Could My Business Partner Be Attempting to Gaslight Me?
Gaslighting is a psychological manipulation technique where a person attempts to make another doubt their perceptions, memories, or sanity, often by dismissing their concerns or denying reality. While this term is frequently used in personal relationships, it can also be relevant in a business context, even between business partners.
If you’re feeling unheard, undermined, or starting to question your judgment within your business partnership, you might be a victim of gaslighting. Here are some signs to watch out for:
1. Denial of Past Agreements: Your partner may deny a conversation or an agreement that you clearly remember, insisting it never occurred, or that you misunderstood. This can make you doubt your memory.
2. Dismissal of Your Concerns: If your business partner trivializes your concerns about the business or decisions being made, suggesting that you’re “overreacting” or “misinterpreting” the situation, it might be a gaslighting tactic.
3. Changing the Subject: If your partner consistently redirects the conversation or blames you when you try to address an issue, it can be a way of diverting from the topic at hand and make you question the validity of your points.
4.They Make You Feel Incompetent: Gaslighting can involve undermining your competence and making you feel like you’re not capable or qualified, leading to a loss of confidence.
So, what can you do if you believe you’re being gaslighted?
1.Trust Your Gut: If something doesn’t feel right, trust your intuition. You know your business and your capabilities.
2. Keep Records: Document conversations, agreements, and decisions. This can be helpful if your partner denies these later.
3. Seek Outside Perspectives: Discuss the situation with a trusted mentor, a business coach, or a therapist. They can provide an objective viewpoint and help you navigate your feelings.
4. Consult with a Lawyer: If you feel your business is at risk or you’re considering ending the partnership, legal advice is crucial to protect your interests.
Remember, gaslighting can be subtle and disorienting. If you feel you’re a victim of gaslighting, seek support. You deserve respect and honesty in your business relationships, and there are resources and professionals available to help you navigate this challenging situation.