5 Signs You Have A Toxic Boss

Here are five signs you have a toxic boss.

Unreasonable Expectations

I had a boss years ago that gave us all such an amount of work that it would have been impossible for two or three people to do it a week, not to mention me alone. How could he not realize that it’s unreasonable to ask me to do in a week what should probably take a month? This “failure” would ultimately lead to me being chewed out in front of others as he didn’t even bother to do it in private. This was very frustrating. No doubt, this man was a very toxic boss to work for.

Public Humiliation

Referring to my earlier run in with the boss for not getting my work on time, where, by the way, I was placed in an impossible situation, I was then publically humiliated for it in front of my co-workers. Of course, this was spread around, so all of us had to go through this at least once in a while. Only his “favorite” people never faced such public shame. So, if you’ve got a boss that likes to show his authority over others (and you) by humiliating you before others, then you’ve definitely got a toxic boss.

Invades Your Privacy

The same boss that I had who I mentioned above was also the same man who used to get into our computers when we when home. He’d even read our emails. Imagine someone getting into your email without you knowing about it. I thought, wow, that’s an invasion of privacy. The only reason I found out about it was when I forgot my coat, I came back to my office and found my boss on my computer. He said they had problems with the server and wanted to see if everything’s working. He quickly powered down the computer, but when I turned it on later, it came up and my email was left open. He had been in my email, and probably went through my desk, my closet, and so on. That’s a very toxic boss, to me.

Degrades Others

A boss who runs down other people isn’t just toxic; he’s a detriment to the office. That destroys office moral and robs any joy you can find in doing your job. When there’s always such negativity in the air, it’s like the air is toxic too. It’s hard to be at an office meeting when others are being degraded or spoken of in a derogatory manner. It’s hard when they’re not there, but to see them sit there and be shamed before others is a sign that this is a very toxic boss.

Nothing Ever Positive

When your boss has never said anything positive about you, or anyone, then you may have a toxic boss. If a boss can’t find at least something in their evaluations that are good, then he or she is not looking hard enough, because every one has at least some redeeming attributes. There are few people alive that we can’t at least find something positive to say about them, so if you have a boss that never says a kind word to anyone, you’ve got a boss that’s very toxic. Don’t let it get to you.


If you have a boss like this, pray for them. For all you know they might be miserable underneath that grumpy boss surface. Maybe they’re hurting inside. They’ve probably got tremendous pressure on them, so pray that God would soften their hearts, not so they’d be a better boss, but that they might be saved. God’s Spirit is ultimately the only One Who can change the boss’s heart.

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