I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that it’s not a nice feeling to think that your boss doesn’t like you.
Your boss can literally make or break your career, shatter your dreams, and have a say in your pay – you want them on your side.
If you can’t get them on your side, you’re probably better off looking for another job, it’s that important.
If you suspect your boss isn’t a fan of yours, here are 20 subtle signs your boss doesn’t like you!
20 Subtle Signs Your Boss Doesn’t Like You
1. They Don’t Greet You In The Morning
It’s common courtesy for a boss or manager to greet their staff and team members as they arrive each day.
If your boss doesn’t even greet you, not a nod, nothing, and they greet your coworkers, it’s a subtle sign they don’t like you.
It’s hurtful to be treated like this, I hope you can get to the bottom of it and do something about it!
2. They Don’t Ask for Your Opinion on Work-Related Issues
Your boss should at least pretend to care about what you think, right?
If they never ask for your opinion on work-related issues or projects, it’s a sign they either don’t think you’re competent or worth listening to or just don’t like you.
It might be professional, or it might be something personal.
Either way, it’s no way to treat someone who is hired to do a job and it makes your job a lot more difficult.
3. They Make Chit Chat with Your Coworkers But Not You
We all know that feeling of being the odd one out, it’s not fun.
If your boss seems to make chit chat with your coworkers and ask how they’re doing but not with you, it’s a sign they don’t see you as an equal or someone they want to associate with.
This is probably one of the most hurtful things a boss can do because it makes you feel like you’re not part of the team.
4. They Put up A Guard and Don’t Let You Get to Know Them
A good boss will try to get to know their employees and build a relationship with them.
If your boss seems like they’re putting up a guard and you can’t get to know them, it’s a sign they don’t trust you or want to let you in.
This is probably because they don’t like you, but it could also be because they’re just a private person.
If it’s the former, there’s not much you can do about it, but if it’s the latter, try to be understanding and respect their privacy.
5. They Ask Your Coworkers to Pass Messages on To You
This one is just plain rude and a little immature, but a red flag that your boss doesn’t like you.
If your boss can’t be bothered to speak to you directly and asks your coworkers to pass messages on to you, it’s a sign they’re trying to distance themselves from you.
It could be because they don’t like you or they think you’re not competent, either way, it’s not a good sign.
6. They Find Faults by Nitpicking Your Work
We all have to deal with constructive criticism from time to time, and when done right it can help us grow in our roles.
But if your boss seems to find fault in everything you do and is always nitpicking your work, it’s a sign they don’t think you’re good enough or that they don’t like you.
This is probably the most frustrating thing a boss can do because it makes you feel like you’re never good enough no matter how hard you try and you’ll feel insecure in your role.
7. They’re Micromanaging You
Similar to nitpicking, if your boss is micromanaging you it means they’ve got you on their radar and do not trust you to do your job.
They might be doing this because they don’t like you or they think you’re not competent, but it’s also possible they’re just a control freak.
Either way, it’s not a good sign and they clearly aren’t a big fan of yours.
8. They Send You an Email Instead of Talking to You in Person
If it’s quicker for your boss to say something to you in person but they always choose to email you, they have some sort of issue.
It could be because they don’t like you, but it’s also possible they’re just a bit socially awkward.
In any case, it’s not a good sign and you should try to find out what the issue is.
Emailing is fine for some things, but if your boss is using it as a way to avoid talking to you, that’s not ok.
9. If You Smile at Them They Don’t Smile Back
This one is subtle and something you can try out yourself.
If you smile at your boss and they don’t smile back, it’s definitely a sign they don’t want to fake being friendly towards you.
It might not seem like a big deal, but it’s not difficult to simply smile back at someone and one could argue it takes more effort not to do it!
10. You Can Tell They Avoid Bumping Into You
I’m sure we’ve all been in that awkward situation where we see someone we don’t want to talk to, and we try our best to avoid them.
If you catch your boss doing this, it’s a pretty clear sign that they don’t like you.
It makes things awkward knowing your boss is going to turn the other way when they’re heading towards you, but it’s their problem, not yours.
11. You Get Given the Jobs No One Else Wants
This might not sound too subtle, but your boss can give jobs to whomever they want.
So, if they’re always dumping the worst jobs on you, it’s a sign they like you.
It might not seem fair, but for whatever reason, they want to make your working life frustrating and miserable for you.
12. You Get Excluded from Social Events
Work social events are the perfect way for coworkers to get to know each other, their boss, and vice versa.
If you’re always left out of social events or your boss never invites you to join them for lunch, it’s a sign they don’t want to get to know you.
It’s a form of workplace bullying and obviously is pretty toxic behavior, you’re right to feel upset and it shows that your boss doesn’t like you.
13. They Never Ask How You’re Doing
This might seem like a small thing, but if your boss never asks how you’re doing or how your day is going, it’s a sign they don’t care about you.
It’s a way of showing they don’t see you as a real person with emotions, but rather just someone who does a job for them.
It’s rude and dismissive, and it’s definitely not a good sign.
14. You’re Excluded from Important Communications
If you’re always the last to know about important company news or changes, it’s a sign your boss doesn’t value your opinion or want to make you feel welcome and part of the team.
They might be doing this deliberately to make you feel isolated and push you out of the company, or they just don’t like you and don’t think about you.
Either way, it’s a bad sign.
Communication is essential to any workplace and if you’re being left out, you’re not going to be able to perform in your role to the best of your abilities.
15. They Give You Impossible Deadlines
If your boss is constantly giving you deadlines that are impossible to meet, it’s a sign they’re trying to set you up to fail.
It’s a way of putting extra pressure on you and making your working life more difficult than it needs to be.
They might be doing this because they want to see you fail, or because they think it will motivate you to do better.
Either way, if they liked and respected you they wouldn’t be treating you in this way.
16. They Find It Hard to Make Good Eye Contact When Talking to You
Eye contact gives away a lot about how someone is feeling.
If your boss can’t make good eye contact when talking to you, it’s a sign they’re not being genuine and they don’t really want to be talking to you.
It might not seem like a big deal, but it’s a pretty clear sign that they don’t like you.
17. They Act Like You’re Invisible at Times
When someone acts like you’re invisible, it’s a pretty clear sign they don’t want to talk to you or acknowledge your existence.
If your boss is treating you like this it’s unprofessional, immature, and puts you in a tough spot.
This is obviously a pretty hurtful thing to do and it’s a sign that your boss doesn’t like you for some reason.
18. They Don’t Ask How You’ve Been when You Return from Leave
A boss should never pry into the lives of their team members, but if they like someone they’ll at least show some interest or concern when someone has been off work.
If your boss doesn’t ask how you are when you return from leave, it’s a sign they don’t care about you or what’s going on in your life.
It’s pretty disrespectful and it shows they don’t see you as a valued member of the team and that they don’t want to get to know you.
19. They Tell You About Other Jobs They Think You Might Be Interested in Applying For
If your boss is constantly telling you about other jobs they think you might be interested in, it’s a pretty clear sign they want you to leave.
I’ve listed this under subtle signs because I’ve seen managers doing this a few times over the years, and they always dressed it up as trying to help the person they’re doing it.
But underneath that facade they didn’t like the person and were trying to make them leave in almost a passive-aggressive way.
20. You Just Get a Gut Feeling They Don’t Like You
Finally, this isn’t a physical sign but it can be just as reliable.
Sometimes you just get a gut feeling that someone doesn’t like you.
It’s hard to explain, but if you’ve ever been in this situation you’ll know what I’m talking about.
If you get this feeling with your boss it’s probably because they don’t like you, even if they’re trying to hide it.
I’m not suggesting you jump to conclusions or do anything drastic, but you should listen to your gut and start exploring this further if you feel this way!
Image credits – Photo by airfocus on Unsplash
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.