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What Should I Do If I Hate My Boss?

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Without a doubt, a manager can make or break an employee’s experience at work.

Most of us have gone through, or are currently, experiencing the “I hate my boss” phase.

From a distance, this may appear to be a complex problem, making people hesitant to tackle it.

A closer examination will reveal that it’s not.

Several strategies can help you overcome this feeling once and for all, as well as others that can help you cope with it.

That’s exactly what I’m about to explain in this article, so before you go screaming in the office bathroom, please continue reading!

Is it Okay to Hate Your Boss?

Yes, it’s quite common for employees to hate their boss.

The reasons for this hatred differ depending on the context.

One person can develop this feeling as a result of his manager’s unfavorable actions.

Another person may dislike his workplace in general, and thus every action taken by his boss irritates him.

In any case, it’s okay to hate your boss, but it’s not okay to ignore this feeling.

You see, hate alters the chemistry of the brain—not in a good way— and fosters more negative emotions.

Later on, your dislike for your boss may be the source of your anxiety, insomnia, or depression.

Thus, I’ll show you different ways to get this feeling out of your system before it takes a toll on your professional and personal life.

Why You Hate Your Boss

In psychology, hatred is classified as a less sensitive emotion, a.k.a a secondary emotion.

We tend to numb sensitive or primary emotions with less sensitive feelings.

That’s to say, your boss’s actions have triggered a negative emotion within you that you must identify in order to deal with.

For example, some bosses are mean; they constantly say inconsiderate words, leaving us fearful of their next remark.

Here, fear is the raw emotion that we try to bury with hatred.

Therefore, the first step is to pinpoint the underlying cause that’s leading you to feel this way.

To help you out, I’ve compiled a list of the three top reasons why people dislike their bosses:

1. Micromanaging

You can detect micromanaging when you feel that you have little control over your own work.

Micromanagers don’t fully trust that their employees are performing tasks correctly.

Consequently, they feel compelled to step in and control your work.

They also have a habit of criticizing most, if not all, of the time.

You can easily develop a dislike for the person who’s causing you to feel insecure about your work and overwhelmed by the instructions on how to complete it.

2. Lack of Respect

According to a study of nearly 20,000 employees, more than half of employees worldwide don’t feel respected by their boss.

Disrespect can manifest itself in a variety of forms. You may feel disrespected if your boss doesn’t value your time or input.

A manager can also be disrespectful by making insensitive jokes about his employees.

There are countless representations of this infamous behavior, but they all mostly stem from a lack of self-awareness.

3. Distrust

You know the common phrase, “trust is earned, not given?”

Well, it certainly applies in the workplace!

If your boss constantly gives you reasons not to trust them, it’ll be difficult for you to like them.

I know I can’t put my full trust in a manager who takes credit for my work.

You may not trust your boss because of his incompetence, so you’re always skeptical of his decisions

Lack of trust, regardless of the cause, can be a sufficient reason for developing hatred.

What Should I Do if I Hate My Boss?

Now that you’ve identified the reason or behavior that caused you to dislike your boss, what happens next? Here’s what you’ll need to do:

1. Reflect on Yourself

I can’t emphasize enough the importance of self-awareness in the workplace, and in your life in general.

I always remind myself of a quote by Daniel Kahneman in one of his books, Thinking, Fast and Slow, that humans have an “almost unlimited ability to ignore our ignorance.”

So, track your own actions before scrutinizing your boss’s.

Was my drop in performance the reason my manager is closely monitoring my work?

Is my unwillingness to accept constructive feedback causing me to put up barriers between myself and my boss?

Ask yourself as many questions as you need to before concluding that your boss is the source of the majority of the problem.

2. Communicate With Your Boss

Sometimes all it takes to overcome an issue is having an honest conversation.

When you’ve determined that your manager’s behavior is what needs to be addressed, it’s time to bring him into the picture.

Because this is a sensitive subject, avoid explaining it via email or text; instead, arrange a meeting with him.

Remember, we’re not playing the blame game here; you simply want this relationship to progress for your personal and professional growth.

Thus, make sure your words, tone, and body language reflect this.

What’s more important is that you offer practical solutions alongside the problem you’re bringing up.

3. Take It to HR

If some time has passed since your honest conversation with your boss and there has been no change in behavior, it’s time to bring in a third party.

That said, it’s critical that you’ve given your boss enough time to show progress.

Depending on the gravity of the situation, you’ll either take this issue to the HR specialist or upper management.

In all cases, you must be prepared to provide evidence of your boss’s unfavorable actions and how it has affected you.

4. Decide What Is Best for You

Finally, the moment of truth! There are two possible outcomes to this process.

The first is seeing progress as a result of your conversation with your boss or corrective decisions made by upper management.

The second is, well, there’s no nice way to put it, a dead end.

When faced with the second adverse outcome, you’ll need to make a pivotal decision.

That is, whether you can cope with the problem and continue working with your boss, or if you need to look for another job.

In a moment, I’ll go over some pointers to help you in both scenarios.

How to Attempt to Stop Hating Your Boss

For anyone trying to overcome feelings of resentment toward their boss, I strongly advise you to follow the three suggestions below:

1. Try For Empathy

Empathy has the power to transform feelings of hatred into feelings of acceptance.

Being empathetic entails viewing reality through the eyes of others.

Empathy, when practiced effectively, allows you to understand the motivations behind a person’s actions and thus have more compassion for them.

For example, knowing that your boss is demanding because he’s under a lot of pressure, rather than because he’s a bad person, can change your perception of him.

2. Focus On Calming Your Emotions

Try to focus your efforts on controlling what you can from your end.

Perhaps your manager’s behavior won’t change anytime soon, so instead of focusing on disliking him, concentrate on calming yourself.

Don’t let your emotions take over and get in the way of your success.

If at all possible, try meditation; I find it quite helpful in emotionally challenging situations.

3. Concentrate on the Upsides

Your boss may not be ideal, but that’s not what entirely defines your job.

Maybe your coworkers are incredibly supportive and offer assistance when needed.

Your employer may provide you with a salary that allows you to comfortably pay off your current financial obligations.

I know, having a difficult boss can make the path to positive thinking a little murky.

However, if you must deal with your boss, you should start training your mind to shift to the upsides whenever it wanders to the negatives.

How to Quit Your Job Because You Hate Your Boss

Let’s look at what you should do if you’ve decided that your boss’s behavior is intolerable and you need to leave your job:

1. Start a Casual Job Search

Begin by searching for other opportunities to see what options are available to you.

Make sure that your current work performance is unaffected, and most importantly, don’t poke the bear!

In other words, avoid getting fired because that’s something that can stay on your record.

2. Apply to Other Jobs

After you’ve identified opportunities that fit your qualifications, it’s time to update your resume.

Add any promotions, certificates, work experience, or similar accomplishments earned while working at your current job.

Then, start applying for other jobs and get references from recruiters or your personal network.

3. Quit Respectfully

For many reasons, it’s extremely important to leave a job on good terms.

One of them is the possibility that your new employer will get in touch with your previous one to run a background check.

Not to mention, it’s always better to maintain good connections in the business world because you never know when you might need them.

So, send a professional resignation letter and work diligently through your notice period to end things on a high note.

Bottom Line

We can go around saying “I hate my boss” as much as we want, but it won’t get us any closer to a solution.

What will help is to take a deep breath and devise a plan for dealing with such challenging working conditions.

One last piece of advice: don’t put the cart before the horse.

For instance, don’t start a conversation about your boss’s problem without first reflecting on yourself, as this can put you in a vulnerable position.

Similarly, don’t quit your job because of a difficult boss when upper management may be able to handle it.

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