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Signs Your Boss Is Threatened by You

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One of the biggest signs of a toxic workplace is dealing with difficult coworkers. However, the problem is even worse when you’re dealing with a jealous boss.

Poor leadership can create an unhealthy and unproductive work environment and even affect your personal life and self-esteem.

In today’s article, we’ll show you all the signs your boss is threatened by you and what you should do in these situations!

What Are Signs Your Boss is Threatened By You?

1. They’ve Stopped Praising You

A confident boss will have no problem praising their top talents when they earn it or even encouraging them when they face hardships.

If your boss suddenly stops praising you after a good performance, it can be a clear sign that he’s threatened by you or has personal problems with you.

2. They Criticize You

Constructive criticism is a great way to push your employees forward and help them learn from their mistakes.

However, a fearful boss will use unfair criticism as a form of retaliation when they feel threatened by you.

3. They Shut Down Your Ideas

A mean boss who feels threatened by their employees will try to break their self-confidence so that they avoid aiming for higher.

If your boss always dismisses your well-thought-out ideas, they’re probably scared that you’ll steal their thunder.

4. They Seem to Get in the Way of Your Success

Only a good boss will encourage employees to be their best version, as he won’t feel threatened by their success.

On the other hand, a jealous boss will always try to get in the way no matter how good you are.

5. You Are Excluded from Meetings

An insecure boss will try to exclude you from important meetings with upper management because they look at your success as a direct threat to their position.

This usually happens when high management in a toxic work environment creates unhealthy competition among employees.

6. They Restrict Your Access to Senior Leadership

A threatened boss will try to keep you away from the eyes of their bosses because they’re scared you’ll outshine them or make them look unimportant to the business. They’ll also get mad if you try to contact them or even ask for it.

7. They Set You Up for Failure

When you’re doing so well and your boss can’t find a reason to set you back, he or she will try to trip you up by putting you on objectives that are destined to fail.

This way, they’ll be able to portray you as inefficient or that your previous successes were just a fluke.

8. They Assign You Small Tasks

When a toxic boss knows your potential, they’ll do anything to prevent it from shining.

In a threatened boss’s mind, if you always get small tasks that anyone can achieve, you’ll never achieve anything impressive that threatens their position in the company.

9. They Diminish Your Achievements

A bad boss will always try to play off your achievements as minuscule or intended.

If you often hear things like “you were just lucky” or “anyone could’ve done it”, you’re probably dealing with a toxic boss who’s fearful of your success.

10. They’re Dismissive of You

A strict boss will try to get rid of underperforming employees who can’t keep up with demanding objectives and tasks.

However, if you’re doing your job perfectly but your boss is still dismissive and keeps you out of their professional circle, it could be because they’re threatened by your performance.

11. They Keep Conversations Short

Communication is a critical aspect of good bosses, as it helps them connect with their employees.

A boss who doesn’t like you or feels that you’re a direct threat to them will try to avoid you all the time. If you try to talk to them, they’ll always avoid a healthy conversation.

12. They Take Credit for Your Work

Toxic bosses will always try to take credit for other people’s work instead of highlighting their best employees.

If your boss is trying to seek recognition for your own work specifically, there’s a good chance that they’re threatened by it and don’t want such an achievement to be linked back to you.

13. They Give You Impossible Deadlines

As previously established, insecure bosses will always try to set up their employees for failure by giving them unreasonable tasks.

One way to make sure that you always end up failing, even if you’re up for the challenge, is to give you an impossible deadline for a big job.

This way, they can always use “being late” as an excuse for their lack of recognition of your work.

14. They Expect You to Do Their Job

Another toxic behavior bosses use to discourage an employee is putting a lot of work on that person exclusively.

This way, the employee will always have something to do rather than having a satisfying sense of achievement.

An extreme form of this toxic workplace culture is expecting you to do their job as well as theirs at the same time.

Why is Your Boss Threatened By You?

1. They Think You’re Outperforming Them

Although doing a great job is good for the whole business, it can sometimes lead employees to outshine their managers.

In that case, toxic bosses might feel that they’re losing their grip or influence on their subordinates, so they resort to workplace bullying to counteract it.

2. You Make Them Look Bad

Bosses with poor leadership mentality rarely see the big picture when a subordinate does a great job.

This is especially true when they didn’t contribute to the success of their employees or the project.

They understand that employees’ success without their help means that they don’t add anything meaningful to the company.

3. They’re Worried You’ll Take Their Job

Jealous bosses will regard your success as a direct threat to their position in the company. They’re worried that higher management will assign their job to their subordinates, leaving them out or even outranked.

How Can This Impact You at Work?

Lower Your Confidence

A good manager will push their employees to do an excellent job and lift them up when they doubt themselves.

However, a manipulative boss will stop at nothing to lower your self-confidence, which ends up affecting you professionally and even personally.

Make You Worry About Job Security

If you constantly feel targeted, you can’t help but develop resentment towards your boss. This creates an unhealthy work environment where you’re constantly worried about your job security, especially if your boss is trying to get rid of you for the slightest error.

Slow Your Progress

As you can see, when bosses are threatened by their employees, they can put a lot of pressure on their employees.

This excessive negativity can even affect your physical and mental health, leading to hating your job, which slows down your progress and productivity.

What to Do When Your Boss is Threatened By You?

Have a Conversation With Them

Misunderstanding can cause a lot of problems and result in a terrible work environment. Having a conversation with your boss can either solve a lot of problems or help you make a decision to move on.

While talking to your boss, try to avoid direct confrontations as much as possible and listen to your boss’s perspective carefully.

Take Care of Yourself

Nobody is able to sustain high-quality work when they’re burnt out. If your boss’s tactics are taking a toll on you, you should consider having some time off to take care of yourself and regroup your thoughts about your future at the company.

Make Them Feel Appreciated

The lack of appreciation for your boss’s help may end up pushing them to turn on you. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to make your boss feel appreciated, such as:

  • Complimenting or thanking the boss publicly
  • Write them a recommendation on professional social media like “LinkedIn”
  • Treat them to lunch
  • Buy them a gift

Frequently Asked Questions

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How Do Insecure Bosses Behave?

There are several signs that can reveal an insecure boss, including:

  • They’re always obsessed with control
  • They dismiss all ideas and creative thinking that aren’t theirs
  • Their criticism is never constructive
  • They overreact over the slightest mistakes
  • They withhold information from their employees

What Do You Do When You Outshine Your Boss?

If you’re constantly outshining your boss, here are some helpful tips to deal with them:

  • Maintain a respectful tone while communicating with them
  • Avoid publicly disagreeing with them or challenging their decisions
  • Never badmouth or gossip about them
  • Understand that they may display insecure acts from time to time

Wrapping Up

We hope that this guide has helped you learn more about the signs of an insecure boss.

Remember to share your comments down below if you have any questions or helpful tips to deal with threatened managers.

If you suspect that your boss is toxic, you should also check out this guide to help you stay on their good side.

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