HEALING THE WOUNDS IGNITED BY GASLIGHTING
Gaslighting causes us to doubt our own memories, perceptions, and judgments, throwing us emotionally and psychologically off balance.
If you feel as though your self-esteem, confidence, and independence has withered under the flame of gaslighting you are not alone … and there certainly is hope!
Almost all of us, including myself, have experienced one form of Gaslighting or another throughout life. The problems arise when Gaslighting is a frequent shadow that trails behind our relationships and partnerships. The good news is that knowledge and awareness is the first step to healing your life and rebuilding the strong, perceptive person you are … and you have already taken it!
While it is true that in some situations we genuinely might be overreacting, or might genuinely be exhibiting irrational behavior, it is also important for you to listen to your instinct or intuition. Do you have a heavy feeling in the pit of your stomach? Do you feel weighed down and oppressed? Do you feel depressed? These are signs that you have unconsciously picked up on deception and “foul play.” While we can consciously be fooled, unconsciously we can’t, and often we will have a lingering feeling that “something just isn’t right.” Make sure that you listen to this feeling and seek help, either professionally or socially (i.e. a trusted group of friends or a support network).
In summary, here are some ways to support yourself in the face of gaslighting:
- Firstly clarify to yourself how, when and who is gaslighting you. Think about what ways they make you feel unhinged and like you’re losing it. Write down whatever you can think of. You must be able to confirm that you’re being gaslighted before you can move on with your life.
- Pay attention to the signs of being gaslighted, like feeling confused, belittled, “crazy” or manipulated. Take a deep breath, clear your mind, and center yourself. Set aside regular time for grounding each day through meditation or a mindfulness practice. These techniques will help you to stay objective even in difficult circumstances.
- Decide whether it’s worth continuing your friendship or relationship. If you’re in a working relationship, think about whether it’s worth staying in your job or not. If you want to stay, think about ways to minimize interaction with the gaslighter until you feel grounded and confident.
- Talk to trusted friends or loved ones about your problem. Alternatively, seek help from a mentor or therapist.
- Shift your perspective from being a victim to being a warrior/winner or whatever word feels the most empowering. You don’t have to remain a victim for the rest of your life, and by reclaiming your personal power, you’ll also be able to help others in similar circumstances.
- Read my emotional abuse article to deepen your understanding of this topic.
I hope these actions can help you regain a sense of personal clarity, confidence, and empowerment once again as you recover from the gaslighter’s mind games.
Are you experiencing Gaslighting? Do you know someone else who is? Do you have any recommendations that would help others? Please share below.