How to deal with a boss who is a bully

From ArticleWorld

To deal with a boss who is a bully can get very traumatic for the person on the receiving end of their superior’s moods. You can usually confront or ignore an office bully but what do you do when he/ she is your boss? and verbally abuses you and humiliates you in front of others. Generally it is the feeling of power that brings the bully out in people. Being the victim of a brutal boss can lead to clinical depression and also cause sleep disorders, ulcers, high blood pressure and even post-traumatic stress disorder. It eats away at self-confidence and leaves you feeling inadequate and isolated. Here are some tried and tested strategies to deal with an abusive boss.

A few suggestions

  1. Confront the bully. This tactic has a surprisingly high success rate. The bully cannot bully you if you refuse to be bullied and will probably back out and stay out. But do it in private. A bully might refuse to back down in front of an audience; it would seem too much like losing face.
  2. Be specific and site concrete examples, instead of playing the psychologist and trying to find out the reasons behind the behavior. Sometimes superiors are not aware of their own behavior and how it is affecting others and their work. Bring it home to them in plain language and if the boss is halfway reasonable he/ she will appreciate your plain speaking.
  3. Gather your forces and recruit allies. If the boss is high up in the hierarchy you have a good chance of losing your job by confronting your boss. So find out if his/ her behavior is similar with other subordinates and then enlist their help and confront him/ her together with others.
  4. Try and keep all correspondence and orders that your boss gives you, in writing. Later in case they want to embroil you, you have written proof of their specific instructions.


  • Have patience and tolerance but not beyond a point. Do not become a sounding board or a door mat to keep your job.


  • Don’t escalate the situation by giving in to a show of temper. It will cost you your job and the boss will have not lost anything.