Transformative Mindset

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What is Gaslighting?

Gaslighting is something that can happen in all types of relationships, whether they be romantic, friendships, family, or even work relationships. Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse that happens when someone tries to manipulate you into questioning your own reality and sanity. For example, someone will try to make you feel like you are in the wrong when in reality, they should be taking the responsibility. Gaslighting can manifest in relationships when someone is feeling the need to control the other person. They want to gain the upper hand and avoid being held accountable for their own actions and behaviors. Ultimately, the one who is gaslighting wants to have the power in the relationship and always be right. Therefore, their actions and words are used to make the other person feel wrong. 

Some phrases that can indicate gaslighting would be:
“Are you sure? You do not often remember.”
“You are just trying to make me feel confused.”
“Why are you overreacting, this is not a big deal.”
“I did not say that. You are making that up.”
“That idea is just crazy. Who did you get that from?”

Interestingly, gaslighting is also sometimes correlated with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), and Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD). However, not everyone who takes part in gaslighting behavior will be diagnosed with a mental illness disorder. 

If you feel that you have been a victim of gaslighting, there are steps you can take to get away from this behavior.

  1. Speak up and defend yourself against their behavior 
  2. Set personal boundaries for yourself 
  3. Put your safety first and recognize that this is a form of manipulation
  4. Do not allow yourself to take the blame or responsibility for their actions and behavior

If you are struggling with someone gaslighting you or even if you are the one doing the gaslighting, there is always help out there. Seek out the help of a mental health professional who can help you through these challenging times. You can learn to adjust your behavior, get to the root cause of why you are gaslighting, and learn to defend yourself if you are being the one gaslit. 
Gaslighting does not have to control your life and rule your future. You ultimately have the power over your future. 

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