How to Handle an Awful Boss: Tricks to Avoid Engaging

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By Seth Meyers, Psy.D.

A bad boss is bad due to one of two problems: personality issues or incompetence. Sadly, it’s the ones with personality issues that cause employees the greatest distress.

To begin, I have tremendous empathy for anyone dealing with an awful boss. Few things are as frustrating and anxiety-provoking as having a bad boss who has power and control over you. The good news is that the experience can be more manageable if you follow a few techniques that will reduce your engagement with that person. First, it’s important to identify what makes your boss so bad.

Typically, bosses are bad because of either professional incompetence or personality issues. If your boss isn’t competent, your boss: isn’t effective in his position; doubts her own ability or, worse, is in denial of just how incompetent she is; makes frequent mistakes; is too narrow-minded…

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