6 Ways To Deal With A Difficult Boss

by Raven Ishak
Concerned businesswoman thinking for a solution to her problems while using laptop at home
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When it comes to your career, the last thing you want to worry about is dealing with a difficult boss. While it might be normal to work with a boss who is particular with what they want out of an employee, it's out of the ordinary to deal with being taken advantage of or taking constant abuse. No one deserves that.

All bosses are going to be difficult one time or another, but sometimes there are those types of supervisors who are overly emotional or inconsistent with their demands. It might be hard to gauge exactly what is happening behind closed doors, but your supervisor should never take their personal life out on you. Either way, if you feel you're having a really hard time connecting with your boss, there are ways to deal with them in a professional manner without losing your job. I've been fortunate to have some pretty amazing bosses. A few have been mentors, while others were inspiring to work under because of their work ethic. But with every good apple, there are always a few bad ones. Although working in some of those conditions was tough, I am grateful for the experiences because they have taught me so many lessons. And through those experiences, I've learned a few ways to deal with some of those bad apples. Below are a few tips on how to deal with a difficult supervisor that you just can't seem to handle anymore.

1. Be Professional

Always remember that no matter how difficult your boss is, you should never react to criticism with raw emotion. It's hard to fully understand what your boss goes through every single day, so it might be in your best interest to be completely professional with the way you choose to deal with them. According to Psychology Today, you always want to take the high road and try to remain calm and professional when you're in a work environment. You never want to lose your job due to a conversation that could have easily been resolved through HR or a private meeting with your supervisor. Your job is worth way more than an argument you will regret five minutes later.

2. Put Yourself In Their Shoes

Try to imagine if you were your boss. What would you expect out of your employees and what would your day-to-day be like? Once you can envision what your boss might be going through, then it might be easier for you to be empathic to their situation. According to The Muse, understanding what your bosses' motivations are may help you understand why they do the things they do. There's usually a reason behind why they act or treat you a certain way. Try to look at it from an outsider's point of view. It might open your eyes to something you did not see before and may even erase the situation.

3. Adapt To How They Communicate

Knowing how to communicate with your supervisor may alleviate some of the problems you may be having. According to Forbes, figure out what your boss' pet peeves and communication styles are, and try to adapt to them. Maybe your boss likes to communicate through emails or they hate when people come to their office unannounced. Observe your boss and figure out how you can make the dynamic between the two of you more pleasant. The more you adapt to their work style, the easier the relationship might be.

4. Don't Be Afraid To Stand Up For Yourself

When your supervisor is having one of those days, and you feel like they are nitpicking you every minute, the one thing you need to do is stand up for yourself. Having a bully for a boss is not only toxic for you, but really toxic for your work environment. According to Fast Company, Chaz Pitts-Kyser, career coach and author of Careeranista: The Woman’s Guide to Success After College, said make sure you define the conflict and be concise with what you're saying. "Instead of putting direct blame on your boss, you need to articulate how she or he makes you feel," Pitts-Kyser said. Expressing how you feel to your boss doesn't make you weak. Instead, it shows that you care enough to address the issue and even shows leadership skills, too.

5. Talk With Your Boss

According to The Muse, the best way to deal with a difficult boss is by simply documenting everything and eventually scheduling a meeting with them to privately discuss how their behavior is making you feel. If your boss is not responsive to your thoughts, then it might be time to contact HR. Of course, you never want it to get to that point, but if your supervisor is making you feel inadequate due to their behavior, then it might be the only choice.

6. Look For Employment Elsewhere

Hopefully it won't ever come to this option either, but if you feel you have done everything you could, then it might be time to leave the work nest. Your well-being and health are not worth being overlooked. According to Quint Careers, not doing anything and praying for the problem to stop is one of the worst things you can do. Try to network and look for other options, or see if you could transfer to another department. You're only human and if your boss is making you feel so unhappy to the point where you are dreading going into work every single day, then it might be time to re-evaluate the whole situation and look for a new job.

It really sucks when you have a job that you love, but your boss is making it difficult for you to work efficiently. Try not to stress too much because there's always a solution for every problem. Whatever you do, always make sure that you're taking care of yourself and your work is not suffering. Even though your boss might be difficult to deal with, these tips can help you deal with them in a professional manner without losing your cool.

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