How a Bad Boss Could Pay Off for You Later

There are scales of bad bosses, from Bill Lumbergh of Office Space to Kylo Ren of Star Wars. But when you're working with one in real life, there may not seem to be much that makes it worthwhile. You will get through the experience, however — and there's a good chance you'll be a better boss yourself.

An international team of researchers has just released a study into the generational effects, so to speak, of bad bosses. "When offered leadership opportunities," according to a press release from the University of Central Florida, "prior victims of workplace abuse are more likely to treat their own subordinates better by learning from the bad behavior of their bosses." When you're deep in it, you're probably not thinking of silver linings. But ultimately, we know that good bosses facilitate better work from the whole team.

There are all kinds of reasons your boss could be a mess, whether it's by constant gaslighting, emotional entrapment, or straight-up abuse. Your manager could be floundering at the work of managing people, or simply overwhelmed by the volume of responsibilities. None of this excuses harmful behavior. Your best option is putting a boundary between your unsatisfactory work life and everything else. Until then, keep in mind that the best workplaces are compassionate ones.

"The lesson here isn't to hire more abusive managers, of course," said co-author Shannon Taylor. "You can take a stand — not just by reporting the bad behavior, but by actively rejecting this abusive leadership style."