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How do I know if my boss hates me?

how do I know if my boss hates meIt seems that no matter how hard I work, and how much I try to contribute as a team player my boss never recognizes my efforts. He often credits others for my work, and is very “defensive” of what he views as “his turf” to learn more about what he does. How do I figure out if I am just banging my head against the wall by staying in my current position and should leave the company and move on or if I should tactfully go around my boss to further my career at a very solid company?


(Chief Financial Officer) |

I hear you as I have a similar situation. I would tell you to do the same thing I have done in the past. Do your best, and your accomplishments will be recognized by others. If your company is large enough, you will find that co-workers will want to work with you and you will get opportunities to move elsewhere in the company. If it's a small company, you won't get your boss to change, but maybe there is another avenue for career growth in your company? If not, get a search going and try to eliminate working for individuals with the same traits/career path as your boss.

Title: CFO
Company: C-Suite Services
LinkedIn Profile
(CFO, C-Suite Services) |

Do you find dolls that looks like you with a big needle stuck in it's head? dead chicken heads? If yes, then your boss hates you. (sorry moderators...just want to keep it light tonight)

Joking aside, it is really hard to tell! And each "boss" is different! But this problem constantly comes up in the forum (see the past few days) and most recommend COMMUNICATION!

Lysander Edem K.
Title: Accounts Officer
Company: Management for Development Foundation We..
(Accounts Officer, Management for Development Foundation West Africa) |

For me I will side with this: Continue doing your best and love him/her more, he may have selfish reasons of doing so that but be straight forward to him with issues around your work, when you can't contain it anymore find a new job that can make you feel at home to rest your mind. I trust your previous effort will afford you a better job.

(CFO) |

Find other opportunities while you still have the job. A toxic boss is always worse than any work challenges. If you sense that he hates you, you are probably right sooner or later.

Robert Ewalt
Title: Exam Development Manager
Company: Institute of Certified Management Accoun..
(Exam Development Manager, Institute of Certified Management Accountants) |

It is possible (maybe) that he actually likes you and your work, but is uncomfortable expressing this. A shrink once told me that many of us are troubled by "does my boss (spouse, partner, customers, workers, etc.) like me?" One good sign - he hasn't said your work is unsatisfactory, has he?

(General Manager) |

In general, you could sense it if someone likes you or not. If the boss doesn't give you opportunities in the organization, you need to search for something else at the same company or other company. Don't waste your time. Good luck!

(VP - FInancial Planning and Analysis) |

You have to get comfortable in your own situation. If you are not passionate and satisfied in your position, you should not assume your boss can provide that.

Renee Jaenicke
Title: Director of Internal Audit
Company: Renown Health
(Director of Internal Audit, Renown Health) |

Find ways to make his job easier.

Mario Parada
Title: Accounting Manager
Company: Puma Biotechnology, Inc.
(Accounting Manager, Puma Biotechnology, Inc.) |

My suggest is communication is key to your success. You can not make assumptions unless you have facts to support it.

Good luck!

Sara Voight
Title: Controller
Company: Critical Signal Technologies, Inc
(Controller, Critical Signal Technologies, Inc) |

I agree with all the comments about communication and turning the message around so it appears he is NOT the problem. You might find time to talk to him and pose this simple question to him: "I probably should have come to you earlier, but I feel I am not meeting your expectations with my job performance and would like to get your input on what I can do to improve this as well as our working relationship."

He could respond a few ways - 1) Refuse to answer the question and continue his emotional attacks, 2) He could give you feedback about the current situation.

If he chooses option 2, it is imperative that you listen without cutting him off. Take notes. If things come up that are blatantly not true, thank him for his input and ask to talk to him again later about what he shared with you and how you would like to work towards improving. Then take a day or two to draft responses (not for reading but to aid in speaking) that address the issues including the ones that are wrong. You have to craft a response that addresses the wrong assumptions without placing blame on anyone else (your boss, the IT team, another colleague). The goal is to speak to the issues and present solutions, or highlight ways you think you have already addressed these items.

***At the same time that you are listening for concrete issues, also listen carefully for the soft issues that more often cause conflict. Are your work styles significantly different? Are you picking up on what he wants to hear in his responses (style and delivery, not falsifying data)? I finished a leadership program where we were constantly reminded that it is our job to speak to the person the way they want to be spoken to. In turn, they should reciprocate, however, we cannot require this and have to work to be most effective not necessarily most happy.

Anonymous User
Title: CFO
Company: Local Government Agency
(CFO, Local Government Agency) |

Out here in the real world, "boss management" is generally a myth. I've attended numerous training sessions over a more than 30 year career where such ideas were touted. Talking to them frankly and openly was often offered as a ways to handle your boss better.

But, experience has taught me that, those seldom work. Bosses are bosses. Heck, I am a boss. They hold all the cards. They can make or break you. They know it and you know it. Since they are in the power seat, they can choose to ignore you, dislike you or not even cooperate with you. You don't have such choices.

Well, you do but the outcomes will ensure that you lose. :-(

And, I am a boss and have been for a very long time. I've had many different employees report to me. I've experienced the dysfunctional relationship from the "boss" side as well. I've had a few employees that I knew were never going to get what they wanted while working in our organization and reporting to me. Their expectations were far out of line with reality.

It is a two way street.

Sure, you can talk to a decent boss. Even disagree and still move forward. But, that is more the exception than the rule.

Once you find yourself in a situation such as the OP suggests where, you find that you are having difficulty in dealing with your assigned boss, you are left with only two real choices. Overlook it and do the best you can or, move out and on.

The first is fine if you have reason to believe the situation is temporary or, if you find other satisfaction in your work that can offset the boss issue. But the second is the only real option if the situation is making you miserable and you can't see anything changing anytime soon.

Bad bosses are a dime a dozen. In today's dynamic work environment, there is no reason to suffer under them for long. In fact, again speaking from experience, doing so can have devastating affects on your mental and physical health as well as your career.

(Chief Financial Officer) |

Take what you are feeling, and use it to make sure that you are not that kind of Manager, and make sure to not treat someone that way even if you do not like them. Become the Leader you manager is apparently not.

I always take the time to thank my employees, and encourage them both professionally and in their personal lives. I train them, and treat them to take my place when I leave. Good bench strength. Especially as I prepare to leave the company for another opportunity.

Topic Expert
Regis Quirin
Title: Director of Finance
Company: Gibney Anthony & Flaherty LLP
LinkedIn Profile
(Director of Finance, Gibney Anthony & Flaherty LLP) |

Admittedly I have a very unpopular response. Does it matter?

If you worked in banking, in the 80’s and 90’s you were probably subjected to multiple mergers. I underwent three major mergers, in addition to several line-of-business mergers. Every two to three years, the landscape of the company changed.

I have experienced managers that love me being replaced by managers that don’t know me. In some cases I was able to develop a new relationship with the new manager; but other times that was not possible.

What I learned from this experience -- keep your head down and do the best job you can do. Never go negative. The people around you see what you are experiencing and they see the way you are handling it. Colleagues are a source of future opportunities and future recommendations.

If you are able to make a connection with your manager and enjoy each other’s company, that is a bonus. But it is not required.

(Controller) |

Having gone through this same situation, I agree with Sara wholeheartedly. I worked directly under the CEO and received great feedback, but when he hired a VP and I reported to her, nothing I did was right, and it was as if she decided to dislike me and make life miserable from the very beginning, moving deadlines at the last minute to make them impossible to meet, yelling at me in front of co-workers, classic bullying behavior, etc. No matter how many hours I worked or how I tried to meet her expectations or help her, she simply would not work towards having a good relationship. Eventually, I was laid off as part of a 25% workforce reduction. (During that conversation she admitted to some of her behavior, but unfortunately it didn't change the outcome.)

It's worth a shot to try to clarify expectations and improve communication, but frankly, if something doesn't change quickly, look for another position where you don't work for this boss. The harm the bad boss can do to your career and mental health simply isn't worth it.

(Agent, JKS Solutions, Inc.) |

I'm going to try and give you some advice that has worked for me, however you might not like it, so buckle up.

In the world of work, no one cares about YOU. Organizations develop culture as a marketing tool, they really don't care whether or not you are happy. They do care however whether or not their revenue producers are happy. If your position is a cost to the organization, in reality no one cares. The world is a hard place, so toughen up.

If you want to be recognized for outstanding achievement such as reduced workload in your area by 1 or more months, or you reduced corporate overhead by $1 million or more per year, or you reduced headcount by 10% or more, then your concerns are valid. But if you are simply whining because you are not getting praise and worship for getting your job done, you have an opinion of yourself that is different than the one management holds about your work performance.

In the world of work, the accomplishments you seek to produce should purposefully show that you are seeking advancement in the area you are working in. And here is the answer you are looking for: It doesn't matter if your boss says "good job". The accomplishments still go on your resume. The good reference that you will get will be very general, but it's tone should be consistent with the work you produced.

If you are seeking career advancement but you are working in job that only needs a warm body to execute it, you need to seek a job that aligns with your life goals.

Today with the job market is still in recovery you are not going to find many long term bosses that feel like they are stable enough in their own employment to spend time to develop you or laud your achievements when their own jobs may be in jeopardy.

You cannot rely on your job or boss to launch your career today, you need to do that for yourself. This may be only a job that pays the bills.

Separate your emotions from the reality and your stress will be reduced to the point you can start to form a plan of action or see that you need to spend time in study of various topics to break away as the clear leader of the pack at work.

(Agent, JKS Solutions, Inc.) |

Some interesting and sobering comments.

(VP - FInancial Planning and Analysis) |

Hate is a very strong emotion. If you truly believe that, you should move along. I don't know why you would want to work with/for someone that hates you. However, if you are in a situation where leaving the company is not an option, I would ask for a sit down with a representative of Human Resources in attendance. Get it all on the table on determine a path going forward. You may have to look to other sources as confirmation of your efforts.

ArLyne Diamond
Title: Owner - President
Company: Diamond Associates
LinkedIn Profile
(Owner - President, Diamond Associates) |

I think it is important to have a mutually satisfying relationship - at home - at the office. Sometimes style is the reason that people don't get along. If that's so, one of the two of you (and it probably won't be your boss!) needs to move on.

Style is so personal and not easily fixed.

I am in a situation in a political organization where an executive micro-manages to such an extent that I have great difficulty doing anything useful during his regime.
There have been two very uncomfortable incidents - several months apart - where he butted in on a project that was mine to do. He didn't learn that my style is to do what I say I am going to do - and (don't mean to brag) I usually do it well and never miss a deadline. I was upset the first time and shared it with him.

This last time was so bad - he wound up embarrassing himself - and I'm contemplating whether to just disappear for the few more months he is in power, or to share my thoughts with those above him.

In the workplace, you have to be far more careful. I can just walk away. You probably can't because you need to keep your job. BUT, as others have suggested, you might consider transferring, talking with someone who could be helpful to you (HR or another Manager) or even suggesting a 360 degree evaluation of this boss.

Be careful if your job matters to you.

(Tax/Business Consultant) |

Communication is the best option.

Talk with the boss and see what the issues you think are.

Remember this...
1. Bosses are "always" right, Especially when they're actually WRONG!
2. Bosses hold the power, almost all of it anyway!

It may be Their business (if the boss is also the owner!).
There are many bosses that are Anal/nit picky but are basically (too) not confident of themselves and power hungry, or worse, who literally love to drive their employees/staffers crazy.

IF you don't think another job is possible and it's basically a 9-5 job, you'll have to endure it, until you find a better job.

At least have a discussion with the boss and find out how to best open up communications so avoid any 'issues' going forward.

Lastly, just because you had the meeting does NOT mean the boss will change.

MANY people are stubborn and will absolutely NOT change!

I encountered a small company where the 2 owners were Older and set in their ways.

They Loved playing the "blame game". Even after several 'communications' with the owners and one ADMITTED that he was "embarrassed" about the 'issues/errors' found, he asked what can be done to "fix" stuff.
He Knows perfectly well what needs to be done but previously Admitted that the 2 owners can NOT be "Changed".
Do you understand what needed to occur to fix the issues?
Afterwards... they continued on As If the communication sessions Never took place and their Behavior/Attitude continued!

DO what you Must to do your job!
IF you want to do "more", ask yourself "Why?" as the boss will most likely not care!

The thing is...
Lots of employees are actually hard workers.
They have the drive and commitment to Help the company [grow] and put in more than 100%!

It's the attitude/behaviors of BAD bosses that turns them into 9-5 workers, basically doing the work for the paycheck.

Any wonder why there's NO such thing as employee loyalty anymore?
It's no surprise why many bosses have a Difficult time Understanding why they have a Difficult time finding Good employees.

It's Them (bad bosses) NOT YOU!

Good Luck!


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