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What to Do If Your Boss Seems to Always Pick on You?

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Frustration at work can consume your life, especially if it comes in the form of an unfair boss. There is always the option to quit, which may be the best solution in some cases. But before you do, put yourself in your boss's shoes. Consider what he is trying to accomplish within the organization, why he seems to be picking on you and what you might be able to do about it to make your work day more tolerable.


Decide whether the boss is simply picking on you or has raised his actions to the level of abuse. An abusive relationship should not be tolerated. The company should have procedures in place to channel your grievance. Abuse can take the form of shouting, obscenity, physical threats or intimidation. If you have the misfortune to work for a bully like that, file a formal complaint with the human resources department in your company.


Sometimes it makes sense to stay, even if the boss has chosen you for his personal pincushion. Staying can mean you’ll gain marketable skills that will allow you to get a new job in the near future. If this is your choice, you’re going to have to adopt a new attitude. Learn to accept the verbal slights with grace; self-control can get you a long way. Figure out how to appeal to his better side. Almost everybody has one, small and well-hidden though it may be. Turn yourself into an ally. Figure out his strengths and weaknesses and boost his successes to others. Take on jobs he hates to do, and keep him informed about how assignments are progressing.

New Attitude

You must drop the idea of revenge or “getting him back” if you want to stay at the job and maintain your sanity. Focus on your career as a whole. This job is likely only a stepping stone along the way. Avoid whining, complaining or snapping back at the boss when he attacks you. Be professional. Defuse a confrontation by excusing yourself for a moment; don’t allow fear or intimidation to take root. Sudden anger from your boss might be a result of his own inadequacy. Give him time to cool down and then arrange a meeting to deal with the issue.

Moving On

Unfortunately, some people can't be reached. If the situation doesn’t improve despite your best efforts, you might have to leave your job. Don’t look at it as failure; moving on is usually moving up. When frustrations mount and anger wills you to quit your job immediately, stop, take a breath and try to solve the problem first. But if it doesn't work, it may be time for you to quit.


Derek Dowell has ghostwritten dozens of projects and thousands of blogs in the real estate, Internet marketing and travel industry, as well as completed the novel "Chrome Sombrero." He holds a Bachelor of Science in environmental legal studies from Missouri State University.

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