Dealing with a toxic co-worker is one thing but dealing with a toxic boss or manager is a whole different story. In addition to the power dynamic, the crushing feeling that you have no one to turn to can make going to work every day mentally draining and take a toll on your mental health. If you’re currently in a situation where your boss is making it difficult for you to enjoy your job, keep reading to find out what you can do to change the circumstances.
What is a toxic boss?
By toxic boss, I mean someone who makes the workplace a toxic environment for you to thrive and perform your daily duties. This person is usually an egotistical manager who refuses to admit when they are wrong and tends to belittle and discourage people beneath them. They often have double standards and struggle to accept when they’re doing something wrong. They will often attempt to bend the rules and find excuses due to their status. Think for example of that manager who was ready to put you on a PIP because you were five minutes late once but who regularly turns up 30 minutes late to their shift! Here’s what you can do in this situation.
Quit your job
Yep, forget about kidnapping your dog’s boss and blackmailing them or whatever, it’s not going to work. Unfortunately, if you’re constantly having to deal with a toxic environment, the best move is to remove yourself from the situation and find a place where you will be appreciated and given the respect you deserve. In a lot of cases, especially in large companies with a large HR department, trying to complain or make things change can actually backfire, remember that HR is not there to help you but to help the company. Thus, if you’re in a position where you can comfortably find employment elsewhere, you might as well save yourself the stress & anxiety and get out as soon as possible!
Remain professional and unphased
Let’s say you can’t leave your job, which is the case for most of us let’s face it. Well, the best thing you can do is to keep doing your job. Your boss has decided to hate you? So be it, there are always going to be people who dislike you no matter what you do, and unfortunately, your boss is one of them. The best you can do is to keep it as professional as possible and record every single interaction with them. Stay unphased and eventually, they’ll get burnt out before you do. The good thing is that generally bad bosses tend to underperform and get noticed by upper management, record every email, every time they rocked up to their shift 30 minutes late, or failed to assume their duties. By making sure that you’re irreproachable and that they’re one slowing down productivity, you should be able to build a solid case against them when things backfire. As well as being risky, this plan can be mentally exhausting and even fail, but it can be worth it if it’s your only option.
Do not take it personally
If you’re getting praised by coworkers and have been in the industry for a while, you’re probably doing OK at your job and your boss is just being toxic. Most importantly you should not take it personally, some people will never like you no matter how hard you try and you’re just there to make P’s. Not to become besties with your coworkers or find out about the latest drama, so just remain professional, don’t overthink what your manager says or does, and turn your work phone/teams/slack or whatever software you use, OFF when you get home. Setting boundaries between your private and professional lives is crucial, your loved ones and your mental health will be grateful, trust me on that one.
Dealing with a toxic boss can be extremely challenging and take all the joy out of your job. No matter what happens remember to stay unphased and to continue to perform your job as required. Remain professional, set boundaries, and keep records of conversations, emails, and other interactions you have with your manager and co-workers. Technically, as long as you’re getting the work done, you shouldn’t have to worry too much. Ultimately, toxic dynamics are not sustainable at the workplace so it shouldn’t be long before things start changing.