Ten Signs of a Toxic Boss

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Ten Signs of a Toxic Boss

There are few people who have a bigger influence on your career trajectory than your boss. A good boss can inspire, mentor, and nurture your professional growth. But a toxic boss can hold you back and create a work environment where no one is happy, creative, or particuarly productive.

Many people who come for career coaching or career counseling at Growing Self are dealing with toxic bosses, and trying to build successful careers while navigating a negative work environment. Unfortunately, this is a common issue. According to data from a 2023 Harris Poll Survey, two-thirds of Americans will work for a toxic boss at some point in their careers. It’s never easy, but recognizing the signs of a toxic boss can help you feel better (because their BS is not about you… really!).

So, without further ado, here are the top ten signs of a toxic boss: 

  1. Lack of Communication

One of the early indicators of a toxic boss is a lack of effective communication. A boss who fails to communicate openly and transparently may create an atmosphere of uncertainty and anxiety among their subordinates. This lack of communication can manifest in various ways, such as withholding important information, avoiding discussions about career development, or neglecting to provide constructive feedback.

  1. Micromanagement

Micromanagement is a classic sign of a toxic boss. Constantly hovering over employees, scrutinizing every task, and demanding minute details can create a stifling work environment. Micromanagers often breed frustration and resentment, as employees feel disempowered and incapable of making decisions on their own. This excessive control can hinder creativity, innovation, and overall job satisfaction.

  1. Inconsistent Leadership

Toxic bosses often exhibit inconsistent leadership styles. They may change expectations, priorities, or decisions frequently, leaving employees confused and demotivated. Lack of consistency in leadership erodes trust and can make it challenging for employees to understand their roles and responsibilities.

  1. Unfair Treatment

A toxic boss may display favoritism or treat some employees better than others. This can take the form of unequal distribution of assignments, promotions based on personal relationships rather than merit, or failure to address and rectify workplace conflicts. Unfair treatment breeds resentment and can contribute to a toxic work culture.

  1. Lack of Recognition

Employees thrive on recognition and appreciation for their hard work and achievements. A toxic boss, however, may consistently fail to acknowledge the efforts of their team. This lack of recognition can lead to demotivation at work, decreased morale, and a diminished sense of accomplishment among employees.

  1. High Turnover

A clear indicator of a toxic work environment is a high turnover rate. If employees are leaving the organization at an alarming rate, it’s worth examining the leadership to determine if a toxic boss is contributing to the exodus. High turnover not only disrupts the workflow but also damages the company’s reputation as a desirable place to work.

  1. Bullying and Harassment

Toxic bosses may engage in bullying or harassment, creating a hostile work environment, or they may allow difficult coworkers to run amok. This behavior can take various forms, including verbal abuse, intimidation, or even subtle undermining of employees. Such actions can have severe consequences on the mental and emotional well-being of the workforce.

  1. Resistance to Feedback

A toxic boss often resists feedback and constructive criticism. They may perceive any suggestion for improvement as a personal attack, hindering the growth and development of both the individual and the team. A healthy work environment encourages open communication, feedback, and continuous improvement, but a toxic boss may stifle these essential elements.

  1. Credit Stealing / Blame Displacing

A toxic boss may take credit for your hard work. But when something goes wrong, they may be quick to assign blame to you. This puts you in an unfair bind: If you perform well, you don’t enjoy the benefits of that. But if you perform poorly (or if THEY perform poorly), you’ll be blamed and even punished. 

  1. Unrealistic Expectations

Setting unrealistic expectations is another sign of a toxic boss. Constantly demanding more than what is feasible or reasonable can lead to burnout and stress among employees. Unrealistic expectations without proper support or resources can create an environment where success is unattainable and failure is inevitable.

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Things Toxic Bosses Say

So what does a toxic boss sound like? These are some phrases that a toxic boss may say: 

  • “Do as I say, not as I do.” This phrase epitomizes hypocrisy, setting a standard for you that your boss isn’t willing to adhere to.
  • “I don’t pay you to think.” Yes, I have actually heard from clients whose bosses said this to them! It’s a blatant dismissal of your intellect and creativity, suggesting that your only value lies in obedience.
  • “You should be grateful you have a job.” This phrase exploits your fears about job security — not cool. 
  • “If you don’t like it, you can leave.” When you hear this, you know feedback is unwelcome and your only recourse is to exit the company.
  • “I don’t want to hear excuses.” While accountability is crucial, refusing to listen to the obstacles you’re running into shuts down communication and prevents you from addressing underlying issues.
  • “You’re too sensitive.” This phrase invalidates your feelings, while discouraging you from speaking up about issues in the future.
  • “No one else has a problem with it.” By isolating you and suggesting your reaction is abnormal, this statement creates a culture where you’re afraid to speak up for fear of being marginalized.

What to Do if You Have a Toxic Boss

Recognizing the signs of a toxic boss is the first step to mitigating their impact on your personal and professional growth, not to mention your mental and emotional wellbeing. But what can you do if your boss is toxic? 

It depends on how committed you are to your current work environment and what opportunities you have for creating change within your relationship with your boss, and within your workplace. 

The best place to start is by looking internally. If you have difficulty managing your reactions, or maintaining healthy work boundaries, or communicating in an effective, non-reactive way, then dealing with a toxic boss will be harder. Take this opportunity to work on all of these skills — because your toxic boss may be the problem today, but they are not the last difficult person you will encounter in your career. Working with a good emotional intelligence coach can help you gain the skills you need to navigate challenging work relationships, which will have a positive impact on your career (and your personal life) for years to come. 

In some situations, fixing the relationship with your boss might not be possible, and you may need to think about changing jobs or even applying for a new role at your current company under a new manager. If that’s the case, keep an eye out for opportunities and make your move when the time is right. 

And if you would like support with mapping out your path forward from one of the excellent career coaches on my team at Growing Self, I invite you to schedule a free consultation


Dr. Lisa marie Bobby 

P.S. — For more free career advice, check out my “Professional Growth” collection of articles and podcasts. It’s all there for you!

The Love, Happiness & Success Podcast

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Music in this episode is by Eric Copeland with their song “Boogey Man.” You can support them and their work by visiting their Bandcamp page here: https://ericcopeland.bandcamp.com/. Under the circumstance of use of music, each portion of used music within this current episode fits under Section 107 of the Copyright Act, i.e., Fair Use. Please refer to copyright.gov if further questions are prompted.

  Toxic bosses can have a profound impact not just on our work, but they can also affect our mental and emotional well being. Today we’ll be discussing the key signs to look out for and strategies to cope with a toxic boss. A toxic work environment, especially one caused by a special someone, a toxic boss.

And if this is your first time listening to the podcast, I’m so I’m so glad to have you here with me today. I’m Dr. Lisa Marie Boppe. I’m the founder of Growing Self Counseling and Coaching. I am a licensed psychologist, licensed marriage and family therapist, board certified coach, and the very grateful host of the Love, Happiness, and Success podcast.

This is a show for growth oriented people like you to do a deep dive every week into different topics that help support your healthy relationships, your personal well being, but also your professional success. And today, that’s where we’re going, talking about how to manage The, the most difficult working relationship of all, where you are dealing with a direct supervisor who has maybe a lot of power over your day to day life, at least on the job, how it can impact you, but also how to combat it.

So just to jump right into this, the first thing I’d like to talk about are some of the signs that you may be dealing with a toxic boss. And I think it’s important to review this because particularly, um, in a organizational system, it can be difficult to know whether or not you are having a uniquely bad experience.

experience if other people around you seem to be tolerating it differently. And I think an important part of being able to cope with a toxic boss or a toxic work environment is to have the ability to validate your own experience and, and have just that outside perspective of, no, this is actually weird.

It’s not just me. I have a right to be feeling the way that I’m feeling under these circumstances, again, because when we are an employee in a system, there’s a power differential that can impact your own ability to legitimize your own experience. And so for the first part of today’s episode, we’re going to be pushing back against some of that so that you have that, um, you know, just perspective to.

Make sense of your own experience. So here are some of the top signs that this is truly a problematic relationship with a supervisor. Uh, the first I would say is a lack of communication. You know, effective communication is the backbone of every relationship, both personally, but also professionally.

Because if you are with a boss who is Withholding information from you, particularly information that is necessary for you to do your job or avoiding discussions about things like your career development, how you are feeling or performing on the job, or also neglecting to provide constructive feedback that can help you learn and grow.

These could all be red flags, and I’ll tell you this, so professionally, yes, I’m a therapist and all of these things, and in my role at Growing Self, I’m also a boss. It’s my organization. I have employees who help me do various things, including bringing you this podcast. And I will tell you that over the last few years, especially as my organization has grown I have had to grow in my ability to communicate, to, you know, be clear and to really develop the kinds of relationships with my employees that I want to have.

And one of my big challenges has been Upping my game when it comes to communication, to be more clear, to have courageous conversations, like all of the things that we talk about in having healthy personal relationships need to be happening in healthy professional relationships. I am the boss, so it is my responsibility to be setting the tone and creating that emotionally safe environment.

I want good communication in my organization, so I have to go first. and creating that. And it may be that you are in an organization with a boss or an owner or leadership who hasn’t yet done that growth work. And it could be very helpful for them to know that you need more from them in that area, particularly if this is a career path that you want to maintain.

Bosses are human too. We don’t know everything. We are certainly not perfect, but in every healthy relationship, it’s a two way street. So a positive sign in a relationship with a boss is that if you are experiencing something like, you know, I’d like to have more communication with you. If you address that, if you broach that in a constructive way, a sign of health is that there will be be a receptive response to that.

Something along the lines of, thank you very much for letting me know how you’ve been experiencing me. I wasn’t aware of that and I’m going to work on that because I want to have a more positive relationship with you. In contrast, if you broach something like that and get an ear full of defensiveness, or minimization, or invalidation, or that’s not what happened, or, you know, anything that is essentially a refusal to take your feedback to heart, that Um, and so, you know, part of how we decide what kind of situation we’re in is through that experimentation.

So in that umbrella of communication, if your boss isn’t talking to you, you know, that is a problem. But also when you try to communicate with them, what is the response that can also give you information around what you’re dealing with. Okay. Additionally, another domain to consider when it comes to, is this person actually toxic or not, would be related to micromanagement.

And so, you know, if you feel like you’re constantly under a microscope, everything you do is scrutinized or every decision questioned, you may be dealing with a toxic boss. Micromanagement can Stifle creativity and innovation, hindering your development, but also the development of your team. And so if you have a boss who is inserting themselves into everything and kind of feels like they’re trying to do your job for you, that is a warning sign.

I will also say on the other side of this, there is like, if you imagine, you know, a spectrum on the far end is micromanagement. On the other end is a supervisor or boss who is not providing you with enough instruction or guidance. or support or even training to be able to do your job successfully. That is also a warning sign.

Somebody who’s so checked out, they’re like, yeah, whatever. And you’re left feeling like you don’t have enough leadership in order to know what the expectations are. No, if you’re doing good work or not, you know, it just sort of feels like, hello, that is another warning sign.

Oh, sorry. I had another, I had a blip and I think, I think we’re okay. So that micromanagement or being completely checked out and disengaged, neither of those are helpful and you may feel frustrated under each of these realities. So those are also things to consider. Yet another thing to be looking at is inconsistent leadership.

So if you have, uh, a boss who is frequently changing the expectations or the priorities or, you know, deciding one thing and then, Oh, wait, nevermind. We’re actually going to go in another direction. It feels chaotic and it can start to leave employees feeling confused and unmotivated. And certainly in an organization, you know, maybe plans do change.

However, there should be some Working through that, you know, that we’re all on the same page with regards to the rationale. We are making collective decisions about what’s the right thing to do. Not somebody coming in and just wiping everything off the board and said, no, we’re doing it this way now, because that isn’t fair to you.

Consistency in leadership is really crucial for establishing trust and also a clear sense of direction. within the team. And so if it feels very chaotic, like you can’t ever do anything right, or you’re starting to do one thing and then nope, we’re doing something else, and it’s happening on a regular basis, um, you know, you’re, you’re not wrong in experiencing that negatively.

Um, and it’s something to pay attention to with regards to the relationship itself. Yet another thing that a toxic boss might bring into your life is this experience of unfair treatment. Um, it can be a significant indicator of a toxic work environment. If it feels like your boss is really showing favoritism or failing to address workplace Conflicts, even that kind of thing can breed resentment and it can create this divisive atmosphere among employees.

It can turn into a competitive sort of environment, or it can start to feel like a Lord of the Flies, kind of every person is in it for themselves. You know, part of strong leadership is being able to bring. Maintain the health of a collective, of a team, of an organization. And so, you know, on the other hand, a sign of a helpful boss is to notice when there are problems and to have a supervisor who’s really working to create healthy, positive relationships with different people on the different team, um, on a team, I should say.

And that while every relationship is obviously going to have its own dynamic, that there should be a general sense that everybody’s contributions are valued, and that there is always respect for everybody on the team. And if you are accepting, experiencing that there’s a real difference between the quality of your relationship with your boss and that that you see or imagine is happening with others, that is a real warning sign.

It could be a sign of, of a, um, conflictual culture that maybe you don’t want to be part of. I will say too that something that is a frequent pain point for especially. Especially hardworking employees who care a lot about their job and about the, the job that they’re doing is to have a sense of recognition when they are doing things right and getting work done and really putting so much effort into, um, the shared mission.

When you feel a lack of recognition, that can be a sign of a toxic relationship or a toxic working environment. Because, you know, we all thrive on acknowledgement for our hard work and to have a toxic boss, you know, who is consistently just not even noticing the efforts of their team really leads to a lack of motivation, decreased morale, um, And certainly, you know, not like bells and whistles and everything for every little thing, but there should be that at least sometimes because, you know, without that, it can be a great, you know, do this next, or let’s talk about the things that you did wrong as opposed to what you did right.

So if you’re not getting at least some of that, that’s a sign that there could be something

The other thing that, um, you may experience with a toxic boss is high turnover. If there are a lot of people churning through the system, that could be a red flag. Employees leaving an organization at an alarming rate, it disrupts the workflow, it makes them more vulnerable. you know, things harder for the people left behind, but it can also be a symptom of underlying issues with the leadership.

Certainly there is always some attrition and I think different industries have a higher level of turnover than others, but If there are people who are, you know, unhappy, feeling stressed, having negative responses to the culture and to the relationships and the dynamics, you’ll see that as people, you know, walking out the door, it’s, There’s a saying that people don’t leave jobs, they leave bosses.

And I think that that’s often true, particularly when people are making lateral moves from one situation to another. It often doesn’t have as much to do with the work or even the money. It has to do with how they feel. So pay attention to that. And then, of course, it should go without saying, but I’m going to say it anyway, if there’s any kind of bullying or harassment on the job, those are serious warning signs of a toxic boss, a toxic culture, and a truly uh, Um, unsustainable working environment because it creates this hostile work environment.

And it can be very traumatizing if you’re in that system, again, especially because of the power differentials. And so if, you know, impacts people’s emotional wellbeing, their mental wellbeing, and it is crucial to recognize, name, and And address these issues promptly. So any kind of bullying or harassment is just absolutely not Okay, so we talked about many different dimensions of potentially a toxic work environment.

But you know, going back to some of the things that we were talking about at the very beginning, it is also true that leaders are on their own growth journey, being a good employer or a good boss. is its own developmental arc. Just like nobody, you know, knows how to have a fantastic, healthy relationship with a partner or even as a parent, right?

I mean, we have work to do on ourselves in order to learn and grow and create positive outcomes. It is frequently true that you see people who have been promoted into managerial or supervisory experience. or certainly business owners, um, especially those who maybe have, um, been a technician, they were really good at doing something.

And so then they decided to make a business out of it. And so now they’re actually using a very different skill set, which is management, which is leadership, which has nothing to do with the original technical skills that they built their business around. And so there’s a big gap sometimes. in the positions that employers are in versus their current level of competency.

And I wanted to mention this because every relationship is a living, growing organism. And I am a strong believer in this idea of growing in place. So if you are experiencing some of these things in your relationship with your employer, um, there may be important growth opportunities for people on both sides of the equation.

For example, it could be an amazingly empowering growth opportunity for you to practice empowerment skills, healthy boundaries, and courageous conversations. To schedule a time with your, your boss and say, I’d like to talk about our relationship, some of the things I’m noticing and how this is feeling for me to see if there are opportunities for improvement here.

Ideally, your boss should be intentionally creating spaces to help you talk about your feelings and solicit feedback from you on a regular basis. But I can tell you, in my own journey as a boss, I didn’t always know that that was something that I really needed to be actively doing. It’s something that I do now, but it wasn’t, it wasn’t always something.

Um. And to use that as a point of empowerment for you, there are professional development skills. So at Growing Self, we do a lot of career counseling and there are professional skills that are much different and I think go a lot deeper than what we think of as career counseling. That is, you know, what do I want to do with my life?

That if I found the right career path or the right job, I would have smooth sailing forever after. That is just as wrong as thinking if I just found the right partner, then this relationship would always be super easy, there would be no conflict, and I wouldn’t have to have hard conversations about anything in order to get my needs met and work through stuff.

I mean, every, nobody, believes that, right? But the same thing is true in your professional relationships. So being able to address this in a healthy, empowered, constructive way can be a very important part of your own professional development, whether or not your boss is receptive to it. Ultimately, you still get to practice doing the right things.

You can’t control what somebody on the other side of that does, right? And at the same time, there needs to be, I think, a, uh, desire for growth on the part of every boss or leader or employer. So again, at my practice, a lot of the coaching work that we’re doing related to career, uh, are supervisors, bosses coming in and saying, you know what, this management thing is really hard, or it’s hard for me to communicate effectively with my team.

What am I doing wrong? And that turns into really powerful growth work for them. But that requires an openness, a receptiveness to the idea that they might have something to learn. And so, you know, it’s important for you to be empowered and to broach these conversations and to understand that relationships evolve based on people being authentic and talking about important things.

However, if you’re really doing your best to have a real relationship with this person and there is this consistent just refusal to listen, not even making time to have these conversations, or rejecting your perspective. perspective, that is a sign that this well might be dry and that it may be a better choice for you to find a relationship that feels a little bit more, um, alive, that feels like a two way street because a healthy work environment will encourage open communication.

And if your boss is resistant to any feedback or. Personal responsibility or taking ownership over the fact that they are contributing to the negative outcomes that you’re describing to them. That’s a sign that it might be time to do something different. And then of course, part of that, if you’re experiencing a lack of empathy, Either in those courageous conversations or outside of them, that’s another sign that it may not be possible to improve the relationship.

So empathy, uh, that is understanding and caring about how other people feel. And it is a fundamental quality in effective leadership. A toxic boss who lacks empathy may fail to understand or address The concerns and the challenges faced by their team, which leads to the sense of isolation and decreased job satisfaction.

And you can certainly see a lack of empathy, not just in the way that they respond to your attempts to communicate. I mean, I will say in order for someone to have empathy for the feelings of others, those feelings do need to be communicated. And so if you are communicating, if you’re talking about how you feel and there’s a step, don’t care kind of response that indicates a lack of empathy.

But additionally, you may notice a lack of empathy in the way you see your boss. operating with other people. If there is a callousness, if there’s a disregard for personal boundaries or personal wellbeing, or, you know, just a recognition that, um, an employee may be dealing with a difficult situation that does require some sensitivity, those are all signs that may show you that there isn’t, there isn’t enough empathy there to, Um, build a positive and healthy relationship with this person.

So we have explored many of the signs to watch out for when it comes to, is this actually a toxic boss, toxic boss, but, um, there are also strategies for navigating a negative work environment. And I think we’ve talked about. The most important one, which is addressing it openly, authentically, courageously, in the hopes of building a better relationship, provided that this is a situation that you would like to maintain.

Now, there are also situations where it may not be safe for you to do that for a variety of reasons. Maybe you’re pretty sure that this person lacks empathy. They will be dismissive or rejecting of anything that you have to say. And so, uh, to have a productive conversation won’t lead to a growth, right?

And there could be very real reasons why it wouldn’t be a good idea for you to leave this position. Maybe you don’t have anything else lined up yet. Maybe there are economic factors, you know, things attached. So there are lots of reasons why you may recognize that yes, I am in a patently toxic work environment.

This is a toxic person. And at least for now, I need to get through this for a little while. So that’s when coping strategies come in. And first and foremost, I think self awareness is really key. When you’re able to recognize some of the signs that we were just talking about, but then acknowledge Their legitimacy and their impact on your well being is a really important coping strategy to say, you know what, I feel bad every time I talk to that person, um, and, and just like be able to comfort, soothe, and support yourself in those moments.

is a really effective coping skill as opposed to internalizing it. So anytime we can recognize that we are having a legitimately negative reaction to, to a circumstance, that in itself can be helpful because It provides us with the ability to support ourselves through that moment. Additionally, depending on the size of your organization and the larger culture, it may be an opportunity to discuss your concerns with your HR department.

Um, And this can be an especially helpful strategy when you have a toxic boss. I mean, somebody who is really not, um, competent to be in a leadership position and is a sort of a, a rogue boss. context of a culture that is much healthier. Like there’s just this little malignant part of a larger organization that is actually trying hard to be a good employer and do the right thing by their people.

Then when you go to that HR department, They may be able to provide you with support guidance, but really what they may do is get additional layers of leadership involved to intervene, um, with the problematic boss, because It, it is their problem, actually, if they have an employee who is operating in such a way that’s creating an unsustainable work environment for the employees that the organization needs and people are leaving, like higher up leaders need to know that so that they can take action to protect their people like you.

So, That may be an option for you. I think another important coping strategy is our ability to develop healthy and supportive relationships within the environment. So seeking support from colleagues, for friends that you may have at work can be helpful and have like a little support group within, within the machine can, can be a comfort.

But I think to having a support Side of work can provide a lot of, not just emotional support, but a valuable perspective to help you get clear around what it is that you’re dealing with, and also just to provide you with that emotional lifeline. Like to have people to talk about your experience with and have them say, yeah, that’s really messed up.

I mean, that in itself can be really. healing and helpful, certainly. I will also share that it is important to just document your experiences in moments like these, particularly if this is heading in a really negative trajectory, if you may need to go into HR, or, um, if you think that there may be a event on the horizon.

So a firing, or it certainly, if there’s been harassment, bullying behaviors where, um, so like somebody needs to do something about this, this toxic boss documented, just write it down. What are the dates? What happened? It could be private. Just keep it in a Google doc, but this documentation can be really crucial.

If you need to escalate the issue. Um, Or, you know, I mean, sometimes these things can even end in legal action. So just, just to keep a record. But I think too, you know, aside from I might need to show somebody this. documentation sometime. The other thing is that simply keeping a record of the things that we’re experiencing can also be a helpful way of supporting ourselves through a really difficult situation where, you know, if you’re feeling really stressed or bad about something that’s happening, you know, to open up that doc and be like, yeah, that is because I’ve been experiencing all of these things.

You know, there’s nothing wrong with me for having this response. this kind of relationship. Um, my feelings are legitimate. That can actually be a really important self care strategy in moments like these. And then of course, boundaries. It is so important to be able to set boundaries to protect your wellbeing and You can expect that in a genuinely toxic work environment, part of that experience is that people are going to try to push your boundaries, to be putting you into situations where you don’t have enough support, where you’re set up to fail, or where people are asking you to do things that are really above and beyond the job that you signed up for.

And so what, um, is important and helpful is to have a meeting with your boss where you’re clearly defining what you can do and what you can’t. So these are my hours. These are the days that I work. These are the times that I don’t work. Let’s take a look at my employment agreement, which should have a fairly clearly defined description of the expectations.

Of the role and, you know, having that clarity for yourself, but ideally creating that clarity with your boss will then make it easier for you to feel empowered to say no to things that are not, are not that additional tasks or responsibilities, or, um, you know, even interfering on your, your personal time in a destructive way are all things that you can do to set healthy boundaries for yourself.

I will share that in a legitimately toxic work environment, you having healthy boundaries may elicit a very negative response in your boss or in the system. And that in itself can be a really powerful red flag. Um, That when you try to be healthy and the system becomes more unhealthy or, um, uh, kind of controlling in response to that, that’s a sign that this isn’t a sustainable situation.

Whereas I’ve also seen people who try to work with it. They, their boundaries are not respected. They say, yes, I can do that. Yes. I can work late because the core belief is if I try harder, if I try to be who they want me to be, then the situation will be better for me. And what happens is that over time they become.

Increasingly resentful, exhausted, even burnt out because they’re trying to modify themselves in order to appease this unhealthy system, which, you know, could be a way of maintaining a relationship. But is it a relationship that you really want to be in? Right. So the, the quicker you can get clear about what your healthy boundaries should be.

And when you start asserting those appropriately, they will either be respected and you’ll change the system or you will be, you know, get pushback, which will give you more information about your next steps. I will also say that if you’re listening to this and either feeling some recognition around, yeah, I’m twisting myself into pretzels, or if you’re experiencing this, like, no, I don’t want to have that conversation.

Nope. Uh, you may consider whether or not this professional experience experience is giving you a huge opportunity to work on your own healthy relationship dynamics. It is very common that the way we show up in our personal relationships is echoed in the way we show up in professional ones. If you have people pleasing tendencies, if you find it difficult to set boundaries in your personal life, you are going to have those same experiences in your professional relationships too.

And by figuring out how to do this differently with a boss or employer, ideally with the help of a really good therapist or career counselor who can help you gain awareness around the internal obstacles, the mindsets that keep you doing those old self limiting disempowering things that will translate into growth that you will benefit from not just on the job, but in your personal relationships as well.

Your ability to set boundaries with your employer will translate into your ability to set boundaries with your family and with your friends. So if you are in. A difficult work relationship, I would encourage you to consider the opportunities it has to develop yourself and, and look at it as that. And in some ways, I mean, I think professional relationships, you don’t have the same emotional connection.

You may not have the same commitment to their enduring forever and ever, and it may be a really, um, difficult easy way to practice some relational skills that will serve you very well in other areas of your life. So I just wanted to say that out loud. And I think it must be said that particularly in situations like these, it’s important to be considering your alternatives.

alternative career paths, alternative employers that may have a more positive culture because your mental and emotional well being need to be a priority. And if you maintain a relationship in a toxic environment, it’s going to impact you particularly over time. So consider a change you And potentially consider working with a really good career counselor who can help you make a conscious intentional decision around what you want that next chapter in your career to be like to use this experience in a toxic work environment.

As an opportunity to grow and learn and get more clarity within yourself around what you want, what you don’t want, and how to shape a path and really, um, create a situation that’s going to be a much better fit for you. Additionally, I will say that there are different kinds of career counselors. And like, so for example, in my practice growing self, our career counselors don’t just have a master’s degree in professional development and career counseling, which is extremely specialized degree that really looks at professional development across lifespan, professional growth opportunities, and career planning.

Exploration is part of that, but the clinicians on my team who do career counseling are also licensed therapists who can work with with you around things like anxiety that is being caused by a toxic work environment. or depression that could be caused as a result of being in a really dysfunctional system.

And it is not uncommon for people who have been in highly toxic work environments, particularly when there have been things like bullying, harassment, gaslighting, you know, all this stuff to come out of those situations with some trauma. Related to their experiences and I just wanted to mention that because if you have been traumatized by a work experience, first of all, that is legitimate.

It is a real thing. It happens to a lot of people at every level of the food chain. I have had, you know, C level executives who have come in highly traumatized by some of the things that they’ve experienced on the job, particularly when it comes to toxic relationships and feeling really disempowered in them.

And it’s a legitimate thing and it also needs to be addressed so that you have the opportunity to heal from that experience. experience, and also use it as an opportunity again to learn, grow, and come out of that stronger than ever before. Because if you don’t, you’re going to bring a trauma response way of being into your next professional situation, which will, will be to your detriment.

And so trauma is real. It requires healing. And I just want you to know that there are highly effective, experienced professionals who are therapists who specialize in career who can do that with you. So, uh, certainly if you’re interested in doing that with anybody on my team here at growing self, you’re invited to schedule a free consultation.

Come to growingself. com. You can book a discovery call with one of our career specialists. Specialists to talk about what’s been going on and talk about what the path of healing might look like for you. But in addition to that, I have so many more free resources for you that I hope you take advantage of.

If you come to growingself. com, come to the blog and podcast. section. And from there, enter into the success collection. And there are so many things that I’ve put there for you to support your professional, not just success, but also wellbeing. There’s a career clarity section. If you’re thinking about making a big change, there’s also professional growth and what that looks like, how to manage work life balance.

Also how to design an entire life that is a holistic plan that includes not just your career, but also your personal wellbeing and your relationships. Um, and so I hope that you take a look at those because they’re all there for you. So come to growingself. com for the blog and podcast and the success collection.

And thank you again for spending this time with me today. And, um, very lastly, I’ll just say. that, you know, recognizing the signs of a toxic boss is the first step towards creating positive change. Your work environment plays such a significant role in your overall happiness, success, and, um, I just want you to feel empowered to consider your experiences.

experiences on the job as being yet another dimension in which profound personal growth is also possible and, in my experience, really important to do. And I hope listening to this podcast today supported that. So I will be back in touch with you next week and in the meantime, please enjoy more Eric Copeland with the song Boogie Man.

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