Specific workplace bullying tactics can run from the obvious and transparent to the remarkably deceitful and calculated. Among the most treacherous of the latter is “gaslighting,” defined in Wikipedia as:
a form of manipulation that seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or members of a group, hoping to make targets question their own memory, perception, and sanity. Using persistent denial, misdirection, contradiction, and lying, it attempts to destabilize the target and delegitimize the target’s belief.
Gaslighting at work can range from orchestrated, manipulative aggressor-to-target behaviors, to HR officers expressing faux incredulity in response to claims of abusive mistreatment. Gaslighting appears on a recurring basis as a topic of discussion on social media among workplace bullying subject matter experts. It deserves some attention here.
Pop culture origins
Dr. Martha Stout, in her book The Sociopath Next Door (2005), describes the origins of the term:
In 1944, George Cukor directed a…
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