You’re never going to be universally loved by everyone (unfortunately). You can try, but ultimately you’re going to butt heads at some point with your friends, colleagues and family members. It’s human nature!
But when it’s your boss who constantly has an issue with you, it can really affect how well you do your job and how much you enjoy being in the office.
If you feel like your boss has it for you, maybe s/he does. So what can you do about it?
Listen to your gut feeling, check out these 10 crystal clear signs your boss just isn’t your biggest fan, and find out how you can try and win back their love.
S/he’s all up in your space If they’re checking every email before you send it and spelling out basic aspects of your job, you’re being micromanaged. It sucks, but it’s a sure sign your boss doesn’t trust what you’re doing.
What to do: If this is the way he treats everyone, then it’s not about you. Ask yourself whether you’ve been dropping the ball. Is the micromanagement warranted? If not, try suggested other way to keep them updated with your daily activity - emails, regular catch ups, for example.
S/he never asks for your opinion or feedback If someone values your opinion, experience and advice, they will ask for your input on important - or small - matters. If you’re the only person on your team never being asked for input, you could have a problem.
What to do: Explicitly ask for feedback if you want it. If you’ve got ideas to share, ask her if she’d like to hear them. Put them in an email if a conversation isn’t on the cards, and then follow up in person with a, “Hey, did you manage to see my ideas for our new campaign?” Be proactive.
You can’t get his/her attention He cancels your meetings, never responds to emails and misses your calls - even for urgent matters. Chances are, he doesn’t want to deal with you and would rather go to someone else.
What to do: Don’t stop communicating with him. Instead, try asking him if there’s a reason you can’t seem to pin him down. Maybe he’ll be apologetic, and even if not at least you have been upfront to try and smooth over the problem.
S/he turns you down for a raise, without explaining why Even though you deserve it, have hit your targets and were promised a raise back when you took the job, you’re not getting that salary bump. It’s just a flat “no” without a decent reason. If your boss values you, they will give you an explanation.
What to do: Ask questions. “What can I do to get a pay rise in the future?” or “How can I get to where I need to be?” Don’t go on the defensive. For all you know, the reasons could be budgetary and have nothing to do with you, so try and initiate that conversation.
You’re being left out It hurt when it happened on the school playground, and it hurts in the office. If you’re being left out of meetings organised by your boss, or not invited to activities outside the office, this is a pretty clear sign the boss doesn’t want you around. Sad face.
What to do: Approach your boss about it in a non-confrontational way. Assume it was an oversight and ask why you weren’t asked to join that meeting. Don’t get stroppy and accuse them of leaving you out - instead, display your value enough to ensure you get an invite to those important things in the future.
Eye rolls, crossed arms and short retorts Body language can say so much more than what comes out of someone’s mouth. If your boss is short with you, barely makes eye contact, and stands with their body turned away from you, chances are they are not all that fond of your presence.
What to do: You can’t control their body language, but by following these other tips in this article you should slowly be able to turn them around. Keep an eye on their behaviour and watch it change over time as they begin to like and trust you more.
S/he’s hyper critical of your work Does it feel like you just can’t do anything right? Even when you follow their instruction or brief entirely, your boss is still nitpicking problems and making you redo work constantly.
What to do: Again, check to see if this behaviour is targeted at only you, or whether your boss is highly critical of everyone. If not, bring it up. Ask, “I notice you’re never entirely happy with what I present to you, and I really want to do a good job. Is there something in my skill set I need to work on?” Sometimes just bringing it up is enough to shut down their overly-critical eye.
S/he argues with you all the time Even over things that don’t warrant an argument. Even if they’re arguing a point they don’t believe in! If they’re bickering with you for the sake of it, they’re looking to belittle and undermine you, and it’s a fairly clear sign they’re not your biggest fan.
What to do: This is a tough one, because you don’t want every conversation to turn into an argument by calling them out on it. If it gets really bad, try asking whether you have done something to offend them, and apologise. The key here is communication and acknowledging the issue in a professional, polite manner. Be the bigger person.
S/he never asks about your personal life - it’s all business A good boss might not be your best friend, but they will take an interest in your life outside of work and make attempts to connect with you on a personal level. If he’s never asked about your spouse, your kids, what you do on your time off, or how your weekend was, then he probably really just doesn’t care.
What to do: Perhaps your boss just likes to keep it strictly professional, but if he connects with all your teammates and not you, try offering up information during group conversations. Eventually you’ll find a common point - maybe you have kids the same age, or both have dogs. This commonality should provide you with conversational material for the future.
When you resign, s/he shrugs it off The final nail in the bucket is complete indifference when you resign. Most bosses will try and keep a good employee, or at least ask for feedback around why you’ve decided to call it quits. If she shrugs, wishes you well on your next endeavour and basically guides you out the door, you can be sure she was never on your side.
What to do: Not much! You’ve made the decision to leave, so finish your notice period with a smile on your face and move on.