I was having a counseling session with one of the employees in my client organization and this is what he had to say about why he feels highly stressed at work.
“My boss keeps giving me assurances about a possible raise based on my performance and when I take up the issue with him he refuses to acknowledge that he ever made such an assurance”
“I don’t know how harder I need to work to prove myself?” “He seems to ignore me in meetings and refuses to give any space for me to air my views” When I confront him, he says that it was never his intent to hurt me and he likes the way I work. When I ask him to clarify as to what he expects from me at work, he says I am doing fine and if there is anything he will let me know.
“I have started to feel incompetent as all my attempts to improve my situations are to no avail”
I could clearly see a case of ‘gas lighting’ by the boss here. A kind of emotional abuse by making a fellow team member get into self-doubt and despair.
I’ve found that this is the beginning of workplace related depression in people and the worst is that it all looks normal and nothing to be too worked up about.
Gas lighting can happen in any relationship, between co-workers, partners, family, in school and other social setting.
Have you been a victim of ‘gas lighting’? How did you recognize and deal with it?