The Bully Boss

October 18, 2019
Conflict Management
Harassment Prevention
Health & Wellness
Read time: 2 mins

Having a bully for a boss - it’s on the shortlist of rotten work situations. They are the worst, and chances are she has no idea she’s a nightmare to work for.

Unless you’re independently wealthy, you need your job, so being diplomatic is important (painful at times, but important). Can you relate to any of these dreadful behaviors?

Bully Boss

  • She insults you behind your back.
  • She’s snarky to your face.
  • Or, she blatantly ignores you.
  • There’s the putting down of your ideas.
  • Don’t forget about the dirty looks and eye rolls!

If you’ve had a bully boss before you know it’s a losing battle. You’re mad at her for treating you this way and chances are you’re kinda disappointed with yourself for putting up with it. It’s a recipe for workplace disaster.

We wish we could give you a magic potion to make it all better, but alas, it doesn’t exist. So, here are a few ideas you can noodle around and maybe give a try.

Confront her. Certainly not in everyone’s wheelhouse, but it can be startlingly effective. It’s tough for a boss to bully if she’s getting called out for it.

Let the HR department know what’s going on. And then write down each and every time she acts like a bully. Keep all the memos, emails and replies to your emails and forward them to HR.

Confide in a co-worker. A confidant at work to vent to can be super therapeutic. You know everyone else sees it, so this person will most likely be really empathetic (and relieved it’s not him).

Take care of you. Decide on the things you are not willing to put up with, no matter what, and stick to it.

Try not to fight fire with fire by becoming aggressive or hostile, as tempting as that can be at times, it won’t help your situation. Instead, focus on the things you can control. And that might mean updating your resume and networking to find your next great job…and boss.