How to stop being gaslighted?
You may not know it, but you were a victim of gaslighting once, twice, or more. Gaslighting is a manipulative behavior which purports to psychologically manipulate a person.
In most cases, people who gaslight have one thing in common, they make a target person question his own capability, memory, perception, and rational thinking.
Gaslighters lead their target into a wrong direction and twist a person’s established belief system.
Gaslighting is a devastating experience. It affects a person’s emotional and mental state. This is the reason why gaslighting is also considered as a psychological abuse.
Why would people manipulative others? Well, there are two possible explanations for this behavior:
1. Family Influence
The way parents rear their children affects the children’s behavioral tendencies. The lack of access to the wider societal source of truth confines an individual to a common and faulty belief. The family culture that promulgates within the family shapes the members’ upbringing. For instance, children who grow up in a family that values modesty rather than boldness may adopt the same set of values and therefore act with accordance to the existing familial norm.
2. Lack of communication
The lack of communication within a family lessens the opportunity to peek the outer world making the perspective stagnant. As a result, an individual may have a limited view of the world’s reality. In this case, he may be developed a bias rather than an objective judgment ability.
Many people who have grown up in this type of environment tend to develop a distorted point of view about themselves and the world. He believes that the only opinion or right that matters is his and not others. The problem is that such personal upbringing may breed insecurities.
People with this type of belief system are hard to deal with. They are difficult to convince to veer their rigidly established principle in life. There is nothing more difficult than taming a person who knows nothing wrong about him.
Furthermore, people with this belief system are often charismatic. This is the reason why the world does not see any flaw in them. In fact, some serial killers are thought to be empathic, kind, caring among other positive traits. As a result, it is hard to believe that they hurt others.
Having a gaslighter in a relationship is a challenge. You may be constantly questioning about your own reality. Do you feel like your reasoning is not reliable anymore? Are you forgetting things more than ever?
If these happen to you, you might have acquainted someone who deliberately manipulates you. So how can you handle such a situation?
I will be sharing with you some of the simple steps to protect yourself from gaslighters. Here’s how to stop being gaslighted and control everything in your life.
1. Have your reality checked
The only way to know whether or not your own value system or your own reality is still right is to have it checked. Find constructive comments about yourself. In this case, your family or loved ones may not be the right people. Their assessment can be bias.
Your best options could be a therapist. Or, other professionals whom you have no close relationship with other than professional connection. You can also seek an honest comment from your pastor or school counselor.
2. Boost self-worth
If you find out that your reality is not twisted, then you know that the twisted idea of reality must be forcibly inflicted on you by someone. It is time to hit back. But no, you don’t have to deal with it physically. What you need to do is to hang on to your self-worth. Value your own view and rationality.
Gaslighters are good in manipulating others. But they can only succeed if you allow them to do so. If they sense that you’re vulnerable to gaslighting, you will most likely become their target.
A vulnerable person is someone who has an unstable sense of self-worth and self-esteem. So to counter the attack, you need to boost your personal value and well-being.
I’m a licensed psychometrician, author, and blogger. I’m currently working as a University instructor teaching psychology. I love writing and doing psychological research.