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When your Boss is a Tough Cookie

Written By Michael Ferrara

Created on 2022-10-26 13:36

Published on 2022-10-28 08:33

Bosses can be tough, often bringing a wealth of experience and knowledge in your industry. But facing constant criticism or difficult behaviors doesn't mean you should passively accept it. We discuss the multifaceted nature of being a boss, which goes beyond performance reviews, team management, and expense monitoring. It's about being a human being, who can sometimes be challenging to work for. Here are tips to help you cope in such scenarios.

Be Prepared

When you see red flags, try to address them early on. If you have an early warning system that something is off, you can address it and work through it. If you have an idea of the demands of the job, you can be more prepared to meet them. If you are new to a job, you may not know what to expect. Being prepared also means being aware there is more to the job than you might have initially thought.

Don’t Take Everything Personally

Bosses can be high-strung — they are under a lot of pressure and have a lot of responsibility on their shoulders. Don’t internalize everything that happens. If your boss is micromanaging you, or if they’re finding reasons to blow up at you, try to separate the issues from your personal feelings about yourself. If your boss is finding fault with you, it doesn’t mean you’re a bad person. It just means that you’re in the way of them accomplishing something. If your boss is disappointed in you, try to put your feelings aside and ask yourself what you could do to change that. If your boss is upset about something you did, make an effort to correct the issue.

Have a Support Network

If there are people you trust and are friendly with at work, you can be more forgiving of your boss’s flaws. If you have a good relationship with your coworkers, they can help you navigate rough patches with your boss. They can also be a go-between if your boss is imposing on you in ways that are making your work life less pleasant. If you have a good support network, they can help you stay sane during your boss’s more challenging episodes.

Compulsive Texting

If a tyrant is trying to control your life and you have to be in personal contact with them all the time, it can be taxing. If you can keep your interactions with your boss to a minimum, you’ll have more mental bandwidth for your actual job. A boss who is constantly calling you and texting you can be annoying and overbearing. If you can set up ways for your boss to reach you that don’t require them to contact you constantly, you can keep your sanity. You can set up filters for your email if your boss is being overly aggressive with it. You can set up automated responses so you don’t have to respond to every email, text, or call.

Set Boundaries and Know Your Worth

If you are a good employee, you can be confident in your abilities and your contribution to the company. If you are a good employee, you’re worth a good amount of money. If your boss is underpaying you, you can confidently bring up the topic of a raise or promotion. If your boss is not promoting you as much as you deserve, you can confidently bring up the topic of moving up in the company. If you work with a tyrant, you can set boundaries on how they treat you and interact with you. You can also set boundaries on how much abuse you accept from your boss.

Stay in your Comfort Zone

If you don’t feel like you can confront your boss, or if you don’t feel like you can set boundaries with them, stay in your comfort zone. You don’t have to push yourself beyond your boundaries. You aren’t a bad employee if you don’t feel like you can calmly confront your boss. Find ways to get the work done without bending yourself beyond your limits. Use your support network to help you out when you feel like you’re in over your head.

Take Care of Yourself Physically and Mentally

If you’re trying to deal with a difficult boss, you need to take care of yourself. You need to make sure you’re getting enough sleep and eating properly. You need to make sure you’re exercising and getting out of the office to decompress. You need to make sure you aren’t putting too much pressure on yourself and that you’re not setting yourself up for failure. Maintain a healthy lifestyle. You might have to work with a tyrant, but you don’t have to let them wear you down.


The worst thing you can do when you have a difficult boss is let them wear you down. You don’t have to accept being treated poorly and you don’t have to accept being taken advantage of. You can push back on your boss without being confrontational. You can set boundaries with your boss without being rude. If you have a high-maintenance boss, it doesn’t mean you’re a bad employee. It just means that you have a more challenging boss. There’s a fine line between being a pushover and standing up for yourself. You want to walk the line between the two so you can stay on an even keel.

#WorkplaceChallenges #BossManagement #HealthyBoundaries #ProfessionalGrowth #SelfCareAtWork

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Tech Topics is a newsletter with a focus on contemporary challenges and innovations in the workplace and the broader world of technology. Produced by Boston-based Conceptual Technology (, the articles explore various aspects of professional life, including workplace dynamics, evolving technological trends, job satisfaction, diversity and discrimination issues, and cybersecurity challenges. These themes reflect a keen interest in understanding and navigating the complexities of modern work environments and the ever-changing landscape of technology.

Tech Topics offers a multi-faceted view of the challenges and opportunities at the intersection of technology, work, and life. It prompts readers to think critically about how they interact with technology, both as professionals and as individuals. The publication encourages a holistic approach to understanding these challenges, emphasizing the need for balance, inclusivity, and sustainability in our rapidly changing world. As we navigate this landscape, the insights provided by these articles can serve as valuable guides in our quest to harmonize technology with the human experience.