Gaslighting is a fairly common practice and it often goes unnoticed. Keep an eye out for colleagues who maybe gaslighting you.
One may often find themselves in a situation at work, where your co-worker convinced you that you missed something important. Despite you being sure that you have not missed anything, and knowing that you are quite meticulous with your work, you are inclined to believe your colleague. This is a classic example of gaslighting.
For those who don’t know what gaslighting is, it is a form of psychological manipulation in which a person seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or in members of a targeted group, making them question their own memory, perception, and sanity.
Those with low self-esteem and non-existent sense of power and control gaslight others to make themselves feel better and more successful about themselves. Here are a few warning signs to watch out for, according to Well and Good.
You feel confused after interacting with them
While we would all like to be 100 per cent accurate at work, it is not possible. But if you find yourself continuously second-guessing yourself because of what a colleague said, then you maybe being gaslit. The colleague will constantly counter your beliefs, thoughts and ideas. A conversation with this colleague will leave you confused and questioning yourself.
They will give a lot of back-handed compliments
Gaslighters like themselves to be perceived as the best employees, even if it comes at the expense of others’ success. One of the ways that they maintain their so-called upper hand is by providing an endless stream of back-handed compliments. Comments like, “I would have never expected that you could do it- well done” or “You are pretty talented for your age” can cause the other person to feel dejected, despite knowing you have done a great job.
You get no empathy or validation of your feelings from them
Validation is a very powerful communication tool and that is exactly what is missing when you are being gaslit. It is not worth communication with the po9ssible gaslighter abour concerns and thoughts about a topic. Workplace gaslighters will make you feel that you are wrong for your thoughts and feelings and make you feel inferior. They will try to impose their opinions on you, without giving any heed to yours.
You end up question your self-worth
Occasionally questioning yourself if you have done the right thing or not is normal, but if you feel you are doubting yourself more than usual, beware. Your colleague may make you feel like you are doing a terrible job at work and that can then directly affect your personal life. It can also affect your self-perception and cause you lose belief in your capabilities.
No person/job/company is worth sacrificing your mental health over. Remember to set mental and behavioural boundaries to preserve your sense of self-worth and shield yourself from the toxic effects of gaslighting.