While you can't kill your boss for driving you up the wall, you can however vent and ease your frustration with the help of a voodoo doll.
Who has not had that one annoying boss we've all wanted to simply strangle because they think they know it all and behave like they run the world? I mean, it's a given that not everyone is going to get along with one another. There are several types of people with different backgrounds being put together in an environment, so differences are bound to rise. But then again all of you can put your differences aside when you all realize that you have a problem with one common person — your boss. Your boss has more power and authority in comparison to you and if not used properly, it may lead to a lot of uncomfortable situations.
Not only that, but your 9-5 job will be filled with a lot of anxiety and resentment towards your superior every time they come your way. Since you're too scared to say something or act out for the fear of losing your job, you stay mum and bear the brunt of it, but it seems like there's actually a way to deal with all the pent up frustration and it's not quite what you expect it to be. All you need to keep your calm in the office is a voodoo doll. Yes, you read that right.
A study published in The Leadership Quarterly revealed that employees who felt were being targeted, mistreated or misunderstood at their workplace by their bosses had their morales boosted once they participated in the "symbolic retaliation" against them. The research was led by Dr. Lindie Hanyu Liang, an assistant professor at the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics at Wilfrid Laurier University in Ontario, Canada and it looked at workers in the US and Canada.
Surprisingly, the study found that sticking pins in a voodoo doll that employees assumed to be their supervisor actually lowered their feelings of wrongdoing by one third! Revenge is something that is frowned upon, but the researchers say the findings highlight "the largely overlooked benefit of retaliation from the victim’s perspective" according to The Telegraph. No wonder voodoo dolls have been considered to be such powerful weapons!
Liang said voodoo dolls could be of immense help to employees. "As weird as it sounds, yes,” she said “We found a simple and harmless symbolic act of retaliation can make people feel like they're getting even and restoring their sense of fairness."
"Symbolically retaliating against an abusive boss can benefit employees psychologically by allowing them to restore their sense of justice in the workplace.” Online store Dumb.com lets you buy voodoo dolls and name them, so the participants could just buy one from there and stick the dolls that they've now assumed to be their boss with pins, and then burn it with candles, and even pinch it with pliers. They can do whatever they want to do to inflict pain upon the doll.
"We wanted to see, rather than actually retaliating against the abusive boss, whether mistreated employees could benefit from harmless acts of symbolic retaliation,” added Liang. For the study, participants were called and asked to recall and visualize a workplace interaction which had involved some form of abuse from a supervisor. Then, some of the participants were asked to retaliate using a voodoo doll.
All the participants were then made to take a test of sorts to fill in the blanks to complete words. It was noted that those who had been allowed to stick pins in the voodoo dolls beforehand were far less likely to still feel bitter, and were also better at completing the word exercise. The authors concluded the study: These findings suggest that retaliation not only benefits individual victims but may also benefit the organization as a whole, given that justice perceptions are important for employee performance and well-being.