When we think of gaslighting, we typically associate it with a person in our life whether it’s a romantic partner, friend, co-worker, or family member. But have you ever stopped to think whether you were gaslighting yourself? The definition of gaslighting is a form of manipulation that causes the victim to question their thoughts, their reality, and even memories and events. It questions a person’s sanity and is viewed as emotional abuse.
Gaslighting can lead to self-doubt, low self-esteem, and other unhealthy habits. And while there are outside forces that can cause you to develop these insecurities and be in an abusive relationship, you can also unconsciously be in an abusive relationship with yourself. Here are some signs that you are self-gaslighting.
You Place the Blame on Yourself
Have you ever been in a situation that was out of your control and yet, you still blamed yourself? Better yet, have you ever blamed yourself or made excuses for someone else’s actions? This is a form of self-gaslighting because you are punishing yourself for someone else’s behavior.
You Don’t Trust Yourself
Some people tend to overthink and second-guess everything, which means they don’t trust themselves or their judgment. If you don’t trust yourself, how can you trust others? Just like gaslighters can manipulate your reality and make you not trust yourself, you can also do that to yourself if you’re not careful.
You Don’t Allow Yourself to Have Feelings
Everyone has feelings and it’s okay to express them, especially if a person or a situation made you feel a certain way. As a self-gaslighter, you may ignore your feelings or discount them but you have every right to feel good or bad and share that out loud.
If you identify with any of these signs, don’t worry. Here’s how to combat that way of thinking.
One word: self-affirmation. It’s nothing fancy and it doesn’t sound like a lot of work, but it’s a lot harder than we think. Self-gaslighters have the tendency to invalidate their thinking and their feelings and to prevent yourself from going that route, you have to do the opposite and that is to affirm yourself.
So, whenever you start having those bouts with self-gaslighting, tell yourself that you are worthy and that your feelings and thinking are valid. No matter what anyone else says.
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