How To Deal With a Manipulative Boss

It’s easier if you can just avoid dealing with manipulative people, but when the person in question is your boss, that’s not really possible. If you don’t recognize his pathology and learn to appropriately assert your own boundaries, you’ll lose yourself while attempting to please him. There are quite a number of reasons why a boss could be manipulative. Sometimes, in order to cope with the rejection of a parent or significant adult in childhood, manipulators construct an environment centered solely upon themselves to meet their personal need for meaning and fulfillment.  Nothing else matters!


As an employee that sees them and works with them every weekday, and maybe weekends, you are at the receiving end of all the attitude. Here are a few tips on how to cope with, and handle such manipulative boss.

1. Do your best work.

Be professional and strive for excellence. In Colossians 3:23, the apostle Paul said “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord, rather then for men.” Even, if you’re not a religious person, this is good advice. At the very least, you are developing your experience, which will be of value to your next employer.

2. Know Your Basic, Human Rights.

You have the right to be treated with respect. This includes the right to protect yourself from being harmed, whether physically, mentally, or emotionally. Some manipulative people may use the threat of harm to get you to do what they want. While every situation is different, in general you should be able to go to work without being regularly threatened with, for example, demotion or job loss.

As long as you are not hurting anybody else, you have the right to set your boundaries so you can enjoy a happy, healthy life.

3. Operate above the fray.

Choose not to participate in the blame, shame, control and chaos cycle. It will be difficult! The manipulative boss will give you more ammunition to use than you can possibly imagine. Let it pass. Any momentary gratification will only lead to a lingering disappointment in yourself for sinking below your standards.

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