They are, seemingly, growing incidence in the workplace: toxic relationships, which can undermine you to a point of no return (depression, burn out). How to recognize them?
It feels like there are increasingly more toxic relationships in the workplace. What do you think about manipulation?
People nowadays confirm that relationships seem to be toxic at an increasing frequency. This involution is due to four concomitant factors:
- Pressure at work (but also in the family or at school) is constantly amplifying
- Greed is also increasing in proportion: today, everyone wants everything
- The absence or resignation of parents in front of the children who have not learned the frustration, the expectation, the effort, the work. The people are not ready to improve communication skills to avoid conflicts
- The change in values: respect fades in favor of pleasure and leisure
- Crises and other changes make you aggressive. Consequence: "toxic" people prey on the weakest and impose or manipulate their interlocutors to obtain satisfaction ... Toxicity is contagious. Someone who has been assaulted is likely to assault in turn. The wellbeing at work is sometimes perturbed by internal conflicts.
What are the signals that should alert you?
The signs of slippage are of two kinds: interior and exterior. The inner signs are the negative emotions and other impressions that you feel more and more frequently: anger, sadness, fear, and stress (the synthesis of others) or in general, unease. You feel bullied, side-lined, denied, despised, criticized, or devalued, etc.
These signs do not prove anything by themselves if they are not comforted/validated by the objective external signs: your boss or colleague criticizes you or insults you more and more often. He ridicules you or humiliates you in public, takes away your projects, your responsibilities, your means or your prerogatives, he "forgets" to inform you or to invite you to a meeting ... In short, he no longer respects neither you, your working hours, your opinion, nor your privacy, etc. The negative takes precedence over the positive.
How to get out / rebuild?
The first thing to do is to become aware of it. Without this awareness, nothing is possible.
Then, you must cross-check your impressions with third parties. Eventually, consult a psychologist who will help you differentiate the petty assaults and manipulations of ordinary office life from a true manipulator/aggressor. Talking about it allows you to evacuate as well as to take a step back.
Finally, we must act according to the situation and communicate with the toxic person by asking him to stop. If that is not useful, go see other people: his hierarchical superior, the HR department to put pressure on him (or her), but also find mediation support from specialists. As a last resort, you can also consult a lawyer or call the labor inspectorate.
In any case, never stay alone: isolation kills as much as the predator. Be aware that the law now states that the company should protect its employees.