When things at work feel a bit off, it can ruin your entire day. For instance, it is always troubling to experience occasional on-the-job emotional abuse from a coworker or customer.
Most of us expect a rough workday from time to time, but when harassment or abuse is pervasive, it is probably illegal. If you worry you’re imagining things or turning your situation into too big a deal, think twice.
Psychological abuse is a real phenomenon that you do not have to sit back and accept silently.
Gaslighting in the workplace
Gaslighting occurs when someone manipulates another psychologically, often making them believe they did or said things that never happened. For example, a boss or coworker may sabotage your assignments to make you (and others) think you did not finish your work.
Unlike the more subtle gaslighting, bullying behaviors may be overt. For example, a superior may threaten to fire you or cut your hours if you refuse to work a double shift. On the other hand, if a coworker picks on you at every opportunity, it is also a form of bullying.
On-the-job verbal abuse
Verbal abuse can come your way from coworkers, superiors and customers. Some examples of abusive conduct include:
- Belittling remarks
- Pervasive criticization
Verbal harassment centered on race, age, gender, or disability can make you fear your workplace and is often a form of discrimination. It may also begin to affect your work performance and happiness away from your job.
Consider obtaining a professional legal opinion if you frequently suffer unchecked psychological or emotional abuse at work. Together, you and your counsel can explore making a workplace discrimination or harassment claim.