Working For A Terrible Boss Is Actually Really Bad For Your Health

by John Haltiwanger

Unless you've lived a life of either utter destitution or compete luxury, you've probably been employed at some point over the years. And, like myself, you've probably had your fair share of terrible bosses.

These individuals have likely led you to wake up in the morning and think, "You know, I'd actually prefer to bang the door against my head repeatedly than go to work today."

Bad bosses come in many shapes and forms:

The Tyrant

He or she micromanages everything you do. If something goes wrong, it's always your fault. The tyrant only has one rule: Employees cannot be trusted.

The Fake Friend

These bosses pretend to be your best pal. Your work days are full of inappropriate jokes and unsolicited life advice. Also, they continuously drag you to happy hours that would more appropriately be labeled "please shoot me in the head with a nail gun hour."

The Moron

He or she probably got the job through a friend or family member and doesn't deserve to be there whatsoever. You are far more qualified but are forced to take his or her orders because, well, it's your job.

The Emotional Roller Coaster

His or her emotions fluctuate as often as an Academy Award winner's in his or her greatest role --  only this isn't acting. Your entire day is dictated by mood swings, making it an absolute joy. All your boss really needs is a hug, though, and a lot of therapy.

Indeed, bad bosses can induce a great deal of stress and make work a living hell. In fact, multiple studies have shown they can literally kill you.

Well, not on the spot (unless they happen to be murderers on top of being terrible employers), but research has suggested the stress they cause can increase your risk of a heart attack by 50 percent.

Unfortunately, this isn't all that surprising; anxiety and stress are linked to a host of health issues.

But don't despair, there is a way to deal with abhorrent bosses, and in turn, you might very well avoid a premature death (as long as you eat well and exercise on top of it).

Not long before I left for college, my father gave me a very sound piece of advice:

If you want to do well, don't just learn your classes, learn your teachers.

In other words, grades aren't entirely objective, so study your teachers' preferences, opinions and mannerisms. If you can figure out what each wants, you can get ahead.

This same mentality has proven very useful post-graduation when it comes to approaching bosses, particularly the sh*tty ones. What it all comes down to is emotional intelligence, or the ability to read people.

The fact of the matter is, we're all going to have bad bosses. It's part of life and, believe it or not, a valuable experience. If you can figure out how to remain flexible in these situations, you will be much stronger in the long run.

Moreover, it will make you more hirable and far more likely to end up in a managerial position with a higher wage.

In short, the emotional intelligence you gain will ultimately make you more money, so study those around you. If you are able to identify what makes a "bad boss," you'll know what to avoid if you ever end up in the position yourself.

You may absolutely despise your terrible bosses, but they also help provide you with the perspective and knowledge to surpass them.

The difference between bad bosses and good bosses is the ability to understand people and respond to their needs.

The way we treat people is often a reflection of how we feel about ourselves. Simply put, people are complex. Learn from them and don't take anything too personally.

Citations: How successful people overcome toxic bosses (Quartz), Having a Bad Boss Is Bad for the Heart (WebMd), Anxiety and physical illness (Harvard Medical School)