Narcissism 101

10 Signs of a Toxic Boss (Insecure Boss)

10 Signs of a Toxic Boss (Insecure Boss)

No one likes a toxic work environment, but did you know that this negative workspace is usually created by an insecure boss or leader? Yes, it’s true! One person’s negativity can really ruin the experience for everyone. Although a lot of these people can have the toxic traits of a narcissist, this is not always the case. In fact, simply being insecure in a leadership role can cause a toxic work environment.

Today, we will be explaining the 10 most common signs of an insecure leader or boss. Be sure to wait until our number one spot on our list because it is the most surprising sign of an insecure boss that we have ever seen. Now, without further ado, let’s get right into it!

 Number 10: They are rude or just straight-up mean.

Insecure people often put others down as a way to make themselves feel better, and this is usually the first sign of insecurity in someone that people see. There are many possible reasons why insecure people are rude to others. Some claim that insecure leaders do this because they think low of themselves, and others believe that an insecure boss will put down their subordinates as a way to manipulate and control them later on.

No matter what the cause may be, a rude or mean boss is a red flag for a toxic work environment, and it is a sure sign that the boss in question is insecure. A secure and well-rounded boss will promote a positive work environment, and they will always be kind and courteous to their coworkers and subordinates. So, if your boss is not acting in this way, then they are likely insecure in themselves.

Number 9: They consistently ignore your boundaries.

Many mental health professionals will suggest that you set clear boundaries with toxic and insecure people in the workplace. However, sometimes really insecure people completely ignore these boundaries or will even cross certain boundaries on purpose. This is a clear sign of a person that is insecure, especially if they seem to cross your boundaries all the time.

Unfortunately, it can be very problematic when the co-worker that is treating you this way is your boss, especially if their behavior is making you uncomfortable. This is not only a sign that a leader is insecure, but it is also a sign that they are not very professional either. As a result, it may be best for you to seek employment elsewhere if this kind of behavior from your boss is really bothering you. No job is worth having to deal with extreme emotional stress that is caused by your boss.

Number 8: Your boss needs to check all of your work.

Now, we do not mean that none of your work should be checked by your boss. After all, it is only natural for your boss to want to make sure that things are being done correctly, especially if the task at hand is extremely important. However, this does not mean that your boss should be checking every task that you do, especially if it is a small task that you regularly do.

This kind of micromanaging is a sign of insecurity in a leader or boss that stems from a lack of trust that their subordinates will do a good job. A secure boss will ask to check work when it is necessary, but they won’t micromanage every task, especially if you have been working in your job for a while.

 Number 7: You are never allowed to make a mistake.

 Everyone makes mistakes, and this is usually expected in the working world. However, an insecure boss will likely worry that their subordinates’ mistakes will reflect badly on them. As a result, they will likely get very angry whenever one of their workers makes even a simple mistake, even if they didn’t know that they were making a mistake in the first place. This is a pretty toxic trait that is surprisingly common among insecure leaders and bosses.

 Number 6: You constantly feel left out.

It never feels good to be left out, especially when at work. This can feel even worse if the person leaving you out of the loop is your boss, especially if you are being left out of meetings and emails that are essential for you to do your job well. Unfortunately, this is yet another fairly common sign of an insecure leader or boss.

This is a pretty toxic control tactic that some people use to take control of their work environment, but this does not mean that it is the best way to do so. In fact, this kind of toxic work environment can take a serious toll on people’s mental health, which is the last thing that any secure boss will want. 

Number 5: Your boss talks negatively about other employees in front of you.

 If you have a boss that likes to gossip and talk negatively about your coworkers in front of you, then this is a huge red flag that they are toxic and insecure leaders, even if it only happens every once in a while. This not only means that they likely also talk about you in this way in front of your coworkers behind your back, but it also shows that your boss is negative and distrusting in the workplace.

 No well-rounded and secure boss or leader will ever talk negatively about the other people working there, and they shouldn’t really be gossiping with their subordinates at all. Although this is a common thing that many people do with their friends, a boss should not be acting this way because they are in a position of power. A boss and subordinate are not just two friends hanging out, so gossiping about co-workers are very inappropriate for a boss to do.

 Number 4: They ask you to do things that make you uncomfortable.

An insecure boss may ask their workers to do things that they are uncomfortable with, such as acting inappropriately or doing a job that they are not qualified for. This can be especially problematic if your boss does not hear your concerns and asks you to go through with the task anyway. Although being asked to act inappropriately can often be more serious than doing work that is outside of your job description, you may want to think about switching departments if this is continuously making you uncomfortable.

 Number 3: Your boss never acknowledges your growth or accomplishments.

Sometimes an insecure leader or boss can be so negative that they never recognize their worker’s growth or accomplishments. A secure boss will congratulate their workers’ success and acknowledge the things that they are doing right when at work. In addition, a well-rounded leader will usually take pride in the personal growth of their subordinates.

 This is especially true if your boss has taken the time to teach their workers new things and if these changes are significant improvements. If your boss never acknowledges your or your coworkers’ growth and accomplishments at work, then your boss is not only toxic, but they are also likely very insecure in themselves.

 Number 2: They never take responsibility for their mistakes or wrongdoings.

It is very common for toxic and insecure people to never take responsibility for their actions, and you will rarely hear them apologize for the things that they have done wrong, if even at all. This can be an especially toxic trait in a boss or leader because this often leads to them blaming their subordinates for the things that they have done wrong instead of owning up for their mistakes.

It could also potentially lead to you getting in trouble for something that you had nothing to do with as well, which is something that no one wants to happen while at work.

Number 1: You are not allowed to do your job efficiently… or even at all.

Now this one might sound crazy. Not allowed to even do your job? Isn’t doing your job the whole purpose of going to work? Now the simple answer to these questions is, of course, that the whole point of going to work is to do your job, but some insecure bosses will micromanage to the point where doing your work efficiently is impossible.

This sign of an insecure boss is pretty extreme, but you would be surprised how often it occurs in the workplace. If you have a boss or leader like this, then you will likely feel as if they are constantly watching you and breathing down your neck. However, they will rarely help you or offer you guidance when you are noticeably struggling.

This creates a toxic work environment, where workers cannot do their work properly or efficiently, and it also causes a lot of unneeded stress. Experts on this topic suggest that working on improving communication with your boss and proactively giving them updates can help reduce a boss’ micromanaging habits. Unfortunately, if this does not work, then they may be a lost cause.

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