12 Signs Your Boss Is Bullying You – Say No To Bully Culture

Written By Assma Riaz

Bullying isn’t limited to the playgrounds or the high schools anymore. It has made its way into most of our office cabins.

The bullies you grew up with continue to be unkind and intolerant in their professional life. Workplace bullying can occur between anyone, but the difficult one is dealing with a bullying boss.

12 Signs Your Boss Is Bullying You

Signs of a bully boss, people don’t often realize that their manager is bullying them. They misunderstand it to be a boss who is merely strict or wants to get out the results.

But recognizing a workplace bully is necessary because it can have serious consequences. Here are 12 signs your boss is bullying you.

1. Enforces “His Way Of Working” By Power:

If your boss is constantly trying to make you do things their way, it’s a vital sign of workplace bully.

Either they intimidate you because of power, or insists that their opinion matters the most.

Intimidating You Is The Favorite Task Of A Bullying Boss
Enforces “His Way Of Working” By Power

A bullying boss can also threaten to fire you or even physically harm you. Giving intimidating looks or intruding on your space are other examples.

2. Signs Your Boss Is Bullying You – You Can’t Grow Working Under Him:

Bullying bosses never want to see others succeeding because they won’t be able to have control then.

They’ll try to obstruct your success by punishing you for mistakes that weren’t yours. Or they’ll keep bringing up past mistakes to shift the mode of discussion.

Your boss just wants to have power and control over you and micromanages your work.

He might promise you a promotion and gets more work done from you, but then never looks back at his promises. This is one of the signs your boss is a bully.

3. Your Bully Boss Is Eating Your Boldness:

It’s very common for a bullying boss to use this tactic of undermining their employees. They can do it either in public or in private.

Signs Your Boss Is Bullying You
Your Bully Boss Is Eating Your Boldness

Spreading toxicity all over the workplace, such bosses contribute to the toxic culture.

If your boss aligns your coworkers or even your seniors against you, he’s a bully. Such bosses talk negatively, in a gossipy manner, to everyone around the workplace.

4. Signs Your Boss Is Bullying You – Your Privacy Is Ruined:

Sometimes your bully boss will spy on you, or he may even stalk you to the point that you get irritated.

Listening to your private conversations, opening your emails is a violation of privacy. Such a boss can even tamper with your personal belongings or your work tools.

You’ll see your bully boss coming out of your office when you weren’t there, and it’s quite common for them.

In actuality, he is looking for slugs to use against you.

5. He Uses Neglection As A Tool:

Bullies are very cunning when it comes to the ways to harm their victims. They are selective and choose a way that is easy to deny.

If Your Boss Ignores You Often He Is Bullying You
He Uses Neglection As A Tool

Yes, ignoring is a tactic that is both effective, and they can easily deny it. After all, the bully boss isn’t doing anything to harm you; he’s just ignoring you.

If your boss ignores you in the meetings or doesn’t collaborate with you, it negatively affects your work.

6. A Bully Boss Is Known For Impossible Cutoffs:

It’s common for a strict boss to put pressure and maintain deadlines to get work done. But he also understands the general things.

This pressure plays a positive role and brings success for all around the office.

However, a bullying boss puts unrealistic deadlines and irrational pressure. It does nothing good but ruins the quality of work and discourages people through failures.

7. Signs Your Boss Is Bullying You – No One Comes Near You:

Bullying bosses love to isolate a person socially; this is their favorite thing to do. They don’t include you in the office party lists and forget you about the company outings.

Being segregated from the staff and not getting invited to after-hour meetings is demotivating.

You Get Isolated At Work As A Result Of Bully
Signs Your Boss Is Bullying You – No One Comes Near You

You’ll notice that your bully boss schedules important meetings when you are out of town.

Also, they make important decisions when you are on vacation. Going to the extent, they can even refuse to let you attend the work meetings.

8. Switches From One Thing To Another:

It’s not possible to succeed if your goals aren’t clear. Just like that, if your boss continuously changes his expectations, you won’t be sure what to do.

A bully boss doesn’t either communicate his expectations clearly or changes them on a whim. The purpose is to irritate you and create a hostile work environment that you can’t stand for long.

If you notice your boss is doing so, then keep in mind that they are setting up to fail you.

9. You’re Working Day And Night For Your Bully Boss:

According to an old saying, a person should be working to live and not living to work.

If your boss keeps on changing the work schedules with no notice, he’s creating an unhappy workplace.

Your Time Has No Value In Their Eyes
You’re Working Day And Night For Your Bully Boss

An organization where people are not present in the meetings or are late is a sign of bully itself.

But a bully boss doesn’t understand this and disrespects the personal time of the victims.

Remember that your time is valuable, and it’s important that your boss should recognize this fact.

10. Signs Your Boss Is Bullying You – Your Efforts Are In Vain:

A bullying boss will question your abilities by belittling your ideas and opinions. It can either take place in their office or in front of everyone else.

He’ll refer the good outcomes to his responsibility and skills and put the blame of problems on you.

A boss will bully you by questioning your commitment to the point that you overwork to prove it.

As a result, you’ll be fearful of getting fired if you don’t sacrifice personal time. But you strategically need to avoid falling victim to this.

11. You’re Always A Topic Of Latest Office Gossips:

Bullies can go to any length to make others look bad. For this purpose, they can gossip with other people about your work, your health, or anything else.

Signs Your Boss Is Bullying You
You’re Always A Topic Of Latest Office Gossips

They consider it as their right to speak about you. Bullying bosses can even lie to destroy your reputation.

They want to convince other people that you deserve this unfair treatment you’re getting.

12. Signs Your Boss Is Bullying You – He Goes With Verbal Offense:

A bullying boss can’t be a bully unless he humiliates employees in front of others. For example, they might shout, yell or swear at you for trivial mistakes and do this regularly.

They may also make offensive jokes at your expense. Verbally abusive bosses are known to make unfair criticism or unjust remarks.

Ridiculing or belittling other people is their favorite task to do.

6 Steps To Confront Your Bullying Boss

Standing up to a bullying boss is not easy. But if you think that he’s crossing the limits, then you should consider doing so.

Be sure about the possible outcomes; you could get disciplined or might lose your job.

If you really want to confront your bullying boss, here are six steps to handle this situation.

1. Stay Confident

Bullying bosses can easily recognize the people whom they can bully and manipulate. So if you are someone who always looks nervous, insecure, or defeated, they’ll target you first.

Be Confident When You Confront A Bully
Stay Confident

Even if your boss tries to bully you, stay strong and keep your head high during your discussion.

Being professional will help you not give it up to pressure, and your boss will feel defeated.

2. Be Particular

When you address your boss’s behavior, keep specific examples ready of how he offended you. That’s because a bullying boss will always demand the proof.

If you are getting ready to go without proof, it will look like you’re overreacting.

Most of the time, bullying bosses don’t take responsibility for their mean actions.

He’ll probably blame his actions back on you or simply say that he doesn’t remember it happening.

3. Keep Working Hard

Your boss’s bullying will affect your work, but you need to stay firm and continue the hard work.

Don’t get distracted by your boss’s actions. Avoid wasting your time talking to your coworkers about what’s happening.

You Should Keep Your Focus To Work
Keep Working Hard

Instead, you should focus on doing your best and produce the best quality of work.

The boss will try his best to create a mess in the workplace, but you should learn to ignore it.

At last, ensure to keep complete documentation of all your achievements.

4. Get Help From Outside

If your boss continues to bully you despite your efforts to deal with it, you should go to HR.

Make a record of all the bullying incidents with dates, times, and proofs. Also, maintaining electronic correspondence is necessary.

However, if you feel low, depressed, or anxious during this process, get help from a counselor.

You should never consider ignoring workplace bullying because it affects your mental health.

5. Accept The Things You Have No Control Over

You can’t control what other people think or do, so don’t stress over it. But your response to things is still in your control.

Signs Your Boss Is Bullying You
Accept The Things You Have No Control Over

Try to be emotionless when you confront your boss. If you think that you can’t calmly confront the boss, then delay this idea.

Also, prepare yourself for your boss’s backlash. Have a plan in place if your boss retaliates and fires you.

6. Take A Stand For Yourself

Bullies think that their targets are passive about their behavior and won’t do anything to stop it.

But you need to show your boss that he made a mistake by targeting you. Talk to your boss about this issue in a calm manner and defend yourself without being aggressive.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Deal With A Hostile Boss?

If you have a hostile boss, you should ignore his hostility first of all. It’s a good tactic to show that you don’t understand what’s happening. Also, try not to take it personally. Keep your headstrong and be communicative with a mentor.

What To Do When Your Boss Is Trying To Discredit You?

Make a note stating how your boss discredited you and then discuss it with your company. Remind them of your value and positive accomplishments. Also, ask why your boss’s behavior changed and then wait for them to resolve the matter.

How Do Bosses Ignore You?

When your boss avoids you, he’s showing that your presence in the workplace doesn’t matter to him. He is sending signals that he doesn’t want to engage with you. This avoidance is actually ignoring.

How Do You Stand Up To A Rude Boss?

Ask your boss why he did so, probably he had a bad day, but he’s crossing the limits if it happens often. Respond in kind when your boss is rude to you. Learn from this situation and be adaptable.


If you recognize that your boss is being bullied, you won’t blame yourself for the problems.

Also, you won’t take responsibility for something that wasn’t your fault. Bullying doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you.

But workplace bullying is a choice made by the bully. Look at this situation from a positive perspective, and don’t let it affect your self-esteem.

Get yourself some support to decide your next move. With a little effort, you can escape the bullying of your boss.

You can share your experience in the comment section below.

Last Updated on 4 hours by

Assma Riaz

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