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Are You Being Emotionally Manipulated at Work?

Research has shown that emotional manipulation (EM) can significantly impact individuals’ well-being and productivity. It can systematically influence cognitive control, which is crucial for effective decision-making and problem-solving, and can also affect individuals’ interpersonal relationships and overall mental health, further impacting their productivity and satisfaction in the workplace. If you think you’re being emotionally manipulated at work, try these five strategies to protect yourself — and your workplace.

Sarah, a former client of mine, was an experienced professional known for her dedication and hard work ethic. Her manager shared a personal story of their own struggles with workload and implied that if Sarah were to take on additional work, she would demonstrate true loyalty and commitment to the team and make an impression on leadership. Sarah began to feel an increased sense of obligation, in addition to guilt and stress. She felt manipulated into a situation where saying no seemed like a betrayal and lack of commitment, even though the extra workload affected her well-being and even her own deliverables.

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