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  • Writer's pictureKaren Gittins

Awareness and Empowerment: Understanding Gaslighting in the Workplace

Updated: May 23


In professional environments, gaslighting tactics might be used by supervisors, colleagues, or even subordinates to manipulate others for various reasons, such as to gain power, control, or advantage. Here are some examples of how gaslighting might manifest in the workplace:

 

Invalidating experiences: A coworker or manager might dismiss someone's concerns, emotions, or experiences, making them doubt their perceptions or feelings about a situation.

 

Denying reality: Gaslighters might deny saying or doing something, even when evidence suggests otherwise. For instance, they might deny promising a promotion or raise, causing the victim to question their memory or judgment.

 

Blaming the victim: Gaslighters might shift blame onto the victim for mistakes or problems, making them feel guilty or incompetent even when they're not at fault.

 

Withholding information or resources: Gaslighting can involve withholding important information, resources, or opportunities, causing the victim to feel confused, powerless, or isolated.

 

Undermining confidence: Gaslighters might consistently undermine a person's confidence or abilities, making them doubt their skills and value in the workplace.

 

Creating a hostile environment: Gaslighters may create a hostile or toxic work environment through manipulation, intimidation, or harassment, making it difficult for victims to speak up or seek support.

 

Gaslighting in the workplace can have serious consequences, including decreased productivity, increased stress, damaged relationships, and harm to one's mental health. It's crucial for individuals to recognize these behaviours and seek support from HR, trusted colleagues, or professional resources if they believe they are being gaslit in the workplace. Additionally, organizations should have clear policies and procedures in place to address and prevent gaslighting and other forms of workplace harassment or manipulation.

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