Before we get started on this one, let’s consider that statement for a moment. I Hate My Boss – What to Do Now?
Hate? Are you sure that is the emotion you are feeling?
Rather a strong way of explaining feelings about someone. Dislike, yes, even an intense dislike, possibly, but hate?
So, to help you better understand how you’re feeling at work and the possible reasons behind it, I’ve put together this in-depth guide to figure out what your next move should be.
Let’s get awkwardly started!
- We’ve All Been There
- Deal with It
- Is It Business Or Personal?
- An Over Hasty Email
- An Over Hasty Comment
- Be Better
- Try Changing Your Approach
- At Meetings
- We Are All Different
- Focus On What Is Important
- Is It Them Or Is It Actually The Job?
- Are You Taking Your Work Home?
- Publicly Criticizing Them
- Perhaps I Should Just Quit
- Do Your Part
- Don't Yet Have The Confidence To Speak Up?
- Final Thoughts
We’ve All Been There
The dislike, that is, not hate. We have probably all had a boss who we don’t like for whatever reason. Sometimes it’s their personality or the way they do things. There may be times when you might think they are not up to the job. Although in that case, you should probably really look at yourself first to make sure it’s not actually you.
Whatever the reason, you still have to have a working relationship with them. After all, they can have some influence over your future at the company. It is you that has to do something about it, not them.
Deal with It
You could throw all your toys out of the cot and have a hissy fit. But that isn’t going to get you very far. Neither is open confrontation. Are you going to have a problem every time there is someone higher up the food chain you don’t like?
If so, you could be moving around quite a bit. And what is more of a problem, going backward in your career. The reality is you have to find a way to deal with it. It is not a good plan to let a poor relationship prevent you from moving forward. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why you might not like your boss.
Is It Business Or Personal?
It is a common reaction, and I am sure we have all done it. Your boss does something you don’t like, and you immediately pin a label on them. It could be about anything about him or her, their personality, their views on issues, even their family.
This is a business situation; it’s not personal. Why let it become so. It is far better to stop assuming you know anything at all about them outside of the workplace. Far better to keep focused on what the problem is and try to solve things that way.
An Over Hasty Email
Have you ever sent a nasty email to your boss that was designed to provoke a reaction? If you were lucky, it probably got one. That would not have helped any relationship problems between you. But the worst-case scenario is that it was copied ‘upstairs’ for their attention.
Companies are always looking out for potential management people within their ranks. Do you think, regardless of the reason you sent it, they would be impressed? Do you think they would consider you a balanced, calm, and rational employee?
Write the Mail
Sure, write your letter, get it all off your chest. But don’t send it until you’ve had time to sleep on it. I feel sure that in the light of day, 24 hours later, you might think again. Sleep on it and think very carefully before sending anything in writing.
You Have Your Opinions
And, of course, you are entitled to them. If it is a difference in opinion about how to deal with a problem, you may well be right. There is nothing wrong with going to them and saying that you see it differently. Providing it is done respectfully and irrespective of any personal feelings.
Remember, if you think the boss doesn’t like you, there could be a reason. Maybe it is because they see you as a disruptive influence and not a ‘company person.’ By showing them, you have the department’s best interests at heart and can think things through may improve things. An angry email will not.
An Over Hasty Comment
Having dealt with the written word, let’s take a look at the spoken variety. This one is far more difficult to handle and can manifest itself in any number of ways. It is likely to be in answer to something your boss says. A ‘knee-jerk’ reaction. What they said could be:
- A simple comment you don’t agree with.
- A solution to a problem at work.
- A comment in poor taste directed at you or someone else.
- The Boss showing favoritism.
- Suggesting your job might be under threat in public.
- Taking credit for something you know someone else achieved.
There could be dozens and dozens of reasons. In your eyes, all of them are valid, but what will be the outcome of barbed comments aimed at him or her?
- They will be forced to publicly defend their position; you are on a loser with that one.
- They might bring up something that you did that wasn’t right; you lose there as well.
- They certainly will defend themselves, and it is likely not to end well for you.
Take A Breath
This could all be avoided by just taking a silent breath and considering what was said:
- If it's a business procedure decision, do you understand where they are coming from?
- If it is something a little more personal, why did they refer to it?
- If you feel you have been passed over for a good work opportunity, don't shout favoritism and ask yourself why.
Just pause and take a second so you can consider your answer or question properly.
The tendency when you don't like the person you are responsible to, is to not work so hard. Just do the very least you can get away with. But there isn’t much common sense in that. Do you think they might be the only ones who will notice? And are you subconsciously trying to get back at them by not working so hard? If so, you are making it personal again.
Try Changing Your Approach
If there is friction between you, why is that? You say you don't like them; I’m not going to use the word hate. Why don’t you like them? Is it because you think they don’t like you? If you think they don’t like you, have thought about why they don’t.
Here’s a suggestion. Why not say one day, “I’m going to the coffee machine, would you like something?” The answer can only provoke two reactions. They might say yes or no but thank you anyway, in which case you have taken a step forward. They might show disdain and make an unnecessary comment, but at least then you will know.
Instead, do your best...
Another suggestion is to make sure you are doing your absolute best. Don’t give them anything to complain about. They still might not see eye-to-eye with you about some things. But they might just show a little respect when they see you putting in the work.
This could be a one-to-one session about progress on a project or a particular task you have been set. Or it could be a group meeting if you are all working on the same objective. Be prepared for it. Let’s consider exactly what I mean about being prepared:
- Know as much about the subject matter as possible.
- Make sure any assignments you were given have been completed.
- If not, then have a very good reason why.
- If you need to ask questions, prepare them in advance.
- Be prepared to be flexible about decisions made.
We Are All Different
Thankfully as human beings, we are. We cannot get along with everyone we meet; it simply isn’t possible. You may be quiet and the boss extroverted and noisy. Or maybe it's the other way round. Either way, there is a potential personality clash.
Focus On What Is Important
It may be after some thought; you have some valid reasons for not liking the boss. But the boss is not the reason you joined the company, is it? You joined the company for the job you do and the company itself.
You aren’t working for your boss; you are working for the company. All that you do and achieve is for the company and not for him or her. That should be the focus of your attention. Focus on what your efforts are doing in the overall picture rather than any personal relationships involved.
Is It Them Or Is It Actually The Job?
It is something worth considering. Perhaps you only dislike the boss because you dislike the company. Perhaps it is just that you see them as the representative of something you really don’t like. Those are two completely different things entirely. And if it is the job, then some reflection on whether you are in the right place might be for the best.
Are You Taking Your Work Home?
That is the last thing you want to do but is something that some people unfortunately do. It’s not anybody else’s fault, so there is no point in burdening your partner or spouse. Allowing these feelings to eat away at you is going to cause nothing but problems. Stress leading to Anxiety, Depression, and an unhappy home life.
Is that what you look for? Of course not. So this is a problem that you need to deal with.
Publicly Criticizing Them
The simple answer to that one. Never. No matter how deep the dislike. It makes you look unprofessional, and others will begin to mistrust you. Even worse, if it gets ‘upstairs,’ that could seriously damage your position in the company and hence your career.
Perhaps I Should Just Quit
In reality, that is only ever the very last resort. If someone else has affected your career that much, you are probably going to be the loser if you just walk away.
There may be some occasions when there is absolutely no other way. I can understand that. And if, after trying your very best to resolve it, things are the same, then you must consider leaving. But before you do:
- Make sure every option to resolve the issue has been taken.
- Have a look at the job market first to see what is available.
- Do an interview or two, but only if you can do it discreetly, not mentioning it to others.
Do Your Part
Just make sure you are doing your best. And this applies to the amount as well as the quality of your work output. Always make sure you dress smartly and look professional. These might help:
A classy briefcase won’t hurt; I would highly recommend the Tassia Luxury Leather Executive Case Attache Briefcase, as will a nice pen, such as the Parker IM Fountain Pen. And don’t arrive at work completely soaked through; that won't put you in a good mood, so get yourself a Lilyxin Premium Automatic Compact Umbrella Windproof.
Don't Yet Have The Confidence To Speak Up?
We understand and are here to help with our amazing online guides such as the Unstoppable Self Confidence, The Self Confidence Workbook, You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life, The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance, The Confidence Gap: A Guide to Overcoming Fear and Self-Doubt, and why not the Self-Confidence Strategies for Women the all available online in 2023.
Or if it's self-esteem that needs boosting, then you'll want to take a look at the Get Out of Your Own Way: Overcoming Self-Defeating Behavior, Self-Esteem: A Proven Program of Cognitive Techniques for Assessing, Improving, and Maintaining Your Self-Esteem, or especially Stop Overthinking: 23 Techniques to Relieve Stress, Stop Negative Spirals, Declutter Your Mind, the Unfu*k Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and into Your Life, and lastly the Get Out of Your Head to help you stand up and be noticed!
Everything that I have discussed may still not solve the problem. You may still disagree completely with their planning or management style or how they handle people. But they are still the boss, so you will need to find a way of resolving those problems.
As always, with these things, it is best to evaluate your own attitudes and performance first. And even though that is hard to do, it needs to be an honest evaluation. What I have tried to do here is to provide you with a framework to move forward. There is no magic formula.
Hopefully, you may be able to take those steps forward rather than doing or saying something that might hurt your career.
All the very best handling your Boss!