Think about the most important relationships in your life and your boss probably doesn’t come to mind. You might think of your best friend, your SO or your mom, but make no mistake—your relationship with your boss is one that requires just as much attention and care. We’ve seen our fair share of movies and TV shows that depict a hilariously destructive relationship with a boss, like The Devil Wears Prada or Horrible Bosses, but although they made us laugh, the truth is, having an unhealthy relationship with your boss is far from amusing. It can really mess with your head and potentially wreak havoc on your professional life.
HelloGiggles spoke with Stacy Kaiser, Editor at Large for Live Happy, licensed psychotherapist, and relationship expert, who says this is a topic worth thinking about in a serious way. “Many of us spend more of our hours awake at work than anywhere else, and therefore it makes it extremely important that work is as happy and a peaceful place as possible,” Kaiser tells HG. “Your relationship with your boss has a great deal to do with that.”
If you’re unsure about whether you and your boss are on good terms, we’ve gathered some information that will be of great help to you. Because nobody should have to deal with crappy relationships at work.
Here are six signs you have an unhealthy relationship with your boss.
1You’re both highly critical of each other
“Having the ability to appreciate one another for their skills and personality are important key factors to having a good relationship,” Kaiser tells HG. That certainly applies to your relationship with your boss. Not being able to see each other’s values means you probably don’t work together well at all.
2There’s a lot of distance between the two of you
Kaiser recommends scheduling a sit-down session where you two can talk openly about what you’re experiencing. Make sure it’s in a safe space where you can be clear and direct—and don’t be afraid to have an unbiased third party come in as a moderator.
3You get angry or frustrated when they simply walk into the room
“If you have not been managing the issues the two of you have, this built up resentment could lead to greater conflict and unhappiness,” Kaiser advises. That’s why you shouldn’t let this build up any longer. She suggests venting your frustrations outside of work, so that you don’t have the urge to unleash your feelings at the office. Then, try to do some little things that will improve your relationship, like grabbing them a coffee or complimenting them on something you admire. You might be surprised to see a little bit of that resentment fade away.
4You’re apathetic about each other’s performance at work
Start by assessing yourself, Kaiser says, and see if there’s anything you can do to change the situation for the better. Are you slacking off? Are you not responding to your coworkers in a way that’s useful? Before you go pointing fingers at your boss, see if you can start to mend the relationship by taking responsibility for your own actions.
5You often find yourself stuck in miscommunications
6You interrupt each other often
“Turn the negative into positive by making a concerted effort to improve your relationship with your boss,” Kaiser advises. You have control over the situation, so don’t think you have to just give up if your relationship with your boss isn’t fulfilling. Be honest with yourself, be bold, and do what you need to do to create a healthy work environment for yourself.