- Your boss‘s impression of you is important, since he or she controls the projects you work on and whether you get promoted or fired.
- Signs that your boss doesn’t like you can be subtle, since you’re working together in a professional capacity.
- According to experts, you should should be wary if your boss doesn’t want to get to know you, talks over you in meetings, or is not concerned about your advancement at the company.
Your boss’s impression of you is important, since he or she largely controls the projects you work on and whether you are promoted or fired. If you have a strong relationship, your boss can become your biggest advocate. If you don’t, your job could be on the line.
Some bosses will be direct about their feedback and where your relationship stands, but not everyone is comfortable with confrontation. Your boss might not say what he or she really thinks, so you have to learn to read the subtle and not-so-subtle signs.
Business Insider spoke to Dr. Amy Cooper Hakim, founder of the Florida-based management consulting firm The Cooper Strategic Group and author of “Working With Difficult People,” to find out the signs that your boss is just not that into you and what to do about it.
1. He or she doesn’t want to get to know you
Let’s say you only hear from your boss when he or she needs something from you or there is a scheduled meeting on the calendar. You’ve tried to strike up a casual conversation or even just say “hello” in the morning, but he or she seems completely disinterested.
This could be a sign that your boss doesn’t like you personally and only thinks of you as someone who can get the job done, according to Cooper Hakim. “Your boss may appreciate your work product and performance, but he doesn’t care to get to know you or to interact beyond that point,” she said.
Sure, your boss doesn’t have to be your BFF, but if you notice that he or she is friendly with other people they manage, it could be a reflection of what they think of you.
2. He or she talks over you in meetings
- VFS Digital Design/Flickr
Whenever you start to explain your ideas in meetings, your boss interrupts you and steals the metaphorical mic. Now you know all too well how Taylor Swift must have felt at the MTV Awards when Kanye West swooped in mid-speech.
“It shows that your boss doesn’t respect you or your ideas, or she is more interested in promoting her own agenda than in listening to anyone else’s opinions, including yours,” Cooper Hakim said.
3. He or she passes you over for projects
- Ike Edeani / The Atlantic
You’ve expressed interest in projects that you think you’re qualified for, but you are never chosen for the role. Instead, your boss takes the lead or gives it to someone else he or she manages.
Your boss either doesn’t listen when you share your goals, or he or she hears them but blows you off. This is a sign that your boss doesn’t care about helping you accomplish your goals, Cooper Hakim told Business Insider. It could also be a sign that he or she doesn’t trust you or think you’re qualified to lead the project.
4. He or she doesn’t care about your career advancement
A boss who is committed to your career growth will ask about your career goals and advocate for you at work. After all, he or she has a big say in what you work on, your responsibilities, and your advancement.
If your boss doesn’t ask about your ideal career path, or asks but doesn’t try to help you get there, you can assume that your boss is not interested in your long-term plans or career advancement, according to Cooper Hakim. “Your boss just thinks of you as a means to get the job that he wants done,” she said.
5. They are not concerned with your wellbeing
- Sergey Mironov/Shutterstock
After you are out sick, your boss jumps right into everything he or she needs you to do without taking 10 seconds to ask if you are feeling better. When you have to miss work for a personal obligation, he or she asks if you can skip it or move it to a day that’s more convenient for him.
These are surefire signs that your boss doesn’t care about how you feel, physically or emotionally, and only cares about things directly related to work, Cooper Hakim said. Again, it’s not your boss’s job to be your friend, but they should still care about your wellbeing.
If you don’t think your boss likes you, here’s what you can do
Nodding your head to any or all of these? Now that you know that your boss doesn’t like you as much as you may have thought, you need to evaluate your next steps. First, consider whether or not your boss acts like that with everyone. If so, try not to take it too personally.
If you like your job and have a good relationship with the rest of your team, Cooper Hakim recommended focusing on your relationships with your teammates and being less concerned with developing a strong relationship with your boss. “Recognize that your goal is to get your work done and to please them with a solid work product. Even though it is ideal to love working with your boss, we go to work to work,” Cooper Hakim said.
But if your boss treats you differently than everyone else or you are so uncomfortable at work that it has a negative impact on your physical and emotional health, it may be time to start looking for another job, Cooper Hakim said.
“If your boss is outwardly rude or inconsiderate on a regular basis, and if this is unbearable for you, then it is likely time to move on. It is reasonable and appropriate to expect to be treated with kindness and respect,” she said.