November 16, 2017 theadventuresofdd 0Comment

Gaslighting is something a lot of people have experienced, without knowing it’s a thing. I’ve had a rather interesting experience with it – and I thought it was important to share the characteristics of this behavior, so people know that they are not alone, and that it’s definitely not something that they did.

According to Psychology Today,

Gaslighting is a form of persistent manipulation and brainwashing that causes the victim to doubt her or himself, and ultimately lose her or his own sense of perception, identity, and self-worth. The term is derived from the 1944 film Gaslight, in which a husband tries to convince his wife that she’s insane by causing her to question herself and her reality.

In its milder forms, gaslighting creates a subtle, but inequitable, power dynamic in a relationship, with the gaslightee subjected to the gaslighter’s unreasonable, rather than fact-based, scrutiny, judgment, or micro-aggression. At its worst, pathological gaslighting constitutes a severe form of mind-control and psychological abuse. Gaslighting can occur in personal relationships, at the workplace, or over an entire society.

Now I am a storing, opinionated person, but I am sometimes held hostage by different things – society’s perspective, how much money I think I should be making, and what my “friends” think. Fortunately, I’ve been able to fight my way through those waves and I am finally to the shore – where I find beauty in everything. But it’s been quite a tumultuous ride.

An excerpt from LonerWolf.com, which I find to be precise and enlightening.

YOU’RE NOT GOING CRAZY: 15 SIGNS YOU’RE A VICTIM OF GASLIGHTING

The only way you can describe how you feel is that you feel minimized.  You feel crushed and smothered.  You’re constantly second-guessing yourself; your feelings, your perceptions, your memories, and a small, suffocated part inside of you wonders whether you are actually going crazy.

 

EXAMPLES OF GASLIGHTING

 

At work scenario:  Sophie has been working in her department for the past five years when she is given a promotion to migrate to another level of the company that pays a higher salary.  However, Sophie has been given a trial period to determine whether she is capable of fulfilling her duties or not.  Nervously, she meets with her new supervisor, Kelly. At first, Sophie likes her supervisor and fulfills all of her tasks on time.  However, her supervisor begins to ask her to do belittling chores and favors here and there with increasing frequency.  While Sophie is fine with helping out, she finds that Kelly is becoming more and more demanding.  Finally, as Sophie’s work piles up to an unbearable level, she tells Kelly that she needs to focus on completing her work, but she can help another time.  Later, in a staff meeting, Kelly introduces Sophie to everyone and says, “Although she’s not keeping up with us yet, I’m sure she’ll learn to embody our hard-working ethics soon!”  Immediately, Sophie blushes and feels publicly insulted and humiliated, fearing for the security of her new job.  Later when Sophie asks her supervisor why she thinks that “she is not embodying their hard-working ethic,” her supervisor says: “I think you misunderstood me.  I just said that you’re not used to our pace of work so that other people can help you out.”  From then on Sophie accepts all extra demands and chores, no matter how much work she has, or how demeaning the tasks are.

HOW TO KNOW WHETHER SOMEONE IS GASLIGHTING YOU

Gaslighting is so harmful because it promotes anxiety, depression, and with enough frequency in our lives, can sometimes trigger nervous breakdowns.  So the question now it: are you being gaslighted?  How can you know whether you’re experiencing this subtle form of manipulation in your life?  Review the following tell-tale signs:

  1. Something is “off” about your friend, partner, son, daughter, mother, father, sister, brother, colleagues, boss, or other person in your life … but you can’t quite explain or pinpoint what.

  2. You frequently second-guess your ability to remember the details of past events leaving you psychologically powerless.

  3. You feel confused and disorientated.

  4. You feel threatened and on-edge around this person, but you don’t know why.

  5. You feel the need to apologize all the time for what you do or who you are.

  6. You never quite feel “good enough” and try to live up to the expectations and demands of others, even if they are unreasonable or harm you in some way.

  7. You feel like there’s something fundamentally wrong with you, e.g. you’re neurotic or are “losing it.”

  8. You feel like you’re constantly overreacting or are “too sensitive.”

  9. You feel isolated, hopeless, misunderstood and depressed.

  10. You find it hard to trust your own judgment, and given a choice, you choose to believe the judgment of the abuser.

  11. You feel scared and as though “something is terribly wrong,” but you don’t know what or why.

  12. You find it hard to make decisions because you distrust yourself.

  13. You feel as though you’re a much weaker version of yourself, and you were much more strong and confident in the past.

  14. You feel guilty for not feeling happy like you used to.

  15. You’ve become afraid of “speaking up” or expressing your emotions, so you stay silent instead.

I’m in the process of taking my life back in my own hands, and it’s totally freeing. Thanks for reading this – it’s a big part of my new focus!

Sending Love + Light your way –

-dd

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gaslighting behavior, abusive relationship, manipulative, gaslightng, save yourself

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