If you feel that your boss hates you, it could be a figment of your imagination. People sometimes feel intimidated by authority, especially when they are just starting their first job or changed to a new job. But what if it is really true and you want to find out for sure? This is not always easy. If he doesn’t treat you like everyone else, you’re not likely to be his favorite employee, but does it mean that he hates you? So trust your senses and look for further signs that your boss does hate you. Here are some symptoms that can really show that your boss hates you. I will also give you possible solutions and will conclude with my number 1 recommendation.
1. He makes decisions without you being in the know
When the boss does not involve you in the decision-making process related to your job, the reason may be that your boss does not trust your opinion. Mind you, if this only happened once, this could be an omission on his part. However, if this is a repeating pattern, then watch out.
2. He doesn’t keep eye contact with you
If the boss wants to tell you something bad, he may not have long eye contact with you. He will fear that you will be able to determine the anger in his eyes so he chooses the path of least resistance. He might be studying a document in front of him or go and pour some coffee for himself as a distraction (but keeps talking). A sure sign something is amiss.
3. He doesn’t smile to you at all
I am not talking about a random bad day or mood, but over a longer period of time. If your boss makes a deliberate attempt not to smile at you, then something is badly wrong.
4. He is avoiding to meet you
If you notice your boss walking down the stairs just as you wait for the elevator, and he does this on a regular basis, this can be a serious sign that he is avoiding you. If your boss doesn’t greet you when you come to work, and doesn’t say goodbye to you when you leave, it can prove he doesn’t like you. True, bosses usually have a busy schedule and they might be under pressure a lot, but if this often happens, there could be something wrong.
5. He is very curt with you
If you ask, “How are you?” And your boss always responds “OK” or “Good”, and if his email always contains only brief comments on the matter and never starts with a friendly welcome, it could mean he does not like you very much. It also might be in the body language. Whether you see subtle rolling eyes, a permanent crossing arms across his chest, body language will always show the true attitude of your boss to you.
6. He avoids having personal conversations
If your boss doesn’t like you, he tends to try to limit personal conversations between the two of you. Noticing a shift to electronic communication can be a sign as well. In these circumstances his office door might always be closed for you.
7. He tends not to agree with you
Have you noticed that your boss rejects your every suggestion and mostly does not agree agree with whatever you say? At the same time you also notice that he doesn’t do the same thing to others? Well, that’s a significant sign that he might secretly hate you.
8. He speaks to others differently
If you notice that your boss is having a conversation with other employees about their children or hobbies, but he never raises such topics in a conversation with you, he may simply not be interested in hearing about your personal life. Friendly jokes with his staff – this is a sign that you are part of the team. So if your boss never feels comfortable enough to include you into inside jokes, then you’re unlikely to receive their and his respect.
If your boss seems disinterested, when you talk to him, and breaks down quickly as your conversation lengthens, it may be a sign that he doesn’t like you.
9. He gives your project to someone else
Monday morning you come to work and find that a big project that you had been working on all Friday has been handed to another employee. Volatile bosses often redistribute projects, despite doing more harm than good. But if you see that it happens often, and only with you, then it can be a negative move by the boss, against you.
10. He never gives you feedback on your work
A boss, who wants to help you grow, will always tell you their opinion on your work done. It is absolutely mandatory in maintaining a good working atmosphere. But the absence of his feedback, both positive and negative, shows complete indifference to the results of your efforts and your potential for growth in the company.
Some bosses just deal with the people however they want. But if your boss really dislikes you, then he will feel a real aversion to acknowledge your accomplishments.
11. He micro-manages you
The boss can go on to micro-manage you for a variety of reasons: a lack of confidence in your actions or the desire to gain control at all levels. But it could also mean he doesn’t trust you. In some cases, it may even go beyond the limit allowed when your boss begins to control each step in detail so that it looks like a pursuit. I have described in detail what you can do about micro-management in a previous article, which can be accessed by clicking here.
12. He reprimands or humiliates you in public
Open criticism of your efforts and ideas at the meeting – a sign of disrespect. Your boss might just give you the dirty jobs, far below your level of competence and experience. If your boss really lowers himself to this public humiliation, it means he probably hates you. In all probability it means he doesn’t trust you, doesn’t believe in your ability, and maybe even actively wants you to look for a new job.
Have you been in one or more of these situations? Please share your experiences in the comment box below.
So, what to do about it?
And I mean something should be done about each of these giveaways whenever they occur. No need to let them fester. Looking at signs number 1-8, although really quite annoying, the best way is to confront your boss. Ask for an interview, prepare yourself, set an agenda and be businesslike about it. The last thing you want to do is getting angry or lose your temper. Think about the outcome you want, steer the direction of the discussion in that way, but be prepared for non-responsiveness as well. I grant you that many times, a misunderstanding is the basis for any animosity and you sure want that out of the way.
Then if you can live with the outcome, fully accept it and move on. If you cannot, then tell your boss you will see other people (his boss, HR or a neutral outside consultant). Be aware that this road can be tricky and lead to your ultimate dismissal or quitting.
What to do about serious trouble?
If you are in the unfortunate situations as described under points 9-12, takes away your work, gives no feedback, micro-manages you and humiliates you, then this a whole different ball game. Although a good conversation as above should always be attempted in order to smooth the path or find misunderstandings, it seems to me that things have already gone too far. Especially, since you seem to be the only victim here. This very much points to divide and conquer tactics from your boss and I have written down what can be done in this case here.
I have seen people getting into contact with HR, higher management and outside sources, even going to court, but the results, even if you would win, are not in favor of the employee. The working relationships would in all probability be disturbed to such an extent that reconciliation will not be possible anymore. In other words you might as well look at other avenues, such as finding another job or always have, during a job, a back-up option. My recommendation number 1 is this fall back opportunity: becoming your own boss!
Recommendation # 1
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