Stabbing a voodoo doll of your boss could improve your day

Boss driving you nuts? A new study says voodoo dolls can reduce work stress. Download our printable version and see how much better you feel.

Stabbing a voodoo doll of your boss could improve your day

Feeling stabby? Download and print for instant relief.

Has your boss ever made you so mad—like really, really mad—that you just, ughhhhh, wish you could stab them right in their stupid face? But, like, with a pushpin, not a dagger (calm down, this isn’t a Hollywood movie).

There may be a simple, albeit unusual, solution that will reduce your work stress and improve your job without having to deal with bloodshed or litigation. A new study published in The Leadership Quarterly found that taking your frustration out on a voodoo doll—even an online version—can give an employee with a toxic boss a greater sense of justice, without actually hurting anyone—or risking your job—in the process.

The study, led by psychologist Lindie Hanyu Liang, an assistant professor at the School of Business and Economics at Wilfrid Laurier University in Ontario, Canada, asked 229 full-time employees in Canada and the U.S. to recall a time they felt mistreated by their boss, such as consistently working overtime or having credit stolen for their work. They were then told to take those emotions out on a virtual voodoo doll by stabbing it with pins, burning it with a candle, or pinching it with pliers, and complete a reflection exercise afterward.

Their responses revealed that the employees were satisfied, feeling like they had gotten revenge, without, you know, actually murdering their manager.

While the concept itself does sound like something out of cult classic American Psycho or comedy film Horrible Bosses, think of it more like writing an angry email without actually hitting “send,” or screaming into your pillow—except way more fun.

Download our printable boss voodoo doll, and see how much better you feel…just maybe don’t let your boss see. (Which reminds us: Boss, if you’re reading this, we swear this isn’t about you!)

Put a pin in it

You can only stab a voodoo doll so many times before you’re going to have to put a pin in the idea and try something else. The best solution for dealing with a toxic boss? Find a new job. To help start your search, join Monster for free today. As a member, we’ll send you personalized job alerts and practical career advice, so you can move the needle closer to finding happiness at work.