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Dealing with difficult bosses can be highly stressful. It can affect you emotionally and mentally, causing you to make poor choices such as quitting your job or starting unnecessary workplace drama. If you’re struggling at work because of a toxic leader, here are six strategies that may help.

Shift your mindset

Since it is highly unlikely that your toxic superior will change their ways overnight, you need to shift your focus to what’s really important: your work duties. Remember, the more you concentrate on your boss’s every move, the more power they’ll have over you. Direct all your efforts to your tasks, and don’t waste your energy on your bully superior. 

Establish boundaries

Toxic bosses don’t respect personal spaces. They feed off their employees’ fear and come after those with low self-esteem. Work on your body language and learn gestures or postures that will show your boss that you’re not intimidated. Minimize your interactions with your boss and avoid engaging outside work. Do your best to keep your relationship with your stressful boss strictly professional, and avoid making eye contact unless necessary. 

Be assertive, not aggressive

When communicating with your boss, always remain assertive and don’t show hostility, regardless of how rude they are. Respond professionally, and control your emotions. If they keep provoking you, answer respectfully, but advise them that you won’t tolerate their actions. Be careful with your words, and never take what they say personally. 

Learn coping tactics

If you intend to stay in your company and climb the corporate ladder, you need to practice healthy coping strategies. Develop a positive frame of mind and try to understand why your boss behaves negatively. Work on building a strong mental attitude and strive to find the silver lining every day instead of mulling over how your boss treats you. 

Connect with others

Since working with a toxic manager can be very stressful, it is important that you have a strong support group at work. If your boss has been in the company longer than you, chances are they are also bullying other employees. 

Communicate with your trusted colleagues and connect with those with similar experiences. Encourage everyone to document their negative interactions, complete with time logs, dates, and even their dialogue with your toxic superior. The more evidence you have, the better your outcome will be once you bring your case to human resources.

Know your rights

If your boss is becoming more confrontative, and you have the luxury of quitting immediately, it would be best to get out. However, if you just started working and can’t afford to lose your job, request to be transferred to another department or under a different manager. 

In the unlikely event that the higher management or human resources took your boss’s side and forced you to resign or fired you on the spot, find an attorney skilled at proving a wrongful termination claim to help you with your case. 


Working with a toxic manager daily can take a significant toll on your health and well-being. Remember these tips, and don’t hesitate to reach out for outside assistance. 

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Her Forward is a US news publication founded by Michael Peres (Mikey Peres) in 2021. Our publication is dedicated to bringing you the latest news and insights on female entrepreneurs and leaders.