3 Warning Signs That Your Boss Is Abusive
In life, one thing is guaranteed. You will never have the perfect boss.
Even if your boss has many admirable qualities, and you think the world of them; they're never going to be 100% flawless.
Similar to picking a mate, you have to decide what you will not put up with at work - you spend almost as much time with your boss, as your mate.
If your boss has any of the characteristics listed below, there's a good chance your boss is abusive.If this is the case you need to get away as soon as you can. You'll probably end up leaving anyway, but the longer you stay, the more damage it will do to your soul and health.
Warning Signs of an Abusive Boss
I'm not talking about annoying personality traits, such as being indecisive, unfocused or arrogant.
Although these traits are annoying and unpleasant, you can deal with them. It's abusive characteristics that make you feel stressed and worthless. These are the bosses to watch out for.
3 Traits of an Abusive Boss
This isn't a complete list, but the following are three main indicators that your boss is abusive.
- Untrusting, and Suspicious
Signs Your Boss is Abusive
What you need to watch for are certain behavioral traits that are signs of an abusive boss.
While abuse is generally considered a behavior that only takes place within domestic relationships, or with children and adolescents; it also rears it's ugly head in the workplace.
Abuse crosses genders and can be exhibited by, and directed at both males and females. It's not only men who are the abusers, women can be just as abusive. As well, male bosses aren't only abusive to female employees, and vise versa.
However, there is a specific situation involving an abusive female boss, and a female subordinate, and it's called the Queen Bee Syndrome.
The Queen Bee Syndrome
Queen Bee: The Devil Wears Prada
There is a type of abuse in the workplace when a female boss targets other women and it's called the Queen Bee Syndrome.
A perfect example of this type of abuser is Meryl Streep's character, Miranda Priestly, in The Devil Wears Prada.
What is the Queen Bee Syndrome?
The Queen Bee Syndrome describes a woman in a position of authority who views or treats subordinates more critically if they are female.
According to psychologist Professor Cary Cooper, of the Lancaster University Management School, a Queen Bee is a woman who has worked her way to to the top in a male-dominated environment, and probably got there by acting like a man. Appearing tough rather than soft and caring.
She is characterized as being successful in her career, but refuses to help other women do the same. And is overly critical to her female subordinates and tries to sabotage them professionally.
You're No Alone - Woman Suicidal Over Workplace Abuse
It's uncalled for in any way, shape, or form to excuse the belittling or humiliating of another human being.
Your boss has absolutely no right whatsoever to yell at you in front of others, or behind closed doors. Yelling should never be tolerated.
Talking to you disrespectfully and verbally trying to undermine your confidence, should also be strictly prohibited. Whether your boss is in a bad mood or not it doesn't matter. As well, it doesn't matter what they think you might have done, there is no excuse.
Those who take pleasure out of making others feel degraded, do so to achieve a sense of empowerment or superiority. This often stems from deep-rooted insecurities.
Once this behavior starts, it only gets worse.
2. Controlling and Isolating
Setting policies and procedures in place, and making sure they're followed through is one thing. Trying to control you personally in the workplace is more intimidating. Controlling behaviors to watch out for are:
- Wanting to know what you do every second of the day
- Monitoring who you speak to
- Antagonism when you speak to others or certain people at work.
It's especially alarming when they don't want you to talk to family or friends at anytime when you're at work, even at lunch time or when you're on a break.
Isolation is the most dangerous tactic an abusive boss can use because it cuts you off from any support. Additionally, and possibly more importantly, a feeling of isolation is the most painful experience a person can go through.
"Isolation is the sum Total of Wretchedness to a Man" Thomas Carlyle
This sign of an abusive boss has nothing to do with your boss getting upset because you're constantly spending company time on personal matters, playing Facebook scrabble, or texting your friends. Your boss has the right to request you refrain from these activities while you're working.
The Motto of a Great Boss
“A good boss makes his men realize they have more ability than they think they have so that they consistently do better work than they thought they could.” Charles Erwin Wilson
Controlling - Micromanaging
A controlling boss appears to lack confidence in everything you do. They demand to know every move you make while you're at work.
- What decisions you make
- Every email you send
- Every memo you send out
- When and why you left your desk
If your boss always acts as though you can't be trusted this is often a sign they're the untrustworthy one unless:
- They have a reason not to trust you
- They were burned by a previous employee who was untrustworthy.
- They have a manager or supervisor above them that's untrusting of them, so this mistrust filters down to you.
If they're deceitful, they will think that you are too.
It is impossible to go to work everyday and feel safe when you always have to watch your back.
Bad Mouthing Staff
Another tell-tale sign your boss might be abusive is if they're constantly badmouthing your co-workers, or prior employees to you; particularly if they have endless stories about how old employees were constantly making stupid mistakes, spent too much personal time at work, and/or were dishonest.
Sometimes this happens in the workplace. Not all employees are focused and honest. However, it's a really bad sign when your boss claims they had all these bad work habits, and no good qualities.
They either bring out the worst in their employees or they only look for the negative. Either way it's not a good workplace situation.
Look For Signs
As with abusive spouses, the negative behavior probably won't rear its ugly head in the beginning. The traits of your abusive boss will gradually sneak up on you.
You may not even recognize it's happening until it's a full-blown problem.
Hopefully now you're aware of what signs to watch for so when you see these types of behaviors, you'll leave immediately.
If you're not in a financial situation where you can quit right away, start looking for other employment as soon as you can. Life's too short and you're too valuable as a person to have to put up with this.