Have you ever blamed yourself for a minor issue? Or being self-doubtful, when in fact, there was absolutely no need to be? Or perhaps disregarding your own emotions when there was absolutely no reason to? You might believe that these things are completely normal to do, but they’re not. All these things which might seem trivial are actually forms of what we call ‘self-gaslighting’.
So, many people are quite familiar with the concept of gaslighting, which is a form of manipulation being used to make someone else question their own thoughts, feelings, and sanity. It is a phrasing that is universally well-known and recognized. Often, the term is positioned in the context of two people, where one ‘gaslights’ the other. However, not everyone might realize that gaslighting could also be internalized. In this sense, we constantly question ourselves and our own abilities.
But what does self-gaslighting look like exactly? Examples of self-gaslighting are when you want to acknowledge a certain situation, but disregard yourself by claiming that it is all simply ‘in your head’. Or when you feel like you don’t belong in a certain place because you feel unworthy. Another example is when you feel a certain way about a situation, but simply ignore it because you believe it is not relevant enough to be addressed. There are many other examples of gaslighting that seem to be minor, but actually have significant effects on us. Ultimately, it is the act of invalidating yourself and your emotions.
Self-gaslighting is more common than we think it is, and the effects of self-gaslighting are quite harmful. It can impair your self-confidence and prevents you from making positive changes in your life, due to the fact that we constantly put a blockade in front of ourselves.
Knowing the effects of self-gaslighting, is there anything we can do to unlearn this? The following tips might help you along the way.
- Being self-reflective is an important step into unlearning self-gaslighting. Initially, we must try to find out where it comes from in the first place; is it a coping mechanism to deal with your insecurities? Or perhaps you have been gaslighted by someone else? Try to critically evaluate where the origins come from.
- To unlearn self-gaslighting, it is important to understand your emotions. We might gaslight ourselves without even realizing this at first instant. Therefore, understanding our personal feelings will allow us to validate our own feelings.
- Speaking positive words of affirmations, will help you far along the way. Instead of disregarding yourself, you learn to validate yourself and your emotions. By just saying positive affirmations everyday while getting ready in the morning can make a vast difference in how we view ourselves!
Author: Danisha Carron
Editor: Gwendolyne Cheung
Illustrator: Hahn Tran