When we talk about gaslighting, we rarely refer to ourselves. We talk about how others might act towards us. However, maybe you are gaslighting yourself without being completely aware of it.
What is Gaslighting?
Firstly, let’s start by explaining what is gaslighting? Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse that can occur in the workplace, in romantic relationships, or even in a parent-child relationship. Gaslighting is a common personality trait among those who have a narcissistic personality disorder.
Signs that You Might be Gaslighting Yourself?
The less common concept is gaslighting yourself. Gaslighting yourself often means that you are not validating your emotions and that you are questioning your own reality. You often hear people say to someone: “You are being too sensitive.” When you start saying that to yourself, you are gaslighting yourself.
Signs that you are gaslighting yourself might be that negative talk in your head. Do you think that you are being too sensitive? Do you think you are making a big deal out of something that bothers you? Or maybe you believe that something didn’t really happen the way you think it did?
If those thoughts come to your mind often it might be that you are gaslighting yourself by ignoring the way you feel and think, or generally speaking by gaslighting your own reality.
What Should You Do If You are Gaslighting Yourself?
When you say to yourself that you are being too sensitive, you are judging your own emotions and you are being dismissive towards what you feel. Instead of mistrusting yourself and eventually believing that you are not right, break down how you feel. Ask yourself important questions. What happened? Why am I reacting this way? Do I have all the information that I need?
When you run through these questions once you find yourself in a difficult or stressful situation you are becoming more present. The most sacred part of yourself is your own reality and you shouldn’t let anyone be dismissive towards it, not even your negative talk.
Instead of developing a habit of judging yourself, acknowledge how you feel and change the way you react to your own emotions. Once you acknowledge and accept your emotions, it’s easier to deal with the situation. If you remain caught up with your emotions or if you become dismissive towards your emotions, you will eventually burn out. Don’t forget when you are dismissive of your own emotions and thoughts, you start believing that you are wrong, and you lose a sense of reality and intuition about what’s right and what’s not.
What Happens when Others are Gaslighting You?
Often, when gaslighting happens in relationships you find yourself again doubting your reality. So be mindful of your relationships if you feel that you are ignoring your emotions and not believing yourself. Maybe you have someone in your life who is supporting that negative talk. What type of behaviors point out that others are gaslighting you? Well, for starters they are dismissive towards how you feel, they will never let you talk during a conflict because they are not interested to hear how you feel. Even if they hear how you feel, they dismiss it. When someone is gaslighting you, they will never apologize and they always blame you or the circumstance for their issues. Furthermore, this can lead you to believe that you are not working hard enough on your relationship and you feel guilty.
Of course, every relationship has its own challenges and that means that sometimes you are wrong and sometimes you need to face your own actions and behaviors, but you should never lose a sense of reality to know when this is true and when it’s not true.
The most difficult part of gaslighting is that you are making it very difficult to trust yourself. This often happens over time if you have been exposed to gaslighting for a significant period of time.
Try to speak to yourself as you would to a dear friend that you love very much. Invite yourself into your own reality and be present. Once you bring some awareness to your emotions, you will be able to process better those emotions and learn how to trust yourself going forward.