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Have you ever thought about how a person can make you feel less confident or can push you again and again to reconsider your decision? Well, this may seem familiar to you, if anyone in your circle tries to create statements like;
- Why do you imagine things?
- Do not be so serious. I was joking!
- You are dramatic or overreacting.
- Do not be so emotional.
- I do not believe you as everyone knows about you.
These are the clear indications that you are experiencing gaslighting. You can see in the above-given dialogue that gaslighters use the word “You” more frequently than “I” as a clear sign of gaslighting. Before moving towards how to deal with gaslighting, first, we need to understand what exactly gaslighting is?
What Is Gaslighting?
Gaslighting refers to the psychological abuse that can cause someone to doubt their sanity or perceptions of reality. Gaslighting often makes people feel confused, anxious, and emotionally unstable. The term gaslighting was introducing in the British play in 1938 called Gaslight, where a husband applied abusive tricks to make his wife thinking that she imagined things. Similarly, people use gaslighting games and phrases to gain control over the other person and avoid accountability.
10 Ways how to deal With Gaslighting
Gaslighting is something that can happen intentionally or unintentionally. Most of the time such act is unrealized by people who are doing gaslighting. The following are that defines how to deal with gaslighting in any situation.
1. Recognize the Behavior:
There are many possibilities that people do not recognize their behavior of gaslighting because of its similarities with other behaviors. You should be aware of these repeated actions of manipulation that make you feel doubt and unconfident about yourself. But do not take it gaslighting if someone is holding a different opinion and defining it rudely or harshly in front of you.
Many folks in our circle try to convince you that they are right even when they have a collection of evidence to show this is not gaslighting until you are not manipulating. Here are some points that may help you at the time when someone is trying to gaslight you. You need to consider both their actions and your feeling to identify:
- You often feel or ask yourself, Am I too sensitive?
- Apologizing frequently
- Feel confused and insane in your relationship.
- You avoid your loved ones because of unexplained feelings.
- You may feel unhappy and unusual.
- You struggle with simple decision-making.
2. Instantly Talks About the Behavior:
It is clear that if you are reacting or arguing with the gaslighte0r, they will use this strategy against you. Your defensive behavior will boost and work as fuel to their words. Moreover, you may face criticism and insults by the gaslighters at the time of arguments. Instantly, stop them with politeness and tell them you would not accept their behavior. You may have sentences like I am trying to help you or receive insulting compliments and ask them to rephrase such words consciously.
So as soon as you notify the other person about his behavior and show him that his actions do not bother you, he will stop trying to put your confidence down. Additionally, you can claim that you have different experiences to stop conversation with non-threatening phrases.
3. Set Yourself Up to Win and Stay Confident:
Gaslighting always works to put down your confidence. You must take into account at the initial stage when you start feeling doubt about your own decisions. Possibly there are some conditions for remembering things. Everyone remembers details differently about how and what has happened in the past.
So you do not need to question yourself. It is a fact that your brain does not typically fabricate entire situations. For example, if you do not remember the color of the particular persons’ shirt sitting in a room, it does not mean you have a memory problem. However, that the gaslighting, if they deny your clearly remembering thing.
If people are continuously trying to challenge you, do not get involved in any arguments, keep yourself calm and confident by maintaining your self-control. You can reply with something like there is no need to argue on things that we have remembered differently.
4. Gather All Possible Proofs:
Whenever you are dealing with the person who manipulates your feeling and emotions, start tracking the situation with documentation. It will help you to understand what is happening. You can save your conversation or e-mails, take photos before finalizing anything. Create evidence of your detailed conversation. However, this may consider illegal to use the phone and do recordings during a conversation with people. But at the time of dealing with toxic people, these proofs will help you to maintain your peace of mind and support your confidence.
5. Make Yourself a Priority:
Taking care of your physical, emotional, and mental health has no direct link with gaslighting, but this will make your mind active and conscious to deal with such possible situations.
Gaslighting always affects your health whether you are staying at home or going to work. You have to deal with people around you with a different state of mind and behaviors. This self-care and relaxation will make you strong physically and emotionally to face various challenges in life.
6. Constantly Looking At Your Thoughts:
In whatever situations you are going through, you need to take care of your mental health. In a different job and home environment, you have to make your mental health a priority. The same is the case, when you are in a situation of being gaslighting, it always works to put your mental health down. You must be aware if you feel doubt about your thoughts. Some therapies can help you in checking your thoughts and feeling.
For example, ask yourself, Do I believe this? or Other wants me to believe this? Such steps are small but helpful in interacting with self-confidence. You may write notes and can ask for help from your trustworthy friend.
Even, in this digital world, you can use apps that can help in altering your mood. A mood tracking app has developed by the yale center called Mood Meter app for emotional intelligence. It can facilitate you to learn about your emotions and thought, and highlight the things that affect your feelings, and gives you some helpful material and strategies to alter that way of your thinking?
7. Feel Ok If You Give Up:
Every individual should not be afraid of giving up on some things that are beyond his capacity. No rules or no law has defined such boundaries that can affect human mental health willingly. So you much accept and acknowledge those feeling that makes you realize that you can not handle this gaslighting behavior anymore.
We observe it more often people suffer from mental torcher and never give up or raise their voice due to their social status. First of all, we need to understand it is fine if you cannot tolerate toxic relationships, same as its ok if you give up on your partner who is continuously manipulating your feeling and emotions.
8. Talk to Your Friends to Have Another Opinion:
As per our social behaviors, we might do not take some steps of discussing our problems with our closes ones. Or we do not want to dramatize our situation. In the case of dealing with gaslighting, it is essential to involve people of your trust. These individuals can help you to support your self-confidence and make your beliefs strong.
Most of the time gaslighters will prefer you to keep at a distance firm your trustworthy people. The more you stay in isolation, the more they get a chance to put you in their desire place. So you need to keep yourself out of their trap because sometimes everyone needs a kind of external validation to build internal confidence in themselves, especially in the case of gaslighting.
9. Involve in Mental Exercises to Divert Your Mindsets:
We can visualize the significance of your relationships and emotions from some other perspective. You need to think, beyond your emotional attachment with the person who is continuously gaslighting you and who is a clear threat to your mental health.
In such cases, you have to take your personality as a priority. Your self-vision will importantly create some positive support in dealing with toxic relationships. These mind-shifting exercises, your integrity, and recognizing your reality will remove all emotional problems. It will help you to stop doubting yourself and will help in reducing anxiety.
10. Take Professional Support:
Gaslighting is not something that you can easily handle. It can be dangerous, worse, and even abusive under certain circumstances. You might feel this emotional abuse has happened because of you, but it is not true you have not done anything wrong.
If you are in a mental state where you feel uncomfortable, your first step should for professional support. All those people who are experiencing gaslighting may get benefit from speaking to a therapist. The therapist will not judge you and can solve your mental conditions from an outside perspective. And a therapist may help you get out of the pressure given by a gaslighter and make you able to recognize your actual self.
How Gaslighting Feels Like?
It is often difficult to identify that you have gaslighting effects due to its small contribution, but the person can judge himself if a person feels following gaslighting signs frequently:
- When they refuse your attempts in discussion and make you feel confused.
- They deny your memory or might say it never happened ever with them.
- People immediately change their behavior when you point them and start hitting that you are exaggerating.
- They constantly make you realize that you are overreacting to things unnecessarily.
- You are being discredited in public by them.
Most commonly you can be a victim of gaslighting in a relationship, by a family member, at your work by an employee or boss. These types of tactics are often used by gaslighter. They continue such actions without considering your mental health.
Why Do Gaslighters Need to Do This?
It is simple to understand by gaslighting the person feels more confident and strong, and they think that everything is in his control. The reason for this mindset is clear, that they can not sit with their own emotions and can not accept the reality of low self-worth. In some cases, psychologists declare that someone who gaslighting might be suffering a mental disorder because that person has no shame and empathy for their actions.
Gaslighting is a silent process that can be a root cause of your mental illness. But while dealing with gaslighters you need to be aware of what is happening with you. Gaslighters change the path of conversation while discussing something to make you feel doubt and uncomfortable about your feelings and memory, and at last, you will be blamed for the entire situation.
Whether the person who gaslighting you is your partner, your boss, and your colleague you have to be self-determined and confident while dealing with them. Take little notes of your conversations and collect proof of abuse for future complications. Moreover, if you are suffering from its worse effects, take a third-person opinion, support from a therapist, and join support groups.
Remember, feel OK! if you are leaving or walk away from such a reality, stand with your support system and learn the truth that will ground you back into your reality.