All Work, No Play: 5 Ways To Deal With Your Truly Horrible Boss

by Colleen Woodward
Warner Bros. Pictures

Let's be real.

We're not all cut out to be managers, bosses, CEOs or in leadership positions in general.

There could be a number of reasons for this.

Maybe your ego is the size of planet Earth. Maybe you lack compassion.

Maybe you lack altogether people skills.

It just might not be right for you.

However, inevitably, the type of people listed above always seem to fall into leadership roles.

Isn't that so lucky for us entry-levelers? (Imagine this being said in the most sarcastic voice ever.)


Having this type of person as your boss is quite honestly one of the worst parts about being in the workforce.

For employees, having a horrible boss usually means getting walked all over, getting treated like sh*t in general, receiving texts at all hours of the night (because we obviously don't have a life outside of work) and never getting recognized for our hard work.

If you're currently in a position where you hate your boss, but love what you do (so you don't want to quit or can't financially risk quitting until you get hired somewhere else), here are five ways to manage:

1. Play up his or her ego.

It feels bad saying it, and you know you'll feel awful doing it.

But because your boss's ego is through the roof, he or she is never going to agree with you.

No matter how many good ideas you have and no matter how hard you try, it probably isn't going to be enough in his or her book.

So play it up.

Tell your boss how great he or she is.

Be an ass-kisser.

It sucks, but at least you know what the real story is.

2. Don't take what your boss says personally.

I've definitely made this mistake (and probably will again).

But you can't let the sh*tty things your horrible boss says defeat you day in and day out.

You know what he or she said isn't true.

You know you are better than crying or yelling over it, and you know that one day, you won't have to answer to this person anymore.

Take it with a grain of salt.

Let it go in one ear and out the other.

Then, get back to whatever it is your boss is making you do.

3. Be as detailed as possible.

The second you slip, these types of bosses will notice.

So don't give them a reason to notice you.

You won't get praise for it, but you will keep your boss out of your hair.

Take good notes when he or she asks you to do something, reach the goal your boss wants with 110 percent and go the extra mile.

It will be worth it in the end.

Mainly for your sanity. But still.

4. Document everything.

Document literally everything: every email, every meeting and every phone call.

Not a good note-taker? Become one.

Horrible bosses have that name for a reason: They're awful to deal with.

But if you have all the necessary documents to back everything up, you will cover your ass in the long run.

5. Reach out to others for support.

Whether it's a loyal co-worker, another higher-up person or HR, find someone you can confide in, vent to or reach out to when you have a serious issue with your boss.

You don't have to fight this battle alone.

Even if all someone can offer you is a little pep talk or happy hour drinks after work, take it.

Dealing with a horrible boss who doesn't appreciate you can make you feel like your life lacks purpose.

In reality, our work takes up the majority of our time during the week.

Not feeling fulfilled at your job can truly take a toll on you.

However, realizing that you control how you handle having a horrible boss can make a world of difference in your work life.

Don't let this one bad person dictate your everyday life.

He or she can suck and you can vent all you want, but you control how you handle the outcome.

So make it as you can, and remember: What goes around will come around.