Are You a Victim of the “Gaslight Effect”?

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What is the “Gaslight Effect”?  I had never heard the term before. Then I received this article from, a woman’s networking organization.  Written by Robin Stern, it tells the story of two female coworkers whose relationship quickly changed when one woman got promoted over the other.

As I read the article, I found that I was not surprised.  No longer colleagues but competitors, manipulation quickly became the name of the game.  As I continued to read, I found myself wondering why this seems so common.  Is this simply business as usual or are women more likely to turn to manipulative mind games to excel in corporate america?  I have witnessed women in managerial roles get picked apart by their team members until they are nervous wrecks, always defensive, or they quit from the pressure.  Is this the only way?  One person told me about working for a woman who would be happy when the work was completed well, but then would immediately have a mood swing as if her job was in jeopardy and berate her for small insignificant tasks.  I personally have worked in a situation where the woman treated me so terribly, that I thought I was doing horrible work.  When I tendered my resignation notice, she got teary eyed and told me that I was the best paralegal she ever had.  Why all of the manipulation?  I may never know!  But I do find that when I hear about stories like the one written by Ms. Stern, women are always involved.  I rarely hear about these situations with men.

So I ask you.  Is work place manipulation business as usual or unnecessary cattiness?  Also, what do you think of Ms. Stern’s article?


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