Have you ever had a moment when you’ve shared with someone how you feel and they say something like “That’s not true, it didn’t happen like that!” or “You’ve got it wrong.” or they throw their hands in the air and say “You’re crazy!’
And then you DOUBT YOURSELF. You start to wonder if you were wrong or if you’re imagining things and you go into a spiral of self-doubt and question yourself.
Well, it’s very possible, the person has gaslighted you.
So what is Gaslighting?
In simple terms, gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse, where the person denies your experience or reality, and they do this repeatedly over a period of weeks, months or longer.
Essentially the gaslighter is trying to control your perception of reality, and slowly you begin to question and lose trust in yourself.
Here’s 5 Types of Gaslighting
When issues arise in a relationship or someone’s life, they constantly blame you, instead of taking responsibility for their behaviour or actions.
It might sound like: “I wouldn’t have done that if it wasn’t for you.”
Inventing a whole new narrative around a situation or event, so you question your memories of the event. Usually, the new narrative doesn’t align with the facts.
This means you end up questioning your imagination and feel a bit ‘crazy’ and the other person is either ‘right’ or a ‘victim’. They’re definitely not at fault.
If you raise an issue with someone, instead of listening to you and discussing the problem, they try to deflect, change the subject or talk in riddles so you get confused.
This means you end up forgetting what you were talking about and losing your sense of certainty.
When someone gets caught in a lie, instead of owning up to it. They go down a spiral of further lies and they often will end up attacking you (and your character, family, friends).
This ends up feeling very isolating, and you again doubt yourself and question your sanity.
Discreditation & Gossiping:
Colluding and gossiping about you with other people as a way of discrediting you, smearing your reputation, and getting other people to ‘take sides. The gaslighter then feels they are superior and have control over you and how other’s perceive you.
This means you end up feeling awkward, unliked, lacking confidence and wondering if you are imagining things.
WHAT CAN YOU DO IF YOU’RE IN A RELATIONSHIP
Okay, the truth is, the gaslighter is not going to change, as it is a pattern of behaviour developed as a coping mechanism for their own insecurities. Unless the gaslighter begins to see and take responsibility for their behaviour then you will likely end up exhausted from trying to change them. They have to want to change.
WORK ON YOURSELF FIRST
So, the opportunity is for you to do the inner work of reconnecting to our true value and worth. This is about listening to and honouring our inner voice and knowing, and learning to set boundaries, communicate them and deal with the difficult emotions that come up as a result of creating new relational skills. Learning to have an empowered self-relationship is vitally important if you want happy healthy love.
SHOULD YOU LEAVE THE RELATIONSHIP?
It depends, if the person is truly willing to look at themselves, go to therapy or work with a coach, then things can change. If however, they are not willing to do any work on themselves, then it’s very likely nothing will change.
It’s okay to have conflict in your relationship, it’s an opportunity to learn, grow and heal childhood wounds. It’s not okay if you don’t learn how to REPAIR the upset, and if the relationship becomes toxic.
Book a free consultation with me here to discuss how you can work on your relationship and create the love you want.