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.