Why Your Boss Doesn't Like You -- And What You Can Do About It

boss hates me

You have that pit in the bottom of your stomach every time you need to talk to your boss. If he or she doesn't seem to like you, what can you do? You have a few choices:
1) throw your hands up and hope you win the lottery soon or
2) try to figure out why you're not a favorite in the office and make changes so you can earn some favor with the boss.
Unless a windfall or a new job is in the offing, it's time to make changes.

Your boss probably doesn't like you if:

1. You – and your work – are always late.

If you're the employee who never finishes projects on time, or you consistently stroll into your office 30 minutes late, you aren't winning any points with the boss -- or your co-workers. If there is a certain time that you are expected at your desk, it's disrespectful to flaunt the rules and come in when it's convenient for you. If your work is always late, you're probably preventing your colleagues from getting their part done. These are two cardinal sins.

The fix: This is an easy one. Be on time and finish your work. Learn from your mistakes. If it takes you longer than expected to finish projects, either ask for help ahead of time, or make extra time in your schedule to get everything done. That may mean skipping those long lunches and extended coffee breaks, which aren't winning you any points, either.

More: Advice For The Boss: How To Improve Morale Immediately

2. You take no initiative.

Especially if you've been in your job for a year or more, your boss expects you to know how to handle certain issues. If you come running to ask for help every time an unexpected situation arises, it's a drain on your boss who always needs to tell you what to do next.

The fix: Learn from situations you've handled in the past and take the reins of your job. Instead of panicking and asking for help, make a decision and solve the problem at hand.
Of course, there's always the flip side to any issue: If your boss is a micro-manager, he or she probably doesn't like it if you never ask before you act. In that case, take the opposite approach: Contact your boss with the problem and suggest the solution before you take action.

3. You don't communicate.

No boss likes an employee who never tells him anything. For example, if you had an unfortunate run-in with a client, and the boss hears about it third-hand, you are not going to be on the "nice" list. No one likes negative surprises, least of all bosses.

The fix: This is easy. Just keep your boss in the loop. Send a quick email update at appropriate intervals. Ask your boss how often he'd like a check-in email, and make a point to keep him in the loop if anything comes up that he will want to know in the interim.

More: Succeeding With A New Boss

4. You blame other people.

If you'd win the "pass the buck" contest at your workplace, don't be surprised if you're not a boss favorite.

The fix: Start to take some responsibility when things go wrong on your watch. Explain the problem and what you've already done to make sure it doesn't happen again.

5. You are a drama king or queen.

Given a choice, most bosses would choose to fire the employee who stirs up the most drama in the office. If that person is you, take note: Your head could be on the chopping block. Are you the first to spread a rumor? Quick to run to one colleague to share some news that's sure to fuel discontent? Are you the first to complain or criticize when there are new policies or procedures? Do you try to rile up your colleagues to gang up against your manager? Are you creating problems where none existed? While personality traits are tough to self-assess, try to objectively evaluate your behavior. You're probably stirring up drama outside of work, too. If a friend calls you a drama queen, take pause and ask yourself: Am I considered a troublemaker at work?

The fix: Once you identify the problem, tone it down. Stop before you share juicy gossip. Don't complain -- for once. Think about how you can improve morale in your office instead of destroying it. When you make efforts to change, it's possible you can alter the impression people have of you, and improve your relationship with the boss.

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Smith Calvam


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October 30 2013 at 6:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

All five of these attributes (?) describe my boss to a T.
Needless to say, I work in hell.

December 08 2012 at 10:52 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

I thought this was too funny....why your boss doesn't like you. It doesn't mean it's you. It may mean that your boss is one of those that DO prefer, the drama, the gossip,etc.... I have a boss who LOVES it. She would rather have the drama, the gossip, the back stabbers in the office, then the ones who really are there to do an honest days work.
I have found that the ones think you are lying, etc, are really the ones that are the liars in the office. They can't be trusted period. I work in such an office. Its a doctor's office too.

December 08 2012 at 8:24 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

Sometimes there is a personality conflict that you cannot fix. I had a boss who didn;t like me but I have a suspicion that she was bi-polar. I did my job, got along with my co-workers, had good rapport with my customers but this woman has obvious contempt for me noticed by others as well. I read a saying by Walt Disney(Ibelieve) and I always think of it when dealing with difficult or impossible people. "You can either use me or detest me but I won't allow you to use me and detest me"

December 07 2012 at 11:23 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
The Canoli King

Remember,BOSS spelled backwards is a double-S OB..

December 07 2012 at 10:24 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Another issue I've observed is, an inept, self centered manipulator, shoves their work off on others, throws tantrums and eats at their station, ignores the work that is suppose to get done, and seem annoyed if you need to ask a question or are their for an appointment and made to wait until they're finished with office gossip, eating at their desk and/or speaking on their personal cell or text messaging. Yet, those same people, come in late, make all kinds of excuses, leave early, eat at their desk, and leave for lunch too! They seem to keep a job, yet the person who is honest, caring, hardworking, efficient, pleasant and over extends themselves to complete tasks, seem to be the ones most picked on or let go!

December 07 2012 at 9:43 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to KATHY'S FREE's comment

Do you work in Davidson County?.....SUre sounds like it. LOL

December 08 2012 at 4:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It's possible, that no matter how efficient and how much you do get along with co-workers and administrators, the establishment may not want to continue to pay a salary of a seasoned worker, needing to downsize, or will be closed, and/or hire first year persons to lower the salary scale, and that may be one reason that for years you're respected, given opportunities to prove your ideas and incorperate them in your job description, and that the next year, you're puzzled by the constant harassment, dislike of your work, finding negative things to put you down and then being told that you're going to be let go!

December 07 2012 at 9:37 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Seems the reasons pointed out in this column are correct in most instances, however, should you get along with your boss and a co-worker is resentful, taking your ideas, and if you're passive, efficient in what you do, you can accomplish tasks with precision and speed, never deliquent and have good work ethics, also get along with co-workers, except one that the boss seems to listen to, as this person is a control freak and manipulating, Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde, they are the ones gaining favor from the boss and other than coming directly to the point and bringing that person with you to meet with the boss, you can only hope they're found out and that your boss respects the work you've done, and that you're being straightforward in confronting the problem with them, not causing trouble or gossiping. Sad thing, no matter how hard you try, in some cases, the stress can cause you to throw in the towel, quit or wait to be fired.
Another reason, without you deliberately trying to destroy your boss' position, they may feel you're able to take their job away, as you are efficient, independent and have good work ethics and may have ideas for the good of the company/establishment that may over-shadow them, leaving them to feel inept and worried, that they will find a way to "save face," black-ball your ever getting another job in whatever professional field you want, as an excuse for them letting you go!

December 07 2012 at 9:28 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

how about your boss is just an unhappy ahole who takes their inadequacies and unahppiness out on their underlings? it isnt always the employees fault

December 07 2012 at 7:30 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

what happens when you have a "Bully Boss" ? google that you'll find out theres nothing you can do..Bosses like the slackers makes them look better so why again this ridiculous article?

December 07 2012 at 7:12 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

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