I find myself explaining gaslighting every once in a while and I figured why not share my views. Relationships are complicated on their own, add power dynamics in the mix and things get a little messy. With people carrying a host of personalities, conditioning, up bringing and beliefs, some things may seem justifiable. Gaslighting is a subtle form of abuse that may stem from all the makings of a person, be it culture, religion, personality amongst other domains without being instantly noticeable. I don’t conform to most things that people subscribe to which makes me angry when they use certain domains to justify their sick behaviours.
It is a form of manipulation and emotional abuse, and it’s a hallmark of narcissism. Narcissists may spew blatant lies, falsely accuse others, spin the truth, and ultimately distort your reality. The effects of being gaslit are long lasting and damaging to the self image. It all happens gradually that’s why sometimes people miss it.
I’m particularly passionate about these topics because I’ve seen a lot of people being in relationships that are toxic and they maintain that is their ‘up and down’ in love. No its not. Love is pure. Love is fair. Love is… You get the idea. There is no manipulation in love.
Being gaslighted may leave you doubting a lot of things and cripple your decision making process. And it’s not gendered, anyone can be gaslighted. ( while this post is focusing on gaslighting in relationships, it exists in families, work contexts, church, friendships, etc)
Signs you’ve been gaslight :
- You lose who you are, you feel you no longer recognise the person you are in that relationship
- You’re always apologising for something.
- You always have to regulate and analyse is your response to your partner is appropriate or adequate.
- You feel more anxious and less confident than
you used to be.
- You constantly wonder if you’re being too sensitive.
- You feel like there’s nothing right you do
- You always think it’s your fault when things go
- You have a sense that something’s wrong, but
aren’t able to identify what it is.
- You have lingering sense of hopelessness, frustration, or emotional numbness
- You make excuses for your partner’s behavior.
Some signs are a little more pronounced as they come out as behavioural changes.
- Being a people please, basically becoming a yesman and a tool for other people’s benefit.
- Avoid conflict by isolation yourself from significant others
- Constantly questioning whether you said the right thing or made the right choice
- making excuses for the person gaslighting you to family and friends
- constantly reviewing your words and actions to make sure you’ve done everything “right”
- spending little or no time on the activities or hobbies you used to enjoy, losing yourself really.
How do you deal with being gaslighted
When you feel you’re being gaslighted, take a couple of steps back and evaluate everything then seek help.
- Take stock of events, and check if it matches up to your portion of the blame.
- Get help from loved ones, hear your story from another point of view
- Set clear cut boundaries. It’s difficult for gaslighters to operate where they have no control, boundaries make that so.
- Don’t make the relationship your whole life, continue embracing your sense of self, doing things you love doing on your own.
I hope this helps someone.