How To Deal With Gaslighting At Work?

The word “gaslighting” has ventured its way to pop culture as it has never been so. The greater prevalence of this definition is most definitely related to the political environment we all live in. Everything and anything leaves you wondering what is false or true. Discussing minds and political pundits routinely remark that people are currently “gas-lit” by economists that perform the wrong-doing; however, assert we are at the one who does wrong. Politics apart, gas-lighting is actually a cognitive term that pertains to some exact special pattern of behavior at which one individual exerts or tries to govern an individual’s awareness or perception of the reality itself. As soon as it really is frequently employed to amorous connections, it might happen in a range of options –for example, office. We could complain of lousy supervisors, weird-toxic colleagues, or only plain-old bullying and soft harassment; however, work gas-lighting is really a sort of labor harassment that is on still another level completely.

In this article, we are going to discuss in detail gaslighting at work. This would cover up some topics like what really is gaslighting at work, how you can detect it, what measure you should take to protect yourself, and such. By definition, gas-lighting is not generally readily recognizable. After all, the individual conducting the manipulation is trying to apply power to you in an undetectable sluggish, and sly method. If you have ever believed that someone was, which makes you question yourself, your own skills, along with a sense of actuality, then probably you have become the casualty of gas-lighting.

What really is Gaslighting – Is my boss gaslighting me? 

Gaslighting is a series of manipulation tactics in which a person or entity makes a victim question their reality to gain more power. As per her, gaslighting is a category or resemblance of emotional bullying, dishing out a negative psychological impact, and can be called out as workplace harassment. Usually, in workplace gaslighting scenarios, the gaslighter tries to get others fired, degraded, or devalued in terms of professional commitments. They do this by accusing the other of the very same thing, which the nasty gaslighter is doing to them.

Gaslighting by the employer – Gaslighting at the workplace
Gaslighter at work is not clearly vindictive and shine out like outright bullies. Instead, they are subtle, slow, and vicious. The need for them to gaslight pops out of their own insecurities, majorly professional but sometimes personal too. Sometimes gaslighters at work are really charming people. Gaslighters hood their ulterior motives under the veil of pretentious humor, people skills, and well regarded because, in reality, they’re psychologically hitting the psyche of others, breaking them from within.

As per Rose Lawrence (psychotherapist and owner of Mind Balance), given below are the traits of gaslighter at work:-

  • They can listen to you long enough to gain your trust, extract your emotional insecurities, and then use them against you.
  • They take zero accountability for lying when caught and pin it up on you for making them do so in the first place.
  • Gossip around and establish dominance over word of mouth.
  • Leave you feeling incomplete and unworthy.
  • Confident appearing, low morale, highly insecure people.

Gaslighting can happen to ANYONE.

In most cases, the gaslighting at work occurs between a superior and a subordinate or between employees competing for the same professional level. When it happens at the hierarchy, it simply becomes a case of power abuse. Usually, the gaslighter exerts himself/herself on the victim to extract the maximum out of the employee, exploiting them out of their resourcefulness. Quoting Joy Harden Bradford, a licensed psychologist in the state of Georgia and the founder of  Therapy For Black Girls, “I do think, it could be the case, where if you are already feeling down about yourself, or if you have these kinds of thoughts of like, ‘I’m not good enough,’ or  ‘I’m not smart enough,’ and then somebody came along telling you things that affirm that, it might make it easier for you to believe that. So now, it is pretty much evident that gaslighting can happen to anyone at any time.

Signs Of Gaslighting At Work

  • Boss instructed you to do something, and when you completed the task, they lay on your face saying “this” is not saying what they asked you to do.
  • Boss lies about your project deadline and then threatens you to fire because you did not complete the work as per the real deadline.
  • Your co-worker heard your boss saying ill and mean about you behind your back.
  • Passing our racist, sexist and derogatory comments and then pretending they didn’t mean any harm or did not say those things in bad faith.
  • They can label you as being “over-reacting to the situation” without any proof or reliable justifications for their actions.
  • They steal your idea, tweak it a little bit to make it better, and present it as their own.

How to defend yourself against gaslighting?

  • Step outside the situation.
  • It’s not about you.
  • Go for distance.
  • Build up support.
  • Document the abuse.
  • Believe in yourself.
  • Seek counseling

So, how to stop gaslighting at work? The significance of assigning documentation as soon as a staff member feels plagued can not be overstated (and sure gaslighting in the office is actually a kind of office harassment). Take another co-worker at a redressal together with you personally and also the possible gaslighter. Attempt to restrict your communication to composed formats to ensure that you have something written down to mention. Reaffirming to your own self-worth and everything it really is you are proficient at may additionally help combat some lingering doubts regarding your expertise that somebody else may be attempting to hone on you personally.”In case you are unable to establish what your borders come along with different men and women,” Lawrence claims, “you then won’t have the capability to discern if someone’s crossed the line.”

This is pretty much information that you should about gaslighting, how to detect it at your workplace, and how to stand up for yourself if you’re being victimized for the same. At all times, try to stay emotionally strong, believe in your capabilities, and take pride in your skills to improve yourself continuously.

Daniel Smith
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Daniel Smith

Daniel Smith is an experienced economist and financial analyst from Utah. He has been in finance for nearly two decades, having worked as a senior analyst for Wells Fargo Bank for 19 years. After leaving Wells Fargo Bank in 2014, Daniel began a career as a finance consultant, advising companies and individuals on economic policy, labor relations, and financial management. At, Daniel writes about personal finance topics, value estimation, budgeting strategies, retirement planning, and portfolio diversification. Read more on Daniel Smith's biography page. Contact Daniel:

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