An engineer recently asked Redditors for their opinions after he gaslighted a coworker into thinking that everyone considers him to be an emotional crybaby. Here is the full story.
The Hothead’s Behavior Had Improved
OP is an engineer who works on a team with eight other engineers. His company has a very flat structure, with mostly just the engineers and corporate management.
Most of OP’s teammates are calm and reasonable individuals but one coworker has severe anger issues. This guy often resorts to yelling and getting in people’s faces during disagreements, creating a hostile work environment.
Initially, OP approached his boss to address the issue, expressing his concerns about the aggressive behavior. But the boss brushed it off, suggesting that the individual’s behavior was just a part of who they were.
OP’s boss even said that the hothead’s behavior had improved a lot compared to how he acted 10 years ago. He had mellowed out quite a bit, according to the boss.
He Still Far from Mellow
That idea blew OP’s mind because the coworker is far from mellow now. He can’t even imagine how bad the guy must have been a decade ago.
Since the company has no dedicated HR department, there weren’t really any proper channels for addressing the issue. And since OP’s boss brushed it off, it was challenging to find a resolution or support of any kind.
Frustrated by the lack of action, OP devised a different approach to dealing with his angry coworker. The plan was to change the man’s reputation within the company and the dynamics within the team.
OP decided to reframe the bully’s behavior by using subtle language shifts, replacing terms like “arguing” or “yelling” with terms like “emotional,” “throwing a tantrum,” or “having a fit.”
Gaslighting Sad Baby Vibes
OP wanted to kill off the bully’s “big man vibes” and expose his true “weak sad baby vibes” for the whole world to see. Maybe then, he’d finally change his ugly behavior.
OP put his plan into action by first making subtle comments during meetings or conversations with colleagues.
Little by little, he was able to gradually shift the perception of the bully’s behavior from dominant and aggressive to emotionally unstable and weak.
At every opportunity, OP began to highlight how “emotional” the coworker was becoming during discussions or disagreements.
He Said He Had Childish Temper Tantrums
He’d even replay meetings back to his boss, nothing that the coworker threw a “hissy fit” or “temper tantrum.”
Over time, coworkers started to pick up on OP’s comments and incorporate similar language when discussing the individual’s outbursts, inadvertently reinforcing the new perception.
Encouraged by the growing support from colleagues, OP finally directly confronted the hothead. During one tirade, OP told the man that he had difficulty in understanding his points when he was so emotional.
That eventually became the norm, with OP consistently calling out his coworker as emotional whenever his temper started to flare.
He Was on the Verge of Crybaby Tears
Finally, after one confrontation, the coworker asked OP why he consistently labeled him as emotional. OP casually pointed out that the man was on the verge of tears, which only further agitated him.
OP knows that he gaslighted his coworker to an extent, but he’s happy that perceptions have started to change.
Redditors strongly support OP and the actions he took to overcome his bully at work.
They point out that he really had no choice since management wouldn’t help him. And they think he did a masterful job of turning the tables without getting angry himself.
He Overcame His Bully
Several point out that the company really needs to take control of the situation and stop coddling the angry employee just because he has the most seniority.
So, what do you think of this story? Was OP right for trying something new to change perceptions of the work bully?
Or did he go too far in playing mind games with the guy and turning him into an emotional mess?
The post He Cunningly Turned His Bully Co-worker Into an Emotional Crybaby first appeared on The Net Worth Of.
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Den Rozhnovsky. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.