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5 Types of Toxic Bosses You Should Avoid At All Costs

leave toxic jobs Dec 29, 2018

As much as we try to avoid it, we as human beings are susceptible every day to baser emotions like envy, which results in hurtful gossip, unhealthy comparison to others, and sabotage. All of this contributes to a toxic environment in the workplace. Its effects exacerbate when we find our leaders, management, and bosses do not know how to transmute envy into positive and constructive emotions. 

Here are 5 toxic personas you should avoid at the workplace, especially if they are your boss! 

1.  Mr./Ms. Unpretentious

This type likes to cut the overly superior down to size. We may love this when they are attacking the braggarts, but the downside is - like the crab taking down any other crab that tries to escape the bucket - this type can never appreciate excellence. Their goal is to bring everyone one down to the same mediocre level they are so that they won't feel so bad about themselves. They have very fragile egos themselves. We only want to cut people down to size when their egos are too large, but it's important to encourage greatness. Because of their inferiority complex, they will always be there to dim your shine. 

Combat Techniques: Shine anyway. Who are they to tell you what you can or cannot do? Are you any less of a person if they feel insecure because of who you are? It's not your place to babysit them to make them feel better. If they are your boss, lay low and don't draw attention to yourself, pretend to be mediocre until you are able to showcase who you really are to the people that matter, and make your escape. Staying in a toxic environment where people don't appreciate your gifts can certainly wear you down if you have to deal with it on a daily basis.

2.  The Lazy Heir/Heiress. 

These types believe they should be treated like royalty for doing nothing. They are the types who think it's ok to marry a rich partner and sit on their @ss doing nothing, expecting servants, lavish shopping sprees, beauty parlour treatments, and international travel while their partner works 24/7. These types of people are snake charmers who use other people to get what they want politically instead of by getting results. 

The reason is that they don't feel worthy to get all the things they want themselves by hard work, because it was always given to them. Therefore they never developed the proper discipline to succeed sustainably, and they know this. The danger here is that if you are a high performer, these types of people will be immediately envious of you, and even hostile because it will highlight their inadequacies of getting things done.  The risk is that they will make your life miserable because of it. 

These types of people, because they are the ultimate manipulators of getting people to believe they get results (when they actually do nothing), they will work to slander and sabotage you to make other people perceive them as hardworking and you as incompetent. 

Combat techniques:  The way to combat these people is to have a strong sense of identity, and make consistent results. Advertise your brand with certainty and consistency. Pick 3 awesome traits about yourself, and broadcast them daily. Start with emphatic incantations in the morning: I AM ____, I AM _____ and I AM _______! Make your reputation iron-clad, but as a result of your output, not by your talking. Walk the walk. But never brag --this calls out the Entitled Heiress' insecurities and gives them a reason to run you off the track. Ain't nobody got time for that. 

Make your boss your customers, not your boss. Be your own boss. Execute the items ordered by your boss, but really provide great customer service to your clients and colleagues. Make the goals of the company your goals, not your boss. Make connections with people through good service. Soon one day someone will offer you a door to a greater opportunity, leaving the Lazy Heiress to those more on her toxic wavelength. 

 3. Mr./Ms. High Status

This type of boss loves to hang out with the people who carry the biggest titles. When they arrive at a work event, they will make a beeline for the highest status people, in order to be seen and in their memory, not for anything other than that. They may be the types that make you do the dirty work, never getting their hands dirty. They may be conscious to wear certain labels and high-end fashion or have luxury vehicles and lavish vacations. 

If you end up being of a higher social status than them, they will conceal their envy by admiring your success while attacking you in underhanded ways, undermining your reputation. These people are fake to the core, and hollow inside of any real self-worth, as they have nothing to cling to but status and titles. 

Combat Techniques:  Stand firm in your authenticity. What these types don't have is authenticity. They cover it with fakeness. When you're real, you have all the power, because the only perception you manage is the perception you have of yourself. They are too busy managing the perceptions of everyone around them. Genuinely care about people. Because when you approach someone of high status and you genuinely care for them (if you resonate with them), they will instinctively know the difference between you who wants to add value to their lives and Mr./Ms. High Status who wants to take from their lives. Always be a person who strives to add value to people's lives, and do so authentically. 

4. The Nasty Brown-Noser

These types of people readily attach themselves to people of higher power by making themselves appear useful to them. They want to be used because, in this way, they are able to gain access to the closed doors and all the riches that upper management provides. These can be seen as the brown-nosers, the ones who always agree with the boss and have no opinion of their own... until they see their boss stumble, then miraculously, they have a plan to save the day, and they make sure everyone knows about it. Their real plan is to get close to the power source so that they can take them down. They are drawn to power not out of admiration, but for envy, and their purpose is to dethroning them or harm them in some way.  

Combat Techniques:  This is the boss's ultimate nightmare: being betrayed by their seemly closest ally. Yet it happens all the time.  The key to defeating this type is to have a clear sense of higher purpose. These types of brown-nosers do not know their calling, and their lives are empty because of it. What person who knows their calling would waste time attaching themselves to a person of power as a sycophant while biding their time to get their position? 

The reason having a higher purpose works is that a higher purpose acts like a magnet that draws everyone in towards you, and that includes the higher ups. Once again you are not trying to take from them, you are adding value by fulfilling your purpose, and if the purpose aligns with the company, then you'd be fulfilling the company's purpose. This sense of higher purpose causes you to do more, be more and accomplish more. People will be in awe of your ability to get better results, do more than anyone else, and provide excellent service. Having the purpose of gaining power by leeching off of someone will never beat someone who has a goal that is greater than themselves.   

5. Mr./Ms. Insecure

There are some bosses who are not ready to become bosses because they have not examined their lives and how they want to lead and contribute before they received their position. They may not even know this is the reason, however they feel innately anxious and they don't know why. They are highly insecure about their position of power, and therefore, they want to transfer this burden to you.  So they may demand a lot from you, criticise you, never praise you, take all the credit, and anything and everything that makes you look bad and they look good. These types are especially prone to envy if you are a good performer because if you do well, they think it will expose the fact that they honestly don't know what they are doing.  They will secretly envy your youth, your positivity, your intelligence, your background, and your talent. They will end up belittling you so much to take away your confidence so that you will feel you will get no other position than the one under them. They may justify firing and demoting you. Ultimately, under such a toxic environment, your work may lose its quality. it's not your fault. It's like eating McDonald's every day and expecting to be healthy. But what is in control is how long you stay in that toxic environment.

Combat Techniques:  Pay attention to those above you for insecurity issues. They will have a track record of firing or demoting people for strange reasons or a large percentage of people leaving their group.  The best way to combat such an insecure, emotionally abusive boss is to plan your escape as early as possible. Lay low, keep away from their venom as much as possible, as they will find you and attack you with criticisms, belittling your confidence. Let them boast and get the credit for your work for now. Your time to shine will come, but it will be a harder road if you if you trigger their insecurities. 


I hope these 5 toxic bosses and their antidotes helped you recognize your power and authenticity to add value in the workplace. I wish you all find your power and leave a toxic environment if you are in one. Leave a comment below on what you thought of the article and what you would do if working under these 5 types. 

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