15 Alarming Signs Your Boss Plays Favorites & How To Handle It

Written By Aleena

Think your boss likes someone more at work? Happens a lot. Let’s find out some apparent signs your boss plays favorites.

Does your boss give someone special treatment all the time? Do they get the best tasks or projects?

Key Takeaways

– Your boss gives the best projects or tasks to their favorite coworker.

– The rules are more relaxed for the favorite employee.

– Your boss only says nice things to their favorite and not to others.

– The favorite employee can do wrong and not get in trouble, but others do and get in trouble.

– Boss is best friends with one person. Your boss acts more like a friend than a boss with their favorite.

– The favorite gets the best training and learning chances, while others are left out.

– If there’s an argument, your boss believes their favorite and might even yell at others in front of everyone.

Your Boss Plays Favorites – 15 Crystal Clear Sign

Here are some signs that your boss may be playing favorites:

1. Give Preferential Treatment To Some:

Your boss likes someone more at work. This person always gets cool jobs and gets away with more.

They even get to chat with the boss more and their ideas are always heard first.

Resentment  in employees - Signs Your Boss Plays Favorites

They also get more one-on-one meeting time with the boss, and their opinion is constantly solicited first.

It feels unfair, and other people at work probably notice too. This can make everyone feel grumpy.

Of course, some employees have bigger jobs than others. But if the boss keeps giving special treatment to just one person, that’s not right.

2. More Positive With Some Than Others:

Your boss might have favorites at work. They may compliment them more, seem friendlier, and give them more chances to do well.

On the other hand, they might find fault with you and others more easily and not notice the good things you do.

They may even be cold or rude to you and other employees.

3. Dislike Certain Employees:

Your boss might show favoritism by treating certain employees poorly. This could mean they say mean things, ignore others, or give them extra hard work.

For example, they may give them impossible deadlines. 

There are many reasons why this might happen, but it’s not okay for a boss to treat people differently.

4. Never Criticize Favorite:

Your boss playing favorites if they never criticize their favorite employee.

They may make mistakes or do sub-par work. But your boss always turns a blind eye.

This creates an unfair double standard. It becomes hard for others to improve and foster among the team.

Not only that, but it can also decrease morale and lead to resentment.

5. They’re Too Close To Their Favorite:

It’s noticeable when your boss shows favoritism by getting too close to one employee.

They might share personal information, offer excessive help, and socialize outside of work.

Power imbalance  - Signs Your Boss Plays Favorites

They’re not interested in your personal life and don’t share much about themselves.

Meanwhile, they maintain a distance from others. This power imbalance prevents you from connecting with them.

6. Boss Ignore Your Contributions:

If your boss shows favoritism, they might overlook your efforts.

Stealing your ideas or ignoring your achievements is one way to do it.

They may exclude you from important discussions or decision-making processes.

Lack of recognition can be disheartening and make you feel undervalued as a team member.

7. Boss Don’t Care About Your Development:

Your boss might focus on the development of their favorite employee over yours.

The boss might give the favorites the best work, important meetings, and even promotions, even if they’re not qualified.

They only care about their favorites’ success, not yours. Because of this, you might not get the chance to grow and develop your skills.

It’s unfair and can be annoying when you’re trying your best.

8. Boss Take Sides In Conflict:

Your boss might choose sides during a conflict, even if they shouldn’t. They might favor someone, even if they’re mistaken.

Uneven playing field.

Also, criticizing you publicly isn’t fair and puts you in a tough spot.

This makes resolving the conflict harder and harms your relationship with your boss.

It creates an unfair situation.

9. Give Unfair Evaluation:

Boss seems to favor someone else, giving them good reviews while you get nitpicked.

This can make work stressful and hurt your chances of getting ahead.

Keep a record of your achievements and speak up during reviews to show your value.

10. Flexible In Case Of Certain Employees:

Some employees always get the schedules they want, while others are left with leftovers.

Your boss favors certain employees, making balancing work and life tough for the rest. They may not be as lenient with your needs.

It’s a sign that it’s time for a chat with your boss or maybe a job search.

11 Provide Quick Evaluation For Some:

When employees mess up, they often get a chance to do better. But it seems like the boss’s favorites always get off easy.

While they swiftly assess their favorites, the rest of the team dwells on their errors.

Some get opportunities for promotion, while others remain stuck.

If this sounds familiar, your boss likely has a favorite employee.

12. Always Have Good Things To Say:

Your boss might shower their favorite employee with praise while he’s constantly nitpicking your work.


It’s like when your boss raves about their favorite coworker, but you rarely hear praise for your work.

This can be discouraging and make you feel undervalued.

13. Give Important Information Only To Certain Employees:

Your boss might share important details with their favorite employees, leaving others out.

For example, they might tell them about a new project or a policy change beforehand, but you only find out later.

This can make you feel like you’re not a valued team member.

14. Mentor Only Certain Ones:

Your boss might have a favorite mentee whom they guide and assist in skill development.

This special treatment could include exclusive assignments and career growth opportunities.

Unfortunately, if you’re not the chosen one, you might feel neglected.

This lack of support and opportunities suggests favoritism in the workplace.

15. Give Some Employee Preference In Training:

Your boss’s top pick often receives prime training opportunities. They attend exclusive conferences or special training courses to enhance their skills.

Meanwhile, you and others miss out, which might make you feel undervalued in development.

If you notice these signs, it’s worth discussing with your boss.

These are some of the signs that your boss has a favorite employee. If you see these signs, then it’s time to talk with your boss.

Can You Deal With Favoritism At Work?

Favoritism at work is a difficult situation to deal with. But there are some things you can do to improve the situation.

1. Talk To Your Boss:

If you suspect your boss is showing favoritism, chat with them. It might feel awkward, but it’s crucial to express your worries.

Tell them how you’re feeling and provide specific instances of favoritism.

For example, you could say, “I feel left out of important discussions. Can we discuss that?” Or, “I noticed you’ve been having lunch with Jane but not with me.

Your boss might not be aware of their bias, so it’s important to address it with them.

Even if they don’t change immediately, talking about it helps you express your feelings.

2. Try To Build A Rapport With Your Boss:

If your boss has favorites, it’s important to connect with them. Try to get to know them better and discover their interests.

Make a rapport

Show interest in their work, ask for advice, and be friendly, even if they aren’t. Don’t take it personally if they’re not interested in getting to know you.

3. Focus On Your Work:

Don’t let the situation get to you, and don’t let it affect your work. Do your best, and don’t let the favoritism bother you.

Instead, you should focus on what you can control, like your work. Grow your skills, and look for opportunities to showcase your talent. 

4. Find A Mentor:

If your boss is playing favorites, it can be challenging to get ahead. So it’s essential to find a mentor who can help you with your career development. 

A mentor provides moral support and helps you deal with difficult situations.

5. Talk To Human Resources:

If the situation is terrible, you may want to talk to human resources. They can investigate the case, and they may be able to help you resolve the issue.

However, this should be a last resort. Because it may damage your relationship with your boss, it could make the situation worse.

6. Leave:

Your boss playing favorites can be tough.

If you’ve tried to improve things and it’s not working, it might be time to consider a new job.

Remember, your well-being is most important.


The boss picks his favorite employees for projects and treats them better than others. This can make work stressful and bring down employee spirits.

If you think this is happening, try to get along with your boss, focus on your work, and find someone to guide you.

Last Updated on 1 month by Usama Ali


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