How Your Toxic Boss Is Hurting Your Mental Health

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A toxic boss, most of us have experienced it or are still experiencing it. Such bosses are a source of ruining the work environment. Their explosive outburst, pointing out employees’ mistakes in front of everyone, or not given credits to your subordinates are the most common traits that define a bad boss. These bosses are the key reason, and employees decide to leave their jobs. If you have a toxic boss, then you know it very well how stressful it can be for you to work in such an environment. You will need to make a lot of effort to stay motivated during your job.

Although many people work towards improving their leadership skills but being a leader does not mean that you mistreat your employees. A study suggests that 56% of the employees in the US are facing difficulties due to their toxic bosses.  These bosses can be a stressful part of your day at your workplace, as they can have a crucial impact on your mental health.

An inexperienced leader is not necessarily lethal. But those with toxic traits can proactively affect other individuals. Their intimidating attitude and strict behavior is a way to control other people. Their aim is to degrade other people and threaten them to control them to gain compliance. Why such bosses exist? It’s entrenched in their nature. These individuals possess narcissistic and psychopathic traits, lack empathy. They negatively use their authority to torture others.

Types of Toxic Boss

The place you spend most of your time can have a positive or negative effect on your mental health. You need to recalibrate your boss’s attitude so that it does not influence your mental health. Their toxic attitudes can lead to inappropriate and uncomfortable situations. Here are some of the traits of that toxic bosses possess.  

1.     Authoritative

Authoritative bosses are harsh, intense, and abrasive. They have extreme mood swings and very high expectations from their employees and subordinates that makes it difficult for individuals to cooperate and work with them. The authoritative leaders can bully their employees in several ways. They are excessively demonstrative and have the tendency to verbally or emotionally abuse the people that work with them. Working with such types of bosses can be extremely draining.

2.     Uncommunicative

Other than authoritative bosses, uncommunicative managers don’t really impact the well being of their subordinates much as they think well about every employee, but the issue lies in the way they interact or convey their thoughts. They are imperturbable and have no sense of direction. The fear of confrontation results in them being less expressive.

The key reason for possessing these traits is that these people think they will not be liked by everyone. They feel inferior and will try their best to cover that inferiority through their rude behavior. Being an employee, you can set some boundaries not to let their behavior affect you and burden you down with responsibilities.

3.     Unprofessional

These types of bosses are too friendly with employees and treat them as their peers and friends. This behavior might be flattering at first and makes you feel confident at your workplace but, over time, it can be draining. Not having any sort of boundaries between an employee and a boss can result in anxiousness.

Their passive aggressiveness and being too personal with their workforce will result in being present at their beck and call. They will try to force you to do carry out work for them that at the end of the day, you will be left with zero energy. You need to very careful in dealing with this type of boss.

Ways Your Boss Is Affecting Your Mental Health

It is quite easier to point out a toxic boss, but many people can deal with them effectively. They think that they’ll handle their boss and carryout with their work, but this behavior will gradually start to affect your mental well-being. Here are some of the ways your toxic boss can disturb your mental health.

1.     Suffering from Clinical Depression

The initial days of your job feel as if you are at a great place job your dream job. But as you get accustomed to your workplace environment, you get to know more about people as well as your boss. When you work for a toxic boss, it creates havoc in your mental health.   Most of the people are unsatisfied with their jobs because of the behavior of their boss. When your boss is a psychopath, you are more likely to suffer from clinical depression.

This is something that should not be ignored as it can negatively affect your ability to work not only at your workplace but at the office as well. You start to experience loss in your appetite, constant sadness, and feeling of worthlessness. The behavior of your boss will make you feel like whatever you are doing is not enough, or you lack some abilities.

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2.     Feelings of Anxiousness and Fear

Imagine working in an environment where your boss has a strict behavior. What will happen then? You will always be afraid whenever they enter the place. It will induce fear and dreadful feeling in your own personality and office environment. You will be under constant fear of being called out by your boss or targeted in front of other employees. Persistent anxiousness and despair will be instilled in your personality that will ultimately affect your work performance. 

The distress of being ridiculed or being fired from the job will affect your health and mental well-being. This anxiety and nervousness will cause you to lose your confidence and will leave you incapacitated. You will not be able to make decisions at your workplace because of being uncertain all the time.  

3.     Sleep-Deprived

You work in a 9 to 5 job environment. Therefore, it is easier to take our time for an adequate amount of rest to keep your mind fresh and relaxed. But, when you are dealing with a toxic boss, your ability to enjoy a restorative sleep will be highly disturbed. This is because of the stress of dealing with your boss’s bad behavior that ruins your mental peace. Stress and sleep are directly linked; if you are suffering from a lot of stress at your workplace, your sleep duration and quality will be profoundly affected.

You won’t be able to concentrate well on your work. Sleepiness will affect your mental health, making you feel irritated at your work. Your performance will be significantly affected, causing you to face your boss’s wrath. You will lose your capability to be your best self and to deal with the toxicity effectively.

4.     Poor Productivity at Workplace

Skills, talent, and productivity of the employees are what that benefit the organization. When you are unable to concentrate well at your work, your performance will be highly affected. Your productivity can be reduced due to various reasons, and one of them is the bad behavior of your boss. When you work with such kind of people, rather than improving your own self, your personality, skills, and talents start to reduce.

Their authority and misuse of power will lead to negative changes in your own behavior and thoughts, which you are not immediately aware of. You will observe these changes gradually when you will not be able to achieve your set goals. Rather than receiving praise from your boss, all you will be getting constant insults and verbal abuse. This will ultimately affect your productivity, and you will be demotivated to work.

5.     Zero Interest in Job

The toxic behavior of your boss spreads like wildfire within the workplace environment. When the employees are being led by a toxic boss, the employee’s behavior with each other will change. Rather than being friendly with each other, they will be running after taking credits for other people’s work as well as criticize each other.

There will be more aggressiveness and rudeness among the employees, and the reason behind this behavior will be the negative trait of the boss. Employees will have zero interest in their own job, and most of them will be unsatisfied with their jobs due to the negativity in the environment. Research carried in the year 2016 suggested that rude behavior, irritation, no motivation to work all these emotions are linked with the behavior of your manager.

6.     Feelings of Loneliness and Negativity

We, humans, are social beings that are always craving the company of another person. We need some contact or baseline community to perform and live. When your toxic boss is harsh and abrasive towards, you will quickly observe negativity creeping inside your behavior. You will think like you are being hated by other employees. Your thoughts will make you feel lonely, and you’ll expect this kind of behavior from other people as well.

This will result in increasing your cognitive decline, higher stress levels, and poor sleeping patterns. The way our heads behave with us will likely affect our emotional and mental well-being. When you constantly point out, insulted, you will eventually think about yourself in a pessimistic way. When

7.     Mental Exhaustion

When you are chronically exposed to a toxic boss, it will have a profound effect on your emotional and mental health. Your efforts will be just to go through the days that exhausts and drains all your energy. Such bosses will always keep you loaded with a lot of work. This daily work stress will result in mental exhaustion that affects your motivation to perform your job and reduces your cognitive performance. You will lose your focus on your work, and as a result, you will be unable to get your work done. Your productivity and wok proficiency will be greatly impacted that will compel you to leave your job.

8.     Always Bored and Sluggish

When you are in a toxic environment and dealing with a harsh boss, you will feel like, and your job life has come to a stop. You are given tasks upon tasks that you don’t feel like doing. The work is piled up on your desk, and you have no will power to get it done. The feeling of boredom is also a result of the toxic trait of your leader. The employees who are always bored with reduced resilience will have a tendency to opt for bad behavior with other employees. Staying in such an environment due to certain compulsions will slowly change your behavior and attitudes.

Dealing with the Boss’s Behavior

It is impost for you to handle the toxic behavior of your boss as it will directly impact your mental well-being. Not every time you have a choice to leave such kind of workplace. Working under such a leader can be daunting and draining for your own mental well-being. What you need to do is recalibrate your relation with your boss and define certain boundaries for yourself. Be honest and upfront with your boss if they are behaving rudely or harshly towards you when you are feeling overburdened, communicated respectfully to manage your workload.

Moreover, if this does not work, then the best approach is conveying your concerns to the HR team and explain to them how your manager’s attitude is affecting your work and mental health. Dealing with such matters with professionalism will help you to protect your mental health. Setting boundaries will help you experience positive changes in your own personality, behavior, and mental well-being.


One-third of our life is spent while working in an organization. In order to produce greater productivity, you need to have a positive work environment. The nature of your boss can positively and negatively affect you. If you ignore their attitude and bad behavior, it will eventually make you stressed and a negative person. It’s you who can make an effort for your mental health and deal with such people wisely in a gentle way.

Additional resources: Health in the workplace: Could RPA Reduce Office Injury Costs?

Author Bio:

John William is currently working as a Business Development Officer at Crowd Writer, best place to get dissertation editing services. John has been carrying out research on organizational behavior and wrote many blogs on making the business environment effective. He has a passion for sharing his learning and knowledge with the world. 

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