How Do I Cope With a Crappy Boss?

A bad boss can not only ruin a person’s day but also a person’s sobriety. Most people encounter at least one, maybe more, bad bosses. Narcissism, bullying, arrogance and other traits can be just a few traits that make a person’s job and life difficult. Learn how to navigate coping with a crappy boss.

Work on Escape Plan

An escape plan is a just-in-case scenario that most people have to prevent feeling stuck in a bad situation. Consider not only what needs to happen now but also how to further develop skills and use the current job to attain a new level there or somewhere else. Strategic thinking will help a person find ways around the boss and cope with behavior.

If you haven’t had a bad boss before, consider yourself lucky–most people have had at least one in their lives. Narcissistic, bullying, arrogant, backstabbing–just a few of their traits that can make your life a living hell. So what steps can you take to navigate out of this dystopian work environment?

Find Allies

Rather than complaining, try to find people who understand the plight and build a supportive work environment. Find out where people socialize and go hang out after work and build professional contacts. Build good working relationships with coworkers to diffuse negative energy.

Find Ways to Influence Behavior

Pay close attention to what people say and do. See what influences and impresses people. Find favorite ways of getting things done and find out what value is placed on the person’s job. Use this knowledge to an advantage and find commonalities. Most of what influences people works on the subconscious level. Focus on how to build an ally rather than an enemy and see how it improves work performance.

Check Emotions at the Door

Don’t let emotions get the best of a situation. Altering how a situation is viewed can help a person work for him or herself rather than the organization. Take skills learned and developed to further develop value at work. Surviving and thriving are more important than worrying about a nasty boss. Give the best possible and, regardless of people around, this will help increase a sense of value and self-worth overall at work.


The Villa helps individuals find and complete goals that are meaningful to recovery. We support your work endeavors and fighting to find the right place for you in recovery that supports positive growth and transformation as you seek employment opportunities amidst challenges of the working world. Call us if you need support or help.