Ask Bryn - What should I say to my mean and negative boss?

Ask Bryn

Excellent, excellent website – best I have read yet!!!! Question: We work in an office setting with someone who is so controlling, offensive, annoying and downright knows it all, and passive-aggressive. We thought when she finally got pregnant she would simmer – she is the same except now she is the only person who has a child that “needs her” or husband that “needs her”. Whenever she wants to do overtime it’s ok – but when we want to “my husband and kid need me – this place ain’t getting any more out of me”.

Every customer call she takes she has to repeat the whole story and say how stupid they were. She talks all day about how “stupid or dumb” everyone is in our organization and life. It is truly exhausting and you can never win with her. She is racist against every religion, race, and anyone outside her immediate family.

Leaving our career is definitely not an option so we need some comebacks to shut her up -(and they have to be somewhat white because she really strikes back fast about everything – as you can imagine 😉 Oh and whatever you say to her – she will come back passive aggressive (but she hates the passive aggressiveness of people). It is quite entertaining – but exhausting !!!

Anne Marie, Canada

Hi Ann- Marie,

Bryn Connor

Yikes, she sounds like a nightmare! The problem with people like your boss is whatever you say she will turn it and use it against you. If you don’t want to lose your job, and I assume that you don’t, you had better not use a comeback.

What you can do instead is say a few nice things, which can have a couple of different results. She will either stop talking to you because some people just like to complain and you won’t be someone who will indulge that, so she will move on and bitch to somebody else. She may also end up thinking you’re nice and leave you alone.

Sometimes in life, you have to not just win the battle and instead win the war. It can be in your best interest to kill with kindness.

Good luck and let me know how it goes.


17 things to say to a nasty complaining boss

1. Life is like a roller coaster. It has its ups and downs but it is your choice whether to scream and enjoy the ride or not.

2. Some days you’re the dog, and some days you’re the fire hydrant.

3. When nothing goes right… go left.

4. Count your rainbows, not your thunderstorms.

5. Some days you have to create your own sunshine.

6. Focus on the things you can change and let go of the things you can’t.

7. I hear your concerns, and I appreciate you bringing this to my attention.

8. I apologize for the inconvenience. I will make sure to handle this promptly and resolve the issue.

9. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this with me. I will take the necessary steps to rectify the situation as soon as possible.

10. I understand what you’re saying, and I will do my best to address the issue.

11. I truly value your feedback, and I will work on finding a solution.

12. I appreciate your valuable input, and I will make sure to improve in the future.

13. Thanks for the feedback, I am committed to resolving this issue to your satisfaction.

14. I understand how important this is for the company, and I will handle it with urgency.

15. Thank you for letting me know. I will take immediate action to resolve the issue.”

16. I appreciate your patience, I will take immediate action to resolve the issue.

17. If complaints were a currency, we’d all be millionaires by now!


Our FREE Starter Guide will show you the 3 simple steps you can take right now to stand up for yourself so that you can feel confident. It’s a game changer–get it free for a limited time!

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What you wish you could say to your boss

Ivanka wanted to leave her toxic job environment

Ivanka sat at her desk, staring at the computer screen with a heavy heart. The toxic environment at her job had taken a toll on her well-being, and she knew she couldn’t stay any longer. The constant negativity, unreasonable demands, and lack of support had drained her passion for her work.

After much contemplation, Ivanka made the difficult decision to leave. She scheduled a meeting with her manager to discuss her resignation. As she sat across from her manager, she felt a mix of nervousness and relief.

“Ivanka, is everything alright?” her manager asked with concern.

Taking a deep breath, Ivanka explained her reasons for wanting to leave. She expressed how the toxic environment was affecting her mental and emotional health, making it difficult for her to thrive in her role.

Her manager listened attentively, nodding understandingly. “I’m truly sorry to hear that you’ve been feeling this way, Ivanka. We value your contributions and it’s disheartening to hear about your experience.”

Ivanka felt a sense of validation as her manager acknowledged her concerns. They discussed potential solutions, but Ivanka knew that her decision was final. Despite the challenges, she felt a weight lifted off her shoulders as she handed in her resignation letter.

In the days that followed, Ivanka received support and encouragement from her colleagues. They expressed admiration for her courage and wished her well in her future endeavors. As she packed up her desk for the last time, she felt a mix of sadness and hope for the future.

Leaving the toxic environment was a daunting step, but Ivanka knew it was the right decision for her well-being. She walked out of the office with a sense of liberation, ready to embrace new opportunities and a healthier work environment.

The Role of counselling and self care

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When you are dealing with a nasty boss who drives you crazy and you find it stressful, consider getting support from a professional. Talking to a counselor is a great way to work through a challenging situation, and help you find some strategies to work through the person’s behaviour.

Better Help is a great resource where you can talk to a counselor from the comfort of your own home. 

Taking care of your own needs isn’t selfish, and you will feel better in the long run.

Got any comments, questions or tips for dealing with an obnoxious boss? Share them in the comments below.

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  1. Hi, I’ve seen some pretty good come backs for all kinds of situations but there’s this one girl in one of my classes and she always calls me a brat. I usually have a comeback but I’m running out of them and I don’t want to be mean but maybe if I say the perfect comeback she will back off. Please write back thank you!

    1. You could say “Oh wow, really? Thanks! I was trying to act like you, and I guess I nailed it!”

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