Why You THINK You Hate Your Boss

So, you hate your boss! Do you know why? Are you sure what you’re feeling is really hatred? So many questions, and lots of answers in this article!

Work environment
Employee Experience

Christine Chartrand

VP Consulting Services

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


Work can already be stressful and demanding, but throw in a boss you hate into the mix, and you’ve got yourself a little problem.

The reason you think you hate your boss or why others hate their bosses is not always what you think. Sure the micromanager, authoritative, insensitive or incompetent bosses are popular motives, but there are other not-so-obvious reasons…reasons that might get you thinking more than hating.

We got you covered!

Your boss is not communicating/training you the way you need

Have you ever left a training session with your manager with more questions than answers?

Sometimes, a boss can misinterpret how employees should be taught and what style of learners they are. So they either assume that how they communicate information with them is automatically being retained, or they underestimate the time their employees need to understand and grasp concepts.

Either way, you might find yourself hating your boss because of the way he/she makes you feel after a training session, which is more inadequate and confused, or even making you doubt your own potential.

If you are a practical learner, you will need someone that can go on the field with you, allow you to see the operations first hand and learn through trial and error. You might benefit from job shadowing or being given very concrete, tangible examples of what a “best practice” might look like on the field. If your boss is too focused on theory, is too abstract, or simply isn’t communicating with you in the language you need, things can get frustrating.

Take a look at your own personality

Sometimes you need to look at your own character traits in order to discover why you think you hate your boss. If you are dealing with a boss that likes to control most aspects of a project, and you yourself are the spontaneous, ad-lib type of person, this can get on your nerves more than someone who was more organized and actually appreciated structure.

This personality clash may be causing you to have feelings of hatred towards your boss, when in reality, it’s a case of your strengths (i.e. being at your best during unexpected events and when you can adapt quickly to situations) and natural reflexes not being applied.

It’s as if your boss’s behavior is making you swim against the current, so it’s no wonder you’re feeling resentful.

Your boss lacks in the backbone department

While you (and many) might hate your boss because of his/her authoritative, in-your-face attitude, others may find themselves super frustrated by the very opposite; the boss that lacks self-confidence and assurance to say what needs to be said, when it needs to be said.

So this can leave you wondering if you’re actually doing something right, or how he/she really feels about a subject. And because your boss will go to great lengths to avoid confrontations or ill-feelings between employees, he/she might even complain behind people’s backs and never to the person involved. This can result in a manager who is vague, and lacks authenticity. So again, maybe you don’t necessarily HATE your boss, but you hate the way he/she handles making the unpopular decisions.

Your boss has poor resistance to stress…and maybe so do you!

When people are under stress, things may be said, and feelings may be amplified. Perhaps the reason you think you hate your boss is because you are under a lot of pressure these days, your nervous tension is high and you’re having trouble detaching.

Maybe your boss is going through the same thing. If you both get a little impulsive…even explosive during this time, you may bump heads. It will be important to find ways to decompress, to evacuate your stress in a safe environment.

Take a short walk at lunch, detach from a projects for a few minutes to recharge, and try leaving work at work. The “hate” you feel for your boss might be due to the context you are going through, and not the person.

Maybe all your boss needs is a little heart-to-heart

If you are demotivated to come into work because of your boss, something’s gotta give. Have you tried discussing issues with him/her in person? Are you complaining about your boss but never actually sat down and had a civilized conversation with him/her about how you feel in order to improve the situation?

I know what you’re thinking…isn’t it the boss’s job to ensure that their employees are being taken care of and checking in on them? Perhaps, but this might be the reason you think you hate your boss in the first place…because he/she isn’t giving you the encouragement you need. Your boss might be so involved in the process and execution of a project that he/she isn’t aware of these ill-feelings towards him/her.

So the next time you have your weekly or monthly performance appraisal, try mentioning how you feel in a safe and non-attacking way. Instead of pointing fingers, talk about what you might need in order to feel more motivated, use “I” statements, and try not to take comments personally…remain objective. If nothing comes out of this conversation, at least you know you tried.

So do you still hate your boss? Have you considered the miscommunication and misfit training you might be receiving? What about looking at your own personality? Perhaps your boss is having trouble with confrontation or dealing with stress,… and speaking of stress, how do YOU cope with stress yourself? Have you tried having a civilized conversation with him/her?

Whatever the reason you think you hate your boss, understand that personality has a lot to do with relationships. Who knows, maybe you can turn this hatred into something more constructive!

Have you taken a look at personality compatibility lately?

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Get more fresh content delivered right to your inbox to help you hire smarter, lead stronger, and grow better.