My boss is toxic and I’m starting to feel I’m trapped and the only way out is out is going away

I have a decent paying job, and I am the “bread winner” although I got here due to an internal hire. My worries are this woman is pushing me off the edge, and has to have the last word in. Always criticizing my work and making unrealistic expectations and demands up so I fail. She has been with the company for waaay longer than me, and I feel she’s pushing me out of the company. The team consists of her and I. I don’t know what to do. I’ve been looking for similar jobs, but nothing has seem to stick it’s affecting my personal life, marriage and just draining my will to wanna wake up the next day. Moral of the story (pass my ranting) is that I’m in a toxic situation and I’m scared to quit because I need to support my family and need help overcoming the anxiety and need help on how to deal with a situation like this.


She has a reason for behaving that way. It may not be a good or valid one, but it sounds like she has some negative stuff going on in her head. Being with the company for a long time may not be enough for her to feel secure in her job. You may be occupying a position she’d rather someone else had gotten. If that’s the case, maybe she is trying to push you out.

Regardless of the reason she’s treating you badly, that might change when she figures out that she’s better off with you than someone lazier or more troublesome. I’ve had some pretty shitty bosses, but I usually figured out how to put up with them. At one company, a steel mill, my boss and I hated each other, but like you, I had to keep working. The amazing thing is, after a year, we started getting along. Then each of us decided that the other had changed, making it possible for us to get along.

No matter how she behaves, remember who you are, and don’t let her behavior cause you to be anything less than decent and respectful towards her. It’s a matter of personal integrity to maintain your own standards of behavior, rather than allow her to degrade those standards. Hold your head high, and maintain your confidence.

Listen carefully and respectfully to her criticisms. Give feedback to show that you understand what she is saying. Stay very calm. When you behave like a professional, it’s very likely to take some of the negative wind out of her sails. Whether or not being calm, poised and professional does anything to help the situation, by learning to be that way in difficult circumstances will serve you well for the rest of your life.

Though it is a toxic situation, you do have control over how much that toxicity gets under your skin. You are better off learning to cope with it than avoiding it, because it’s very likely that you will sometimes encounter it in the future, and you will be prepared to handle it. I suspect that you’re staying power will overcome her “pushing.”

You really aren’t trapped. You are just making smart decisions. Go ahead and look for something else. Very often, a job change is the only way to get a raise. Just do things according to your timetable, rather than to let her pressure you.

By the way, welcome to Heart Support. I look forward to hearing more from you!

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From: ManekiNeko

welcome to heart support!! That sounds so frustrating. I find in most work places there’s going to be someone in someway who gets under the skin. The thing about splinters is we can always coax them out so they don’t stay there and get infected. This may look different from person to person and depending on how open the other person is to communication. Sometimes it’s okay to say “hey you seem to have different ideas about how things should work. What would make this easier for both of us” and sometimes it means doing the job you know is right and dusting off their bad attitude.
granted sometimes those situations start to become more than just a matter of dusting it off and soldiering on. It depends on how deep you want to dig. Sometimes involving HR or management works, but that can turn messy, so sometimes seeking alternative work is best. I guess that depends on how much this is going to continue impacting you and your personal life. What does your spouse think? Have you shared your concerns with them and talked about seeking another job?


From: Microsmos

Hey RyanG, thank you so much for reaching out here. First off, well done for just taking the time to open up about it. With the stress and overwhelm that this situation brings, I can only imagine how much efforts it takes to even consider sitting down and talking about it. You’ve done the right thing by sharing what’s on your heart, and I hope this could bring you at least a little bit of relief, even for just seeing that you are not alone and there are people gneuinely rooting for you out there.

A couple of years ago I was in a toxic work environment – it took me a burn out and being away from it to actually start realizing what it was costing me, mental health wise. Unfortunately, in any workfield there are people who abuse their power and push other beyond their limits for reasons that are absolutely unfair. It shouldn’t be that way. I’m sure you’ve been responding to the requests of this person even above and beyond. It clearly sounds that THEIR expectations and their managment is wrong. I hope you know that this is not your fault or will never define the quality of your heart, of your skills, and even less your worth as a human being. Little by little, this kind of environment drains our energy, our sense of purpose and belonging. It makes absolutely sense to feel extremely drained right now and finding no motivation to go there, or even to just get up in the morning. The toxicity takes away everything that is good, little by little. Again, it’s not your fault.

I hear that you feel stuck right now and that is completely understandable. Although an urgent need right now for you is to have the possibility to be away from this environment, to slow down, to simply breathe. I’d like to encourage you to reach out to a general practitioner and talk with them about your situation at work, how you feel, and the possibility of having a medical leave. When I was burnt out, that’s what I had to do, and of course I’m not saying it’s the only way to proceed. But it does give a breather, time to think and strategize futur decisions regarding our job, our needs, our values, etc. At first I took just a week to see how it goes, and also because I couldn’t even imagine “failing” my coworkers by tkaing a medical leave. But once I got back to work I felt the difference and realized how much I needed more rest. I was past beyond the point of my own limits. To restore ourselves and regain energy takes time, and it is absolutely okay to give ourselves the means to do so – despite the pressure of our society, despite the pressure of our peers. There’s a moment when if WE are not able to function, then it would only get worse as we would keep using our last rope over and over. You deserve peace, rest and time to adjust. You deserve to have the possibility to breathe, enjoy some days without the pressure of work, center on yourself and think about ways to proceed from now on. Maybe even to discuss with your loved ones about it, so they could also support you during this difficult time. You’re in this life as a team, which also implies to face these hurdles together. So in any case please, please put yourself as a priority. Time invested in yourself is never selfish or waster – on the contrary, it is exactly what will help you make healthy decisions and be there to keep supporting the people you love. For now, you are the one in need of support. I promise that you’re not failing anyone because of what you’re going through. It is our society – and some people – that make workplaces too often full of toxicity, wrong values and ideals.

I’m just a humble stranger but through it all you have my full support. Keep us updated, if that is okay for you. You are loved and your mental health matters so very much. :heart:


Thank you all for the overwhelming support. Reading these have helped a lot. I will keep you all posted. I have an interview today for a similar role, and a couple thousand more than I make- but as you all mentioned, my personal health and mental health are more important than a huge pay raise. Something I’m failing to explain to my wife cause she continually says “is it worth the jump for a few grand more?” I tell her I’m in a good spot for wage already, and I’m not looking to leave to make more, I just wanna be happy again. I miss being part of a “team” and honestly at this rate would take a pay cut to be part of a solid team again. My situation now as I mentioned, isn’t a team. It consists of me and a woman who’s been with the company forever. I have no “work friends” to talk to, and the manager above us is a ghost. Again I’ll keep you all posted, and I appreciate you all for “listening”



First of all, welcome to Heart Support. I know you have received some really good feedback already. I’ll add that I’ve been in that place with having to work with someone who only criticizes. If you have the opportunity to truly find a better position that pays the bills and doesn’t totally suck you dry in the process, it sounds like it’s worth pursuing. Until then, I know that you will hang in there and be the caring human being you are with this coworker. I suspect she has some struggles of her own whether she admits to them or not. Her behavior says so much more about her and is more about her than it is about you. Please do let us know how things are going. I’m rooting for you my friend.

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Well universe spoke today and coincidentally set up a 1-1 with her boss. He does this time to time and he said this was a complete bizarre occurrence. He asked how everything has been and asked how am I doing, job wise and asked how things are going between i and the boss. I felt this was an appropriate time to bring things up, so I did. He now knows of her toxic behaviors and Says he is going to address what I said to her to see what he can do to help. After that, he says he wants to set up a meeting with all of us to discuss how we can fix this. Sounds great and all, but I already know the damage this woman has done and I doubt there is any way to change her. I mentioned already I had an interview with another company today too (just to add to the craziness of everything) and it went really well, he said he wants to get me on a call with another guy tomorrow (haven’t heard anything regarding that) cause it sounds like a they wanna get the call rolling as soon as they can. I’ll keep you all posted. What a wonderful resource. Thank you to everyone who has helped thus far. You don’t even know how much I appreciate you.


Hey RyanG

Casey and Dan responded to your topic yesterday on stream with some words of encouragement and support.

Here is a link to their video response you can watch anytime you are needing some encouragement friend.