Blog 69: Gaslighting by Xavier Lo, FIA, FRM, MBA

Merry Christmas everyone [聖誕快樂]! In light of recent events, I’d like to discuss something that I’ve known all along, but only just found out that there was a term for it: Gaslighting [心理操縱].

When someone’s actions or words make you question your own perception [知覺] or memory of things, that person is Gaslighting you. A good example of this is when your boss asks you to do a piece of work in a certain way. After a few days, when you’ve finally finished it, your boss questions why you did it that way and makes you wonder whether you’ve misheard the instructions [聽錯指示]. A more subtle way of Gaslighting is when your boss asks you a question about a piece of work. Then again after a few days. Then again after another few days. Although you might think your boss is just forgetful [善忘], a subtle consequence of this is that you start to question yourself whether you are actually really bad at explaining things.

To combat this, I think there are two main things you should do. Firstly, make a habit of documenting everything [寫低做記錄] that you do with this Gaslighter. Not only does it help your own sanity [理智] by reminding yourself that certain things have indeed happened, you can also use it was evidence with the Gaslighter to show that you haven’t done anything wrong. Secondly, you should definitely talk to a colleague you trust [信得過嘅同事] about this. It will help you relief some of the mental tension [精神緊張] that you have.

A short blog today as its Christmas. However, it’s a very important post. Although we all hate Gaslighters, we can sometimes find it very easy to be a Gaslighter ourselves as it is a powerful way to exert control over someone. Watch out for these signs, and don’t let yourself turn into one of these hated people! Merry Christmas again!

Qualified fellow actuary (in UK and Hong Kong), Financial Risk Manager, and MBA graduate (listed on the Dean's List) with a passion for insurance, data science, and analytics. Experienced in a broad range of insurance roles (pricing, capital modelling, reserving, ERM), along with a touch of knowledge in banking. Member of the General Insurance Committee (2021), Actuarial Innovation Committee (2019 - 2021) in ASHK.

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