16 Signs Your Boss Actually Hates You (and What to Do About It)
It’s not you, it’s me. Or maybe it is you. Help!
He withholds information you need for your job
This is a particularly nasty sign as your boss is basically setting you up to fail. It’s hard to do a good job when you don’t have all the information you need to complete it, says Carol Wood, people operations director at Homebase. This doesn’t mean you’re doomed to be fired, however. “The most effective method to turn around a relationship with a difficult and unreasonable boss is to ask for feedback about how you are doing and then follow up on that feedback whether you agree with it or not,” she says. The key here is not to argue with them and resist the urge to defend yourself, she adds.
She constantly “jokes” about your work
If your boss has a comment about everything you do, they may be trying to tell you they’re upset with you by giving you subtle feedback about your performance, Wood says. What to do? Resist the temptation to dismiss it as “My boss just hates me” and take their comments to heart. “Whether your boss is right or wrong, it’s in your best interest to change to meet their expectations,” she adds. Providing feedback is one of the 10 signs of a good boss.
He doesn’t ask you about your weekend anymore
Going from friendly to strictly business may be a sign your boss is mad at you, especially if you’ve enjoyed a warm relationship in the past, says Tiffani Murray, human resources and career consultant. “You’ll see a change; they might not stop by your desk as they normally do or speak to you casually about non-work related topics. Or the tone of their voice may change, becoming terse or flat,” she explains. If you have an idea what caused the breach, apologize quickly and thoroughly.
She yells at you
It shouldn’t happen in an office—but it does. Yelling, screaming, and swearing are some of the clearest signs that your boss is angry with you, Murray says. Do what you can in the moment to de-escalate the situation, but if this is a regular occurrence or if your boss uses inappropriate or abusive language or behavior, it’s time to call HR in, she says. This isn’t something you should just accept.
He won’t look you in the eye
“Eye contact is a sign of trust and closeness,” says Alice Hoekstra, a career happiness consultant. So when a manager is uncomfortable, they’ll speak to you while starting at their computer screen, doing something on their phone, or looking around at other people. The first thing is to figure out if they’re frustrated with you personally or if they’re irritated with another situation and you just happened into it. From there, you can address the issue, she says. Start with these 16 smart ways to get your boss to trust you.
You just feel like she’s mad at you
Sometimes you can’t put your finger on exactly why, but you know someone is mad at you. “If you feel it in your gut, you’re most likely right,” says L. Jones-Dilworth, vice president and head of human resources at Jones-Dilworth Inc. If you think your boss is mad at you but you don’t know why, your coworkers can be a valuable resource. “You don’t need to explain your whole drama. Simply say, ‘I’d like to get along with our boss better and I’m not sure I really understand what makes them tick. You seem to have a great working relationship. Do you have any insight for me about how to collaborate well with them?’,” she says.
If, despite your best efforts, your relationship with your boss doesn’t improve, here’s how to secretly look for a new job while you still have one.