Strategies for Coping with a Toxic Boss So You Maintain Calm

Maintaining Your Well-being: Strategies for Coping with a Toxic BossDo you have a toxic boss? If yes, go through our guide to learn how to deal with them. Here’s everything you need to know!

It doesn’t matter what anyone tells you: everyone’s work life is stressful. However, an even bigger bummer is that it can be more stressful when you have a toxic boss.

Having a manager who is unfair and obnoxious can be challenging and draining. And part of the problem can be the employees too. Many employees do not even realize their bosses are toxic and ignore such behavior.

Many people assume that bosses are supposed to be rude. They believe that it is just the norm, and consequently, the term “boss” has a negative connotation. Come on; everyone likes to complain about our bosses occasionally, to our colleagues or friends. But a toxic chief is more than just a strict boss. And understanding that difference is critical. 

Employees must know that the power is in their hands and their alone. While they may be your chief, they cannot dictate all your choices.  

Therefore, we will discuss practical strategies to cope with a toxic boss and protect your mental and emotional health.

I’m sharing this article because I am a bestselling personal development author – with over 2 million books sold.

I share about toxic bosses (and toxic people of all kinds) in my therapist recommended online course Manage & Avoid Drama Llamas.

Plus I’ve personally coached many thousands of people who were stuck in a toxic workplace setting.

Signs You Have a Toxic Boss

One of the many challenging things about having a toxic boss is that they are only sometimes easily recognizable. Even your boss is aware of their unfair practices and, thus, manages to be sneaky and not make it too obvious. 

But why does it suck so much to have a toxic manager? “Oh, that’s okay. I will just finish my work, and my boss won’t get to say anything.” That’s what you are thinking, right?

That argument might apply to not-so-good bosses. However, when it comes to genuinely toxic bosses, it is a whole other ballgame. 

That’s because a toxic manager or leader damages and demoralizes those who work under them. It’s hard to tell whether they do it with intention. Regardless, their actions go on to make the employees disengaged and unmotivated. In some cases, the workers lose their sense of belonging too. Ultimately, what happens is that the workers get burned out, affecting the organization. 

Signs You Need Strategies for Coping with a Toxic Boss

So, let us dive deep into the signs indicating you have a toxic boss. 

1. Micromanaging Tendencies

Good bosses are people who have trust in their employees, and once they have assigned them work, they wait until the job is complete to give feedback. But toxic bosses tend to micromanage. We know what you are possibly thinking. Isn’t that an expected quality of every manager? Yes and no. As a boss, it is sometimes their responsibility to look into the assigned work and ensure everyone is performing well. 

However, a toxic manager goes out of their way to micromanage every aspect of the work assigned. In a way, they take away the control of the employees over their work. Even if the worker has proven their accountability and ability, the boss must interfere in their work and inform them of their opinion. This results in the employees needing to constantly alter their performance to satisfy the boss’s expectations, who tends to look over every step. 

2. Unreasonable Expectations

stop waiting to see how red the flag will getYou wake up every day, go to work, and are expected to carry out a certain number of tasks and then call it a day. But, if you have a toxic manager, it may be challenging. A toxic boss has unrealistic expectations regarding how much employees should perform.

Toxic managers have no regard for the personal lives of the employees. They like to assume that the employees’ lives revolve around their work and nothing else. 

Some common examples are assigning heavy workloads, not approving leaves, or expecting employees to work even on their day off. Productive work can only be done when an individual has adequately rested. But, to some toxic bosses, employees might seem like machines that can do endless work. 

3. Unpredictable Tendencies

Another common sign that your manager is toxic is that they are unpredictable. They say one thing and end up doing just the opposite. After that, you become unsure of what you are supposed to do. Sometimes, they might be very friendly with no visible signs of toxicity, while other times, they are entirely different; rude and obnoxious, demoralizing you. 

Behavior like that is not only harmful to your work but also to your mental health. You will constantly look for ways to make your boss happy. Or, at least, not anger or upset them in any way. Your focus will primarily be on how your boss behaves rather than your own work. 

4. Avoids Responsibility

A toxic boss will always use their authoritative position to their advantage. They always refuse to take responsibility when something happens. Toxic bosses love to place the blame on someone else. Something unfortunate has occurred? Boom, before you know it, they have already put the dart on someone. Gaslighting is something that toxic managers are skilled at. 

Alternatively, they will give excuses about how swamped they are with their work and how no one else in the workplace takes any responsibility. 

While toxic bosses mostly never get any work done themselves, they will quickly take credit for someone else’s achievements. If someone under them performs well, such bosses will give themselves a pat on their back, saying it was only because they were so strict with them. 

5. Inflexible and Uncooperative

toxic boss strategies to copeIt is a truth often repeated: a good company is established on good communication. But, sometimes, you will have bosses who don’t stop and listen. To such managers, their own opinion is the most important, and anyone who disagrees is immediately disliked.

On the surface, it might appear like harmless high-school drama. “Oh, your boss doesn’t listen to you and assigns you too much work? It’s just how it is!” But, an uncooperative person can make your workplace genuinely miserable. 

Not only will toxic bosses refuse to acknowledge your feedback, but they will also always refuse to adjust their schedule if ever needed. Productivity is a two-way street in any workplace. A boss has to be considerate of the employee’s needs, too, for projects to succeed. However, a toxic boss always sees the employees beneath himself. 

How To Cope With Toxic Bosses

Dealing with a toxic person is not impossible. Let us get into it. 

1. Decide If You Want To Quit or Stay

We know that quitting your job out of nowhere isn’t an option that everyone has. However, you have to prioritize your own mental health too. You should consider leaving the workplace if that is an option for you and if the workplace is becoming unbearable. Do not take immediate action. Talk to someone. Decide whether it is something that will benefit you. When leaving a toxic workplace, you must look for a better alternative, somewhere that won’t treat you the same. 

But before you decide to quit, conduct a thorough research. Do a LinkedIn lookup and find suitable alternatives to your job. You can also use SignalHire to network with people and find jobs in your niche. 

2. Practice Self-Care

       sometimes you just need to talk about somethingOne of the major reasons why toxic bosses can stay in their position and continue to lead a team is because it is often seen as normal. It is widely believed that workplace inconveniences are just something everyone has to deal with.

But, a toxic boss can get inside your head and disrupt your personal life even when you are not in the workplace. The movie “The Devil Wears Prada” is an excellent example of toxic bosses. 

Thus, always put yourself first. Practice self-care every day. Find beauty in other things and try to separate your work and personal lives as much as possible. Once your work is done, forget about your manager. Try to enjoy other things. Try reading a book you like, watching a funny show, or talking to a friend. You can also consult a psychologist if you need to discuss it with someone professional.  

Make self-care your priority. Practice stress-reducing activities like exercise, meditation, and hobbies outside of work. Ensure to set aside time for relaxation and that you get enough sleep. You need a fresh mind every day.

3. Do Not Be a Target

It is essential to understand that many toxic bosses are not intentionally toxic. That’s just the way they are. We are not saying that it excuses their behavior. However, acknowledging and understanding their pattern can come in handy. Hence, do your job well and avoid bringing attention to yourself. Toxic bosses are always looking for targets, people they can take out their frustrations on. 

Therefore, be productive and refrain from doing something that will make you their target. Many bosses are unpredictable and will find excuses to reprimand you despite completing your work. So, draw less attention to yourself. 

4. Build a Support Network

Dealing with a toxic manager can be isolating, so building a support network within and outside of the workplace is essential. Find out colleagues who share similar experiences and can provide empathy and guidance. Also, consider contacting mentors, friends, or family members who can offer a fresh perspective and emotional support. 

Engaging in professional networks or online communities can also provide valuable insights and resources for coping with a toxic boss. Read books on this topic or team up with your colleagues. Avoid taking individual actions and confront your boss with the help of your colleagues. 

Final Thoughts: Coping with a Toxic Boss

Nobody likes to have a toxic boss. But, it is something that many have to endure at least once in their lifetime. Sure, it can be mentally draining and demoralizing. However, it’s not the end. 

Know one thing: You have the power to balance your work and personal life. It is you who can make choices that contribute to your long-term happiness and professional growth. Your boss is only someone you have to deal with temporarily. It will get better.

Strategies for Coping With Toxic People Of All Kinds

I share more about toxic bosses (and toxic people of all kinds) in my therapist recommended online course Manage & Avoid Drama Llamas.

Plus I’ve personally coached many thousands of people who were stuck in a toxic workplace setting.

Think happier. Think calmer.

Think about subscribing for free weekly tools here.

No SPAM, ever! Read the Privacy Policy for more information.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This