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Mind Your Language: Eight Things You Should Never Say To Your Boss It's important to remember that your boss, who you might well consider your friend, is still your superior, and that there's a line you probably shouldn't cross.

By May Rostom

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You're reading Entrepreneur Middle East, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.


Having a good relationship with your boss can be great. In fact, such a connection can avoid stress, motivate you, and help you climb up the career ladder quicker than you normally would have. However, being too close to your boss can sometimes be a double-edged sword. After all, it's important to remember that your boss, who you might well consider your friend, is still your superior, and that there's a line you probably shouldn't cross. Honesty is the best policy in the workplace- but like any rule, this one has a few exceptions. Here are a few things you should think twice before voicing them to your boss:

1. "It's not my job." Four words that kill your chances of being promoted. Even when it's not "your job," team playing and responsibility always pay off on the long run.

2. "Yeah, sure, no problem!" Don't say any of these words unless you are really willing and free to do what is asked of you. Don't just try to please your boss by reassuring them, but be very aware of how important it is you deliver- you don't want to come off as an unreliable worker.

3. "Between you and I..." Don't even finish that sentence. At work, there are no secrets. People at your office are probably just as bored as you are and what better way to entertain themselves other than gossiping? Don't share details of your personal life with your boss, that might be held against you down the line.

4. "I'm tired- can I do it tomorrow?" Again, choosing your words wisely can save you a lot of bad rapport and trouble later. Say you've got a lot on your plate today already that you need to get done first, rather than slacking because you want to, well, sleep.

Related: Three Types Of People You Want To Avoid At Work

5. "You should've seen my old boss, you're far better than him." As much of a compliment as it may seem, dissing your previous employer might actually come off as rude and unprofessional. Don't do it!

6. "You're wrong." No one likes to hear they're wrong, even if they are. Openly criticizing or pointing out your boss's mistake, even if they're a friend, is a punch to the ego, and it's a sure way to be ghosted at future meetings and office events.

7. "You're my idol." Okay, this is kind of obvious, but never over praise your boss, even if you have feelings for them. While it's always a good thing to idolize your boss' work ethic or method, overpraise can sometimes come off as brown-nosing.

8. "Why did you promote everyone but me; they don't even deserve it!" As human beings, we naturally think we're smarter, stronger, and better than anyone else. Not everyone thinks so, though. Never question your boss' decisions, and never badmouth a fellow colleague, because if you are, it's not hard to assume that you're probably bad-mouthing your boss as well.

It's important to build a close relationship with the people you work with. It's even more important to cooperate with your boss and build a solid, trustworthy relationship- but know what your limits are, and keep it professional, you'll need that one day.

Related: Following Someone Not Fit To Lead: Four Lessons I Learned From My First (Bad) Real-World Boss

May Rostom

Curator, Entrepreneur Café

May Rostom is the curator of Entrepreneur Café, a new daily digest of stories from Entrepreneur Middle East to fuel your day at work. 

May has been in the fashion journalism field for more than five years, with over 500 articles published in online and offline mediums. Working closely with some of the biggest fashion brands in the region, from creating, curating, and developing content to aggregating and pitching for content from several fashion and beauty outlets in the Middle East, Rostom’s experience is multicultural and vast. She was formerly a senior lifestyle editor/writer at MSN Arabia, and she has also worked with TRESemme Egypt as a fashion expert.

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