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Don’t Let a Mean Boss Make You Miserable


It’s tough enough to succeed in business without feeling like your manager is an adversary. So when you’re exposed to an abusive boss, your career can become significantly sidetracked. To make matters worse, a new study in the journal Personnel Psychology concluded that mean managers can actually harm the marriages of their subordinates. The finding came from surveys of 280 full-time employees and their partners, which also confirmed the expected rise in personal stress and tension that can result from such a workplace scenario.

“It may be that as supervisor abuse heightens tension in the relationship, the employee is less motivated or able to engage in positive interactions with the partner and other family members,” study co-author Merideth Ferguson, an assistant professor of management and entrepreneurship at Baylor University, said in a news release that accompanied the published research.

The fallout from a bad boss even extended to parent-child relationships, although more children at home meant greater family satisfaction for the employee, and the longer the partner’s relationship, the less impact the abusive boss had on the family.

While no employee should have to cope with tantrums and rudeness in the office, such characteristics aren’t uncommon. So seek out any available employee assistance programs, such as counseling or stress-management workshops. In addition, remember this tip from a recent Stanford study, which found that you can better swallow stings by repeatedly telling yourself, “It’s not me; it’s you.” This approach is called “reappraisal” and it has been found to significantly lessen the psychological impact when being confronted by an angry person.

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Tags: Stress, Home, Work, Attitude