Earlier this year I had a chat with my BFF about whether her boyfriend was gaslighting her and exactly what gaslighting is. The official definition of ‘gaslighting’ is a manipulative abuse tactic where a person starts questioning their own reality. This is accomplished through one person, usually referred to as an ‘abuser’ questioning facts and/or denying memories another person has, undermining their judgment, and bullying them into believing the abuser’s reality. But have you ever thought that you could be gaslighting yourself? I am so glad you asked!
Six Signs You May Be Gaslighting Yourself
If you’ve ever been in either a romantic or friend relationship, where someone’s behavior just doesn’t ring true, yet you make excuses for that behavior, you may be gaslighting yourself. Trust what you see, what you hear, and the vibes that people put off. It’s okay to give a person a pass once or twice, but when a pattern develops, don’t excuse poor behavior, especially if the person’s behavior hurts you and is ongoing. You deserve better!
Invalidation of Feelings
There’s usually a time in your life when you feel like someone completely invalidated your feelings. Someone may have dismissed what you felt in a situation and basically told you that your feelings were inaccurate, insignificant, or just unacceptable. You can actually do this to yourself. As women, especially, we tend to put everyone else before ourselves, so we dismiss our feelings and focus on how others feel, but if you tell yourself that what you’re feeling isn’t as important as another’s feelings, you’re gaslighting yourself. Don’t do it!
Second Guessing Your Shoulds and Should Nots
Once you make a decision, stick to it, unless details or information changes. Second guessing yourself on whether you should or should not do something or act a certain way can set you up for a terrible battle with yourself. You can wear yourself out going back and forth trying to “should” or “should not” yourself to death. Stick to your guns and after weighing facts, carefully, make a decision and go with it.
Being In Tune and Sensitive is Not a Bad Thing
After you hear something from someone you care about for so long, it becomes part of who you are. How many times has someone said to you, “You’re just too sensitive”? You may start believing it yourself and begin saying it to yourself. Putting yourself down is not good and being sensitive to others and yourself isn’t a bad thing. You know yourself better than anyone, so don’t talk negatively to yourself with words others have used against you in the past.
Doubting Your Own Judgment is Dangerous
We all have a set of beliefs that help us throughout life in making hard judgments about situations and people. If you are having problems trusting your own judgment in life’s hard choices, you can find yourself between a rock and a hard place. Weighing what you know about people or situations, taking that info and passing judgment to protect yourself, is important. If you don’t trust yourself, who can you trust?
You Always Find a Way to Blame Yourself
With a romantic or friend relationship, when things go wrong or hit a bumpy place, it’s not always your fault and if you think it is, you are gaslighting yourself. It takes two to tango and to make a relationship work, and if there’s only one working to stay in touch or keep a relationship going, it’s not a relationship. If you seem to find a way to excuse the other person and always tend to blame yourself, just stop it! I know that’s easier said than done, but blaming yourself is like running on a treadmill, you’ll wear yourself out and you won’t get anywhere.