5 Warning Signs Of Workplace Manipulation And How To Protect Yourself

If a coworker offers you a seat, be cautious — it could be a chair-ity trap!

Janice Eastman

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Batman is on bended knees in front of Superwoman while Superman looks on.
Photo by King Lip on Unsplash

Workplace manipulation is a silent killer. It can slowly eat away at your confidence, self-esteem, and overall well-being. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to spot. Until it’s too late.

That’s why it’s essential to be aware of the warning signs. And take action before it’s too late.

Recognizing workplace manipulation is crucial for maintaining a healthy and productive work environment.

Here are five warning signs of workplace manipulation. And some strategies to protect yourself:

1. Excessive flattery and praise

Manipulators often use excessive praise and charm to gain your trust and make you more susceptible to their influence.

However, be cautious if compliments and flattery seem insincere. Or if the person is inconsistent in their behavior.

Protection: Accept compliments graciously. But maintain a healthy dose of skepticism.

Focus on evaluating people’s actions and intentions. Rather than solely relying on their words.

As someone who has experienced workplace manipulation firsthand, I know the importance of taking the warning signs seriously. It’s not just about protecting your job; it’s about preserving your mental health and well-being.

In my case, I was blindsided by a coworker who I thought was a close friend. Their excessive flattery and praise felt insincere — like that little voice inside your head that says, “whatcha talkin’ bout ..?” but I brushed it off as mere insecurity.

I only realized what was happening when they began taking credit for my ideas and manipulating me into doing extra work. By then, it was too late; my reputation had suffered, and I had lost confidence in my abilities.

This experience taught me the importance of being vigilant and standing up for myself in the workplace.

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Janice Eastman

From reading my writing, I hope you will begin to break down self-imposed barriers and find your authentic self in the extraordinary story of life.