Lately, do you feel that your work environment has become toxic and that someone is trying to set you up? Does someone want to see you gone from your company, and they’re trying hard to make you fail?
Well, I’m going to help you figure out whether that is really true and who that person may be. What you need to expose them are these clear signs you are being set up to fail at work.
And don’t worry, even if it’s really true, even if someone wants to see you fired, you just need to keep your self-confidence high and not allow them to get control over you.
15 Bad Signs You Are Being Set Up
Pay attention to these signs you are being set up, and if you notice most of them, confront the person who is trying to set you up and show them they can’t play with you.
1. You suddenly feel uncomfortable when they’re around
Did you have a good relationship with them, but now, you feel nervous and uncomfortable whenever they come near you? Every time they make eye contact with you, does it scare the hell out of you?
Well, your fear and nervousness aren’t definitely for nothing. You probably feel that they are up to something, and your inner voice is telling you that you should stay away from them.
2. Their behavior is hurting your self-esteem
When someone constantly tries to put you down or makes you feel unappreciated and disrespected, it’s normal for it to affect your self-confidence. However, you shouldn’t allow that because you know it’s not up to you.
You know you aren’t a bad worker because you know how hard you try, and you also don’t have set-up-to-fail syndrome. Don’t ever allow anyone to make you feel like you are less than. Always be aware of your worth and everything you are.
3. Constant company culture changes
If your boss or some of the higher-ups are constantly changing the company culture rules, your doubts are probably true… They’re trying to set you up, and they’re changing those rules just to confuse you or even so they can fire you easier.
Of course, you should try to adjust and adapt to these changes and follow the new rules.
However, if at any moment it all becomes too overwhelming for you, you should express your displeasure about it and even quit your job if it starts affecting your mental health.
4. They start spending less time with you
They can’t be conspiring against you and, at the same time, hang out with you as if nothing is happening. Of course, some people are great actors, but no one can act forever.
They’ll start spending less and less time with you because they’ll be afraid that you might figure out their real intentions.
5. Or, they start micromanaging you
If you notice that someone is trying to micromanage you all of a sudden, even if it’s your boss or another higher-up, it could be because they are trying to sabotage you.
They’re supervising you closely either because they’re trying to find a mistake in your work or because they’re trying to figure out a way they can set you up. Either way, you shouldn’t allow them to.
There must be boundaries in everything, even in the relationship between a boss and their employees.
6. You constantly walk on eggshells around them
Because of their toxic behavior and constant whims, you aren’t sure how you should behave around them anymore. You don’t want to do something wrong that might cost you your job, and I completely get you.
However, what is the point in going to work every morning to a place where you don’t feel comfortable? Do you really think you’ll be able to endure it for too long?
If you feel like you need to be careful around them, then you’re probably aware that they’re plotting against you. The rest is up to you, whether you’ll allow them to set you up or you’ll pull yourself up and put an end to their lame games.
7. Rumors about possible layoffs are being spread
Have you heard rumors about decreased profitability in the company and that it may cause some layoffs? However, when you ask other colleagues about it, no one has heard anything about possible layoffs.
It’s possible that those rumors are only being told to you because you’re being set up. Now, you need to stop spreading them and continue doing your job flawlessly, just like you were to this point.
8. You’re being assigned work that you aren’t qualified for
If they’re trying to overwork you or give you assignments that are beyond your qualifications, it’s a clear sign you are being set up.
They want to give you those assignments or that workload because they’re waiting for you to make a mistake that will cost you losing your job. You need to talk to them or some of the other higher-ups and explain that you can’t keep doing those tasks.
Otherwise, you’ll get complete job burnout, or it’ll destroy your mental health.
9. You start getting bad performance reviews
Were all of your performance reviews good until now? Has your boss and the higher-ups always praised you before?
Now, that’s changed, too, and you got a bad performance review all of a sudden. Your boss gave you negative feedback on your work, and you know how much you work, and you know that your results are always positive.
They may even say that your work didn’t bring them any profit lately, which would be a clear sign that they’re preparing to fire you. Don’t let their feedback affect your self-confidence. Even if they do fire you, think of it as their loss and believe that you’ll find a new job where people will appreciate your contribution.
10. Their constant whims are simply intolerable
Do you feel like they’re trying to drive you completely nuts with their whims and mood changes? Is it impossible to even assume what their next step will be, and you feel like you can’t deal with it anymore?
You’re probably right, and they probably want to drive you mad. You should stay away from them as much as possible. And if they continue with their whims and you start feeling anxious because of it, you need to talk to them about it.
If you can’t have healthy communication with them, then you’re working in a toxic environment, and you shouldn’t stay there for too long. Of course, that is if you want to keep your sanity.
11. They crossed all of your boundaries a long time ago
As I said, all relationships need boundaries if you want to keep those relationships healthy. Even the relationship between you and your boss.
If that person has crossed all of the boundaries that you have clearly set up, it’s also a red flag they’re sabotaging you. If they don’t respect your boundaries, they don’t even respect or love you in the first place, and they definitely don’t have a good opinion of you.
If you allow them to continue behaving like that, to continue disrespecting your boundaries, they’ll destroy your self-esteem completely. And they’ll never stop with their toxic behavior.
Related: 14 Sure Signs Your Boss Cares About You
12. Your communication with other co-workers is being blocked
Have you noticed they’re also trying to sabotage your relationships with your colleagues? Does it feel like they’ve been forbidden from working or hanging out with you?
It’s probably because they don’t want others to help you. Remember, they’re trying to sabotage you in every possible way, and that’s why they want to block your communication with your colleagues.
Don’t blame your co-workers or yourself because of that. They’re probably forced to behave like that, and it’s really not up to you – you know who’s really to blame.
13. You’re sure that someone has been going through your private stuff
Have you noticed that someone was in your office? Or maybe they were snooping through your phone, computer, or social media?
If you have, it’s also a big sign they’re trying to set you up for something. Be careful where you leave your private things and keep your office locked when you aren’t there – if that is possible, of course.
14. You’re being accused of mistakes you didn’t make
It doesn’t matter whether you made a mistake or if it was a co-worker who was working with you on a specific project, if someone wants to sabotage you, they’ll always blame you for those mistakes.
It’s not easy to deal with their constant blaming, but understand that it’s all part of their plan. Try to prove that it’s not your mistake and keep doing your work like you have been doing it.
15. Your gut feeling is simply telling you so
Even though most people don’t quite trust their gut, in most cases, it turns out to be true. That’s why if your gut feeling is telling you that you shouldn’t trust a co-worker or your boss even because they’re trying to sabotage you in a way, you should be careful around that person.
You’re probably trying to silence your inner feelings because maybe you have a good interpersonal relationship with that person, but don’t let it blind you. Follow the signs, and if you recognize them, it’s proof your gut feeling is right after all.
See also: I Feel Incompetent At My New Job: 11 Ways To Change That
How Do You Tell If Your Boss Is Sabotaging You?
If you try really hard to prove your worth to your boss, but they still choose to remain blind to those attempts, it’s obvious that they’re trying to sabotage you. Also, if they’re always focused on finding mistakes in your work and never even think about giving you credit for your hard work, it’s a huge red flag.
Another sign your boss is sabotaging you is if they overwork you. They do it because they think you won’t succeed in doing all the work they give you.
And one of the most obvious signs they’re sabotaging you is if they never invite you to some important meeting or never give you the praise or the credit you deserve for your contribution to their company.
If you’ve indeed noticed that your boss is sabotaging you, you should think about quitting your job because a toxic work environment can leave long-term consequences on your mental health.
How Do You Outsmart A Sneaky Boss?
The first thing you need to do is make a final decision on whether you want to stay at your current job or resign and find a new job.
If you decide to stay after all, you need to make a plan to deal with your boss and put them in their place once and for all. In the beginning, you need to behave normally, as if nothing is happening.
Meanwhile, you need to keep track of their behavior towards other colleagues and record every mistake they make.
Then, when you gather proof that they’re being unfair towards you, you should confront them. Let them know that you’ve decided to put an end to their toxic, bullying behavior. From that moment on, keep your interpersonal relationship plainly work-related.
How Do You Know Your Boss Is Toxic?
The truth is, most of us know if our bosses are toxic but simply decide to ignore it because we are afraid we’ll end up without a job. Unfortunately, most of us are even forced to work in a toxic environment.
For those of you who still don’t know or are wondering whether your boss might be toxic, criticizing or undermining you all the time are the first warning signs of their toxicity.
If you constantly work very hard to prove yourself or to gain their trust, and they still clearly show a lack of trust, trust me, it’s up to them. Their toxicity simply won’t allow them to recognize you as a good worker.
Also, if you notice that they behave differently when other people are around than when you two are alone, you should see it as a red flag that you’re dealing with a toxic boss.
Confront Them Or Quit Gracefully!
Now, if you’ve noticed these signs you are being set up to fail, you need to react immediately. You have two choices: to gather the strength and confront that person who wants to see you fired, even if that is your boss, or quit by yourself.
If you choose the first option, you should work on improving your self-esteem first. Then, confront that person and make it clear to them that they must never again interfere with your job.
And if you think you can’t stay in that toxic environment anymore, you have every right to quit and find a new job. For a new and fresh start, write a new resume and cover letter, and hopefully, you’ll run into the right recruiter who will match you with a job in which you’ll feel more respected.