10 Clear Signs To Spot Gaslighting At Work – Proven Facts

Written By Shahzaib Arshad

You must have heard the term gaslighting while talking about politics or relationships.

What will I learn?

But what does gaslighting at work mean?

Gaslighting, in general, is manipulation by an individual towards a targeted person.

The extent of manipulation makes the target question their memory or perceptions.

10 Clear Signs Of Gaslighting At Work

Gaslighting at work has a similar context. A gaslighter can be anyone in your office; it can be a manager, a coworker, or a prejudiced workgroup.

If someone said something manipulative to you and you didn’t get it, what should you do? How do you recognize that someone is gaslighting?

What’s gaslighting? How to spot it- and stop it? This article has all your answers.

Gaslighting happens at work more than you think. It goes unnoticed because you aren’t sure about when it occurs.

Here are some clear signs of spotting this behavior at work.

1. You see sneaking logins to your work computer when you weren’t around. It’s a significant sign someone is trying to gaslight you.

2. Your submitted projects go to “Bermuda Triangle”, you get asked to submit again.

3. Your belongings disappear from your desk and reappear after some time or days.

4. Your coworkers or employees look at you with disgust. When you ask them something, they reply with twisted answers.

5. The boss arranges a one-on-one meeting with you and forgets whatever he said before.

6. A coworker or employer tells you that everyone thinks you’re crazy. When you report such people, no one believes you.

7. Your gaslighter coworkers make you feel “teamed-up on.”

8. The coworkers or boss whispers racist or sexist jokes to you. They say this so quietly that no one else can hear this.

9. You come back after the coffee break, and there’s a change in company policies.

10. Your boss tells you that you can come to work late tomorrow. But when you do so, the same boss says that you violated the company rules.

3 Examples Of Gaslighting At Work

Here are some sheer examples of gaslighting at work. Have a look at these examples to get a clear vision of gaslighting.

1. Your Coworker Is Deceiving You And You “Know It”

Your coworker tells absolute lies to you, straight on your face. They lie about why they were absent or late from the office.

Your Coworker Spreads Negative Rumors About You
Your Coworker Is Deceiving You And You “Know It”

At first, you must be thinking of him being lazy enough to be absent, but his lies prove you incorrect. It’s his trick to make you feel bad for assuming that they are irresponsible or lazy.

2. The Boss Turns Down His Statements

Your boss might have promised you a promotion six months before at a random lunch. He asked you to review this meeting after six months.

Now six months have passed, and you remind your boss about his promise. But he straight away denies that he said something like that.

They tell you that they have heard you, and you start expecting a raise after six months again.

3. They Say One Thing And Do Another

When your employees gaslight you, they tell you that they have finished their report and will give it to you after winding it up.

Gaslighting At Work
They Say One Thing And Do Another

But their actions do not match their words, and they might be far behind from finishing the report.

But they do so, and you might start thinking wrong about their efficiency level.

9 Steps Of Combating With Gaslighting At Work

If you’re getting gaslighted at work, follow these steps to deal with this situation.

1. Closely Spy The Attitude Of Gaslighter

Look out for the things that are confusing you. A coworker or your boss or someone else around you must be making things tangled.

Identify The Behavior A Gaslighter Shows
Closely Spy The Attitude Of Gaslighter

It must be making you question your sense of reality. If you find yourself in such a situation, then it’s a fact that someone’s gaslighting you.

2. Tightly Grasp The Reality When Dealing With Gaslighting At Work

Gaslighting manipulates your sense of reality. You start questioning your memory that whether something happened or not.

If you spot gaslighting, take some to sit and think about what you know. Get yourself back to reality.

You have to fight this behavior, and you can’t do it unless you trust yourself.

3. How To Deal With Gaslighting At Work – Look For Proofs Under The Table

You have to stop the words of a gaslighter from affecting you or your work.

However, if you started questioning your reality, ask another coworker. Request him to give his input so you can have a second opinion.

For example, your boss was talking about promoting you, and a coworker was there.

Be Grounded In Your Reality While Dealing With Gaslighting At Work
How To Deal With Gaslighting At Work – Put Your Foot Down

Ask him for proof later so your boss can’t make you look as crazy as he wants.

4. Gaslighting At Work – Watch Out For His Traps

If a gaslighter asks you to see him in person, you need to take measures. Don’t go alone to meet him, it can be one of his traps.

You can bring a trusted coworker or a manager to serve as a witness.

If the gaslighter refuses you to bring someone, ask them why?

Tell him that you aren’t comfortable meeting alone. You must document this behavior of the gaslighter and report if things go worse.

5. Pen Everything Down And Get Ready Your Armour

If you feel you’re being gaslighted at work, write what you believe to be true.

Make Documentation Of Every Event When Gaslighting Happens
Pen Everything Down And Get Ready Your Armour

Keep documentation of days, dates, and times to have concrete proofs. Write direct quotes, so when you get gaslighted, you can refer back to your real-time accounts of the situations.

6. Gaslighting At Work – Put Your Own Believes In Balance

Keep giving a reminder to yourself that you and your work both are valuable.

Know your worth and keep yourself professional. Remember why the company hired you in the first place.

Also, the company hasn’t fired you yet because you have something valuable to offer to them.

7. Coach Yourself About What You Deserve

In most countries, such kind of treatment may meet the standards of workplace harassment.

You can get advice from a legal attorney on specialized workplace rights. He will also guide you about what next steps you should take.

Remember That You Have Workplace Rights And You Can Use Them
Coach Yourself About What You Deserve

An attorney will also tell you if you can file a harassment case against your employer.

8. Sit Down And Negotiate With The Gaslighter

Tell your gaslighter that you are aware of whatever is happening. Let your gaslighter know that you have proof of falsehoods.

And inform him that you or your work aren’t affected by it at all. Talk to him so he can come out of the state of denial

9. Bid The Farewell To Your Job

It’s unfair to leave your job because of someone else’s bad behavior, but this job has been stressing you.

Gaslighters know how to manipulate you and keep your superiors unaware of this.

There Are Always Other Options Available That Can Save you
Bid The Farewell To Your Job

Life is short, and this gaslighting behavior is leaving a negative impact on your health.

So it would be better to consider some other job opportunities.

5 Evils Gaslighters Love To Play At Work

Ordinary workplaces have quite different dynamics, but a gaslighter makes things worse.

A chronic gaslighter might be seen involved in the following schemes.

1. The Gaslighter Spreads Bad Stories

The gaslighter narrates the performance of the target as insufficient. Gaslighter talks about the target’s credibility and goals.

This negativity is based on personal and biased judgments rather than useful facts.

2. He’s The Source Of Pessimism Everywhere

The gaslighter makes negative comments in meetings, groups, memorandums, or reports.

All of this based on falsehoods and personal grudges. The gaslighter uses exaggeration in everything.

Gaslighters Try Their Best To Destroy Your Image
He’s The Source Of Pessimism Everywhere

And his claims have nothing to do with the facts and validities.

But it damages the target’s professional reputation, and he doesn’t remain credible anymore.

3. Stays In Foul Mood And Uses Dark Humor

The gaslighter expresses hostility and uses terrible humor to tease the target.

He won’t stop there and do his best to mock the target.

The mocking comments are usually backed by “just kidding,” so no one knows what’s happening.

4. Promotes Biasness

A gaslighter boss shows inequitable treatment to his targets. Despite the target’s performance and contributions to the past projects, he faces gaslighting.

Gaslighting At Work
Promotes Biasness

If the gaslighter gets asked about what’s the matter, they mislead. And say that the target is the cause of self-victimization.

5. Brings On The Scandal Game

While gaslighting, the person keeps on making negative gossip about the target. He gossips about his professional or personal characteristics.

The continuous negative gossips are a form of passive-aggressiveness.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Gaslighting Illegal At Work?

Gaslighting itself and the people doing it both are illegal. But it still happens at workplaces. Gaslighting is an effort to hurt you to the point that you leave the job.

Is Gaslighting A Form Of Harassment?

Like other forms of workplace harassment, gaslighting affects everyone involved and around. It causes a crack in the team, and everyone can feel it.

What Are Examples Of Gaslighting?

Targets of gaslighting are manipulated to think that their beliefs are false. For instance, a wife tells her husband that he isn't fulfilling the responsibility. But he tells her that there's nothing like this happening; he is gaslighting her.


Gaslighting happens at many workplaces, it drains the energy of the target.

The process to report against gaslighting is quite tricky. But you need to maintain your professionalism while dealing with gaslighting at work.

You might be unable to put a stop to gaslighting. But the good news is that a healthy work environment also exists.

If you’re experiencing gaslighting at work, consider choosing from other job opportunities.

Share if you have any experience of gaslighting at work.

Last Updated on 1 year by Assma Riaz

Shahzaib Arshad
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