In the workplace, you have to deal with various people with behaviours much different from yours. Some of them will be ready to work with you, others may not like you immediately but are prepared to work with you, and a few will resent you no matter who you are and what you do for the company.
For these select few, they will gaslight you to invalidate your beliefs and make you question if this is the work you want to do. Gaslighters can be anyone in the workplace, as even bosses can gaslight you. Unfortunately, gaslighting is often unconscious and can be tricky to spot. There are also instances where it can either be done by a person as a form of self-defence or as a means to pressure you further.
So, how do you spot gaslighting? Here are 8 notable signs you can try to spot:
1) The gaslighter would say they never got your submission, even if you turned it in on time
If you send your work on time, you will find yourself the one saying apologies because of a mishap that prevented the gaslighter from getting your job done.
2) The gaslighter purposely baits you into your breaking point before saying nice things about you
They will do their best to admonish you, so you reach your breaking point before they start complimenting you, making you question if they were baiting you into getting angry on purpose.
3) The gaslighter reduces the importance of topics like race
They would often say things like, “you shouldn’t be racist” or “don’t use your race as a defence.”
4) The gaslighter claims they are doing something but are not
This person would claim they are doing something you asked them to do but aren’t even making an effort to do it.
5) The gaslighter always says negative things about you
Gaslighters also do their best to belittle you publicly, even if you did not do anything wrong against them. If you start to question yourself, you know the gaslighting is working.
6) The gaslighter causes you to question your beliefs about reality at work
This specific sign is that you are being gaslighted. They would say things that will make you question if your actions are right and trigger your self-doubt.
7) You often hear untrue gossip about you because of these gaslighters
Gaslighters also tend to talk behind your back and gossip against you. They will also use gossip to turn your colleagues against you, so they stay in control.
8) You are excluded from any events or meetings needed for your job
Gaslighters will make you feel insignificant by doing their best to exclude you from any meeting and event that is important for your work. For these people, they believe that you are not needed in these events.
Not everyone at work will appreciate what you do; some will actively show their displeasure through gaslighting. It will be tough to deal with these people, especially if they are your bosses. But, if you can immediately see the signs that the people around you are gaslighting, you can easily take steps to stop them and take control over your work life.
Are you a victim of workplace bully? Help is on the way, please read these:
Bullying at Work
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The words of William S Burroughs still resonate with truth today.
“Some people are just sh*ts, darling.”
This really is a painful and confusing experience. I recently read that 15-20% of our population are diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder, (NPD) and use cruel strategies such as gaslighting. (Behary, 2008). (These are old statistics and as we know, statistical samples are from those who report or are engaging is services that provide this data. While feels like a huge percentage it helps better understand experiences like these. Thank you for sharing this needed and informative post. (Thought provoking).
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“I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him! Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.” Jesus, Luke 12:4-7
The greatest fear people have, after Fear of Death, is “What will someone else think of me!?” This is symptomatic of what Ms. Remy notes is NPD.
When one grounds one’s self-identity in Jesus, rather than in job performance or how others view him/her, all the conflict becomes very miniscule. Who is the audience to whom we are playing? Coworkers or The God Who Is?
This article has made me see some things I did not see going on in the workplace. It is wrong and unfair those who are being treated that way. Something really needs to be done when things like that are going on, whether it be from an employee, or a boss. Wrong is wrong, and they will reap what they sew. Thanks for sharing this much needed information. It is really thought provoking. Have a wonderful week.