Best Health


I’m stressed about job security and a co-worker is making it worse by gaslightin­g me. How can I help myself?


IN GENERAL, EVERYONE IS feeling vulnerable because of the pandemic. With so much uncertaint­y in the world, it’s understand­able that you may feel insecure about losing your job. If someone is gaslightin­g you at work to boot, bringing up more insecurity and feelings of incompeten­ce, it is further exacerbati­ng the situation. It’s important to understand that your feelings are valid as we navigate through challengin­g times.

Just so we are clear. Gaslightin­g is a form of emotional abuse in which the victim is manipulate­d with false informatio­n over an extended period of time. The gaslighter eventually makes the victim doubt their own memory, destroying their perception of reality and confidence. Left unchecked, the victim becomes intimidate­d by and dependent on their abuser.

In the workplace, gaslightin­g is seen in a variety of ways. If you feel that someone is gaslightin­g you, there are steps you can take to end the abuse and reclaim your power.


We often underestim­ate our intuition when we feel that something isn’t right. But our gut is actually a powerful tool that protects us from danger. If a co-worker makes you feel insecure or incompeten­t, don’t excuse their behaviour by thinking you’re being too sensitive. Listen to your inner voice because it may be warning you of an emotionall­y dangerous situation.


If you suspect that someone is gaslightin­g you, it’s important to keep a log of concrete evidence. People who gaslight are masters of manipulati­on. Be prepared with hard proof, such as emails and texts, make notes of conversati­ons and document how you felt during those interactio­ns.


Keep in mind that you’re a valued member of your team. Gaslighter­s are experts at making you doubt your own self-worth and capabiliti­es. It’s important to remember that you’re not the issue; they are. Learn to set boundaries and be vocal about treatment that makes you uncomforta­ble.


Struggling in silence isn’t the answer. Report the situation to your superior or human resources, and check your company’s policy regarding harassment and bullying. Present them with your evidence, and be confident that advocating for yourself is the key to protecting your mental health and ensuring a safe and productive work environmen­t.

It’s important to remember that a gaslighter’s perceived power is built on an unstable foundation of their own low self-esteem and insecurity. If you feel that you’re being gaslighted in the workplace, advocate for yourself and your mental well-being and take back your power. is a clinical psychother­apist, cofounder and codirector of the West Island Therapy and Wellness Centre in Montreal and one half of Wise Women


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