Signs You Work for an Abusive Boss and How to Deal With It

If you’re working for an abusive boss, it might seem like there are no signs of improvement. If this is the case, you must assess your situation and decide whether or not you want to leave the relationship. If your boss is demeaning or intimidating but otherwise doesn’t interfere with your work, it might be a good idea to stay put and find ways to cope with their behavior.

You Feel Like You Can Never Do Enough

If your boss is abusive, you will feel like you can never do enough. You will constantly feel guilty and like a failure. According to Real Estate Witch, 75% of the US workforce feels frustrated by their managers. Additionally, nearly 20% say they experience personal attacks or unkind remarks.

Your boss will never be satisfied with your work, no matter how well done. He or she may even make unreasonable demands of you to try to provoke this feeling in you so that he or she can exercise power over others by making them work harder than they should have to for no good reason other than his/her own sadistic pleasure.

You Are Punished for Things That Are Out of Your Control

If your boss is abusive, they might punish you for things out of your control. In a study published in the Wiley Journal of Organizational Behavior, researchers found that managers often mistreat employees who perform poorly because they assume the employees lack diligence rather than other factors.

For example, if an important project is late and the client gets upset, your boss may blame it on you even though it was due to a deadline that another department didn’t meet. Or maybe the client didn’t read their contract carefully enough and missed deadlines.

This type of abuse can be challenging because many feel like they should just suck up whatever comes their way at work and try harder next time instead of complaining or confronting their boss about what happened. If this sounds like something that could happen in your workplace, too, then consider talking privately with someone who can help talk through some options for how best to take care of yourself when these situations occur again.

Find a local counselor willing to see you on short notice so that it’s easy for you to get an appointment when needed. This will get you to help quickly and ensure that you don’t go on to take extreme measures. For instance, a few years back, an employee working in the Arizona Department of Economic Security who had an abusive boss felt like getting a gun and shooting someone. Hence, quick help is vital.

If you are located in Scottsdale, Arizona, it will be easier to see a counselor from Scottsdale. When you hire a local counselor, you can get immediate help. While there is also an option for telecounseling, virtual meets might not be as effective as face-to-face therapies. Hence, you must find counselors in Scottsdale through online resources for quick and effective counseling.

The Boss Is Constantly Taking Credit for Your Work

You’ve worked hard, and you deserve to be recognized for your achievements. You know that. Your boss should know that, too. But if he or she is constantly taking credit for your work, it’s time to start looking for a new job.

In fact, GoodHire found that over 80% of American workers would not mind quitting their jobs and looking for new ones because of a bad manager. And that’s exactly what you should be doing. If you don’t get an appreciation for what you do, there’s no point in staying with the employer.

You Always Have to be Available, Even When You’re Not Working

If you have a boss constantly checking in on you and expecting an immediate response, then they are being abusive. Abusive bosses often assume that their employees are always available to answer emails and phone calls at all hours of the day. This might mean that you get called at 3 am to fix an issue with the website or given a new task when you’re about to go on vacation. This can be frustrating for many employees.

According to Gallup’s Global 2022 Workplace Report, 50% of people surveyed in North America report experiencing significant stress at work daily. If your boss continually puts this pressure on you without making accommodations for your personal life, it’s time to consider whether these demands constitute abuse.

Your Boss Tries to Get Everyone to Fight With Each Other

If your boss tries to get you to fight with a coworker, it’s pretty clear that they’re not the person you should trust. If this happens to you, there are a few things you can do:

  • First of all, explain the problem and how it makes you feel.
  • If your boss still doesn’t stop doing this, go to HR or a supervisor
  • If they don’t stop after that either, leave the job

Your Boss Is Extremely Self-Centered

The most selfless boss you’ve ever had was likely still a little ego-centric, but the signs of an abusive boss are different. When they take credit for all the good things in their company when they refuse to listen to constructive criticism or suggestions and instead blame everyone else for mistakes and problems, all of these behaviors are signs that you have a narcissistic leader who will abuse his power without remorse.

It may seem like he’s just being confident or even arrogant, but there’s a difference between being sure of yourself (a good trait) and being egotistical (a bad one). Studies show that narcissistic people tend to gravitate toward leadership positions as they associate them with power. Narcissistic leaders can disrupt organizational culture by being self-centered and dictatorial, destroying an organization’s viability.

When people are confident in themselves and their abilities, they can take responsibility for their actions without blaming others or making excuses. Self-awareness is part of what makes them successful leaders.


If your boss seems like the kind of person who will never change, it’s probably best to leave and find another job. If you have the opportunity to work for someone else in a similar position and he or she seems more reasonable, try that out first before making any rash decisions. If nothing else works out, don’t be afraid to look elsewhere.

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