Don’t Respect My Boss: What To Do


don't respect my boss

The extent to which you enjoy your job is often very much tied to how much you like working with your boss. So, if you’re in a situation where you don’t respect your boss, then it can be difficult to enjoy your job to the fullest extent.

To that end, this article is going to unpack what it means not to respect your boss. We’ll look at the common signs of not respecting your boss and offer recommendations for what to do if you find yourself in that situation.

All recommendations and opinions are sourced by experienced career experts that contributed to this article. 

Let’s dive in.

What Does It Mean to Not Respect Your Boss?

thinking person

Aaron Case, Career Counselor and Certified Professional Resume Writer at Resume Genius, suggested that it means the following not to respect your boss:

“If you’re a competent, teachable person who’s driven to succeed at work and you don’t respect your boss, it’s probably because you don’t have faith in their ability to lead you. Perhaps they’ve let you take the fall for a mistake they made, or they’ve shown clear favoritism to one of your colleagues. These and countless other management failings can lead you to lose respect for your boss.

However, respect is a two-way street. If you’re not performing well on the job or you struggle with accepting authority, the lack of respect could be something internal that you need to work out.”

Alternatively, Greg Ward Founder/Executive Director at the Center for Respectful Leadership, had this to say about what it means not to respect your boss:

“One of the ways you’ll know you don’t respect your boss is the “feelings” that come up for you when you’re around them or contacted by them in the normal course of business. They may be “gut” feelings where you feel uncomfortable even being around them. Typically, we respond to these feelings by trying to avoid people we don’t respect. But you can only avoid your boss for so long. Many of us have chosen to quit bosses we don’t respect, which is even more unfortunate.”

What Are Signs That You Don’t Respect Your Boss?

toxic boss

Some of the most common signs that you don’t respect your boss include the following:

  • You ignore or avoid them whenever possible, and communicate with them only when necessary.
  • You challenge or question their decisions or opinions without valid reasons, or in a disrespectful manner.
  • You complain or gossip about them behind their back, or to other colleagues or managers.
  • You do not follow their directions or meet their standards, and make excuses or blame others for your poor performance.
  • You do not acknowledge or appreciate their efforts or achievements, and take credit for their work or ideas.

The above content was provided by Fredrick Favour, HR Manager, Lonelyaxe.

What to Do if You Don’t Respect Your Boss?

relieved from job

If you find yourself in a situation where you don’t respect your boss, it’s essential to address the issue in a professional and constructive manner. Here are some tips for what to do if you find yourself in that situation:

  • Self-reflection: Take some time to reflect on the reasons behind your lack of respect. Is it due to differences in leadership styles, communication issues, or personal biases? Identifying the root cause can help you address the problem more effectively.
  • Improve communication: Open and respectful communication is key to resolving conflicts. If there are issues with your boss, try to have a calm and private conversation with them. Share your concerns and feelings while maintaining a respectful tone. 
  • Seek feedback: Ask for feedback from colleagues or mentors to gain insights into your behavior and attitude. They may provide valuable perspectives and identify areas where you can improve.
  • Focus on professionalism: Regardless of your feelings, maintain a professional demeanor at all times. Avoid engaging in negative behavior that could further strain your relationship with your boss.
  • Find common ground: Try to find common interests or goals with your boss to build a stronger working relationship. Demonstrating understanding and support can help bridge the gap between you.
  • Request a meeting: If the issues persist, consider requesting a meeting with your boss’s permission to discuss your concerns and seek a resolution together. If the lack of respect is due to significant issues that cannot be resolved, it might be time to consider looking for other opportunities within the organization or outside of it. 

Remember, a lack of respect can negatively impact your professional growth and happiness at work. Addressing the issue proactively can lead to a healthier work environment and better career prospects.

The above content was provided by Melanie Mitchell Wexler, Career Coach, Job Search Expert & LinkedIn Strategist.


If you work for somebody that you don’t respect, it can be difficult to be effective and enjoy your experience at work. To address the situation, you’ll need to address it thoughtfully and professionally.

However, if you find that you’re simply unable to work for your boss, it may be in your best interest to go find yourself another position.

About the author

Dan Slocum

Dan is the founder of Best Fit Work and is a business professional with over 10 years of experience. He has been a hiring and people manager on multiple occasions, and has also gone through the hiring process himself at a variety of different companies. Dan writes to share content, tools, and resources to help people discover and thrive in their own best fit work.

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