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Bad Bosses are Bad for Your Health

A bad boss can ruin everything from your heart to your home life.

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Having a bad boss doesn’t just ruin your workday, it could affect your physical health and your relationships at home. Recent research highlights the need for businesses to reign in out-of-control managers before they cause more damage to employees and their partners. One study from France discovered what most employees already know: if your boss puts you down all the time or orders you around, you’ll be unhappy. The researchers, though, also found that employees were happier when they thought their company supported them. A previous study from Sweden found that employees who ranked their bosses poorly had a greater risk of heart attacks and other heart problems. These bosses—familiar to many of us—lacked consideration for others, showed unrealistic expectations and had difficulty communicating. The risk of heart disease increased the longer the employees worked at the same company. As if ruining your own health isn’t bad enough, your boss could also be damaging your relationships, as well. In a study from Baylor University, employees who said their bosses had certain negative behaviors—such as “tells me my thoughts or feelings are stupid” or "puts me down in front of others”—brought home their workplace stress. Their partners also reported greater tension and fighting at home. All of this, of course, is based upon the employees’ perceptions, but how you see the world matters. If you are dealing with an abusive or poorly performing boss, seek help within your workplace, or outside through counseling or stress management. This could make the difference between a bad day and overall poor health and depression.

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