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What to do if you hate your boss (but can’t quit yet)

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It’s a pretty common complaint among desk-jobbers: “I hate my boss.”

Most people, unfortunately, do not have the luxury of choosing who they report to. Some are lucky and are managed by qualified and professional people, while others need to deal with unbearable supervisors.

If you hate your boss, what should you do? Quit your job? Confront your boss? Or simply keep your head down? This article will help you figure out how to improve your working life so read on.

And if the idea of working for someone else long-term doesn’t sound appealing to you, maybe you should build your own small business.

We recommend starting a side-hustle or trying your hand at freelancing.

Even the extra bit of income on the side of your 9-5 job can make everything (including hating your boss) a little less frustrating.

I hate my boss

What makes you hate your boss?

Have you given a deeper thought to why you hate your boss? Is it him/her being annoying, rude or too demanding? Or is it perhaps you who simply doesn’t like being told what to do?

Quite possibly, a combination of factors leads to such strong feelings like hate. However, the first step to improve a situation is to figure out where the problem is.

Analyze what is really going on. Did you also dislike your previous bosses? Or is it the first time this is happening? How do your colleagues find your manager? Do they also find him or her unpleasant to work with?

Top undesirable traits to describe your boss

Each manager has a different collection of characteristics. However, all bad bosses share a few, or at least one of the below traits.

If you recognize any of them in your supervisor, it is probably him or her that needs to work on the behavior. Quite certainly, it is a combination of the below traits that makes you think “I hate my boss”.


Micromanagement means that your boss controls every little action you take. He or she tends to look over your shoulder constantly. This leads to decreased autonomy and dissatisfaction.

After all, you want your boss to trust you enough to complete a few tasks without double checking your work.


Who you surround yourself with, you become. A saying well known all across the globe. Surrounding yourself with a negative boss can potentially lead to your own mood and energy becoming unenthusiastic.

If that’s the case, try to minimize the contact.


Having an absent boss feels more or less like having no boss. If your supervisor is absent, how can he or she manage you and/or your team? Who can you turn to with a tactical or strategic question?

Remember though, your boss does not need to be there physically to be present. What is important is that he or she is reachable. As long as you can call and talk, your boss is there for you.

Doesn’t care about employees

Caring about employees is simply caring about another human being. Whether your boss cares or not, it is very easy to determine. How does he/she behave when he/she sees a sick employee?

Does he take time to talk and get to know the team? Or is everything strictly on a professional level with no sentiments?

Poor communicator

A good communicator is a person who can both pass the information in a clear and calm manner and who can listen actively to information passed by others.

If you are left confused or feel that your boss didn’t register anything you’ve said, he or she is most likely a poor communicator.


It happens that bosses set unrealistic goals that influences the actions of the whole team. It brings stress and anxiety as reaching the objective is simply impossible, yet expected.

Unrealistic bosses often also tend to be demanding. Such traits bring unhealthy working atmosphere.

What to do when you hate your boss

There are three main things you could do if you truly say “I hate my boss”. You could confront him or her, consider your role, and most importantly, be respectful.

Confront your boss

The best way to solve any problem is through talking. Go to your boss and confront him/her. Be straightforward with what bothers you.

However, instead of blaming him/her for whatever it is he/she did, try to explain that you (and possibly the whole team) find the behavior a bit inappropriate and see room for improvement.

Consider your role

When you do that, remember your role. Your boss is, naturally, higher in the company hierarchy. Hence, do not try to demand an improvement in their behavior.

Instead, simply express your feelings of concern. After all, you wouldn’t want to (potentially) risk losing a job over one talk, right?

Be respectful — don’t burn bridges

No matter how the situation develops, try to stay respectful. In the absolute worst-case scenario (unlikely yet existing), you could lose your job.

Even then, keep your manners in order. Don’t burn bridges. Who knows when your paths will cross again in the future?

How to try not to hate your boss anymore

Another option is making an effort to try and stop hating your manager. It could seem a little unrealistic to achieve. After all, you can’t simply choose whether you want to hate someone or not.

What you can do, however, is trying to perceive your manager as a human, not a boss. Some of us forget that, as supervisors, they deal with a lot of responsibility and stress.

Sometimes we aren’t even aware of how much pressure they handle. Consider it the next time you see your boss in a bad mood. Maybe there is a very good reason for it?

Perhaps you will decide that the phrase “I hate my boss” is too extreme.

8 Ways to cope with a horrible boss

Except trying to perceive your boss as a human, there is quite a number of other things you can do to cope with a horrible manager. Have a look at the list below.

1. Change your perspective

As mentioned earlier, the perception of your boss plays a big role. Try to put yourself in his or her shoes next time you have a discussion or argument.

2. Repair the relationship

Perhaps something happened in the past that makes you currently dislike one another. Try to repair the relationship. Maybe bring cake the next time there’s an occasion to celebrate.

3. Keep to yourself

Sometimes it is better to keep some things to yourself. Even work-related aspects. Let’s say there was a delivery that didn’t reach a client. Try to solve it quietly and not bother your boss who might react negatively.

4. Avoid your boss

Unless you are your manager’s right hand or you work in a startup with an extremely small team, you can try and avoid your boss. Simple as that.

5. Excel at your job

Perhaps you dislike your boss because he/she thinks negatively about your performance? In such a case, try to put extra effort and excel at your job to show that his/her opinion of you is incorrect.

6. Create something to look forward to

Nothing motivates more than reaching small milestones. Can you create something you will look forward to every day at work? That could be, let’s say, a flavored coffee on the way home or chocolate at the end of a project.

7. Ask what you can do better

Show initiative that you want to perform even better. Go ask your boss whether he or she has tips on what you could improve. You may be surprised how much valuable insight your manager might give you.

8. Wait it out

Have you considered the troubles with your boss being just a temporary situation? Maybe he or she just lost someone important and the negativity coming from it reflects on the team.

If that’s the case, just wait it out. Sooner or later, the air will clear.

Signs your boss wants you to quit

Sometimes a boss behaves rudely to employees because he or she wants them to quit. Most likely the manager can’t fire them for a variety of legal reasons so tries alternative methods. There are a few behaviors that might be signs of such intentions.

Quite possibly, there will be a shift in the balance between tasks and compensation. You could be given a lot more things to do for the same salary with no possibility of increasing it.

Or your tasks might be taken away from you which will result in boredom and the feeling of being perceived as an unappreciated asset.

Both scenarios would eventually make you consider looking for a new job. Either one with a higher salary for the level of responsibility and tasks given, or one where you are given more power and appreciation.

Deciding if you should quit your job

The final decision whether you should quit your job or not is a tricky one as there are so many aspects to consider. Is there a better position ready and waiting for you?

Can you risk quitting and not have income for a few months in case you don’t find anything? For more, consider these two articles:

Some of us love our bosses, some of us hate them. The reasons why are various and do not necessarily mean it is the boss who has to be blamed.

Improving the relationship with a manager is not the easiest task out there, but fortunately, there are a number of ways to cope with a bad boss before making the big decision of quitting the job.

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Written by Natalia Raben

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Natalia Raben comes from a business and design background and takes care of content marketing at DesignBro. Lover of design, photography and the arts.  

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