10 Alarming Signs Your Boss Is Taking Advantage Of You

Written By Shahzaib Arshad

How do you identify the signs your boss is taking advantage of you? How you’ll tackle this situation and change your toxic environment?

You must be asking all these questions to yourself after you’re stuck in the same situation.

10 Signs Your Boss Is Taking Advantage Of You

It often happens that your boss doesn’t realize that he’s taking advantage of you. Because of your good performance or the trust, they’ve been habitual to you saying Yes to everything.

In the beginning, you might be okay to help your boss, but it will become a regular thing over time.

It will turn your work environment toxic. To avoid this situation, take preventive measures and read these signs below.

1. He Knows The Art Of Spreading False Words:

A person who takes advantage of others loves to gossip and spread false words.

If your boss is giving poor examples of your coworkers to you. He is gossiping and showing that he’s on your side, but don’t fall into this trap.

Signs Your Boss Is Taking Advantage Of You
He Knows The Art Of Spreading False Words

The boss must be using this backstabbing technique against you too.

So it’s not a good idea to trust your boss with your secrets. Be careful of the things you confide in your boss.

2. Always Seems To Be In Trouble – Signs Your Boss Is Taking Advantage Of You:

We all have a friend who is always suffering from something. Such people would put you in the wrong even if you walked the right line.

They love to portray themselves as a victim and gain sympathy. You might distant yourself from such people in social life.

But it’s difficult to take space from a passive-aggressive boss who plays the victim card.

His behavior will be quite unpredictable; it’d be nice one minute and rude the very next minute.

3. The Boss Thinks You’re His Personal Slave:

It also depicts labor abuse since every employee has a right to vacations once or twice a year. But a boss who is taking advantage of you doesn’t consider your personal life.

Remember that the right for a peaceful break for lunch is also your personal time during working hours.

You Do Not Get Vacations Or Time Off
The Boss Thinks You’re His Personal Slave

Personal time is necessary for employee’s health and mental wellbeing. It also links to the employee’s performance.

If you didn’t get the vacations or not even the weekends, it’s a sign your boss is exploiting you.

Even if you get the time off, such a boss will call you several times to do extra work and ruin your vacation.

4. He Credits Himself For Good And Throws Bad On You:

How many times your boss takes the blame for his team’s mistakes? If he manages to throw it all on the team every time, it’s time to concern.

Although bosses aren’t always responsible for accountability, they should support the team.

Throwing the team under the bus in bad times and taking credits for positive results is what they do.

It’s the time where you should stand for yourself and your entire team.

5. You’re In A Constant Rut – Signs Your Boss Is Taking Advantage Of You:

It’s a major sign your boss is taking advantage of you. You’ll get called to complete the tasks that clearly don’t lie in the circle of your responsibility.

Other People Dump Their Work On You
You’re In A Constant Rut – Signs Your Boss Is Taking Advantage Of You

It means that you’re constantly doing other people’s work. If no one seems to have a problem with it, the real problem begins there.

Your company doesn’t care that this situation is unfair and doesn’t do anything to stop it. It seems like your coworkers are quite willing to sit back and let you pick up their slack.

6. Your Workload Is Increasing, But Salary Isn’t:

The more time you spend working for a specific employer, the more skills you’ll get to learn.

Looking at your skill set and what you are capable of now, the manager will increase your workload.

So after some time, you should get compensation for doing all the extra work. If your workload keeps on increasing, but you hardly remember the last time you got a raise.

Then it’s a sign that your boss is taking advantage of you.

7. He’s Never Friendly With You – Signs Your Boss Is Taking Advantage Of You:

Casual conversations between a worker and employer are a normal thing. If your boss shows up in your cabin for a 5-minutes chit-chat, then it’s all good.

You should have a friendly conversation with him from time to time.

A Serious And Formal Relationship Between You And Your Boss Is A Sign
He’s Never Friendly With You – Signs Your Boss Is Taking Advantage Of You

On the other hand, if your boss treats you too formally, then it isn’t a good sign. Too much serious attitude must turn your attention.

But if everything on your end is clear, then it’s the manager taking advantage of you.

8. You’re Physically Or Mentally Threatened By Him:

What should you do if your boss disrespects you beyond the limits? Stop being loyal to your backstabbing boss.

If your boss is using physical or mental abuse, there’s no reason left to endure this behavior.

You must contact the authorities if you want to stop your passive-aggressive boss. If you continue to work with such a boss, it will affect your mental wellbeing and happiness.

You should take this job burnout as the reason to quit this job. Find a place where you’ll get appreciated.

9. You Get Sudden Calls To Work:

If your job contract has marked rotating schedules in it, then it’s fine. But if it wasn’t decided, your boss has no right to make sudden changes in your work schedule.

He can’t change it over and over again just to disturb or distract you.

You Get Surprise Changes In Your Schedule
You Get Sudden Calls To Work

Being a reliable employee, you deserve respect and a comfortable working environment.

You should defend your rights and complain in case there are important reasons for it.

10. Your Boss Is Always Breathing On Your Neck:

If you’re working with a boss who always tries to look over your shoulder, then it’s a sign. Such a boss will always frown when around you; it breaks your confidence.

A micromanaging boss affects the productivity and performance of employees.

If you’re always crowded with coworkers or your boss, you must not be afraid to ask for space.

6 Steps For How To Stop Being Taken Advantage Of

It’s a skill to stand up for yourself at work, and it takes courage to learn this skill. If you know how to handle a situation in a professional way, no one can take advantage of you.

Here is a six step process that you can use to stop being taken advantage of. 

1. Boost Up Your Confidence

We sometimes develop this habit of saying yes to everything. You need to ask yourself and see why it happens.

Are you a people pleaser? Or you might be just generally afraid of saying No. The reason behind this can be a lack of confidence in you.

Get Confidence To Say No
Boost Up Your Confidence

It makes it difficult for you to stop someone from taking advantage of you. You need to build your confidence and give credit to yourself.

Remember that you deserve good behavior and don’t feel regret for this.

2. Define Your Boundaries

It’s a stage of getting confident where you know how far your boundaries have gone. You do know how many tasks you can complete in one day.

So you should clarify to everyone so they can’t burden you with overloaded work.

However, if they keep on pushing you, remember that they aren’t respecting your boundaries. That’s mean the problem is them, not you! So don’t blame yourself.

3. Use The Right Way To Turn Down Requests

When you become confident on your own, and you know your exact boundaries. You will be able to say No without blowing an atom bomb.

Signs Your Boss Is Taking Advantage Of You
Use The Right Way To Turn Down Requests

To say No has its own different benefits. It helps you to continue your professional work and doesn’t let you flow into the river of stress.

Also, doing so sets an example for your coworkers. They’ll also find it easier to say No when needed.

4. Turn Confrontation Into Conversation

You should try to have a conversation with the problem person and not confrontation.

Remember not to blame or accuse the person; you just have to present your needs. Also, ask the boss to play his part in resolving this conflict.

However, it’s up to the other party how calmly they respond to you. You can’t change the behavior of others, but you can bring a bit of flexibility.

5. Seek Some Help

You won’t be alone in this process; your company will always be ready to help you resolve this situation.

What you need to do is try to have a one-on-one conversation with your boss. However, if your boss is the problem, find someone else above them.

Seek Some Help

Remember to keep your confidence together and be clear.

6. Accept The Things You Can’t Change

On this journey, you have to accept that negative work culture can be devastating for you. It will neither let you enjoy success nor be confident.

If you are being taken advantage of and you can’t help it, then the only option is to leave.

It might be a bit stressful to find a new job, but staying is worse. You deserve to advance in your career, so don’t allow a bad situation to take over your happiness.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Know If Your Boss Is Playing You?

Your boss is playing you if he always uses the victim card. He’ll give you the grunt work and ask you to stay late. Such a boss won’t respect your boundaries and always try to steal credit for your work.

Can You Say No To Your Boss?

Saying no to your boss is valid, but you have to have some justification for saying so. A detailed justification is not necessary as it will hurt your integrity, but you should have a point.

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

You have to note down the way your boss tried to discredit you. Then take your claim to senior management and prove your achievements. Ask them to resolve this matter and make your boss have good behavior towards you.

Why Do Best Employees Leave?

Good employees leave because of the lack of support. No one wants to work at an unhealthy workplace. Seeing such problems, employees leave because they consider their time and health important.


Being taken advantage of can be a detrimental situation for anyone. Either you think that you are too new at the company to say something.

Or you are too good to disturb the peace of the company and let things go. It’s the fear in both these situations that are keeping you from solving this issue.

This article concludes that there’s only one way to help you stop being taken advantage of. And that is to be more confident and firm about your boundaries.

No means no!

Last Updated on 2 months by Assma Riaz

Shahzaib Arshad
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