Bosses Can Be Toxic, Too: Dealing with an Intimidating One

Work can oftentimes become too overwhelming and stressful, especially if you are dealing with a lot of pressure. However, what happens when you also have to deal with a bully? What’s worse? What if that bully is your boss? This is a dilemma for every employee because dealing with a bully is difficult enough. Dealing with a bully for a boss becomes even more challenging because one false move can make your work environment more stressful and toxic.

To determine if you are working under a bully, you have to check how you feel. Suppose you always feel frustrated and intimidated and find that you dread going to the office because you know that you will have to face your boss. It means that you are working in a hostile work environment. A hostile work environment is also characterized by its capacity of instilling feelings of humiliation, belittlement, and degradation. So, what do you do when you are working for a bully? The tips below will help you deal with a bully boss so that you may be able to turn your work environment into a healthier and less stressful one.

Understanding the Bully

If your boss is a bully, it is safe to assume that they are facing an underlying problem or issue. It could also mean that your boss is facing a lot of pressure and his or her way of cutting off steam is by bullying his employees. Most bosses thrive on the power they have over others. However, your boss must understand that if he continues to bully you and your workmates, he cannot expect success and productivity at all.

One of the most common reasons people leave their jobs is because they do not like their bosses. A toxic boss is uncommon and can be found in almost every work environment. Toxic bosses often treat their employees with almost no respect, and they also subject their employees to humiliation, threats, intimidation, and different forms of abuse. Therefore, the first thing you need to do is to determine the root of the problem. Remember that you are not alone in this fight. You can always seek help and support from your co-workers or the human resources team.

Shifting your Focus

Since it is unlikely for bullies to change their behaviors, you should shift your focus elsewhere. Instead of dwelling on your boss’s behavior, you can choose to focus on your work instead. The more attention you give to your boss, the more power he holds over you. The more you react, the more your boss will act out. Even though ignoring a bully can be very challenging, it is something that you can achieve by exercising control and discipline.

employees in the office

If your boss observes that you are not easily intimidated by his attempts to bully you, he will be forced to move on. After all, he is not getting the response he needs from you. You must always remember that you have direct control over your performance at work. This means that you must do your best to focus on your job instead of on your boss.

Setting Limits

It is only a matter of time before your tolerance snaps. Dealing with a bully will put you on edge and will make you feel desperate for an escape. The easiest way to deal with a bully is to set limits. If your boss’s actions are still tolerable, you can always extend your patience and understanding. However, if your boss becomes hostile, aggressive, and extremely disrespectful, you have to stand up for yourself and take immediate action.

The first thing you can do is call for support. You can ask your colleagues to back you up, and you can also raise your concerns to your managers. You can even talk to human resources and express how you feel about your boss’s behavior. If you take action, there is a possibility that human resources will require mediation for the employment dispute. This way, you get the chance to establish a non-hostile work environment, and your boss will be forced to refrain from engaging in bullying.

Taking a Stand

Working in a hostile environment is far from an ideal situation. Dealing with a bully for a boss can take a toll on your productivity and even your mental health. If your boss lords his or her power over you and your colleagues, you need to take a stand and fight for your rights. After all, bullying is intolerable behavior. You need to take action as soon as possible to prevent the problem from worsening over time.