Here Are The 3 Best Ways To Overcome Someone Gaslighting You
If you feel like someone might be attempting to (or successfully) gaslight you listen up.
In simpliest terms gaslighting occurs when someone attempts to get someone to think twice about what they accept as their reality, memories, or perceptions. Gaslighting is a manipulative tactic that we might subconsciously learn to use in order to:
- Maintain a position of power, authority, or control
- Justify our wrong doings
- Make someone else doubt themselves and their sense of reality so that they become reliant on yours
It can be a learned behavior through socialization and experiencing someone gaslighting you. The way you perceive events and reality may be different than the individual you unintentionally gaslit. Maybe that person has a really bad memory or remembers aspects to events differently than you do. Maybe a certain habit or behavior of yours triggers this person to react in a way that is undesirable to you. Because of this you decide to avoid that reaction by sharing pieces of the truth but leaving gaps to be filled in or assumed.
The intentional use of this abusive tactic may leave the victim feeling frustrated, angry, or even crazy! If you’ve been the victim of someone’s attempt at gaslighting here are the 3 best ways to overcome someone gaslighting you.
Confront It Immediately
Gas lighting has a distinct ability to make you feel unsure of yourself. We often know that something is not right but cave into the ‘benefit’ of the doubt thinking. By confronting the idea, you give the perpetrator less time to work on your doubt.
A good example of this might surface in a heated exchange where you point out something that you feel was done unjustly to you. The individual might deflect and avoid accepting responsibility by pointing out some flaw or issue they have with you putting you on the defensive. If you notice this happening, reset the stage and bring the attention back to your issue. You can point out the deflection and also articulate how you’d like the individual to rectify the issue and/or take responsibility.
Be Ok With Being The ‘Bad Guy’
Gaslighters will try to use your sense or morality against you by pointing out ‘faults’ in your behavior tied to a situation (usually when you are making a complaint about something they did to you). They’ll try to put you on the defensive and play the victim. These appeals to your sense of morality put you in a position where you might want to take responsibility or even apologize. They’ll accuse you of messing up the vibe or being negative to which you might feel inclined to withdraw.
By accepting this role as the aggressor you now give the gaslighter the necessary ammo to remind you in the future that you acknowledged your fault by apologizing. Know that this version of reality isn’t real and therefore you can accept being the bad guy especially in enforcing boundaries. Let them pout, yell, cry, or whatever response they use to try to be the victim. Speak in a calm, even, tone. Discuss only the facts. Never debate semantic or subject to interpretation details.
Document Your Experiences
Gaslighters will rely on lapses in your memory to plant fake ones or to discredit your memory as a whole. By documenting your experiences you won’t have to rely on your memory & therefore you can avoid having lapses in your memory taken advantage of. A good way to do this is by using a planner for date and time specific events or commitments. Get things like commitments or future plans in writing (via email or text message) so you can go back and review. Other examples of experiences to document can include
- How a particular situation made you feel
- Instances where you were “the bigger person”
- Instances where you question your memory, reality, or perception
- How you were feeling before and after a particular conversation
In focusing on documenting your experiences you don’t have anyone to contest them and therefore you can build a stronger confidence in your own memory and sense of reality.
You might notice some of your closest relationships using gaslighting as a tactic. This can make it difficult or uncomfortable to rock the boat by asserting yourself and your boundaries, but it is absolutely necessary.
If you have stories or examples of dealing with gaslighting please feel free to share in the comments. You claps, comments, and highlights are appreciated!