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How to Handle a Boss Who Hates You

If you have a boss who hates you, you may be tempted to flee the office nest immediately. Before you go running, however, there are many strategies you can try to get back in the good graces of your boss.

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Dealing with a boss who hates you is one of the worst positions to find yourself in. Whether you made a mistake at work and now you’re suffering the consequences of your actions, or even worse, you've done nothing at all and you just happen to be on your boss’s bad side, trying to keep a positive relationship with someone superior to you in the office can feel draining and, at times, just impossible. You really want to tell them to back off, but you have to respect their authority. So how do you handle a boss who hates you and when do you decide that enough is enough? Try to implement some healthy work strategies and ways to impress your boss, they might just help to get your boss off your back.

Work harder.

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It may sound obvious, but one good idea to try is simple: Work extra hard. If you have a boss who hates you and you want to establish a better working relationship in order to enjoy your job again, ultimately excelling you further in your career, you need to find a way to get back on your boss’s good side. Go out of your way to work hard in your position. Show your boss that whatever negative thoughts they're thinking of you are false. Prove your worth and value in your position. Be the bigger person!

Compliment your boss.

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If you’re starting to notice red flags that you have a boss who doesn't like you then try to compliment them. Who cares if you look like a suck up? This isn’t high school anymore, and keeping your job is very important. Unfortunately, whether you deserve your boss’s hate or not, you need to get back in their good graces if you want to make a good living to support yourself. I know it isn’t easy to hold back your opinions and compliment someone you don’t like, or who doesn’t like you, but do your best to try.

Get to work early.

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Getting to work early and to team meetings on time is necessary if you have a boss who hates you; because if your manager has it out for you, they are going to be sure to notice any time you are even the slightest late. So go out of your way to be the first person on your team in the office, be the first person at the round table in meetings, and the last one to leave if that’s what it takes.

Don't avoid your boss.

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Whatever you do, don’t avoid your boss. They're are better ways to cope when you hate your boss. This will only provide them with another reason for their dislike. Avoidance will be seen as a sign of weakness, not only in your character, but also in your job abilities. To do your job well, you need to continue to interact with your boss on a daily basis. Don’t let personal vendettas get in the way of how you perform at work or your boss will win the fight. You’ll end up underachieving and missing out on your goals.

Have confidence.

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It’s important to have confidence if you start to notice signs that your boss hates you. Again, showing signs of weakness will give your boss reasons to relate this to your performance at work, and in turn, they may even have their reason to fire you. Don’t let your boss’s feelings affect you personally. If anything, let this fuel you to do better in your job. Be confident in your professional abilities, stay strong, and don’t ever show weakness.

Be honest and open about how you feel.

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Communication is essential in any relationship, whether it’s a friendship or a working relationship between a boss and employee. You can try going to career coaches if you need help discussing the situation with someone other than your boss, but ultimately, you’ll need to communicate the issue directly with your boss if it’s becoming problematic to your everyday work. Set up a meeting and see if you can gently inquire if your boss is having a problem with your performance. Start with that and see where the conversation leads.

Show your strengths to other managers.

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While dealing with the situation with your boss, it may be a good idea to start communication with other managers and showing them your strengths just so that you have other people within your workplace who can support you. Don’t talk about the fact that you have a boss who hates you, but prove yourself as a solid employee. That way, if you ever need to switch departments or need support, then you know you have options.

Consider that it may not be you.

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If you have a boss who hates you and it has come on suddenly, then you may need to consider that the underlying issue may not be you at all. Often times, people take their frustration out on others unintentionally. Your boss may be going through some personal issues that you don’t know about—they're acting out of character for a reason. Have some empathy. Try not to take things too personally because it may not be about you.

Give it time.

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Once you’ve considered if and why you have a boss who hates you, remember it could be for other reasons, just give it time. These personal issues should resolve on their own, and if so, hopefully, your boss’s behavior will go back to normal as well.

If all else fails, it's time to go.

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If you’ve given it time, talked to career coaches, talked to your boss, tried your best to rise above it all, and still nothing seems to change, it might be time to move on from this position. Sometimes the odds just aren’t in your favor and you get stuck with a boss that—no matter what—is just going to hinder your success. At this point, you need to move on, because you will not be able to grow in this position any longer. Take time for yourself and consider what's next for you. Do what's best for you, even if it's moving on from the company or changing careers.

Dealing with a boss who hates you is never easy, but do your best to try these strategies before quitting. You might be able to solve the issue and get back to a peaceful life.

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