sharing with you guys knowledge about topics I'm experienced in.
What Is Gaslighting? What You Need To Know
First of all, I had no idea what the term gaslighting was until recently. I didn't know that it was a term that's used to refer to another person, or persons making you feel that you have done or said something wrong. It can happen in the most subtle manner.
It's emotional abuse at its best. Manipulation and cruel words are usually used when it occurs. Sadly, it can leave you to question how you think, feel, and also your memories pertaining to some events. Your actions and words will be undermined. You can start to feel like no one will even listen to you, should you finally realize it is wrong and wish to speak up.
Gaslighting will send off major warning signals that will alert you to the process having occurred. For me, I had absolutely no idea. Only when I started to read the internet and google certain things that had happened to me, was I able to fully comprehend just what's meant by the terminology, gaslighting. Let alone understand that I had in-fact been gaslighted on many occasions, without my knowledge.
Gaslighting Is A Form Of Abuse
Sadly making someone feel like they have done something wrong, or said something that is crazy. Even degrading someone's thoughts and opinions to make them feel inferior or silly is abuse. One of the things that angers me so much is that we spend so much time at school and intuitions studying during our early years. We are handed countless leaflets, material to study and read. Yet sadly there is no one to educate us about abuse and gaslighting. See, for me if you had told me abuse I would have thought about physical violence. Throw in gaslighting and it would have summed up the image of a lighter or a stove into my head.
Gaslighting Is Done To Make You Feel Crazy
It's a method for an abusive partner, family member, or even friend to control you and make you feel like you are not good enough. Sadly, some people have bullying traits. Not because you have done something wrong. In-fact, it is usually the complete opposite. They are usually jealous of you or the way you look, or perform. Abusers try to purposely break you. This is done to make you feel inadequate and not good enough for anyone else.
When this is done you will tend to stick around. It's a very cruel method of emotional torture. Those that are gaslighted usually have no idea until it has occurred for years. It can break you and make you feel like there is something wrong with you. The problem in-fact does not lie with you. It's the person that's dishing out the abuse that lacks the confidence. Because of this the abuser feels good watching you get broken down. Sick I know but such people have to do this in order to make themselves feel better.
Gaslighting Can Be Done In Groups Too
Sadly, you may think that gaslighting has to be done by just an individual. It can be done by a larger group too. Such as and not limited to friends, family members. In-fact, those that abuse have sadly often been abused themselves in the past, or have witnessed trauma that had made them to continue on with the pattern. This does not by any means make it okay for someone or a group of people to abuse you though. people should treat you with respect regardless of your color, race, ethnicity, class or bank account contents.
Example Of Group Gaslighting
A perfect example I can think of here is that once I was made to believe that I was in-fact a complete nut case. This was sadly because I held an opinion that was different to the group of people that I was sitting with. It was back last year when the covid19 pandemic was in full force and everyone had been asked not to visit people in groups. I had been made to feel like it was incorrect to opt out of such a visit.
I was singled out for my use of wearing a mask, and for encouraging my kids to wear a mask too. It's very crazy now when I think back about it I understand what happened and sadly why it happened. What I don't understand is how I ended up to be the minority of the group. How everyone tried to make me feel like I was the idiot when in-fact I was the one that was taking the necessary precautionary measures. Pictures were taken at the event and it was highlighted how only myself and kids were wearing mask to prevent the spread. The group then took it upon themselves to spread the pictures around in wasap groups, highlighting how I appeared to be the odd one out.
Gaslighting Is Not Your Fault
Those that choose to abuse, and groups that have a tendency to flock together and bully do so because they are sick. Alone they are cowards, together they are strong. You should just remain calm and keep reminding yourself that you are not to blame. It is a reflection of how weak and threatened they are by your very presence.
Try Not To Interact
Interacting with the gas-lighter or group of individuals that want to gaslight you, gives them a presence that you acknowledge them. Many times this behavior is done in order to break you and have an effect on your emotional well being. They do this as they feel like they cannot get attention any other way than breaking another individual. The more you ignore and the less you engage the better things will be. They are in-fact provoking you to react and by taking a step back and observing without retaliation. It makes you the better party.
Distance Yourself From The Abuse
Naturally if you are a victim of abuse and have been gaslighted, you should distance yourself from the abuser or the group that are so toxic to your mental well being. If it is a partner then you can suggest going to therapy and seeking help. One thing you should know is that it can escalate into violence and other forms of abuse too. None of these are your fault. It can have a very bad impact on your mental well being. Gaslighting is done in order to break you. Do not allow it to. You have taken a wise step by trying to read up and educate yourself about what is occurring. Do not suffer alone or in silence, you can also report this.
Have you ever sat with someone that has gaslighted you? Comment down below.