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Research Says Your Bad Boss May Be Even More Damaging Than You Think

We all know that a difficult boss can make life miserable, but new research shows that it can directly impact our career path – in fact, nearly half of us choose to leave our jobs because of our bosses. With all the toxicity a terrible manager yields, it's almost surprising that the number isn't even higher. Here are a few ways a difficult boss's effects extend beyond plain old unhappiness.

We all know that a difficult boss can make life miserable, but new research shows that it can directly impact our career path – in fact, nearly half of us choose to leave our jobs because of our bosses. With all the toxicity a terrible manager yields, it’s almost surprising that the number isn’t even higher. Here are a few ways a difficult boss’s effects extend beyond plain old unhappiness.

bad boss

(Photo Credit: kennymatic/Flickr)

1. It can start to rub off on you.

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Incivility is contagious. Work with a bad boss long enough, and before you know it, you’re the one causing negativity for others with your own attitude and behaviors. Christine Porath of The New York Times found that more than 40 percent of stressed workers said they didn’t have time to be nice to others at work. Unless you want to contribute to our rushed and rude culture, try to refrain from mimicking your boss’s poor behavior, no matter how busy you are.

2. Your health could suffer.

Researchers have found that a negative work situation (particularly when a difficult boss is involved) could have an impact on your health. Stress and lack of sleep could make you sick more often, and extend your recovery time. One study found that women with a high stress job were 38 percent more likely to have a cardiovascular event than women with a lower stress position. Also, difficulties with a boss could lead to changes in appetite and to general weight gain, which isn’t good for your overall health and wellness.

3. The negative effects carry over into your personal life.

It can be awfully difficult to shake off a bad day. You roll worries around in your mind long after you drive out of the parking lot, and this level of distraction has an impact on your home and personal life. Lack of patience, or an inability to properly engage with loved ones, is common after a tough day. It’s no wonder so many folks start to wonder if their jobs are really worth it.

4. Having a bad boss could hurt your career.

Your boss can impede your professional success, not just today, but far into the future.  A survey found that two-thirds of people said their boss had impacted their career in some way, and about 20 percent said that their boss had hurt their careers.

When thinking about the impact your bad boss is having on your life, health, and career, it’s also important to consider the long-term effects of staying in this situation. As we learn more, we realize that a bad boss’s reach extends far beyond the obvious.

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