t do just enough to keep your job. Give your best and move towards the highest possible accomplishments. That is not easy of course with the lowered motivation. You are old enough to know that not everything in life is based on merit. Hard work and good work won’t always get appreciated.

Maybe you or the one above you reached the position thanks to connections. That’s not a problem as long as the person knows the job he’s supposed to do. The better you work the better you feel at your position.

If you are hardworking and capable, you are able to get where you’re supposed to be, in spite of someone else’s intentions to sabotage your plans. Not even the person that is higher positioned than you can stop you if you know how to move in the right direction. And sometimes that means changing the route.

Maybe It’s You

young girl making a mean face while at desk with computer

Maybe your boss is smiling,charming or very capable. Still he makes your life difficult. At least the professional life.

Before you state the case and name your boss a difficult one, ask yourself if you might be a difficult employee.

Some people have trouble with obedience and they have a hard time when being told what to do. In almost every job there’s a certain hierarchy and it’s for your own good to learn as soon as possible to respect those above you as well as colleagues. If you can’t accept someone’s authority the chances are slight that you’ll be accepted. All you can get with cockiness is the relation that turns to be antagonistic contest “my will against yours.”

When they feel too safe at their high position some people become harsh. Others, annoyed by being in unpleasant position, spite authority. Pride and vanity are two fatal sins, no matter if they come from one higher or lower in hierarchy.

Build a Friendly Approach

If you feel that the person above you is not inclined towards you, try to understand the reason of his or her behavior. Is it you that added something to the way he’s treating you? Try to create a problem-solving atmosphere. You should talk but not like enemies. Instead, ask for explanation, carefully choosing your words to prevent further damaging your already wounded relation.

In a way it’s your manner that creates the person. If you have a friendly approach there’s a big chance you’ll get the same answer. How we are treated depends always partly on us. So, try first to create the boss you’ll have a pleasure to work with. All you need for that is a bit modified attitude.

Question if there is something that you can do to improve the situation. Try to ignore any malicious behavior. Just do your job and keep smiling.

Accept Criticism

It’s not easy to accept criticism, especially when it comes from someone your position depends upon. What’s the best answer to complaints of your boss? Try to see negative feedback as a suggestion how to improve yourself. Make an activity plan, together with your boss. Leave your ego aside when you talk and control emotional reactions. Try to build a partner relationship, instead of feeling like a victim of power plays.

Real bosses, mentors, those confident in themselves and the work they do, are striving for the improvement of those below them. Maybe your boss is happy with your endeavor, but not your interpersonal communication. Maybe you are arrogant or not kind enough. And maybe you’re just young, ambitious, energetic and “with a bright future” so your boss cannot take it. He simply has to break you, to put you down to Earth at least, when he can’t put you six feet under it.

Be Untouchable

happy young business woman relaxing in office

Some people just can’t stand other people feeling good or better than they feel. It looks like they are feeding themselves with crashing someone. Those people are already unhappy and there’s no need to punish them in any way. It’s more energy consuming to be angry and to revenge, than to be kind.

The biggest revenge is not to take revenge, you know that. Be above that.

Ignore all the insignificant and even greater malice of your boss. Once his cruelty reaches your untouchable shield it will all return to him as a boomerang.

Yes, that can irritate him even more. His goal is to destroy you and you still have a smile. But don’t be afraid. Keep smiling.

Keep Good Relations with Others

It’s far better when with one higher positioned you are able to comment on all the good and bad sides of your work than to have rumors spread behind your back.

When someone talks badly about you, prevents you from doing your work, tries to bring you down and creates any kind of problems, it’s natural that you feel low-spirited. However, vengeance is never a good idea. If you try to compete in any way, you won’t win. If you try to confront them using the same tactics, you’ll lose because your boss is much more experienced in that.

Instead of backing up, once you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation, keep all other connections. Communicate with other colleagues without trying to prove anything. Just be yourself. That will be enough to negate all untrue rumors.

Keep good relations with others and be good to yourself. If you do this, you’ll minimize uncomfortable situations that come from the person that creates trouble.

Still, it’s not possible to completely avoid every difficulty. Sometimes trouble will come as a tempest but you can be tough and stay unshaken even if the winds are of a hurricane power.

Protect Yourself

How to Deal with a Difficult Boss

Not in every job there’s equal boss control and his interference with your work. If you think you’re a victim of circumstances out of your control, you have to do all you can to lower impact of that person on your work and your life. Even if that person can ruin your job position, that’s not such a big deal as long as you keep your nerves.

If you figure out that any effort from your side wouldn’t work to solve the issues, but it would just waste your energy, you have a decision to make. Save yourself or save your job? It may not be easy, but a job – you can find again. Nerves don’t get restored.

What brings one person out of track will leave another person untouched. Get to know your body and signs that it sends out when stress is near. What’s the thing that makes you extra sensitive?

There is no reason why workplaces should be stressful. With the aid of these suggestions, you may reduce workplace stress and create a more healthy workplace atmosphere.

Red Line

If you don’t find right strategy to deal with a difficult boss, if the pressure you feel in the office is more than you can handle, be brave and quit. Many careers and professional developments were built after person was fired. It’s not rare that people get trapped in secure business nest, so they can’t leave it no matter how unsatisfied they are.

Not everyone is stepping over dead bodies to get to a certain position. Not everybody’s aiming to remove the one they feel threatened by. But some positions can’t fit two people. Sometimes one has to go.

Maybe you’re endurable enough to get to replace your boss. But once you get to his place, try not to forget all the things you disliked about him. Don’t be an impossible boss who complains about impossible employees. And if now, when you’re not a boss you can be arrogant, and bossy, what would happen if you jumped into that leather seat?

About the author


Writer, talker, walker, joker. Contradictory, capricious, postmodern fragmented, direct, too direct sometimes, playful, holding no grudges and regrets. If you can't find her, she's somewhere chasing summer around the world.

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