How to Survive a Gaslighting Boss

If you work under a boss that constantly makes you feel less valuable than you really are, or even causes you to question your ability to do your job, you might be working for a gaslighter. Unfortunately, research shows that roughly 30% of bosses are toxic in some way. If you can relate to this situation, then here are some ways on how to survive a gaslighting boss.

What Is Gaslighting?

Gaslighting is a manipulative tactic that toxic people use to control others. Gaslighters actively seek to make their victims question their own reality and self-worth. They do this by lying, denying that they said or did things, projecting their own faults on others, and eventually putting their victim in full-on defense mode. You may even question your own sanity.

What Is Gaslighting In The Workplace?

It’s easy to spot a boss that is just a jerk. They might yell or publicly embarrass you. However, gaslighters are much more subtle. They’re much more covert about degrading your self-esteem and confidence and may even do it in hard to prove ways. 

They might only say or do things when no one else is around, then deny it later. Making you that much more confused. Hiring a workplace harassment attorney can help you prove the abuser’s actions in a court of law.

How To Protect Your Mental Health

One of the most important things you can do is distance your mental health from the abusive behavior. Remember that it’s not about you. Try not to internalize their words and actions, while reminding yourself that your boss is the one that’s in the wrong. Remind yourself of your value and know your worth. This is absolutely critical in these types of situations.

Minimize Direct Contact And Try Not To Find Yourself Alone With Them

Do as much as you can to limit interactions between you and your boss. Don’t allow them any more opportunities to continue in their abusive habits. While you can always on expert legal aid, like this sexual harassment attorney in LA, it’s best to thwart these situations before they happen. 

Avoid hallway conversations or lunches that you don’t have to attend, instead, use that time to build relationships with other leaders. Try to connect with positive mentors that celebrate your skills and talents.

Activate A Support Network

When you’re dealing with an emotionally challenging situation at work, you’ll cope much better if you have a strong support network at home. Reach out to friends and family that provide encouragement and take your mind off the situation. If it starts affecting your home life, you might even consider talking with a therapist or counselor about what’s going on.

Document Your Interactions

If you find yourself in any situation at work that makes you uncomfortable, it’s a good idea to keep a record of what’s happened. Write down conversations, try to keep people around you as witnesses, and save emails. Not only will you have documentation of interactions if your boss makes you question what happened, but you’ll be able to identify if you’re actually being gaslit.

Confront The Situation With Caution

There may come a point that you need to speak up. You shouldn’t confront your boss alone. Instead, you may want to speak to HR or your boss’s superior. When you do, you’ll have a list of evidence of times when you’ve been treated unfairly. You’ll want to make sure you’re in a strong enough position that there is no question of wrong-doing from your boss.

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