Has gaslighting been a driving force in your life?
Have you heard the term gaslighting? I recently became familiar with this notion, and it is a form of manipulation that seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual. This makes them question their own memory, perception, and sanity. It is done gradually over time using persistent denial, misdirection, contradiction, and lying, in attempts to destabilize the victim and delegitimize the target’s belief. It’s the “frog in the frying pan” analogy; the heat is turned up slowly, so the frog never realizes what’s happening to it. Ingrid Bergman plays the key role of the victimized women in the 1944 movie, The Gaslight.
Gaslighting is Everywhere
I watched The Gaslight with my 11 year old son, and it was so clear to us that the man was manipulating the women into believing that she was going crazy. It was very subtle and said with such a caring attitude and positive words that you WANT to believe him. The crazy thing though, is that we do this to each other all the time in our lives and that it is normal.
When we plant doubt in what others say, we are gaslighting. We tell ourselves that we are not as good as others and we cannot do anything, we are gaslighting ourselves. If someone is controlling or accusing you in one way or another and implying that he can do it better, that you should let him help, you are being gaslighted. If you are not sure and want to check out the signs of gaslighting, click here.
Why Is This Knowledge Important?
So, what’s the big deal? It creates a running thread in our lives where we doubt ourselves and make ourselves wrong. We accept this as normal. That makes you small and unhappy. All based on lies and stories told to you, or by you if you have internalized it. That limits the life that you can create and have. What can you do?
The first step is to become aware of this, so watching the movie can make this quite apparent. If you would like access to a download of the movie, just send me a message! You can then better notice when gaslighting comes up in your life, and choose not to buy it as real and true. It really is up to you. Go beyond the limitation, belief, and the fear as the mere distraction that it is and take a step forward, then another. Being you, and even at times seemingly failing at it, is the one way to have a dynamic and fun life.
There are other tips that you can use in your daily life to dim the voices and effect of gaslighting:
- Surround yourself with people who are constantly going beyond their limits and creating a life that is fun for them. They will inspire and support you to do the same;
- Take some time out for YOU, be it with something that you love to do, meditation, nature or sports (social media does not count!). These contribute to quieting the mind and getting energy to flow in you and your body;
- Choose to stand-up for you, internally and to others if you have to, not in opposition but in expression of what works and what doesn’t work for you;
- Trust that YOU know what is going on in your life. You do.
What are some tips that YOU can share, that you have tested and tried to move beyond gaslighting? Please share!
I am an Access Certified Facilitator at the Heal your Body and Mind Centre in Bangkok, Thailand. Access uses energy body work to quiet the mind and heal the body, and it has changed so much for me after decades of anxiety and depression. It is quite new in Thailand so I often do intro sessions (see Meet-up group for upcoming events) on a variety of topics, plus I give sessions and teach classes for Access Bars, Body Process and Energetic Facelift. I hope to have the honor of meeting you, and for our lives to connect and change. Thank you for being the difference in the world!