Many people spend the majority of their time at work. It’s a place where we work hard, form connections, and, hopefully, feel appreciated and respected. But not every workplace is the same, and subtle concerns like gaslighting sometimes show up, leaving workers feeling uneasy and vulnerable.
Gaslighting refers to a pattern of manipulation and psychological abuse where an individual or group seeks to make someone doubt his/her own thoughts, feelings, and perceptions.
Take Note Of These Signs Of Gaslighting At Workplace
Come closer and explore the signs of gaslighting at work to protect yourself from this toxic work environment.
1. Blame The Victim
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First of all, all the gaslighters are experts in shifting the blame back to the victim. Instead of admitting their mistake and taking responsibility for their actions, they will twist the story and make the victim the culprit.
As an example, a worker raises an issue about an unbalanced amount of tasks in the teamwork. But the manager will start to accuse them of not being able to finish the work like other people. This will leave them feeling guilty and hesitant to speak up again. Ultimately giving the manipulator more control.
2. Invalidate Your Feelings
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Gaslighters frequently invalidate your feelings and experiences, leading the victim to doubt the reality of their emotions. For instance, if they talk to the manager about their feelings of uncertainty about their expectations, they become defensive and make the victim feel uncomfortable about bringing up the subject.
Words like “You’re overreacting” or “You’re too sensitive” are frequently used as weapons. This form of deception can cause people to question their own emotions and intuition.
3. Bad Performance Review
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One thing about gaslighters, they like to make people around them feel small. Gaslighting at work can happen when a bad performance review is fostered. Even if the victim is a high-performing, productive team member, co-workers or managers may criticize their performance, talents, abilities, or professionalism.
This kind of review typically arises from the biases and judgments of the gaslighters, and victims can defend themselves by rejecting claims with solid evidence. Prove them well with your credibility.
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The intentional neglect of information is yet another sign of gaslighting. Gaslighters make people dependent on them for important information by limiting what they know. This strategy not only increases their dominance but also makes the victim feel helpless and defenseless.
It is a big sign of gaslighting when a manager or co-worker consistently forgets to bring up crucial details like meetings and datelines or intentionally excludes them from the conversation. The victims might blame themselves for being careless and underperforming even though that is not their problem at first. It is better to speak up about the issues and start relying on other sources for information.
5. Isolation & Alienation
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By isolating the victim from their co-workers, friends, or superiors, a gaslighter can more easily apply control over them. They gain more control over their interpretation of reality by creating a feeling of alienation. This isolation may be social, emotional, or even professional.
A gaslighter can create a rumor about the victim around the office. It is to make sure that people turn their backs against the victim. The victim to stand up for themselves and shut down all the bad rumors.
6. Unclear Rules
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When managers or co-workers constantly use the unclear rules of the workplace to their advantage, gaslighting may occur. For example, the manager can behave irrationally if they allow a worker to have a long weekend off but then call them on Friday to ask about their whereabouts just to make them come to the office because they need help with the deadline.
Gaslighting at the workplace can have awful impacts on both your mental health and professional life. It is important to know all the signs to defend yourself from it. Trust in your own perceptions, seek support, and don’t be afraid to confront this manipulative behavior. Keep in mind that your reality matters and no one should be able to take that away from yourself.