HUMP DAY: GASLIGHTING
If you are like me you may be asking yourself; what is gaslighting? I had never heard this term before but it happens to be all too familiar. Gaslighting is manipulation by psychological means to cause a person into questioning their own sanity “Maybe I was wrong?” “I’m just overreacting” “They’re probably right” These are phrases we have said to ourselves or heard friends say before. If you find that you’re questioning yourself after an argument or tricking yourself into thinking maybe you have it all wrong, you may be a victim of gaslighting.
The abuser may not think this is a big deal; they’re just trying to win an argument and prove a point. However, this is an act of asserting power that leaves the other person feeling doubtful and low. If this repeatedly happens there could be real psychological consequences for the victim.
The article discusses ways to identify if this is happening to you. The first sign they address is if you question if your feelings are justified. Maybe you’re the one who is caring too much about a situation or being overly sensitive. The other person makes you feel like your feelings are off. But the thing is that no one can tell you how to feel. You feel what you feel and that is okay, it’s what makes you who you are. If you’re beginning to question yourself it could have serious effects on who you are as a person.
This may lead to another sign that the article discusses. You trust other’s judgement over your own. If your feelings are “off” all the time according to your partner, you can begin to not have trust in yourself. This is what they want, they want you to rely on them and their judgement. This can be dangerous and lead you to being dependent on someone else. Someone who is probably toxic to your well being.
The first step is identifying that there’s a problem. And now maybe that it is more clear what gaslighting is, you can make the first step towards change.
Researched and written by Peer Educator, Amanda George