9 Clear Signs Your Boss Is Competing With You – 4 Tips

Written By Shahzaib Arshad

Being humans, that’s almost impossible for a person not to compare himself with others. This is what births competition.

9 Signs Your Boss Is Competing With You

Sometimes we aren’t competing with others, but they deep down see us as their biggest competition.

You think your boss to be a supervisor who’s there to motivate you, but who knows, your boss sees you as a competition.

The boss might be envious of your achievements and working style and wants to surpass you. Your capabilities and skillset make him compete with you so that he can show he’s better than you.

Here are the signs your boss is competing with you and how you can tackle this competition.

1. He’s Always Trying To Be One Step Ahead:

It’s an absolute sign that will tell you your boss is trying to compete with you. Being informed about every big opportunity before you are what your boss considers necessary.

Signs Your Boss Is Competing With You
Hes Always Trying To Be One Step Ahead

For instance, you tell your boss about a new project, and he smiles to tell you he knows about it already.

Working in a higher position also gives him the leverage to have important information before everyone else.

2. Signs Your Boss Is Competing With You – The Boss Smirks At Me After A Win:

Your boss surely sees you as a competition when he smirks at you while you congratulate him for his success.

Although you aren’t competing, he’s either threatened or impressed with your capabilities.

All he does is try and get ahead of you. He won’t see your success as a company’s achievement and get jealous instead.

3. Sneaks Into My Cabin To See What I’m Up to:

If someone competes with you, they’ll feel the urge to see what you’re doing.

The Boss Wants To Know What You Are Doing
Sneaks Into My Cabin To See What Im Up to

In case if you’re doing something productive and unintentionally hide it from your boss, he’ll try to copy you.

For this very reason, he thinks of excuses to come into your office. He’ll say that he randomly came to see hello, but in reality, he sneaked in to see the way you work.

4. He’s Ready To Gun Down Your Ideas:

An encouraging boss will listen to your ideas and give his feedback even if he doesn’t implement these.

But a boss who considers you as his competition will never like your ideas. He’ll criticize your ideas even before listening to them completely.

He Thinks Your Ideas Are Too Good To Be Applied
Hes Ready To Gun Down Your Ideas

However, if your boss likes your ideas, he’ll gun down these at first but later on steal them and present them as his own.

5. Signs Your Boss Is Competing With You – Never Shares His Own Ideas:

A person who’s competing with you won’t ever share his ideas with you. The reason is that he thinks you’ll steal his ideas, and he won’t be able to get the credit.

The boss sees you as a competition because you’re capable enough to match his level.

Also, he knows that you’ll generate even better ideas than him. It’s a strong sign your boss is competing with you.

6. Doesn’t Acknowledge Your Achievements:

Instead of being a source of encouragement, the boss demotivates you enough that you think of quitting.

Signs Your Boss Is Competing With You
Doesnt Acknowledge Your Achievements

Every time you get successful, everyone claps for you except your competing boss. Your victory doesn’t seem to be an achievement for him; it’s making the competition even harder for him.

So when your boss doesn’t acknowledge your accomplishments, it’s a sign of competition.

7. The Boss Buries You Under Workload:

Your boss, when competes with you, tries his best to get you busy somewhere else.

For instance, there’s a project in-house, and the boss assigns you so many other works.

He Gets You Busy Somewhere Else
The Boss Buries You Under Workload

He does this so that you don’t get to participate in that project.

He buries you beneath under-valued work so that you aren’t able to do something productive.

8. Signs Your Boss Is Competing With You – Befriends With Your Work Buddies:

Your boss is definitely your competition if he’s not so friendly with you but be friends with your work buddies.

The reason is that he wants to know about your secret skills and projects you’re working on.

He’ll make friends with your coworkers who know about your goals and dreams. It’s a good way to know about your capabilities secretly.

9. He Doesn’t Let You Talk To Authorities:

It’s a sign your boss is competing with you when he doesn’t let you get in touch with the higher management.

The Boss Creates Hurdles For You
He Doesnt Let You Talk To Authorities

He’s threatened that you’ll report his behavior to the management, and he’ll lose his competition.

Also, he tries that you never know about what’s going in the company’s growth process.

How To Deal With A Competing Boss – 4 Tips

Dealing with a boss who’s in an unnecessary competition with you is important. That’s because it can sometimes affect your productivity.

You can use the following tips to help your boss manage his emotions.

1. Try To Understand His Psychology:

Bosses are normal humans who need recognition and a good status in their workplace. They don’t want others to outshine them, especially those working under them.

Signs Your Boss Is Competing With You
Try To Understand His Psychology

That’s what makes them compete at their best possible capacity. While you’re dealing with such kind of behavior of your boss, you should also take a look at yourself.

Try to share the limelight with your boss by acknowledging him for his efforts. You should be grateful to him for his teamwork efforts.

2. Acknowledge Their Contributions:

It’s normal to credit yourself by acknowledging your efforts, contributions, and skills. But you must not forget the opportunities that came your way.

If your boss helped you reach the point of success, then you should give him some credit.

It will be a good way to remind your boss that you’re grateful for his support and mentorship.

3. Use Your Influence To Empower Others:

When you are successful, your focus shifts more towards yourself. But you should involve others in your race too.

Share Inspiration To End Competition
Use Your Influence To Empower Others

Find things that can help your manager and coworkers to get success as you did. Invite your boss to brainstorm with you on critical events and share your power with him.

4. Lessen The Power And Status Struggle:

The struggle to get a status quo might turn your manager into a more aggressive person.

The boss may start to show his power over you in meetings and in front of stakeholders.

When your boss is doing so, it’s coming from his own feeling of envy. To defuse this power struggle, you must not participate in that battle.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Tell If Your Boss Is Intimidated By You?

A boss who's afraid of you will first of all block the way for your growth and denies you access to higher-level projects. He belittles your contributions by saying that it's normal and you did nothing new. Moreover, he's uncommunicative.

How Do You Know If Your Boss Is Playing You?

If your boss is taking advantage of you, he'll start playing the victim card so he can get your sympathy. He'll pick you up to stay late because he knows you can't say No. Also, he gives you the grunt work.

What Should Bosses Not Say To Employees?

There are many things that a boss should never say to his employees. For instance, he shouldn't mention that he's paying them, and they're his slaves. Also, a boss shouldn't say to his employee that you are lucky enough to have this job.

How Do You Outsmart A Manipulative Boss?

To protect yourself from your manipulative boss, you must be aware of basic human rights. You have the right to be treated with respect. Also, keep a safe distance from your boss and have the guts to say No when you're overworked.


No matter how supportive the corporate world can be, there’s always competition between people.

During the early years of your job, your boss had been supportive, but he turned out to be competitive lately.

Even if you do your best, your boss doesn’t acknowledge it and always tries to show he’s better than you.

You have to deal very carefully with such a boss because he’s your boss and he can fire you after all.

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Last Updated on 1 month by Aleena

Shahzaib Arshad
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