Whether you have a white collar job or you are self-employed, you still have to answer to someone. It could be your Managing Director. It could be your Human Resource Manager. It could be your Team Leader or even a particularly affluential customer. As long as the person is paying you directly or they are have been placed in charge of you, they are your boss in a way. Sadly, that person can sometimes be an overbearing boss.

Not everyone is in the business of mismanaging power. Consequentially, it means that there are those who practically revel in it. The truth is that you will have to deal with them at some point in your life. So, in this piece, we’ll be helping you figure out how you can work with a difficult boss.

How do you handle an overbearing boss?

You don’t necessarily have to become a zombie who follows their every command. As a matter of fact, it’s possible that you’ll end up pissing them off even more if you do. However, with these four tips, you should be able to work better with a not-so-pleasant boss.

1. Understand them

Male or female, every living thing on the planet needs to be understood. Unlike animals, however, you cannot simply understand humans by reading a few National Geographic books. No. If you want to work better with a difficult boss, you need to study them. Find out what makes them go off. You don’t necessarily need to put yourself in harm’s way by getting on their bad side in the process. You can learn from their interaction with others. Just take your time and make wise decisions from these efforts at understanding them.

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2. Be a proactive employee

Sometimes, your boss may not be as bad as you think they are. Sometimes, they just expect things from you that you aren’t particularly catching onto. A great way you can work with an overbearing boss is by being proactive. Before s/he asks you, turn in those reports. Check up on that potential company client. Just do what you are meant to do without necessarily being asked to do so.

3. Do not be overly challenging

A lot of humans who aren’t excessively consumed by their own intelligence like new ideas. They want to hear a different opinion to keep the engine going. However, if you are constantly shooting down your boss’s ideas and making them seem trifle, you’ll only be inviting trouble. Nobody likes to feel stupid. So, even if you disagree with your boss, do it in such a way that you do not insult their intelligence.

4. Speak up

There is a thin line between being respectful and letting someone walk all over you. The last thing you want is a boss who feels that s/he can talk to you anyway they want. So, if you feel the need to, calmly but assertively explain your grievances to your boss. “Sir/ma, I find that statement very offensive, and I would very much appreciate an apology.” It might seem a tad difficult, especially if you really need that job. However, if you don’t start building confidence and realizing your self-worth now, when will you?


No doubt, it can be difficult working with an oppressive boss, especially in private organizations where there is little room for associations. However, it is not completely impossible. Remain humble, smart, assertive when you need to be and things should be just fine.

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