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I am writing this to get help on identifying some behaviours of people at workplace and develop my skills. I am a bit introverted and recently I came across a work place with a lot of toxic co-workers as well as superiors who do gossiping, backbiting and even undermining a lot. So I found it difficult with my introverted nature to deal as well.

When I was very new there, I tried to be with two other girls, 2 and 3 years younger than me, respectively. So that I have company, I mean.

One day, when we were having tea, the girl A said, "I am the eldest in the family, and I don't like to get controlled. I am the one who is bossing my brother even". By the tone and implications, the idea implied to me was that she feared that I might perhaps try to start handle them and become the leader among the 3 of us. And hence she tried to build a protective wall for her, by saying like this.

She anyway try to handle the girl B. Didn't try to do so to me that much, probably because I'm older than them. But she does backbiting.

Such an idea didn't even cross my mind, until she mentioned. I also, don't like to get handled, but I'm bit more peaceful than A so I don't try to handle anyone either. But I myself also don't like to get handled. In such a case, should I also be saying something like A did, to the new people I meet?

Is that a common way to protect yourself against people who try to manipulate you?

And there's another aspect. It was good because I'm a peaceful person, but if she said that to someone who is more toxic, they would have started to do the handling just because she doesn't like it right? That's also possible, isn't it?

Are there behaviours, body language and comments that we can really use to safeguard ourselves from getting manipulated?

Thanks a lot in advance.

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    What country/culture is this? Sep 1, 2023 at 20:49
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    It's an asian country. Eventhough my name is english like, I'm a native here. A developing country. @DanielR.Collins
    – Mary
    Sep 2, 2023 at 13:27

1 Answer 1

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By the tone and implications, the idea implied to me was that she feared that I might perhaps try to start handle them and become the leader among the 3 of us. And hence she tried to build a protective wall for her, by saying like this.

With all due respect, I feel that you are confusing things and are starting from an assumption that perhaps is not true.

Don't overthink it. Who knows, perhaps she was only sharing an anecdote, that doesn't imply she "fears" you will become "the leader" (leader as in? your friend group?). To be honest, this sounds a bit childish.

I suggest you focus on your job and keep it professional. There is no need to "show your claws" to people so they don't "handle" you. You are all in the same boat, perhaps reporting to the same person, so you should work as a team and leave the personal aspects out of it.

I am a bit introverted and recently I came across a work place with a lot of toxic co-workers as well as superiors who do gossiping, backbiting and even undermining a lot. So I found it difficult with my introverted nature to deal as well.

Regardless of the advice given before, this is a red flag to me.

If you are not comfortable with the environment and have experienced that a lot of the people there are toxic then perhaps you should think if you really want to be there.

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  • Thank you @DarkCygnus I know it's childish. I myself was surprised by those behaviours. But they form cliques and a person in the clique kind of try to act like a leader, informally. When I don't get too attached to be under a particular clique and follow exactly what that leader says, they try to look for chances to corner/attack me. That's why I'm trying to figure out whether I have a way to imply that
    – Mary
    Sep 2, 2023 at 13:35
  • "I don't want to be in a clique, I have enough capacity to be the leader of my own work, and I'm harmless and won't try to lead them either and also anytime, I'll be a friend even though I keep my independence". Forming a peaceful but strong attitude. There are some who are able to maintain such independence. But I don't know how they do that. That's why I want to figure out. I've resigned from this place, still a bit of more days to go until my one month completes.
    – Mary
    Sep 2, 2023 at 13:35
  • But I need to find a way to save myself from such situations in the future, because I've observed that a lot of people here have such behaviours. As the person who is being subjected to the situations, I can tell that that's how they behaved - not an assumption or a confusion, but it's difficult to explain it in words @DarkCygnus I think that's why it's even more dangerous to be subjected to such a situation. Please kindly advise on this too if possible. Thank you very much.
    – Mary
    Sep 2, 2023 at 13:41
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    I mean I thought we just need to be humble and honest in the work environment too, in a practical sense. But many others tried to practice these and showed off that they are strong by cutting off another even. This has been happening in a lot of communities in here, I think it's unrefined behaviour, but I think now, that these things I observe at the workplaces are a result of such guidances during the childhood as well. So in many places this behaviour is there, it's a little bit too high here I think because of the presence of many highly forward characters, as they say.
    – Mary
    Sep 6, 2023 at 16:07
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    @Mary interesting thoughts and reflection. Seems like a cultural thing and something that is deeply rooted in your society. To put it more negatively: something you can't change :/
    – DarkCygnus
    Sep 6, 2023 at 18:33

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