How to Know if Your Boss is Abusive

Boss shouting at employeeWe all want to feel comfortable in our work environments, and most of us certainly hope that our bosses like us. Unfortunately, there are instances of abusive bosses, and oftentimes, the abuse tactics used by employers are similar to the abuse tactics that the marriage counselors in Bethesda MD, and all across the US, warn against. Here are some of the negative behaviors you should look for and guard against.

Your boss is controlling. If you’ve been to marriage counseling in Northern VA, or any other location, you have probably discussed issues of trust and control. And, as you and your marriage counselor in Northern VA may have discussed, control can be a sign, or even a form of abuse. The same goes for the workplace. Even though the word “boss” implies some control, your employer should also give you some level of autonomy, and trust you to do the job you were hired to do. If your boss is constantly questioning your actions, wants to know what you do every second of the day, or wants to see every email you send, this is a sign of control. This is not to say that an employer does not have the right to direct, or know where the company’s money is going. However there is a limit. Breathing over your shoulder is not the same as checking to see that you’re not playing scrabble at work.

Your boss does not trust you. Often, controlling behaviour stems from a lack of trust. When your employer hires you, he or she is expressing faith in your abilities and intentions. If you have done something to seriously violate this trust, you may lose your job, and rightfully so. However, if you have not done behaved appropriately and fulfilled your obligations, and still feel that your employer does not trust you, then your work environment may be unsafe. Not only can lack of trust lead to controlling behaviour, but when someone unreasonably does not trust you, it is usually a sign that he or she is untrustworthy.

Your boss isolates you. Again, abusive employers and spouses exhibit similar behaviors, including isolating the abused person. Isolation creates dependency, as the abused employee feels he or she has nowhere to turn for support, the feeling of isolation can also seriously affect one’s mental health.

Your boss degrades you. Your employer should never try to embarrass you or disrespect you at work. You have a right to report the incident if your employer:

  • raises his or her voice to you
  • physically threatens you
  • uses obscene, degrading language in reference to you

If you experience any of these behaviours, document them well, speak to a counselor, and report the incident to your Human Resources department. You should never accept abuse in the workplace.