Last updated on January 29th, 2023 at 06:54 pm
Are you tired of dealing with your jealous and insecure boss? Despite your best efforts, your boss is pushing your buttons and manipulating you, Right?
Well, these are some of the signs that your boss is threatened by you and your growing importance at work.
Maybe because your boss sees you as a threat or has no trust in you, and the reasons can be many.
Read on to find out, what a fearful and jealous boss’s behavior looks like.
And, most importantly, what to do when your manager/boss feels intimidated by you.
How To Tell If Your Boss Is Threatened By You?
Predicting a human’s behavior is quite a challenging and confusing job.
But, when it comes to the changed behavior of the boss, several reasons and signs are there, which hard to ignore.
You can be the direct reason for what your boss is feeling about you or it can be someone else, but there is a lot of confusion for you, as result.
If you are seeing the completely random and unpredictable behavior of your boss towards you…
Then first, maybe he’s under work stress or it’s you who terrified him with your improving roles in the company.
Maybe your boss feels scared of you, due to your growing popularity, and importance in the company.
The possibilities may vary due to many reasons, but you better have idea(s) of:
- What is the most likely event that has led to changes in your boss’s behavior?
- Has your boss and you recently disagreed on a small or large issue?
- Do you know what went wrong there? Any intuitions or gut feelings?
- Do you feel like you were misunderstood by your boss?
- Did you say or do something to your boss that led to all of this?
- Are there any things you know about your boss that no one else knows?
- Have you ever complained to management about anything your boss did?
Be alert to such signs to know what’s the reason why your boss feels afraid of you and what possibly can do to you.
15 Signs Your Boss Feels Threatened By You
1. When your boss suddenly stops praising your contributions.
Before, the boss may have given you many compliments and praises informing you of your qualifications for the job.
You were also publicly appreciated in front of others in hopes of motivating them as well.
Suddenly, your boss’s behavior changes negatively, especially towards you.
Your boss no longer praises you or compliments you as he used to before.
As opposed to that, now he refers to your small mistakes and errors in the work alone. Such are clear signs your boss is threatened by you.
2. When your boss constantly criticizes you.
A good boss or manager knows how to make their team feel appreciated and respected enough.
Such leaders know very well what motivates their employees and how to encourage them to meet more challenges as a team.
But a negative boss, who is afraid of someone or something, ends up doing anything which is either confusing or frustrating for their employees.
Team leaders or colleagues always praise you for contributing, but your boss often ignores it.
This indicates that you have something here that the boss doesn’t like.
Especially when your colleagues plus most other employees are appreciated well and only you’re ignored from such plans intentionally, then these signs your boss feels threatened by you.
3. When your boss stops taking your opinions and views.
The same goes for the way your boss has stopped praising your achievements, he has also stopped listening to your opinions and views.
Before, your ideas and suggestions were considered valuable contributions to work on.
And now, your boss doesn’t seem to be interested in taking your advice anymore.
Your boss may feel that he is too dependent on your decisions or that he wishes not to give you too much power in the company.
Likely, your boss does not want you to enjoy much freedom in making decisions because you are his employee…
And he’d rather have control over his business than let you make his business decisions.
Well, such are common signs that your boss is feeling threatened by you, due to your increasing power.
4. When your boss feels afraid or insecure because of you.
Of course, bosses are kings in the company.
But they are not the perfect ones. And, not every boss accepts that.
It’s completely normal to be lacking skills and expertise in something there.
But, not every boss is that understandable to believe that.
Your boss might feel insecure due to the idea that he will lose his supremacy in the company if he isn’t perfect in everything.
Such a boss will always make sure everyone understands their limits…
And no one tries to overtake them, especially while pursuing their professional career.
Overall, your boss will try to control your progress or hold the power, which are signs your boss is threatened by you.
Check other: 12 Signs of Bad Communication Skills
5. When your boss assigns you a less important task.
In the early stage, your boss was impressed by your work ethic and progress so far.
You’re given the most important and challenging projects that match your confidence and role, perfectly.
Boss had trust in you and your capabilities, once.
But, in the last few weeks, your boss becomes a little disrespectful to you and your work.
Now, you’re given work that is completely different from your expectations and role.
It is one of the most common signs that your boss feels threatened by you and by giving you an irrelevant and time-consuming project, he is preventing you from advancing your career and role in the company.
In simple terms, your boss feels afraid of you and tries to influence your position negatively.
6. When your boss ignores you during meetings and office discussions.
It has been a while since your boss behaved completely weirdly towards you.
It may be a work-related disagreement, and by doubting his plan you hurt your boss’s ego without realizing it. As the result, he may be affected negatively by something you said.
So, when your boss keeps ignoring you during important meetings and work discussions then are signs your boss is threatened by you. Since you speak openly, he will never be ready to hear you.
Your boss behaves strangely around you as if you no longer exist in the company or aren’t important enough for the company, or the team.
Even less experienced employees are given more respect and recognition than you.
Such signs indicate something about you that frightens him, causing him to express such negative behavior toward you.
Check other: Signs Your Coworker Is Competing With You
7. When your boss controls your access to top management.
In the early stage, you have a direct connection with your top management and seniors.
You could discuss with them the major-minor notes at the job. But, for the past few weeks, he tries hard to cut that connection.
Because your boss is afraid of something or wants you to stop anything that may damage his role and reputation that he created so far in this company.
With every communication you have with top management, your boss keeps watch on everything.
Also informs you to update him about such meetings.
There are clear signs that your boss feels threatened because top management does not know what you know about him.
8. When your boss threatens you in return directly or indirectly.
A negative and scared boss shows unusual behavior to their employees or an individual in the company with whom they have some personal issues.
Yes, your boss has some insecurity or jealousy due to your exceptional work.
Something which he believes can prove problematic for him in the future.
Your boss doesn’t want to lose his power and position at this company.
And so he indirectly threatens you by limiting your work responsibility or assigning too much work.
That further, he can use against you as a negative remark.
As one of the common signs your boss is threatened by you, he will also indirectly scare you of your job security and future in this company or profession.
Check other: Signs You Should Not Accept A Job Offer
9. When your boss starts taking credit for the work that you do.
Only an insecure and less confident manager is more likely to do this.
Indeed, they are aware that they are incompetent at their role or work, so to hold this position.
They are free and relaxed until some eligible person comes who could be a threat to their position and importance in the company.
Your boss is frightened by your expertise and professional achievements, so far.
He is feeling insecure that your work will outrun his role and position nearly soon.
Due to that, a negative boss will try to take advantage of your work.
Plus, never let you connect with the higher management, nor speak about your name anywhere in between.
Your boss is threatened by you due to the thought of being outdone by your performance, therefore, you are not likely to be appreciated or recognized within the company.
10. When your boss tries to damage your track record.
It seems like your boss is jealous of you.
When he first hired you he was delighted to have a capable employee like you on his team.
But now he feels you as a threat to him and will do whatever it takes to damage your reputation at work and professional image.
To do that, your boss might assign you a challenging assignment that would even be harder for you to complete alone.
By doing so, he is attempting to prove that your performance is not acceptable.
He can then present this as proof to top management, for devaluing your role and importance in the organization.
An over-demanding workload to be achieved in short deadlines and… Everything is just to lower your performance.
So that he can present it as proof to management about your incompetence which are the ultimate signs your boss is threatened by you and wishes to harm your value in the company.
11. When your boss forces you to quit the job.
Feared bosses never hesitate to do anything or to anyone where he feels that this will affect the prospects of his role at this company.
When your boss is scared of you, he will play mind games and employ divisive tactics to hold you back.
And if your boss is too threatened by you, he will employ any negative options against you to cause you to quit this job.
Most bad bosses would prefer forcing the employees to quit their job as a last resort when such employees become a threat to them.
To ruin the morale of employees, such a boss can even trick them by giving false reports to top management, harming their motivation to work.
12. When your boss starts ignoring you for no reason at all.
Such negative bosses or managers do exist, who can cross their limits to humiliate their employees or someone with whom they have any problems or potential threats.
Whether there is some misunderstanding your manager has or your boss feels scared due to your increasing your reputation and importance in the company…
Such bosses start taking things personally without valuing professional work culture.
Following that, they ignore you completely plus make you feel like you don’t exist at all.
Not limited to ignoring you from important team meetings, they avoid facing you at any cost.
All they try to do is to make your everyday job look a complicated one.
They never allow you to talk to them, nor contact you directly.
Either via someone else or by mail, your boss delivers any message to you, even if the cabin is eight steps away from your desk.
Probably they feel scared that you will feel those harsh feelings which they carry especially towards you.
Keeping distance and avoiding meetings are clear signs that your boss is afraid of you and has some negative feelings toward you.
Check other: 11 Signs You Didn’t Get The Job After The Interview
13. When your boss leaves no room for your improvement.
Opposed to assigning challenging tasks that can support your career and profile, a fearful boss will try to do something to keep you off track.
Such a boss or manager can instantly move to lower-level work that doesn’t value your professional level, nor your time.
Really, your boss is threatened by you and wants you to stay down.
Hence he keeps you busy with things that are not important and constantly reminds you that you’re not worthy of this role or job.
Doing so, the boss tries to inform you that you’re undervalued and unappreciated at your job.
His purpose is clearly to stop your progress and performance, which in the future may become a major challenge to his position anyway.
Such insecurity and jealousy contribute to the toxic work environment and are clear signs your boss or manager is threatened by you.
14. When your boss isolates you from your coworkers or a team.
Your boss will try to control you whenever he sees you as a threat.
As soon as your boss realizes that your role and recognition are increasing in the work, he may attempt to stop your growth.
Either through assigning the work that requires no interaction with others or via talking trash in your absence, such a fearful boss can do anything to stop you from replacing his position.
Moreover, an insecure boss like this, will not hesitate to use their power to threaten other coworkers.
If your teammates are no more interacting with you, staying away from you, or avoiding assisting you, it’s possible that your boss is behind all these.
You may or may not feel it that way, but your manager or boss can do things like this to damage your reputation at work, which are signs that your boss is jealous of you and want to destroy you.
15. When your boss constantly reminds you, ‘Who’s the boss there?’
Of course, the boss is the boss of your company.
But, when things get too personal, such weak-minded bosses start showing off their powers to their employees.
And, what a fearful boss or manager can do, other than mentally pressurize their employees and make them feel miserable at a job.
Indeed, that’s all they can do.
Spreading rumors about you, avoiding your opinions, never appreciating your work, and criticizing you in public are clear signs that your boss is afraid of you.
Especially when your boss sees you as a threat, whatsoever he will never think before creating such a toxic work environment.
Office politics and through such toxic natures, such boss indirectly informs you to leave this place, because he wants it.
And also because… He is the boss here.
How To Handle A Boss Who Is intimidated By You? (5 Tips)
Well, you can’t expect that you remain untouched if your boss feels insecure and sees you as a threat.
Of course, your work and mindset to the work also affected, as well.
Such fearful bosses never remain quiet or understandable enough to change their negative approach, resulting in a toxic work environment.
You really need to do something to settle things, for overall company’s good.
Likewise, if you relate to any of the above-discussed signs that your boss feels intimidated by you, then here are some tips on how to deal with an insecure and fearful boss.
1. Have an open discussion with your boss.
Probably, its’ something from recent events that may change your boss’s behavior towards you.
Possible that he/she found something about you that leads to seeing you as a potential threat to their positions.
Or, they might take your words mistakenly and feel them in a negative way along.
If anything so, then the first approach to follow is to have an open discussion.
Have a one-to-one conversation and take the first step to make things back to normal as it was before.
2. Follow the co-growth approach.
If any time you feel that your boss feels threatened and afraid of your accomplishment, you better not feed their jealousy.
Share what is your purpose to work and that’s not definitely what they’re thinking.
Instead of keeping things to a personal level, share how you both can use each other’s skills and invest time in a positive manner that benefits your team and the company as a whole.
3. Give your boss credit for something they did for you.
Your manager or boss is afraid of you also because you’re showing exceptional work performed so far and which makes them feel insecure about their role.
Essentially, that’s a feeling they have inside. And if you sense so, then give credit to your boss.
Inform others that you appreciate having a great supporter and leader like him/her.
That will certainly give your boss reassurance that you are aware of his contribution and probably lead to a change in his feelings towards you.
4. Make sure you are prepared and have your records ready.
Well, earlier some positive approaches that you can try to fix things while dealing with the insecure boss.
But, if you don’t see the same proper response from your boss, and see no change then remember you can’t solve everything all along.
Such a fearful and insecure boss may be in search of the chance to harm your professional tracks.
So document everything and keep a record of all your activities and work so far.
That will save you when your boss anywhen trying to put you down with his made-up stories or records.
5. Inform your management and HR, before things get out of control.
So far, you have dealt with the boss’ insecurity and jealousy in the right way.
But if things are still not changed between you and your boss then get ready to advise the mediator.
Involve your HR department and inform them about the situation.
Show care for the company environment because such toxicity not only is damaging your work interest but also affects other employees’ morale and the work environment as a whole.
You do the right things, as you should.
Giving your boss a chance to change his behavior towards you is fine.
However, you do not have control over others the same way you do over yourself.
After all, you have to accept others the way they are.
However, if someone’s or your boss’s jealousy, insecurity, or misunderstanding keeps dragging you down, then you should consider what’s right for you, both for now and for the future.
Yes, just for yourself, alone.
Check other: 9 Signs You Should Learn To Say No At Work
What To Do When Your Boss Is Intimidated By You?
After knowing that your boss feels threatened by you, it is not something that you should be proud of taking it lightly.
Things can get worse in the professional culture at any time.
And so you have to be aware of it, from the early stage.
Don’t forget that you are responsible for your performance at the company.
You are not to blame for your boss’s insecurity, jealousy, and negative behavior in any way, Remember that.
So, when you notice signs your boss is threatened by you, then make sure you do something that is not harmful to your passion, personal image, career, and work environment, in general.
Well, you should not rush to reply, nor do anything that could possibly hurt your professional track record and the image you created so far.
Take thoughtful decisions knowing what is the best option and what is best for you and your career in the end, rather than keep threatening your boss for longer.
With a strong belief in universal signs and positivity, Ketan P. started ‘Signs You Are‘ to shed light on the daily signals we miss. Every article on this site reflects his experiences, learning, and reflections over the years.