Social & Interpersonal Skills

Thinking “My Boss Has Changed Towards Me”? Here Are 5 Ways To Handle The Situation

Everyone understands the importance of maintaining a good relationship with your boss at work. Sometimes if you’ve been working for your boss for a long time or something happens at work, you might think “My boss has changed towards me” all of a sudden. 

What should I do if my boss has changed towards me?

Depending on the way your boss is acting, you may be worried about what that means for you and your employment status. If you have found yourself in this situation and you’re unsure what to do next, keep reading for tips on how to handle your boss acting differently towards you in a professional way. 

1. Talk to your boss 

The best place to start when you find that your boss is acting differently towards you is to talk with him or her directly. If you have a standing meeting with your boss, consider bringing it up the next time you meet, but don’t be afraid to schedule time to meet and discuss it if you feel that it can’t wait. 

Your approach for this meeting will vary based on what kind of relationship you have with your boss, how long you have worked together, and the degree to which you feel you can be direct with him or her. Consider all of these things when deciding how you want to structure the conversation. 

If you have known your boss a long time and you trust him or her, you can be very candid and direct about your questions. Approach the issues or questions directly and allow them to answer. Probe where you can to see if you can get to the root of the issues and find out if there is anything you can do.

If you have a shorter history with your boss or a rocky relationship, you may want to be vaguer in your questions and try to gain insight indirectly. This is definitely a more challenging way to go about the conversation, but it might be necessary if you’re worried about what’s going on and whether your boss will be open with you. 

Make sure you prepare before you sit down with your boss so that you have a list of questions that you’d like to ask. Bring them in on a piece of paper or commit them to memory to make sure you don’t forget. It’s important not to get off track during your conversation so you get all your questions answered. 

Related Article: Here’s How to Deal with a Boss You Hate (Without Quitting!)

2. Audit your behavior

Based on what you learned during your conversation with your boss, now it’s time to take a look at your behavior and see if there’s anything you can or should change. This is very subjective, so your ability to do anything about what’s going on with your boss will depend on your particular situation with your boss. 

You may have learned valuable insight from speaking to your boss and if there are things that you’ve been doing that might put your employment in jeopardy, now is the time to make changes. Take their feedback to heart and commit to the things you can change. 

Your boss may have highlighted specific areas that you can improve, so these are the first areas to address. This direct feedback is valuable and should not be taken personally. Use this as a growth opportunity and a chance to right the ship in your relationship with your boss. 

If your boss shares with you something that is bothering him or her, consider whether there is anything you can do to alleviate or eliminate the situation. Even if your boss didn’t directly tell you things that they would like for you to change, you may find that you can make small tweaks to your work to help. 

It is difficult to look inward at the things that you might be doing that contribute to a bad situation at work. It requires you to be honest with yourself and admit that there are areas you can improve. It takes courage and humility, but it can be the difference between keeping and losing your job. 

Let your boss know what you intend to work on, if appropriate. Show that you are committed to making the changes that you discussed and ask them to help keep you accountable. This will go a long way in showing you are dedicated to your job. Your boss is certain to appreciate the effort and help you succeed along the way. 

3. Connect with Human Resources

Your human resources department is a resource that you can use as a next step after speaking with your boss or if speaking to your boss isn’t an option for some reason. The role of human resources is to be there for any employee issue from benefits to communication issues, so they are there to help. 

If you feel like you can’t talk to your boss because the treatment you’re receiving from your boss is problematic in some way, human resources is the place to go. They are a safe, confidential place to share what’s going on and get advice on what to do next. Don’t be afraid to utilize them if you’re not sure what to do. 

Human resources can help you formally document any issues with your boss if there is anything going on that needs to be reported like harassment or discrimination. They can also assist you in looking to be transferred to another department within your company if you feel that would be the best option. 

Your human resources representative can also help you communicate more effectively with your boss. If you share what’s going on with them, they may have suggestions on how to handle the situation or be able to set up a meeting for the three of you to discuss the next steps together. 

It’s important to note that while going to human resources is always an option, there is a chance that what you share will make it back to your boss. Even if they don’t know the details, they may be made aware that you spoke with someone. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but in some scenarios may cause issues so just proceed with caution. 

Read More: What Would You Like Your Manager To Do Differently? Real Feedback From Employees

4. Document everything important

When things are going awry with your boss, make sure that you are keeping track of everything you’re doing to protect yourself and your employment. This may seem like an extreme measure, but you never know when you might be asked to provide proof of tasks or projects you’re completing.

Keep clear records of conversations you have with colleagues or customers, save important emails with approvals or details on anything you are working on, and make sure to take notes during meetings. The more you can document, the better. 

Although the hope is that you and your boss can work through whatever rough patch you are going through, there is always a chance that things will not go that way. Choosing to document everything doesn’t mean you are giving up on your job, you are just doing it as an insurance policy that you hope you never need. 

By keeping important documentation and making sure that your bases are covered to prove that you are performing, you prepare yourself for anything that is to come. Listen carefully to the feedback you get from your boss both directly and indirectly so you can make sure you are on top of your game. 

The best case is that all this documenting just makes you a better, more diligent employee and you go on to work for your boss for many more happy years. The worst case is that if your boss attempts to discipline or fire you without just cause, you have proof of everything you need to push back. 

5. Consider a job search 

The most extreme and hopefully last resort option when you find that your boss has changed towards you is to look for a new job. If you find that the way he or she treats you is disrespectful or you get the sense that you may be fired soon, this might be the best thing to do.

If you work for a large company and would like to continue working there despite this issue with your current boss, look to see if there is an option to apply for another position within your company in a different department or location. You may only be able to do this if the situation with your boss is amicable. 

Take time to update your resume and sign up for job alerts on popular job boards like to see what is available in your industry. It may take some time to find a new position that is the right fit, so start as soon as you think you may need to find something. 

Reach out to former colleagues or trustworthy current colleagues who might be willing to be a reference for you. Update your LinkedIn profile and see if anyone you know can help connect you with a company that is hiring. 

Looking for a new job is a major move that requires a lot of coordination and a big risk. Starting your job search when you sense that you may want to or be forced to move on from your current position is a way to keep your options open so that you don’t have to make a rushed decision from a place of desperation. 

Read More: Boss Criticizes My Personality: How To Handle Negative Criticisms

About Author

Founder of With over 20 years of experience in HR and various roles in corporate world, Jenny shares tips and advice to help professionals advance in their careers. Her blog is a go-to resource for anyone looking to improve their skills, land their dream job, or make a career change.

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