3 Ways to Deal with a Boss You Can't Stand

Updated: Nov 5, 2019



Working for someone you just can’t stand? Unfortunately, most of us have had to work for (or with) people we dislike. In fact, “dislike” is probably an understatement for most of you reading this article. Hate is a strong word that I rarely like to use...but this article just might be an exception.

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Believe me, I’ve had my share of micromanaging bosses and passive aggressive colleagues. It was a miserable experience working in downright hostile work environments.


Sometimes, I took this as a sign to get the heck out of dodge city. So I up and quit. Other times, I knew that it was an opportunity for character development.


Boss drama.


I once worked for a boss who took two hour lunch breaks after an hour at the gym each day. She also would take a lot of days off from work but not tell the rest of the team in advance.


For the entire year and a half that I worked for her, she did not work a full week at the office. In fact, she claimed overtime work during boondoggle trips to exotic cities on the company’s dime.


Towards employees, she was rash and demanding. In fact, in our office of 20 people, 11 filed complaints to the Human Resource department against her. This led to an HR investigation in which I was called upon to provide a witness statement.


After the HR investigation, she was required to take leadership training. Yet, she still carried on her ways of taking two hour lunch breaks and many vacation days. The lavish work trips did decline at least!


Enough was enough.


One day she asked me to do a simple task for her. It wasn’t so much that she could look up whatever it was for herself. But I just had so little respect for her that I did not want to help her in any shape or form. In fact, I couldn’t even stand holding a conversation with her even if it was not about work!


I watched as 7 employees left our office in a matter of months. So I realized I needed to do something about my work situation.


Otherwise I would continue to be miserable working for her as my beloved colleagues, my support system, ran for the hills.


There’s no perfect way to handle an awful manager, let alone difficult people in the workplace. But there certainly are better options that lead to beneficial results for you in the long run.


For over the past decade of working in the public and private sector, here are a few lessons I learned from working with bosses I could not stand.


Here are my top 3 ways I managed to make it through her management style.



1. Pick one thing you like about your boss.


Not possible. Yes it is. Even the most evil of all bosses has one redeeming quality. It doesn’t even have to be a work-related quality. Maybe your boss is a great parent to his or her child. Perhaps he or she is always punctual to meetings.


Once you determine that one trait, focus on it. Is this particular trait that you admire something you can learn from as well? Share your thoughts with a colleague. Email a friend about it. However you want to express your thoughts, this helps you get through the days whenever the going gets rough.


The one thing I admired about my previously mentioned boss was her resilience. She knew her employees hated her but she kept focused on the company’s mission.


It’s not was not easy to stay focused on tasks at hand when your team is not on your side. In fact, I was amazed at how much business she was able to generate despite the limited amount of time she spend in the office.


Shifting your focus to the positive helps you shift your energy and raise your vibrations. Here's how you can also emotionally detach from office drama.


2. Pick one lesson to learn.


Set your intention on spiritual growth. What is the one lesson you can learn from working with a boss that you do not resonate with? Is it patience? Forgiveness?


Then each times your boss says something that annoys the heck out of you, bring your awareness back to your intention. For instance, say you intend to work on forgiveness. Then take a step back the next time your boss does or says something to offend you.


Practice letting go of whatever it was that was said and done. Shift your focus to that one redeeming trait you selected in #1.


3. Pick one form of outlet.


Or two or three. Heavy energy can fester over time and be detrimental to the physical, mental, emotional and energetic health. So find at least one healthy outlet that allows you to release the negative energy.


Here’s the thing, difficult bosses exist everywhere. Sometimes our paths cross because we are meant to learn a thing or two from each other.


Other times, we can use the struggles we’ve experienced to help others. But in order to do so, we need an outlet to help us raise our vibrations.



Can you guess what my outlet was? Yep, blogging! I also channeled a lot of energy to get my financial ducks in a row. In fact, I was able to figure out ways to create multiple streams of income to ditch my 9-5!


The more I wrote about personal finance strategies, the more I got clearer in my exit strategy. Ready to ditch the 9-5 rat race too? Then it’s time to achieve financial freedom like a boss!


Financial independence retire early (FIRE) like a boss!


Get FIRE’d up about financial freedom.


There are a endless ways to create side hustle income and reach FIRE. Investing in stocks, owning rental property, creating your own online biz, and so forth.


But it doesn’t mean you need to do it all. Just pick 1 or 2 that gets you excited.


Everyone's financial situation and personal interests is unique. It’s important to try out different side hustles to see what works best for you.


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