How to Deal With a Bossy Coworker at Your Job

How to Deal With a Bossy Coworker at Your Job
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It’s unfortunate but true that in today’s modern workplace, we frequently come across colleagues who seem pleased to point out our shortcomings. They may try to put us down or boast about how better they are than us.

Keep in mind that everyone has their own set of skills and limitations. Don’t let anyone discourage you from furthering your education and developing your abilities. Try to become a better, stronger version of yourself instead.

Tolerating those who are quick to bring out your weaknesses can be tough. You can learn to handle a bossy coworker without succumbing to their influence.

In this piece, we’ll go over some strategies for dealing with a bossy coworker and some advice for staying out of a fight. Also discussed will be planned for dealing with a coworker who is overbearing in their management style.

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1. Try not to take their bossiness personally

The problem lies in the fact that bossy people are very insecure and self-conscious about being bossy. They’re afraid of making others uncomfortable, so they try to ensure everyone knows exactly where they stand.

In reality, though, nobody cares what your boss thinks about anything. Most of us would rather work under someone confident and assertive than someone weak and passive.

So when bossy people start acting bossier than usual, it could mean that something inside them is beginning to change.

This might not necessarily be positive, but there’s no reason to let it bother you. Instead, think about why they’re behaving like this and see if you can figure out whether they may be trying to tell you something important.

If you’ve worked together long enough, you probably already understand what’s happening. If not, ask them directly. You may even seek some professional advice.

2. Be direct

If you’ve ever had a coworker who acts like a boss, you know what I’m talking about. They don’t just tell you what to do; they demand your attention and act like they are entitled to it.

When you try to decline politely, they become verbally abusive. If you are lucky, they eventually realize their behavior isn’t working and change course. But sometimes, people won’t admit they are wrong or that they are being unreasonable. In those situations, you’ll need to take action.

You can’t control someone else’s actions, but you can manage your responses. So when you feel like you’ve been treated unfairly by a coworker, say, “I’d appreciate it if you didn’t interrupt me while I’m talking.” Or “Could you please stop telling me what to do?”

Don’t allow yourself to get sucked into an argument, especially that involving name-calling. It’s easy to fall into these types of conversations because it feels good to express yourself.

3. Stay calm

The bossy person thrives on being treated badly because it makes her feel powerful. She gets off on the attention she receives from others when she acts out aggressively. This is why bosses are often referred to as “bitchy”.

You know, the type – the one who talks too much about herself, interrupts constantly, doesn’t listen to anyone else, and uses sarcasm to make everyone around her miserable. You’ve probably even been on the receiving end of some of her antics.

She needs to learn how to manage her emotions better. If you’re dealing with a bossy person, here are some tips for staying cool under pressure:

  1. Don’t react. When you see a bossy person acting up, don’t say anything. Walk away. Let her vent. When she calms down, tell her politely that you had no intention of saying anything negative; you just wanted to give her a chance to explain herself. Then let her talk.
  2. Take responsibility. If you did nothing wrong, take full responsibility for whatever happened. Say something like, “I’m sorry that my actions caused problems. I’ll try harder next time.”
  3. Make sure it wasn’t your fault. If you believe that you are innocent in all of this, then you should be able to convince the bossy person that you aren’t responsible for any of the issues. If she still insists that you are, remind her that you have done everything possible to rectify the situation.
  4. Keep your cool. Remember that you are in charge. The bossy person has no right to treat you poorly. Be firm but kind. Don’t respond in anger, and never argue back. Instead, calmly state your position and keep moving forward.

4. Just ignore them

In some cases, it may be best to ignore someone behaving badly. This tactic works especially well if the person exhibits poor judgment, makes unprofessional decisions, or creates a negative work environment.

You can throw a wrench in your coworker’s plans if you ignore his poor behavior. If he feels neglected, he could quit being disruptive. He may change his ways, but at least you won’t have to put up with his bad behavior anymore.

You can also use this approach to avoid getting drawn into an argument. You want to avoid arguing with people causing problems because you’ll lose control over the situation. And even if you do manage to win the argument, you’ll likely feel guilty about it later.

5. Seek additional support

In today’s workplace, everyone is trying to exert some control over what goes on within the office.

Whether that’s a boss telling employees how to do their jobs, colleagues making sure that meetings run smoothly, or even coworkers who try to micromanage one another, there are times when it becomes necessary to seek outside assistance.

When someone starts acting out of control, it is a good idea to take matters into your own hands. However, doing so could make things worse. If your coworker behaves inappropriately, don’t confront them directly.

Instead, enlist the help of your supervisor, a human resources manager, or another person who works closely with both of you. This way, you’ll avoid getting in trouble while still letting your employer know about the situation.

6. Set healthy boundaries

Boundaries are important. They help us define what we want and don’t want in our relationships. But sometimes, it’s hard to assert ourselves because we feel like we’re being bossy or we fear rejection.

If we say no, the person won’t respect us anymore. Or we worry that saying no makes us look weak. So we do things we don’t want to do to avoid hurting someone else’s feelings.

But setting boundaries doesn’t mean you’ll never hear about something again. It could make you stronger.

When we set boundaries, we signal that we’re willing to stand firm against anything beyond those limits. And that sends a strong message. People will start treating us differently—they’ll stop asking us to do things over our boundaries.

So, if you feel guilty or afraid of making others mad, try setting some boundaries. You’ll see how much better you feel once you’ve done it.

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7. Lead by example

The key to handling bossy, difficult coworking is to model the behavior you want to see in others. Be polite and respectful, never raise your voice, and don’t argue with them. You could try being nice about it, like saying something like “I’m sorry I can’t do what you ask me,” or “That sounds great, let me check my calendar.”

If you’re having trouble dealing with someone, take a break and step away from the situation. After a few minutes, return to it with a clear head and ensure you’re ready to handle things calmly. If you feel frustrated, remember that this person is probably doing the same thing to everyone else in the office and that you are just one of many people they are trying to control.


Sometimes, other people just can’t be influenced. At other times, they’re just going through a testing period. Focus on the good things about your workplace instead of taking things personally.

Learn to have greater compassion and remember that no one’s actions are directed at you.

Please leave a comment if you have any queries about how to handle an overbearing coworker.

You should try to keep in mind that your coworker’s bossiness is not directed at you. They could be dealing with their fears or pressures.

Exhibit maturity and compassion by giving others time and space. Be bold to talk to human resources or explore alternative options if circumstances at work become unbearable.

See if the following suggestions for dealing with an overbearing coworker can defuse the situation. Contact our professional resume writers when you’re ready to advance your career and get the job you deserve.

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