Dealing with a colleague who gaslights you can be challenging, but it’s essential to address the situation in a constructive and assertive manner. Gaslighting is a form of manipulation where someone tries to make you doubt your own thoughts, feelings, or perceptions. Here are some steps to consider:
Recognize Gaslighting: Understand what gaslighting is and be able to identify when it’s happening. Gaslighting tactics often involve denial, trivialization, blame-shifting, and questioning your sanity or memory.
Maintain Self-Awareness: Trust your instincts and feelings. If you feel like you’re being gaslighted, acknowledge your emotions and thoughts as valid.
Document the Behaviour: Keep a record of instances where your colleague engages in gaslighting. Note the date, time, location, and what was said or done. This documentation can be valuable if you need to address the issue formally.
Limit Interaction: Minimize unnecessary interactions with the colleague whenever possible. If their behaviour is negatively affecting you, reducing contact can help protect your well-being.
Seek Support: Talk to trusted friends, family members, or other colleagues about the situation. They can provide emotional support, and their perspective may help you validate your experiences.
Confront Calmly: When you feel comfortable and safe doing so, calmly confront the gaslighter about their behaviour. Use “I” statements to express how their actions make you feel. For example, say, “I feel frustrated when you dismiss my ideas during meetings.”
Set Boundaries: Clearly establish personal boundaries with the colleague. Let them know what behaviour is unacceptable and that you expect to be treated respectfully.
Document Discussions: If you have a conversation with the colleague about the gaslighting behaviour, document the discussion, including what was said and any agreements made.
Involve a Supervisor or HR: If the gaslighting continues and affects your work or well-being, consider escalating the issue to your supervisor or human resources department. Present your documented evidence and express your concerns about a hostile work environment.
Seek Professional Help: If the gaslighting takes a severe toll on your mental health and well-being, consider speaking to a therapist or counsellor who can provide guidance and support.
Know Your Rights: Familiarize yourself with workplace policies and regulations related to harassment and bullying. You have the right to a safe and respectful work environment.
Self-Care: Prioritize self-care to manage the stress and emotional toll of dealing with gaslighting. Engage in activities that promote relaxation and well-being, such as exercise, meditation, or hobbies.
Remember that confronting gaslighting behaviour can be difficult, and the outcome may vary. It’s essential to prioritize your mental and emotional health and take steps to protect yourself in the workplace. If the issue persists despite your efforts, consider seeking external support and exploring options for a healthier work environment.
Join Devan Moonsamy on a journey to a healthier, more resilient you. “The 8-Step Guide To Modern Mental Health” is now available on Amazon and from the Publisher The ICHAF Training Institute. For more information about the book and the author, please visit www.devan-moonsamy.com or www.ichaftraining.co.za
About the Author:
Devan Moonsamy is the CEO of ICHAF Training Institute, a South African Corporate Training Provider & National Learning Institute. He has also graduated with his Bachelor of Applied Social Science (Majoring in Psychology and Counselling)
Practice/Registration Number: CO30161 – Devan is a CCSA Registered Counsellor, Executive Coach and Psychological Safety Wellness Consultant.
The ICHAF Training Institute offers SETA-approved training in business skills, computer use, and soft skills. Devan and his team specialises in NQF1 to NQF5 Learnerships, conflict and diversity management training, and ICHAF regularly conducts seminars on soft skills issues for corporates.
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