When Gaslighting is the Norm: How to Spot and Stop Toxic Workplace Manipulation

It’s time to knip toxic workplaces in the bud

Janice Eastman
5 min readMar 8


Two red poisnous mushrooms.
Photo by Külli Kittus on Unsplash

Gaslighting, a manipulative and psychologically abusive technique, is unfortunately prevalent in many workplaces.

It can take many forms, from subtle comments and manipulations to outright lies and sabotage. All designed to make the recipient doubt their sanity, abilities, and perceptions.

The effects of this kind of abuse are far-reaching. And can cause long-lasting damage. Both to the individual and the organization as a whole.

To counteract it, individuals and organizations must work to recognize gaslighting behaviors and take swift action to stop them.

Deliberately confuse

Gaslighting in the workplace can be intentional or unintentional. But regardless of motive, the effects can be damaging. It can change a gruntle employee into a disgruntled one in Nano seconds.

It’s that powerful!

In some cases, gaslighting may stem from a lack of awareness. Or skill in communication. With the gaslighter unintentionally causing harm to the victim.

In other cases, it may be an intentional power play to assert dominance and control over others.

Whatever the motive behind it, it is crucial for both individuals and organizations to recognize and address gaslighting behaviors.

As someone who has experienced gaslighting in the workplace, I can speak to the severe harm it can cause.

It wasn’t until I sought outside support and clarity that I realized what was happening was not my fault.

My colleague’s deliberate attempt to make me feel incapable, unhinged, and unstable was gaslighting.

The incident left me feeling isolated and uncertain. And it took time and self-reflection to get back to a confident mindset.

But my experience inspired me to advocate for others experiencing gaslighting. And to create a workplace culture that promotes transparency, communication, and respect.

The four face monster



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.