What To Do if Your Boss Doesn't Like You

Worried employee
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Do you feel like your boss just doesn’t like you? Is this making work difficult for you? Sometimes you can change the situation and improve your relationship with your boss, but sometimes you can't.

Here are a few options for what to do when you have a poor relationship with your supervisor.

What To Do if Your Boss Doesn't Like You

There are a number of steps you can take if you feel as if your boss does not like you.

Read below for suggestions for improving your relationship with your employer, and having a more enjoyable, productive time at work.

Ask around. The first thing to consider is whether it's just you who is having a problem with the boss. Are there other colleagues who report to your boss and have more positive relationships? Is there a different approach that they are taking or anything you can learn from their performance? Try and get advice from those around you.

Look at yourself. Consider, is it possible that you are avoiding interaction with your boss or unconsciously conveying bad feelings due to your assumptions about how he or she views you? It is natural for us to act more coldly to people who we think might not like us and then they in turn might act more coldly towards us. Try breaking the cycle by finding the opportunity to engage your boss and to show respect and positive regard in small ways.

Improve your performance. If you think your boss doesn't like you due to performance, then you need to act to alter that perception. Make sure that you update her continually on your activities and accomplishments so she is aware of your contributions. Have a frank discussion about areas of potential improvement and enact a plan to address these issues.

You might even ask for more frequent performance evaluations, until you and your boss feel that your performance has improved. Most employers will appreciate that you are taking the initiative to become a stronger employee.

Consider leaving. Sometimes there is just a poor personality mix or your boss is a jerk or, worse, a bully. When all efforts to fix your relationship fail, then it might be time to consider alternative employment either in another department or with another employer. In this case, be careful not to act out in any way that might precipitate an untimely firing.

Maintain a positive relationship. Also recognize that you might need a reference at some point in the future or a prospective employer might conduct a background check and reach out to your boss. So continue to work hard and maintain high performance standards while you investigate options.

If you do decide to leave, make sure you remain professional and cordial in your job resignation letter.

Also, on job applications and interviews, do not dwell on the negative aspects of your job and your employer. If you complain about a past employer, the interviewer will likely side with the boss, and assume that you are difficult to work with.

Here is more information about how to answer interview questions about bosses.

What To Do if Facing Employment Discrimination

Sometimes, a boss might treat you a certain way for unfair, even illegal, reasons. In this case, you might consider taking more serious action.

Employment or workplace discrimination occurs when you are discriminated against for factors including your race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. This kind of discrimination is illegal, and this law is enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). It’s important to note that there are many other types of workplace discrimination not covered by the Commission.

If you feel that you are being discriminated against, you can file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Here is more information on how to file an employment discrimination claim.

It is illegal for an employer to treat you unfairly after filing a complaint. However, keep in mind that this is a very serious step. You can also speak to your Human Resources department before filing a complaint, to get advice.

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