You're Just Overreacting [What Gaslighting Is] Ichaku [Perfect Gifts Selection]

You're Just Overreacting [What Gaslighting Is]

There are some people with whom communication leaves an unpleasant residue.

Somehow they make others feel stupid and worthless, doubt themselves, their own adequacy and feelings. This is the result of gaslighting. We tell you what it is in this new edition of the Psychic Guide.

What it is

Gaslighting is manipulative behavior designed to make people doubt the adequacy of their perception of reality. Some experts consider it a type of emotional abuse.

Gaslighting can manifest itself by:

  1. In the devaluation of feelings. For example, if you are upset by your partner's behavior, and he or she responds by telling you, "There's nothing to be upset about," or "I was just kidding. In any conflict, the gaslighter blames his victim, that she is too sharp perception of everything and emotionally unstable.

  2. Of misrepresenting the facts in his favor. The person may deny that he said something to you or promised you something. If you remember it exactly - claim that you remembered it wrong, misunderstood it, or even made it up.

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  3. In blaming the other for his mistakes. The gazlighter can convince the victim that it is because of her that he is misbehaving. For example, she upsets him or makes him angry.

  4. In making up invented faults for the other person - and regularly reminding them of them. For example, a gazlighter may constantly say that you are completely unable to earn money and therefore you should not participate in making financial decisions. Even though you make more money than he does.

  5. In spreading rumors and undermining relationships with other people. For example, telling others behind your back that you are on the verge of a nervous breakdown. And you - about the fact that the people around you allegedly treat you badly. Although in reality, both are the gaslighter's own fabrications.

  6. Psychologists note that in some cases this behavior may be unconscious. In spite of this, it causes tangible harm to the victims.

  7. By imbuing them with false attitudes and beliefs, the gazlighter makes them doubt their memories, feelings, thoughts, judgments, ability to adequately perceive reality, to make decisions.

  8. The term "gaslighting" is named after the 1938 play of the same name. It was a realistic description of this type of psychological violence. In the story, a married couple moves into the home of a deceased aunt. One day, the husband accidentally discovers that priceless jewelry is hidden somewhere in this house and begins to search for it. And so that his unloved wife does not disturb him, he begins to convince her that she is insane. For example, when the wife notices that the gas lamps in the house begin to flash at night, her husband convinces her that it is only her imagination. As a result, the woman really begins to doubt her mental health.

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  9. But until the early 2000s, the term "gaslighting" was rarely used. It was popularized by Robin Stern, a psychoanalyst and director of the Yale Center for the Study of Emotional Intelligence. In 2007 she published a book, Hidden Manipulation, in which she detailed the mechanism of gaslighting and how it affects people who are subjected to it.

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Stern argues that almost everyone has experienced gaslighting in one form or another at some point in their lives. Most often in romantic relationships. But colleagues, close relatives, friends, and parents can also resort to this type of violence. And even, it is believed, medical professionals. For example, if the doctor openly downplayed the importance of the patient's symptoms, writing them off as excessive mistrustfulness or emotional instability.

Victims of gaslighting are often characterized by thoughts and phrases such as:

- "I'm acting crazy."

- "I just overreact to everything."

- "I think something bad is happening to me, but I don't understand what it is."

- "I've completely stopped understanding how I feel."

- "It's my fault that things are going wrong with us."

- "I take things the wrong way all the time."

- "I disappoint everyone around me because I'm too stupid and insecure."

Why do people resort to gaslighting

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Because of insecurity of self and opinion. Robin Stern considers this to be the main reason. Insecure people often desperately need external validation. This allows them to strengthen their sense of self-importance, to reduce the level of internal anxiety. For this they use all available to them methods to force others to recognize their point of view, to agree with their version of events and subordinate them to themselves.

Because of their desire for power and control. Gaslighting seeks to bind their victim to them and force them to behave in a way that benefits them. To ignore their gazlighter's blunders, to hide their mistakes from others, to take on more responsibilities at home or at work. And at the same time not complaining to anyone.

Because of mental disorders. Some experts believe that the tendency to gaslighting and manipulation can be a symptom of personality disorder, narcissistic disorder and psychopathy. In this case, gazlaiters often behave differently to their victim and to those around them. Because of this, the victim is often hesitant to seek help: she thinks other people simply won't believe her.

Because of difficulties in the relationship. If one partner is physically or financially unfaithful-for example, spending large sums of money on himself and trying to hide it-he may resort to gaslighting to remove the suspicions of the other partner. And so to protect himself from an unpleasant clarification of the relationship and to try to somehow preserve it.

Because of the peculiarities of human psychology. It is psychologically important for people to trust others, to feel their approval. Especially if they are our parents, loved ones or very close friends. With them, we usually feel safe, and then become less critical of what they say. This is something that gaslighters often take advantage of.

What's Dangerous

Gaslighting negatively affects emotional well-being. Victims often feel frustration, insecurity, dissatisfaction with themselves, irritation and resentment. But often they do not completely understand the reason for these feelings. And therefore they are not able to express them and defend themselves.

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In people who are systematically and for a long time exposed to gaslighting, as noted by psychologists, self-esteem can decline catastrophically. They begin to feel powerless and unable to succeed. It becomes difficult for them to make decisions. The risks of developing anxiety and depressive disorders increase.

Even if abusive relationships can be ended, victims of gaslighting often continue to experience difficulties: it can be difficult for them to trust other people, make connections with them, begin new relationships. They continue to doubt their adequacy and do not feel full contact with reality, said psychologist Naomi Torres-Mackie, studying the phenomenon of gaslighting. Some experts consider it a manifestation of post-traumatic stress disorder.

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What to do

The main difficulty is that gaslighting victims often do not understand what is happening to them. And therefore unable to defend themselves.

To understand the situation, psychologists suggest the following sequence of actions.

Step 1: having talked to the person whom you suspect of gaslighting, write down your conversation in detail. Then in a quiet atmosphere carefully read it and analyze it, trying to find out whether the interlocutor tried to impose their point of view, whether it diverges from what you think you know or feel, whether in the process you do not have doubts about themselves. If so, it may be a sign of gaslighting.

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Step 2: Do an external audit. Tell the person you trust that you suspect someone of gaslighting, trying to describe your relationship with them as accurately as possible. And ask for an honest assessment of the situation: whether your suspicions are unfounded, whether your assessments and conclusions are adequate. This will help you to look at the situation more objectively and relieve some of your doubts.

Step 3: Validate your feelings - admit that they are normal, you are entitled to them. This is how you will begin to regain confidence that your reactions are appropriate, and that your perception of the world corresponds to reality. You can start by monitoring your emotions and the patterns of behavior tied to them. Robin Stern recommends using the Mood Meter app for this purpose.

Step 3: Save your correspondence with the gaslighter. If he tries to twist the facts in his favor again, or starts denying that he promised you something in the past, you'll have proof that he's wrong.

If you have been the victim of gaslighting by a colleague or supervisor, this method can also be useful. Once you have gathered enough evidence, you can contact your human resources department and ask for their help.

Step 4: Learn to set boundaries. If you feel that the gaslighter is trying to manipulate you - try not to get into an argument with him. It would lead nowhere anyway: The goal gaslighter does not get to the truth, but to convince you of their point of view. Better just tell your interlocutor that your views do not coincide with him, and offer to end the conversation.

If the gaslighter responds hot - tell him that in that tone you do not intend to communicate. And try as quietly as possible away from him: for example, in another room. So you'll set not only the psychological but also physical boundaries, thereby giving the gaslighter to understand that he can no longer manipulate you.

If gaslighting by a loved one has gone far - for example, the person regularly lies to you and makes you doubt his own adequacy, then psychologists, including Robin Stern, recommend ending this relationship.

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An effective tool to prepare for a breakup is visualization. Start to imagine in great detail your life outside of your torturous relationship. Try to keep a positive attitude, even if the thought of breaking up makes you very uneasy. For example, think about how nice it will be to regain self-confidence, to stop doubting your picture of the world, to rid your life of lies and misconceptions imposed on you.

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