Is My Boss Toxic? 9 Indicators Of Toxic Management

Last updated by Katie M.

Being a good manager isn’t a gift that everyone possesses, and whilst some people have what it takes to adapt to the role, others struggle to wholesomely embrace this powerful position and choose to reign with terror. Some people are often guilty of going one step too far and start to victimize you unscrupulously. From filling up your inbox with mean mails, to being unable to recognize your talent, or even resorting to threats; some behaviors are downright unhealthy in the workplace. If you had doubts about your boss, here are 9 signs they are a complete bully.


Do you going to work shrouded with anxiety? Does the idea of being alone with your superior make you panic? If these scenarios ring true for you, your boss is probably inapt for the role. Tense relationships and a heavy emotional climate have a strong impact on your daily life… Avoid suffering a burn-out and learn to identify the problem in order to get on top of it.

9 Signs your boss is a toxic bully

1. They always take the credit for other people's work

They no doubt carries the whole team on their back and are completely arrogant whenever you achieve something. “If I hadn't insisted, we wouldn't have had such results.” “It's a good thing I was there.” Do these phrases frequently come out of their mouth? If so, they definitely love crushing you and your morale.

2. They often make threats and oppress you

Anyone would believe your office chair was attached to a catapult. Indeed, the slightest mistake can cost you your job. Disappoint your superior, and they will put you through hell as payback. It’s as if your professional future and your well-being were in their hands.

3. They mask their real intentions

Your superior is no doubt a great manipulator who masters being pleasant when necessary. This way, any complaints you may have about them will seem unfounded. Although despite being all sweetness and light, their attitude towards you is often provocative, inappropriate, and mean.

4. They show favoritism

Divide and conquer is their motto. They know how to highlight the talents of other employees in order to bring out your weak points. You’ll notice that they seem to be much more understanding towards your coworkers. In the long run, such behavior can have serious consequences on your self-esteem.

5. They conveniently forget to pass on information

With all the current means of communication, an e-mail or message takes barely 30 seconds! These people regularly omit to transmit important information and call you out on it later. It's hard to be organized and productive if important meetings have been moved or cancelled without everyone knowing.

6. They always have to be right

Democracy is not in their vocabulary and to seem polite, they’ll ask for your opinion, but will never actually take it into account. They hold the decision-making power and if bad choices are made, guess who will be held responsible?

7. They love making you feel small

When they realize that the end of the month is approaching and that the results are not up to par, they’ll undoubtedly go on a rampage and make you feel at fault. Make room in your inbox and charge your phone because they will try to put pressure on you by any means necessary.

>>> Read our article on how to recognize passive aggressive behavior <<<

8. They ask the impossible

Unbearable rhythm, inconceivable delays, even with all the goodwill in the world, you'll never manage to meet their demands. Yet when you are unable to carry them out, your boss takes malicious pleasure in making you feel guilty.

9. They'll completely micromanage 

They would've been better suited for a career in law enforcement. Keeping an eye on your decisions and schedule for the week won't out of the ordinary for them. Trust doesn’t seem to be in their vocabulary and as a result, their employees feel devalued and infantilized.

Help! My boss is toxic, what do I do?

Just like in any good relationship, communication is essential in business. However, when we are up against manipulative forces, we can be tempted not to communicate, or even to hide certain things, for fear of making the situation worse. For example, if you have not managed to finish a piece of work in time for a meeting, you may tend to hide this shortcoming in a vain attempt not to lose face with your manager or other coworkers. However, it is important to be able to say things that are problematic for you. For instance, if you feel that the manager is putting too much pressure on you or not giving you enough credit for your work, you can talk to him or her about it, in a diplomatic way. On the other hand, be careful not to criticize them publicly because they might feel challenged and react more aggressively. If such a discussion is unsuccessful, try to talk to the company's hierarchy, along with your colleagues who are also victims of the toxic manager.

Editor's opinion: Put yourself first and walk away

If you are dealing with a toxic manager, you can report their practices to HR. But if you fear retaliation, you're better off finding another job. These personalities can do a lot of damage, so taking them on can end up with you hurting even more. Sometimes, escape is the best solution, because health is priceless.

🤗 Understand yourself, accept yourself, be happy... Let’s do it here and now!


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