No One Wants to Work for a Passive-Aggressive Manager

Working for a passive-aggressive manager can be extremely frustrating and demoralizing. Maybe your boss passes you off to someone else when you approach them with a problem, continuously finds gentle ways to shut down your ideas without a thoughtful explanation, or even ignores you when you speak. How can you navigate this kind of tricky relationship?

  • Build a supportive network. Because a passive-aggressive manager doesn’t confront you directly, it’s easy to second-guess yourself and believe you’re inventing slights. People outside of your organization will be able to offer you a fresh, unbiased perspective, emotional support, and sage advice on how to deal with your boss.
  • Don’t stoop to their level. You don’t want to earn a negative reputation with your other colleagues so avoid gossiping. But it’s ok to reach out to others if you’re actively and constructively looking for solutions.
  • Network internally. Should you want to switch teams or departments at some point, it’s a good idea to make connections in other parts of the company.
  • Know when it’s time to leave. Once you’ve exhausted all of your options, it might be time to look for greener pastures. Prioritize your well-being and career above all else.

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