3 Tips For Dealing With A Butthole Boss

08/31/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011


Definition of a Butthole boss: an employer who is selfish, impatient or critical, never acknowledges you for busting your butt, and wouldn't know how to motivate a thirsty dog to a bowl of water, much less inspire you. When a butthole boss has influence over your life, waking up in the morning can be hard, and the weekend never seems long enough.

Here's some butthole boss crap:

Your boss gives you a deadline on a project, but every week moves it up. Before you know it, you are working around the clock to complete the assignment. Despite your exhaustion, you finish ahead of schedule, and walk into his/her office to deliver the goods, standing as proudly as your weary self can. Seeing the report in your hands, your boss simply gestures for you to drop it on their desk. After a slight nod of his/her head, meant in some bizarre way to be kudos for a job well done, your boss returns to their work. In that moment, you want to pick up the report and whack your boss upside the head. You want to never work overtime again, and never give a rat's ass about your boss's success. Unfortunately, these choices will probably get you fired, or at least make you feel like crap about your job, you boss and yourself.

Sound familiar? If so, here's some Kick-Ass Advice for you - and it doesn't involve your shoe or your boss's behind:

KAA #1: Believe it or not, what someone does to you they do to themselves. How crazy is that! If the above scenario is familiar, chances are you have a boss who's extremely hard on themselves. They never celebrate their professional wins. Instead, they push themselves to the brink with every new project. How can an employer praise you when they can't praise themselves? As unfair as it seems, you have to bring your compassion to the table when you work for someone that is more f---- up than you are. I know, I hear you; that sucks the big one. But taking the time to understand the psychology of your boss will help you successfully navigate a difficult situation.

KAA #2: Even if your boss's actions are challenging, look for things you like about your boss. Treat your boss exactly the way you want your boss to treat you. Often, our instinct is to do the opposite. When your boss is dismissive with you, you vow to show him/her what dismissive looks like! But going blow for blow never works. Instead, decide to find the good in your boss. Offer compliments when he/she does something smart. Acknowledge your boss's style when they dress nicely. Give your boss a glowing review when he/she leads a meeting in an effective way. And do this with no expectation that your boss will ever return the positive feedback. Chances are, you'll slowly see a change. Don't be too alarmed if your boss tells you your managerial skills are stellar and that you've got a great sweater collection. This phenomenon always amazes me: when you represent the behavior you want, you can shift the actions of those around you.

KAA #3: If all else fails, to hell with your boss! Be your own perfect boss. Pat yourself on the back. Write yourself a great annual review. Claim your excellence and don't let someone who probably had a selfish, impatient and critical parent, diminish your self worth.

Just as we're making better choices in the way we treat our environment, we have to take responsibility for our inner ecology too. Further your commitment to our world by limiting the toxic waste of frustration, disappointment, judgment, guilt, shame, hurt and anger. Kick-Ass Advice will help you turn life's crap into the peace and happiness you deserve!

Visit my website at If life has crapped all over you, let's talk!