Gaslighting is not always a manipulation tactic but can also manifest as something we learn from our upbringing or through the social structures around us.
Gaslighting is a serious term that has come to light as discussions around mental health have started to become more common.
As we discussed in our earlier blogs on the topic, gaslighting is a psychological manipulation technique used by people to make another person doubt his/her perceptions and judgments.
But gaslighting can also be unintentional and one might be doing it because they’ve picked it up from the social structures around them.
The need to address it in depth comes from the fact that it is never harmless and affects a person’s psychology and further, their mental well-being. Domestic violence is a prime example of gaslighting. The victim ends up getting isolated and does everything to justify her suffering and her partner’s behavior to the outside world. Many perpetrators use it as a technique to maintain power while others do it innocently and don’t even realize it.
In this write-up, we will discuss how to know if you’re gaslighting someone. This is the first step towards identifying it and therefore, taking action for a healthier relationship with the one you are gaslighting.
Here are some questions you need to ask yourself:
Do you constantly put someone in your close circle down?
Do you make them doubt their self-worth and confidence through your words?
Are you the one who lies in order to justify your own version of an event/situation?
Do you want to maintain power/dominion over someone in your environment?
(could be a partner, a child, a friend or someone in your workplace)
Do you deliberately make someone doubt their reality? Because you have to maintain a certain lie?
Have you been cheating (mentally or physically) on someone? Do you try to either hide it or do everything in your capacity to put the blame on your partner?
Do you tell someone often they’re being crazy or over-reacting instead of validating their truth?
If your answer to most of these questions is in the affirmative, it’s time for self-reflection. The desire to control someone means there’s a deeper problem that needs to be addressed.
A trained therapist or mental health professional can help you understand the reasons for your manipulation. They can help you understand why you are not able to empathize or validate someone’s feelings.
The first step towards any healthy relationship is mutual respect. Instead of trying to dominate someone, it’s important to express feelings honesty and openly.
There’s no need to feel overwhelmed if you realize you are a gaslighter. If it’s unintentional, you just need to take a step back and seek help. Your own growth and that of a relationship begins the moment you accept that there’s a need to work on it consciously.
We hope that the above information helps you identify gaslighting better and in the process of shutting it down in your immediate environment, helps you become a stronger and wiser person.
Next, will we talk about steps we can take consciously in order to not gaslight our loved ones and engage in toxic behavior around them.
To know what is gaslighting, click here.
DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed in this post are the personal views of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of Flawsomelife.com. Any omissions or errors are the author’s and Flawsome Life does not assume any liability or responsibility for them.