What To Do When A Coworker Acts Like Your Boss – 15 Tips

Written By Aleena

You are at the right place if you are here because of your bossy coworker. We have a guide on what to do when a coworker acts like your boss.

A bossy coworker is the type of person who has an ego like a monster. They can never step down from anything, even if it’s not their job.

What To Do When A Coworker Acts Like Your Boss – 15 Tips

They are always yelling at other employees. Some of them can never speak in a soft voice. That’s the type of people who wants to rule everything around them.

It can be tough working with such a kind of person in some cases. Here are 20 tips for dealing with them on how to say no to a bossy coworker:

1. Keep Calm & Keep Distance:

When a coworker acts like your boss, you have to know that you can’t be like them. Yelling at them or going on with the same behavior will not solve anything.

What To Do When A Coworker Acts Like Your Boss

When a coworker thinks they are a manager you need to keep calm and wisely handle the situation. One of the most effective ways of dealing with a bossy coworker is keeping a certain distance.

They don’t have the right to bark orders at you whenever they feel like it. Try to limit your interaction with them if possible.

2. Don’t Answer Back:

If they’re always trying to compete with you even though it’s not their job, then you should leave them alone.

Refuse to get involved in any debate or argument with your coworker. There’s no reason why you should be running after someone who has nothing better to do than being bossy.

Answering back will lead to a never-ending battle between the two of you.

3. What To Do When A Coworker Acts Like Your Boss – Ignore Their Orders:

When a coworker thinks they are a manager and if they try to control your work and give orders, don’t follow their instructions. If you’re not the one who’s supposed to do something, don’t let them force you into it.

Just like the quote says: ‘If you go with the flow, you will be dragged down with it.’ Don’t ignore their order in an unethical way.

Rather, keep your work going and try to stay away from them as much as possible.

4. Draw Your Lines:

Draw your lines when dealing with coworker acting like my boss; make sure they understand your limit. If they’re pushing you over the edge, let them know that you won’t accept their behavior anymore.

By doing this, you’ll put yourself in a better position. they might even start to respect your boundaries in time.

By drawing a line between you and them, you can avoid unnecessary conflicts.

5. Work From Home:

Sometimes it’s best to stay at home when somebody is harassing you at work. It means taking sick days for no reason, very often!

damage career

Of course, don’t do this too much. If people around come up with the idea that you are not fit for work, it can damage your career. Work from home has many benefits such as:

– You can bring your dog to work with you

– You can listen to music as loud as you want without any disturbance from others

– Being away from your bossy coworkers for a short period

6. What To Do When A Coworker Acts Like Your Boss – Watch Yourself Around Them:

When you are with coworker acting like my boss, make sure that you don’t say anything stupid. Please don’t act like your bossy coworker’s not there (this is good advice for any difficult people).

If they want to argue about every little thing they see, let them go ahead and do so.

They might stop bothering you if they think their behavior does not affect you. Watching yourself includes your tone, gestures, and the words you use.

7. Show Them That You’re Growing:

One thing that can annoy a bossy coworker is when they see that you are doing good on your own.

If you achieve something without their help, they might wonder if it’s worth being pushy. It’s important to show them that you’re growing and becoming more independent.

You can upgrade your skills, enhance your productivity, etc. These will help you get promotions at work.

8. Improve Your Communication Skills:

Bossy people can be very annoying because of their lack of communication skills. They yell and scream at everyone around, so it’s no wonder that they get on people’s nerves.

It’s a good idea for you to improve your communication skills. Learn how to explain things without losing your temper. Develop a more assertive attitude.

9. What To Do When A Coworker Acts Like Your Boss – Be More Assertive:

Assertiveness can be very useful when dealing with bossy coworkers. Knowing how to express yourself will help you avoid being messed around.

It’s a skill worth learning! After all, who likes somebody who doesn’t have any self-respect? To deal with your difficult coworker, try using phrases such as:

‘I don’t think that would be appropriate.’ These simple words have the power of making others see that you’re not easy to manipulate.

10. Talk to Your Boss:

If you cannot handle this harassment from the coworker, then it’s best to talk to your manager. Tell them about what’s going on.


Sometimes it can be hard, especially if your manager is friends with them. They won’t listen to anything you have to say.

You will come across a manager who understands your concerns and help you. Remember that you don’t have to reveal the problem person’s name or what they did – be honest about how it affected you.

By doing this, you might find work easier because someone else takes your side.

11. Do More Work:

The final solution might seem counter-intuitive to some people. Choose to double your efforts and work harder.

It will show those pushy coworkers that their bad behavior does not affect you. You can achieve anything without their help or approval.

They’ll keep acting like your boss, but at least nobody can say that their behavior bothers you! What other ways do you think we could deal with a coworker who acts like the boss?

12. What To Do When A Coworker Acts Like Your Boss – Put Them in the Corner: 

If you’re still having difficulties dealing with them, it’s time to take a stronger stance. You can try and put them in the corner.

Start by talking to your manager about their behavior. Say that it bothers you and makes your work environment uncomfortable.

If they do not stop, this might be grounds for firing them. If your boss is like other bosses out there, nobody will want to fire anybody because of minor problems.

13. Make Your Own Rules:

If your bossy coworker loves creating rules, then it might be a good idea for you to do the same.

Make some rules that help you stay away from them as much as possible, without being too obvious about it. For example, they give all their tasks with a five-minute deadline.

make rules

It would help if you tried giving yourself ten minutes more. Chances are they won’t even notice this. At least it will keep you working and not have to deal with their stupid suggestions!

14. What To Do When A Coworker Acts Like Your Boss – Do Not Respond:

It’s no secret that people who act like bosses tend to behave very towards others. Ignore them after noticing how unprofessional they are towards everybody.

It might be the best solution to your problem. Coworkers who act like my boss are not known for their patience. After you ignore them, they’ll most likely give up.

They will do so, especially if you don’t seem intimidated by them or show any fear of their authority.

Remember that at this point, ignoring them is the strongest power play you can make!

15. Take a Break:

Sometimes it’s better to stop working with your difficult coworker and take some time off.

You don’t have to quit your job but taking a break now and then will help you relax (and avoid acting like your own boss).

If you still want to continue working together with your bad-tempered coworker – take a break. If you work in shifts, you can even try switching with somebody to avoid any potential conflicts.

10 Signs Your Coworker Acts Like Your Boss

There are certain signs that your coworker acts like a boss, and you can identify them if you look deep into it. Unfortunately, most people tend to ignore the signs.

They think it’s okay for this person to act like their superior and give orders.

1. They’re Always Around:

If they’re always nearby when you do something, this is one of the first signs someone acts like a boss. It might seem flattering, but it isn’t very pleasant at the same time!

Even though they fake helpfulness, chances are they won’t take no for an answer. They will keep bothering you until you do what they want.

The best way around these types is by playing dumb. Tell them that everything is under control, even if it isn’t.

2. They Give Orders:

People who act like bosses are not afraid of bossing others and giving orders. It might be because they fancy themselves as helpful.

coworker acts like boss

They like taking control of everything. If this sounds familiar and you’ve been noticing these signs for a while, your coworker’s bossy.

There is nothing wrong with being in charge, but there are appropriate ways of doing so!

3. Sign A Coworker Acts Like Your Boss They Talk First:

Does this person always talk first during meetings, conversations, or any interactions? If so, their behavior can suggest that they act like a superior.

Even though they might say nice things and seem helpful – true bosses know when to be patient and let others speak. A good idea would be to stand up for yourself.

Tell them what you think or talk less with them until this behavior is gone.

4. They Ask Stupid Questions:

If your bossy coworker asks stupid questions that aren’t even related to their job, this is a sign. Most people will avoid arguing with them.

It’s important to let them know that their obnoxious behavior won’t work on you! Do not answer those stupid questions.

5. They Make Offers:

People who try making offers all the time act like bosses. It’s because asking questions is a sign of respect, and if your coworker seems too willing to help – it might be a trap.

Keep in mind that they don’t care about you or other people. All they want is to feel superior and tell other people what to do!

6. Sign A Coworker Acts Like Your Boss They Take Over:

If this person always takes over when doing something, they act like bosses. Making offers now and then is normal.

However, if it becomes their signature move, then you’ll need to talk with them and explain how annoying it can be.

Avoid taking sides or making enemies. There are better ways of dealing with these types!

7. They Give Advice:

People who offer advice all the time might seem like experts, but chances are they act like bosses. If you want to avoid conflict, accept the advice but do not follow it blindly.

It’s good to have a mentor who can help you grow as an individual. However, if this person is always taking over and showing off – that’s another story!

8. They Interrupt Others:

If your coworker isn’t shy about interrupting people, there are chances they’re bossy. Even though it might look rude at first sight, most people ignore it.

What To Do When A Coworker Acts Like Your Boss (2)

They don’t know how to deal with these types of behaviors. There are many ways of confronting them, so try coming up with one or two options before speaking with them.

9. Sign A Coworker Acts Like Your Boss – They Have All The Answers:

People who act like bosses have all the answers. They aren’t afraid of telling you what to do.

They might seem helpful initially, but it won’t take long until you realize their true motives. Let them know that their opinions don’t matter to you. Make sure you stand up for yourself!

10. They Take Up All The Space:

If a coworker takes up all the space in a conversation, they might be bossy.

It’s common for people to share their thoughts with others, but you will know if they’re bossy if it becomes a habit. Keep this in mind when dealing with your bossy coworkers!


People who act like bosses are trying to compensate for their lack of skills with other people’s work. There are many ways to deal with these types, so you don’t need to panic if you notice a few warning signs.

The best thing you can do is stay patient and avoid acting like them because it’s not going to solve anything!

You can try speaking with them about their behavior. Moreover, avoid interacting with them together.

Last Updated on 3 months by


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