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Toxic managers are a serious problem. They can undermine your performance and lead to burnout, which no one wants. But even if you decide to stay with the company, there are ways to deal with your toxic manager. Here are my top tips for managing a toxic boss:

Know the signs.

  • Toxic managers are not just bad bosses. They’re also bad people.
  • Toxic managers are usually bullies who feel the need to assert their dominance over others, especially in the workplace setting.
  • A toxic manager will often have narcissistic tendencies and be preoccupied with proving that they are superior to other people in an organization or team environment. This can result in them being power-hungry and insecure at work, which makes them particularly nasty when dealing with others who don’t agree with them on something important (or even something minor).

Build your case.

  • Document the problems.
  • Write down the facts.
  • Keep a journal of your interactions with the manager.
  • Get other people to back you up.
  • Take notes on your interactions with your manager so that if it gets to court, you have proof of what happened and can prove that you tried everything to resolve the situation before resorting to legal action (this will also help strengthen your case).

Consider transferring to a new department.

If your manager is the problem, consider transferring to a new department. If that’s not an option, consider leaving the company entirely.

If you can’t leave your company and transfer to another department within it, think about moving up in rank at work.

Instead of changing your manager’s behavior and personality, focus on what’s best for you.

Think about leaving the company entirely.

This is hard to hear, but sometimes the best option is to leave. You may have other reasons for wanting to move on from your company—perhaps you’re offered an opportunity elsewhere, or maybe you want to try something new. If so, it might be worth considering whether there’s another department in your company where you feel more comfortable and supported by your coworkers—and then decide if that’s still worth staying at the same place with a toxic manager.

If leaving isn’t an option (or it doesn’t seem feasible), consider transferring teams instead of quitting outright. For example, if you work in marketing but are hoping to switch over to sales next year when someone retires, ask around and see if that role has opened up yet; if not, start networking now so that when the time comes for this transition to happen naturally (rather than suddenly), all bases are covered!

Determine whether you can change your schedule to avoid the manager.

  • If you can, try changing your schedule, so you don’t have to contact the manager.
  • If you can’t change your schedule, consider transferring to a different department not managed by this individual.
  • If there are no other departments in the company where you’d be happier and more productive, think about leaving this job altogether.
  • If staying at your current job is important to you (whether because of loyalty or because no better options exist), try getting support from coworkers and HR for what’s happening at work:

Get help from coworkers.

As you navigate your toxic manager, it’s important to remember that you can’t do it alone. It would be best if you had support from friends, family, and coworkers.

It’s also essential to trust the people you work with. That means that if I’m going through something like this, I make sure I’m not the only one who feels this way—others have probably seen this behavior before and can provide insight into how best to proceed.

Get support from HR.

  • Speak with HR. This is an excellent step to take if your manager doesn’t change their behavior or makes things worse or if you have no way of getting away from them (i.e., if they are your direct supervisor). You can ask for a new manager or transfer to another department.
  • Get more support from coworkers and supervisors. Your colleagues may be able to help you cope with the toxic situation at work by providing moral support and encouraging you through difficult times. Some people will be able to offer advice on how best to handle the situation; others might be willing to listen when needed and not judge those who make mistakes along the way—a vital component of healthy relationships within the workplace! Likewise, if someone has been supportive throughout all this time but hasn’t said anything yet themselves out loud (for whatever reason), then now’s probably as good a time as any!
  • Talk it out with friends/family outside work too! Sometimes talking things over with peers isn’t enough—sometimes, we need outside perspectives on what’s happening without worrying about how our words may affect others’ perceptions about us personally due to it’s being related directly back toward workplace dynamics instead. One place where such discussions flourish freely without fear of reprisal is amongst family members at home during dinner parties each night where nothing else matters except having fun together over meals prepared lovingly by moms & dads just trying hard not only to survive day after grueling day working jobs so crummy.

Enlist a mediator outside the company to help you talk with the manager.

You can also enlist the help of an out-of-office mediator. A professional, impartial mediator will evaluate the situation and work with you and your manager to find common ground. This resolution process is much less stressful than tendering your resignation or filing a complaint against your boss.

In addition, a trained mediator will help keep both parties focused on positive outcomes during the difficult conversation that needs to happen between you, your boss, and this third party. The more emotion involved in the discussion (and there will be plenty), having someone who is trained in managing emotions present makes it easier for everyone involved to stay calm and focused on finding solutions rather than screaming at each other or making accusations that could damage future relationships within the company

Toxic managers are often so bad that they’re not worth putting up with.

If a manager is so toxic that you can’t stand working for them, it’s often best to find another job. You can’t change them, and you shouldn’t have to endure their abuse. If they’re not worth putting up with, then it’s okay to leave.

However, not all situations are this cut-and-dry. Sometimes the only way out is through your current job, which means learning how to deal with a toxic manager until you can move on or find another position elsewhere in the company.


Toxic managers can be challenging to deal with, but there are ways to protect yourself from them. A toxic manager is not worth putting up with if you’re otherwise happy at your job and want to keep it that way.