Once You Understand The Main Reason Your Boss Micromanages, You'll Save Yourself Hours Of Time

It's not about you at all.

boss and employee sitting at a desk talking fizkes / Shutterstock

Having a micromanaging boss is never a good thing. It feels like everything you do is scrutinized to the highest possible degree, and you can’t be trusted to do anything yourself. 

Thankfully, with the help of her therapist, one woman unlocked the reason her boss was such a micromanager. Now, she’s thriving and spending her time and energy on things other than pleasing her boss.

A woman and her therapist figured out why some people are micromanagers.

N’Dea, a former engineer and current social media influencer with the username @bmekween on TikTok, shared that she and her therapist figured out exactly why her boss micromanaged her and what she could do about it.


“I was in therapy consistently for several years when I was an engineer because I had a micromanager boss,” N’Dea said. “When I worked under her, it just seemed like nothing was ever good enough.”



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“I ended up feeling really useless, like, in that job,” N’Dea said. “I’m like, there’s no way I’m such a terrible scientist or such a terrible writer.”

N’Dea knew her skills were there. They just weren’t being recognized. So, she decided to give something a try.

“So, I decided to do a little experiment,” she stated. “I had to make a poster for this presentation I had coming up, and I had taken a paper that she had recently revised. So, she pretty much rewrote the entire thing, and I copy and pasted that onto the poster just to see what she’s going to do, because it’s her words, so you would think that, you know, it’s good to go.”

N’Dea’s experiment worked. “She rewrote the entire thing,” she said.




N’Dea took this information with her to her next therapy session. That was when her therapist cracked the code for her.

“This has absolutely nothing to do with you,” she told her. “She is not confident in her own ability to do her job, so she’s projecting it onto you because she thinks that you are going to be perceived through her. So, it doesn’t actually matter what you do or what you write because she wants to be a perfectionist for herself, because she thinks that other people are going to look at you and see her.”

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When N’Dea heard that, she was finally able to take a step back. She realized that her boss wasn’t micromanaging her because of her work or anything she was doing. It was all about her boss. 

This changed N’Dea’s life because she was able to focus her time and energy on other things.



There is evidence to back up N’Dea’s therapist’s theory.

N’Dea’s therapist wasn’t just coming up with random ideas or ideas based solely on N’Dea’s experience. In fact, there is research that backs up what she told her.


Jenny Chatman is a professor of management at UC Berkeley. She told the Harvard Business Review, “It’s more about your bosses’ level of internal anxiety and need to control situations than anything about you.”

Chatman further explained that micromanagers are all about control. It’s not really about the person they’re exerting control over. It’s just about them.



Micromanagers are obsessed with control. You know you are working with one if he or she gets involved in a level of detail that is way below his or her pay grade,” she said.


By understanding that micromanagement is not about the work you’re doing but about your boss’ insecurities, you will lose the need to do and redo everything meticulously. You will realize it’s okay not to be perfect, which will free up much more time for you to pursue other endeavors.

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Mary-Faith Martinez is a writer for YourTango who covers entertainment, news and human interest topics.