Crowdsourcing Solutions

How to Stand up to your Bullying Boss at Work


The relationship between an employee and a boss is an extremely fragile one but if nurtured well, it can also turn into one of the most fruitful associations, benefiting both sides. If you have a boss with whom you have issues, then the best way to get out of the situation is to stand up for yourself against your  bullying boss.

When you bottle things up, a pressure cooker kind of situation is created, the result of which can be a blast that will harm you in the long run. Here we have discussed few tips for dealing with a bully boss.

stand up to your bullying bossStanding up to your boss does not mean creating conflicts, or quitting your job or being rebellious, it just means that you are trying to sort out issues in an amicable and respectable manner.

Here are some simple ways to stand up to your boss in a cordial yet effective manner, thus creating a win-win situation for both of you:

Ways to Handle a Bullying Boss:

1. Wait for the right moment:

It does not mean that you wait forever. As it is said, there is a time for everything, so it is for you too. The right moment or occasion can be anything that you fix or you request for, or the monthly meeting.

2. Schedule a meeting with the boss:

Professional issues should be handled in a professional manner. Hence request for a one to one meeting or in coordination with the HR manager.

3. Send an email request for the meeting:

It is better to send an email rather than a call and ask for a meeting. Emails will also serve as a proof that you have wanted to sort out the issue amicably. You can also state the reason for the meeting clearly in the mail.

4. Prepare well for the meeting:

Remember the meeting isn’t for a conflict but for conflict resolution. Keep your points ready. It is better you write down each point in detail and also note down points that you would like to put forward.

5. Be confident and strong:

confident and strong It is not easy standing up to your boss, yet be confident and strong, for you are not at fault and you aren’t here to demand favours, but you are here to stand up for yourself.

Be confident of what you are going to say and be strong enough to stand up for it.

6. Be calm yet assertive:

The meeting is no time to be emotional or angry but be calm with a strong resolve. Assert your points without giving in to emotions such as weakness, tears or anger.

7. Be clear enough to state clearly what the conflict is:

State in clear terms politely but firmly why you are disgruntled or the reasons and causes for your discomfort.

Remember, when you put forward the issue in clear terms, there is a better chance of a harmonious conflict resolution.

8. Be articulate about the solution too:

When you are presenting your issues with your boss, also put forward the solution or the remedies you are seeking in clear terms.

Learn to articulate and that too well. May be, all your points won’t be met with applause, but some point of yours will be considered for sure.

9. Keep the HR out:

At least in the first occasion, it is best to keep the HR out of the issue and address the boss directly because going to HR with your problem will be like going over your boss, which neither the HR nor your boss will appreciate. Anyway, the HR will mostly side with your boss than you.

10. Do not make your issues with your boss a topic of gossip:

Gossips at work You may want to hear remarks in your favour from your colleagues whom you regard as your friends, yet, discussing your problems about your boss with your colleagues is unprofessional. It will only make matter worse and things won’t work in your favour.

11. Small conflicts or disagreement can be solved with the right attitude:

If there are issues like handling you work that you are hardly able to handle or complete in a day or making you work for more hours than required, etc can be handled as and then.

For example: If you are unable to wait in office after the normal office timings, you can tell your boss politely that you are unable to do so because of certain personal reasons. Before that ensure that you have completed your urgent works for the day and never leave any loopholes that will put the blame on you.

12. Backup your statements with proof:

It is better to validate what you are saying with the help of evidence. For example if your boss has been stopping from expressing your ideas in a meeting, then you can state the date and the subject of the meeting or meetings.

Thus there is a proof for every issue that you are confronting and you come across as reasonable and true.

13. Present a proper body language:

The right body language is important on all occasions and it is especially necessary and needed when you are standing up to your boss.

Do not appear casual or nervous or demanding or rebellious. Be polite, firm and to the point. Maintain eye contact.

14. Don’t opt for the blame game:

blaming at work Ensure that you are presenting things in a professional manner. Blame game or criticizing your boss will only add to your woes and only muddle the issue further.

Put across your points clearly and make sure that you are not sounding as a ‘cry baby’ but as a professional who wants to mend things in a mature and professional way.

15. Be clear what you can and what you want to do:

If your boss handles you a certain job that you are not comfortable doing, then speak to the boss directly and say, “I do not think I am the best person to do this job, why don’t you ask (name a colleague whom you think can do the job better)?” Suggest the things that you can do efficiently.

16. Don’t argue with your boss even if there is a strong reason for the same:

If your boss has asked you to revise the document you have prepared twice or thrice, do not argue with him or her giving explanations why you think the document is the best.

Instead, ask him or her as to what they have envisioned and the changes they are seeking.

Remember, when it comes to your work, you should not leave any loopholes. This is one way to stand up to your boss because you are standing up against the unreasonable demands by doing your job in a flawless way.

17. Quitting is not a solution but a problem:

Quitting your job because you are not happy with your boss isn’t the right thing to do.

It might offer a temporary solution but what if you get a similar boss at your new job too? Confront the situation smartly but never run away from it.

18. Standing up to an abusive boss:

standing up against abuse If your boss is abusing you over and again, you have to stand up for yourself. Tell him that his rude behavior is making you uncomfortable and that you are unable to concentrate on your work.

If he is not able to understand your point even then, schedule a meeting and speak to him calmly. If the issue persists, then it is best to seek HR’s help.

19. Standing up against a boss who is sexually harassing you:

This is the worst kind of boss. You have to be firm and try to sort out the issue by giving a hint that you are not comfortable.

If the harassment persists, then approach the HR. If they too are not able to help and the person continues his advances, then seek the help of law.

20. Keep your sense of humor intact:

Be it any kind of conflict regarding standing up to your bullying boss, never abandon your sense of humor or your ability to look at issue in a good nature way.

This will help you gain control over the issues and the occasion. Keep smiling no matter how grave the occasion is because it means you are in control.


Standing up to your boss respectfully isn’t easy. A peaceful and a conflict free environment is everyone’s right and it is only in such an environment productivity can be at its best.

Hence, for your betterment and for the betterment of the company, it is your duty to try to solve any kind of conflict situations with your boss amicable and in a friendly manner.

The best way to confront an issue is to face it rather than running away from it. Conflicts need to be resolved and postponing them or neglecting them can only add to the problem. Stand up to your boss but in a respectful and polite manner and gain your peace of mind back elegantly.