I've been working at this place for 6 months and ever since my interview my boss has been very impressed by me and trusted me with everything that he even asked me for advice.

But suddenly since last week, he started avoiding me. If he ever had to talk to me, he would talk with an attitude and give me death stares (Although he acts normal towards my colleagues, but so rude to me in particular)

I really can't understand why, especially now that I'm crazy busy nowadays because of the stress I have for managing around 9 projects at the same time. Most of them are for other departments, so I'm not available in my office most of the time, but he told me to make these projects my first priority because it was a direct order from the CEO. ( who heard good things about me from my boss and saw that I am a very hardworking employee)

I guess I deserve at least some appreciation for the amount of work that I'm dealing with instead of receiving this kind of treatment from him.

I'm sure I didn't do anything wrong, and if I ever did he would give me his feedback right away like he always does. So I want to ask him why he's mean but I don't want to look sensitive.

How do I approach the topic with my boss?

  • 3
    We can't answer the question "why is my boss doing this?", unfortunately, we're not mind readers! I believe your question is therefore currently off topic and is likely to get closed. You should edit your question to include a specific goal or to ask for advice on how to approach your manager about this
    – Gamora
    Commented Nov 1, 2019 at 9:41
  • "What is the best way I can know why he is treating me like this?" Maybe speak to him in person and just tell him what you have noticed and how it makes you feel - then ask him why he changed is attitude towards you all of a sudden..
    – iLuvLogix
    Commented Nov 1, 2019 at 10:01
  • I am just guessing: Could it be that your boss is trying to publicly demonstrate distance between you and him? I don't know if that is the case but a public perception of "closeness" between you could get him in trouble. In that case it could complicate things even more if you approach him about that
    – Martin
    Commented Nov 4, 2019 at 15:22

3 Answers 3

  1. Have a face to face conversation with your boss
  2. Your goal is to understand what's happening, not to fix anything (just yet). Once you have the background, you can think about how to fix it, but that's a second step. This is just a fact finding mission.
  3. After the intro listen a lot, talk little. Primarily ask open ended question
  4. If you describe behavior use specific examples.
  5. Don't judge, don't accuse, don't complain. Keep it as positive and constructive as possible.
  6. Make this about the efficiency and the productivity of your work, not about your boss.

Something is obviously happening and your boss is upset about something. This may have to do with you or not, but you need to find out. Since it's an emotional issue, you need to tread very carefully when you talk to them.

It's important to open the conversation with a good intro and you should draft this very thoroughly, memorize it, and practice it in front of a mirror or with a trusted friend/family person.

Here is an example, how this could sound like:

Hey boss, thanks for taking the time to talk me. I've really enjoyed working for you and you have helped me a lot in getting to this point. However, recently I've noticed a change in your behavior and it's affecting my work. It's become harder and harder to get input from you. Just last Wednesday I was trying to get your thoughts on project XYZ, but you were unresponsive and in general it seems you do not want to talk to me any more.

I would really like to understand what's happening so I can get back to my full productivity. If I did something wrong, I would like to know, so I can address it. Please let me know if there is something I should be doing differently, so we can go back to normal. At the moment I'm at a loss on how to proceed so I would really appreciate your input and your thoughts on this.

  • Wow, thank you sooo much that really helps! :)
    – Five
    Commented Nov 4, 2019 at 18:36

You really will need to ask your boss about this. None of us could say for sure as we're not them.

My guess is that while they're probably glad that your reputation at work is such that the CEO wants you doing special projects, they're annoyed that you're not available as a resource for the projects they had previously hoped to have you working on.

  • Talking to the boss is the only way you will know...
    – Neo
    Commented Nov 1, 2019 at 12:37

he started avoiding me. If he ever had to talk to me, he would talk with an attitude and give me death stares

Ignore this and remain friendly and professional, nothing you can do that is guaranteed to have a positive outcome for you. There is no knowing what the problem is, and asking is unlikely to work.

I work with people all the time who actively dislike me due to jealousy or other factors. No point getting upset over it, it's actually better to have it out in the open rather than hidden behind smiles. Just don't feed it or act like it even matters. The important thing is not to let it impact on your morale.

  • 1
    You say "There is no knowing what the problem is, and asking is unlikely to work" but then you say "it's actually better to have it out in the open rather than hidden behind smiles". Don't they contradict each other?
    – camden_kid
    Commented Nov 1, 2019 at 18:18
  • 2
    @camden_kid - not at all. What Kilisi is talking about is knowing you are disliked (and thus being able to take precautions), vs the dislike manifesting in political backstabbing that you're unaware of. The reason behind the dislike is unlikely to be revealed, even if confronted. If, for example, the boss feels threatened by the new employee's success and popularity, will he admit this if asked, even in private? Unlikely. What confronting him might do, however, is alert him that he should mask his dislike, and instead sabotage the OP behind the scenes, while being very friendly in person.
    – AndreiROM
    Commented Nov 1, 2019 at 18:33

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