How to Deal When You're Intimidated by Your Boss

By Brittany Hawes on February 4, 2018

Once I began to work during my junior year in high school, I quickly came to the realization that a good boss (for example, someone who is a good leader, kind, understanding, and firm on their decisions) makes for happy workers and a peaceful workplace. But what happens when you’re intimidated by your boss? A peaceful workplace can morph into a nightmare quickly.

When I worked in fast food, I was intimidated by my boss. She was loud, abrasive, and seemed to think that yelling was the only course of action to get her message across to those of us who worked under her. She would constantly berate employees for any mistakes they made and kept a watchful eye on us all. She sucked all the fun out of the job. As a result, many workers dreaded clocking in while she was on duty.

It wasn’t until I learned to change my mode of thinking while in her presence that I began to have fun at my job again.

If you’re feeling intimidated by your boss, I have 10 tips that will help you fight away that feeling of intimidation and make your workplace bearable (even enjoyable!) once again.

Out of the way, Miranda Priestlys of the world. Here are 10 tips on how to deal when you’re intimidated by your boss.

intimidated by your boss

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1. Focus on your job duties

Why are you at your job? Is fighting on a daily basis with your employer the reason you wanted to be hired by this company? No way! Whatever made you apply for this job, focus on those reasons and go about your job duties. If you wanted this job to build up your resume, keep that in mind when your boss comes breathing down your neck to see how your webpage is coming along. If you wanted the job because of money, great! Think of how much money you’re adding to your bank account instead of thinking about how annoying your boss may seem. No matter how intimidated by your boss you might feel, you should always remain focused on the tasks at hand.

2. Do your best

Remind your boss (and yourself) what you are capable of bringing to this company. Tackle every task with enthusiasm and use that brilliant mind of yours to solve any problem that may arise during your workday. Not only is it important to do your best at your workplace, but it’s important to give your all in any situation in your life.

3. Don’t slack

Whatever you do, don’t slack off. You may think that slacking off will be the perfect retaliation towards your less-than-perfect employer, but this will only succeed in hurting you in the long run. You are not doing yourself justice by slacking off and giving a task less attention than it deserves. If anything, your slacking off will serve as more “intimidation fuel” for your employer to use against you. You want to make yourself invaluable to this company and, when the time comes for you to leave, you want to leave with glowing recommendations and a sense of accomplishment, knowing that you did your very best in your position.

4. Go above and beyond expectations

Not only should you do your best, you should go above and beyond your employer’s expectations. If you get done with all of your regular duties for the day, go ahead and start working on some other things that need to be done. If your job is customer service, help your customers with a smile. Become more knowledgeable about the things that you are selling. Read up on the company’s history and take notes. Become the best employee that you can be.

5. Remember your value

No matter how your boss feels, remember your value. Just because you feel intimidated by your boss, it doesn’t mean that you are worth less as an employee. You were hired because you were the best candidate for the job. Have confidence in yourself and in the job that you’re doing. Show your boss that you are irreplaceable, no matter how much they might seem to dislike you.

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6. Ask questions

Never let yourself feel dumb for asking questions during the job. If you need better clarification on a particular topic, don’t be afraid to ask. Asking questions is sometimes that only way to get the best answer. Remember: asking questions shows that you are involved in your job and care about doing something right.

7. Stay positive

Negative thoughts can affect your work performance. Don’t worry too much if your employer seems to hate your guts; remain positive.

8. Remember that bosses make mistakes too

Your boss is only human. They may not realize that their behavior is intimidating you. If their behavior is truly making the workplace unbearable, you could try talking to them about how it’s making you feel. If you don’t feel comfortable doing that, you could even file a complaint with HR.

9. Be kind

A smile and a little kindness can go a long way in softening someone’s heart.

10. Don’t be fearful

Never be fearful of losing your job. Worrying like this will only negatively impact your work performance. Instead, take every day a day at a time and don’t fret over things that are not set in stone.

I hope that these tips will help you to stand tall in the workplace, remain confident, and really show your boss how great of a job you can do!

Hi there! My name's Britt and I'm a senior majoring in English major at Florida State University. I have these crazy, big dreams of traveling the entire world and writing novels in my spare time. I love music, food, and the Japanese culture. I plan on teaching English in Japan upon graduation from Florida State. My first YA novel, Twisted, was published by Deep Sea Publishing Company in 2014. It won a Readers' Favorite Book Award that same year. Alongside schoolwork, I'm working hard on the second book in the Twisted series as well as a number of other novels.

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