When a Professional Relationship Turns Abusive

How to identify it and get away

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Photo by Jose Aragones on Unsplash

Isolation: “I’m right. Don’t listen to anyone else.”

An abuser’s early mode of action is to separate you from others. They create an us vs. them atmosphere. You need to stay with the “tribe”; anything else is betrayal.

Stalking: “I’m watching you.”

Surveillance and stalking are a red flag for abuse, or at least that some sort of deception is going on. It’s not normal for someone to be watching everything you do, waiting for something to get angry about. Who has that kind of time?

Gaslighting: “That never happened. And if it did, we won’t talk about it.”

Deny, deny, deny: also known as the Narcissist’s Prayer. Abusers can use a technique called gaslighting, or lying or misleading to make someone question their own perceptions of things.

Playing the victim: “I’m the victim here. Everyone’s out to get me.”

Abusive people love to turn the situation around. Even when they start to treat someone badly, they say they are the victim, and that you’re the bad person for making them feel bad.

Article writer, aspiring YA novelist & health scientist.

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