Are You Being Gaslighted?
Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation where a person or group makes another question their sanity. This occurs by the person or group doing things that make the individual being gaslighted question their memory of something that occurred, their own judgement, or a perception about an occurrence. When someone is being gaslighted, they often second guess their own truths and knowings causing them to learn to doubt themselves and have lower self-image or self-worth.
Let’s unpack this a bit.
First, Gaslighting has become “too normal” in our society today and is extremely dangerous. It is a manipulation tool that helps people who we are going to refer to as abusers (because if you feel the need to manipulate let’s call a spade a spade and say you are an abuser of power), you are trying to control another individual by undermining their own personal power. This is often seen in the cycle of abuse or domestic violence, but it is important to talk about, because it happens in relationships other than with significant others such as work, friends, groups of different kinds, etc. Basically it can happen anywhere.
When you are gaslighted repeatedly, it can make you go into a place of what is referred to as, “learned helplessness” and this is where the abuser wins. When an individual is in that state they have lost touch with their own inner power and are now depending on the abuser to make decisions for them. They also will slip into more depression, anxiety, extreme stress, and sometimes psychosis. Gaslighting takes one’s ability for self-sufficiency away and is extremely hard to deal with! I have been there and do know when it feels like you have no choices.
Let me say here, manipulation in itself is not a victimless crime. We often see it is sales, or honestly even in our daily lives, but the difference with gaslighting is the abusers are playing a mind game where the abusers have an influence that allows others to think they are wrong and cannot make decisions without the abuser.
Now, let’s shift here and I want to ask if you have ever made yourself feel crazy?
Have you ever told yourself that you were being too sensitive?
“You are too needy?”
“You are overreacting?”
“You are asking too much or too many questions?”
My answer is “YES!”
I am definitely guilty of having said these things over the years to myself. Why does that matter?
My friend, these are common ways abusers gaslight victims. They will say the victim is being too sensitive, too needy, asking too much or overreacting.
What does that mean?!
YOU ARE GASLIGHTING YOURSELF!!!!
You and I when we ask ourselves the questions above are convincing ourselves that we cannot “control” ourselves and need outside help to understand our internal needs. We tell ourselves that our judgement is off for what we need, that our memory is wrong about what happened therefore we are overreacting, and so much more.
We need to see that often what we see is wrong in human interactions can also be occurring within us.
It is time to STOP GASLIGHTING YOURSELF AND OTHERS!
This as always is not a place of blame, but rather recognition to grow into abundance we desire.
So, my amazing friend, when you ask yourself, “ Am I being too sensitive?,” Shift to asking yourself am I feeling heard, seen, and validated?
When you ask, “Am I being too needy?,” Shift to asking what needs you have that are not being met.
When you ask, “ Am I overreacting?,” Shift to was I triggered and what feelings are hurt?
When you ask, “Am I asking for too much or too many questions?,” Shift to letting yourself know you are seeking love, respect, and collaboration.
How we talk and interact with others is very important, BUT how we talk and interact with ourselves is the most important thing in our lives! Help me call out gaslighting within ourselves and others. Gaslighting is dangerous and it is time for it to stop!