How To Deal With An Angry Boss

Posted 6 years ago •

Sometimes bosses can be irritable, which is a given in high-pressured jobs. Everyone gets angry sometimes, but if your manager’s bad mood is a common occurrence, it can affect the whole team and bring morale down. 

If you aren’t sure how to handle their random outbursts, which you probably bear the brunt of, try not to worry. It can be difficult, but remember it’s nothing personal. Here’s how to remain unaffected by your manager’s bad moods, especially when you aren’t in the best mood yourself!

Think positive

When your manager is moaning that nothing is going right, targets aren’t being met or a project is off track, it’s easy to slip into their mindset too. It’s certainly true that when the boss is happy, the whole team is too.

However, if this happens, remind yourself that you are your own person with your own feelings. Just because someone else is being negative, doesn’t mean you have to follow suit. Keep things in perspective – there are more important things to be concerned about.

If your manager is angry because a project isn’t going to plan that you’re involved with, let them know that you’re on top of it. Don’t get flustered – your boss is on a deadline themselves and just wants things to go right.

Spot the triggers

Sometimes people’s moods are affected at certain times of the day or due to their surroundings. Try to spot these triggers in your boss. For instance, they may always get agitated on a Monday morning before the weekly board meeting, or on a Thursday afternoon after a meeting with their own boss. Some might be cranky until they’ve had their forth caffeine hit of the day or got their nicotine fix. It’s all about noticing any common patterns… and staying out of their way until you know they’ll feel better!

If you’re in the position to, you could help your boss. If your manager has to produce a weekly report and you know they always get stressed about it, you could offer your notes to ease the pressure. However, remember that it isn’t necessarily up to you to make others happy – you can only try your best.


Abort mission

It’s probably not the best idea to get up and run out of a meeting half way through because you’re getting the brunt of your boss’s anger – but in some situations, it’s okay to avoid your boss until the storm as blown over.

For instance, if you’re at your desk and you know your manager isn’t in the best mood, maybe email them a question instead of braving their office. If you can hear them giving a colleague a hard time, there’s no harm in putting your headphones in to block out some of the negativity and so you can concentrate better.


Don’t take it personally

Even when you’re in the boss’s line of fire, don’t think all their anger is because of you. You don’t know what else has happened in their day, what deadlines they’re under and the kind of pressure they face from their own manager.

Always remember that the boss is human too – they could have problems in their home life which is letting them impact their mood in the office. As long as their attitude isn’t caused directly by something you’ve done, try not to take it personally.



Unfortunately, no one can control the way other people feel. Keep some perspective and carry on doing your job to the best of your abilities. For more workplace guidance, check out the rest of our blogs


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