How to Deal With a Bad Boss: 26 Tips

Do you ever feel discouraged, frustrated, and completely overwhelmed when dealing with a bad boss? Bad bosses exist in every work environment, from the small corner office to global corporate headquarters. And sadly, it seems no one is immune from dealing with them at some point during their career.

Though it can be challenging—and often soul-crushing—to have a boss that makes your life miserable day after day, you don’t have to suck it up and take whatever they dish out. If you’re looking for ways to deal with a lousy boss effectively, this blog post is for you! Keep reading to find 26 tips to put the power back into your hands and make dealing with a bad boss much easier.

What do you do if your boss is attacking you?

If you are getting personal attacks from your toxic boss, it’s essential to document every incident and report it to the Human Resources department or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Doing so will ensure that any future action against them will be backed up by evidence.

How do you outsmart a difficult boss?

Are you stuck working for a difficult boss and feeling helpless? You know you can reach your full potential—but it feels like no matter how hard you try, something is blocking your success. It doesn’t have to be that way; you can outsmart toxic bosses and prove yourself as an invaluable employee. Here we’ll outline the steps needed to overcome the challenges of a complex manager so that you can break down barriers, leverage every opportunity, and take control of your career growth!

1. Decide to stay or go

When confronted with a difficult supervisor, the first step is to decide if you should stay or leave. If leaving isn’t an option, then it’s essential to quantify how this situation affects your mental health. If the thought of facing them each day is too much to bear, it could be time to search for a new job.

On the other hand, staying might be an option if you can handle their behavior and maintain your wellbeing. Consider how leaving will affect your career in the long run. Will this decision help or hinder your next job?

2. Adopt a professional attitude

It can be hard to remain professional when dealing with a bad boss. However, remember that how you respond will affect how your colleagues view you and how well they follow your lead in future projects. Don’t let their bad behavior deter you from doing your best work and staying true to your values.

3. Take responsibility for your own performance.

First, assess how you can improve your performance and how you have contributed to the situation with your boss. If necessary, ask a trusted friend or colleague for an honest opinion on how well you are doing in relation to how you feel about your work environment and professional relationship with your boss.

4. Clarify expectations and tasks.

Ensure you understand your boss’s expectations, how they want things done, how often they need updates on progress, how much interaction is expected etc. This will ensure that you are meeting their demands and providing them with the information they need to be satisfied with your performance.

5. Don’t take their behavior personally.

It’s important to recognize that a bad boss is not attacking you; they may have different management or communication styles. If your boss exhibits negative behavior, don’t allow it to affect how you feel about yourself and how you think of yourself in relation to the job.

Take time to understand your boss’s working style and preferences. What is their workplace temperament? How would they prefer you converse with them? Do they prefer to email or knock on their office door? And what might rub them up the wrong way if not handled correctly? If you can figure out how to best manage their expectations, it will make life a lot easier. If possible, align your work style and approach with your boss’s demands to build a successful working relationship.

6. Focus on finding common ground

Try to find areas where you can agree with your boss and build on these areas to foster positive relationships. This may be easier said than done, but it’s important to focus on how you can work together rather than how you are different from each other.

7. Don’t get drawn in by the boss behavior

Keep away from those who bring drama into your life. Preserve a healthy emotional space between you and them, being polite yet firm in asserting yourself without allowing their toxic behavior to sway your actions. Maintaining physical and mental distance will enable you to remain professional and emotionally safe while continuing with the tasks.

8. Work with your boss

While it may be tempting to highlight their mistakes or incompetence, this approach will only create tension and make things uncomfortable in the long run. It’s far better to assist your boss in achieving positive results that benefit you and the company overall. Put aside personal differences and work together towards common goals. Doing so will ensure smoother operations while also strengthening relationships at work.

9. Consider taking a new job or company

Of course, this isn’t always an option, but it’s important to weigh how long you are willing to stay in the same working environment if it adversely affects your mental and physical health. If the situation persists, it might be time to look for a better job elsewhere. A change might be just what you need to break out of the rut and discover how much more fulfilling a positive work environment can be.

10. Seek support from colleagues, senior leaders, and friends

As difficult as it may be to talk about how you feel, it’s important to find a safe space to express your feelings. Whether that is with a friend, family member, or trusted colleague, it’s important to find someone who can offer an objective opinion on how to deal with your bad boss.

11. Speak up

Speak up in the same way you would at any other job. Even if your boss is a bully, it’s important to remember that no one should be able to push you around without recourse. If their behavior becomes unbearable, in the next meeting, speak up for yourself and explain how their actions negatively affect your performance. With the right approach, it is possible to have a productive and meaningful dialogue with your manager, even if you are having difficulty getting along.

Rather than remaining in silence or letting frustration get the best of you, take an assertive stance by communicating your issues calmly yet firmly. Depending on how well acquainted you are and what kind of individual they may be, it could affect how carefully one must choose their words during this conversation; however, all things considered, speaking up will always prove more beneficial for both parties rather than staying silent when something isn’t working out as planned.

12. Document your performance.

If you feel you are being mistreated, it is important to keep a detailed record of how bad management has affected your performance over time. This will demonstrate how hard you have been working and how difficult it has been for you to do so under such an oppressive work environment. Furthermore, suppose the situation worsens, and you decide to take added action. In that case, this documentation will also be essential to prove how long you have been dealing with the issues and how they have impacted your career and well-being.

13. Focus on self-care and well-being.

The stress and anxiety that come with having a demanding boss can take its toll on your mental health, so it is important to focus on how you care for yourself to stay productive and remain healthy in the long run. Make sure you get enough rest, practice healthy lifestyle habits, and take the time to do things that bring you joy and peace of mind. Additionally, you may want to consider talking to a therapist who can help you build up your emotional intelligence skills and how best to handle such situations.

14. Don’t gossip about the boss

Even if you feel the urge to vent about your boss’s behaviors, it is best not to speak badly of them. Not only will this do little other than stir up trouble for yourself, but having coworkers join in on criticizing your boss won’t make anything better. If one wrong person hears what you’re discussing and decides to tell their manager, you could face an extremely uncomfortable situation that would be difficult from which to recover. You must be careful not to speak or act out against your boss – this won’t help you in any way. Instead, strive to appear as the friendly and congenial co-worker capable of getting along with everyone; don’t mirror a grump who’s constantly stirring up drama.

15. Make sure you’re acting right

Before you fault your boss for any issues in the relationship, it’s essential to reflect on your performance. You may be convinced that everything is as expected from you. However, there might still be areas where improvements can occur – reaching goals more efficiently or communicating with others. Ask yourself if there are changes that could help improve the situation and see if this has been causing some of the troubles with your employer. Even if your boss is entirely unyielding, it’s better to be prepared for the worst. That way, there’ll always be an action plan no matter what happens next.

16. Practice empathy

Your boss may have issues outside of work influencing how they act in the workplace. Even if it feels impossible to sympathize with their behavior, this can make a huge difference when attempting to understand how and why certain things happen. Remember, most bad bosses aren’t necessarily good; they are good men. Their weaknesses are often exacerbated when pressure on leaders to provide results. That said, they could be trying their best with the resources and support they have.

17. Offer a chance to change

If you decide not to derail your job relationship, you should openly acknowledge that both parties aren’t communicating properly and you need a solution. The conversation can take several forms. If you have that chance, you can add that to your conversation if that is what you already have. Jeanne – the french executive who taught me – told me they visited Richard in his home for a business lunch last week in the UK with customers. The client gave them tough times, and they started to discuss what went wrong.

18. Act as a leader

In dealing with incompetent leaders, the boss should sometimes make the best decision. You should know the area well and follow a route that you believe will bring a good return on investment to the company. They follow informally by their peers. Managers may not be the immediate manager, but they’ll appreciate your initiative. It’s not your job to undermine an executive.

19. Consider your role

Working for a bad boss can affect the well-being of employees and can even impact their future career prospects. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a step back and reflect on how you can best contribute to the organization. Be honest with yourself and how your role affects how the company operates. Make sure you stick with what you’re good at – that way, even if the boss is demanding, you’ll be able to succeed in doing the job well and take pride in it.

20. Stop assuming they know everything

A job title is no guarantee of success. Just because someone is in authority is not necessarily indicate they know anything. It’s important to realize that it isn’t the same as how you would tackle the situation. Often, good managers don’t have all the answers and appreciate input from their team. Don’t be afraid to speak up, pose questions, and share what you know.

21. Set boundaries

Working with people without boundaries can leave you feeling drained, unappreciated, and disrespected. It’s important to draw a line in how far colleagues, bosses, or junior employees should go when trying to influence how you act or make decisions. Setting boundaries and limits can help restore balance and create an atmosphere of mutual respect.

22. Change things for yourself

If you feel like no matter how hard you try, the same survey comes back with the same answers; you have to consider how best to move forward. That might mean looking for a better job or searching within your company or a new company for the right position. Consider how it could affect your long-term career prospects and how this situation impacts your well-being. Do some soul-searching and research how to find the best job for you.

23. Don’t let it affect your job

If your boss is rude, you shouldn’t let that affect your job performance as an employee. Even if your boss isn’t the most pleasant person and your best efforts are not being recognized, you should still strive to do your job as well as possible. There is a limit to how long you can work in an unhealthy environment before looking for something else.

24. Reach out to Human Resources and seek advice

At the end of the day, if things aren’t improving, consider reaching out to Human Resources or a senior leader for advice. They may be able to help you deal with the situation more effectively or provide possible solutions. Additionally, if your boss is violating company policy or engaging in discriminatory behavior, Human Resources is responsible for protecting employees from such mistreatment and dealing with it accordingly.

25. Find a career coach

If you feel like you need extra help, consider speaking to a career coach or mentor about how to best cope with a bad boss. They can provide insights into how to manage your wellbeing and productivity, how to navigate the situation better, and how to develop better management skills.

26. Report the toxic boss

If your boss is engaging in personal attacks, discriminating behavior or toxic behavior, it’s important to report them. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and other organizations are responsible for protecting employees from discrimination and mistreatment.


No matter how good you are at your job, dealing with a bad boss can be tough. If you find yourself in this situation, take heart – you’re not alone. If your boss is making you miserable, it’s time to take action. The tips in this blog post will help you deal with a bad boss and improve the situation. Talk to your boss about your concerns, document everything, keep a positive attitude, and don’t let your bad boss ruin your career. You can find another job if necessary. With these tips, you’ll be able to handle any situation with a bad boss.