If you are working in an office, you know that it’s not a guarantee that you will get along with everyone at work. You will be dealing with different personalities and when this happens, you have to get along with the others. Of course, you will be mixed with different personality types and you have to work together with various tasks and responsibilities. In return, conflicts may arise because of these differences.
This seems to be a common problem among co-workers, but what happens when you have a problem with your boss?
You will be required to work in an uncomfortable environment for eight long hours. Not only that, anxiety and resentment will fester every time your boss comes your way. But instead of losing your patience, or your job, researchers found a better way for you to release your anger – through a Voodoo Doll!
The Leadership Quarterly recently performed a study and found that employees who are mistreated in the workplace regained their morale after they participated in “symbolic retaliation” against their superiors. This research was led by Dr. Lindie Hanyu Liang. He is an assistant professor at the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics at Wilfrid Laurier University located in Ontario, Canada. The researchers looked at the workers in the United States and Canada and they found that sticking pins in a voodoo doll of their boss helped lower their feelings of injustice by 1/3.
according to Liang, they found a simple and harmless symbolic act of retaliation that can help make people feel that they are getting even and help restore their sense of fairness. Liang was able to test her theories by recruiting over 400 people to participate in two experiments. This would reveal if the acts of retaliation against their bosses would somehow make them feel better and soothe their feeling of injustice, especially at the workplace.
During their first study, the researchers questioned 195 full-time employees and asked to recall their past experiences at work where they felt that their bosses had treated them in an unfair manner. This includes being rude, making negative comments, or even failing to acknowledge their hard work.
The participants were then directed to use an online voodoo doll program that was created by Dumb.com. They are able to name the effigy after their bosses, then they can start seeking revenge by sticking the doll with pins, burn it with a candle, and also pinch it with pliers for the entire minute! Then the participants were given a fill-in-the-blank word exercise where they can reveal their reaction and how they felt after the experiment. They revealed that they felt better compared to the others will do not participate with the symbolic retaliation.
Liang shared that they only wanted to see if instead of retaliating against the abusive boss if they can benefit from these harmful acts of symbolic retaliation.
A follow-up experiment was done on 206 business school students and the results were similar of having the injustice restored in the workplace. The researches concluded that these symbolic acts of retaliation will not only benefit the individual but also augment the staff’s morale since it will improve their overall well-being and performance n the workplace.
This might be a unique alternative to release your anger and boost your morale while having issues with your boss, but it seems like an effective way to do so.
Have you ever used a voodoo doll before?