Have you heard of the term gaslighting?
Gaslighting is an emotionally abusive strategy with a pattern of manipulative tactics done very gradually to the victim so they don’t realize it’s happening. It’s more common than you may think.
The person doing the gaslighting is often described as a narcissistic personality, meaning they have little to no empathy or consideration for others. They believe they are superior and have a strong need for admiration. They have a pattern of being demanding, self-centered, manipulative, arrogant, and often patronizing when they don’t get their own way.
The intention of gaslighting is to gain and maintain power over another and it takes a heavy toll on the victim’s mental health. The victim grows to distrust their own intelligence, intuition, and even their sanity.
Over time they become submissive and dependent on the gaslighter(s) to be told what is right or wrong for them, what to think and what to feel. They can often feel like they are losing touch with reality because their intelligence says one thing and the abuser insists the opposite.
It usually starts subtly, such as changing small details of a story or a memory.
It can be done through lying, manipulation, withholding information, love, attention, or making out that the person’s thoughts and feelings are not important by trivializing them or belittling them.
It can sound like: ‘It’s all in your head.’, or ‘I didn’t say that, your making that up.’, ‘You never remember things correctly.’, ‘You’re so sensitive all the time.’, or ‘You’re making a big deal out of nothing, I was only joking.’
Children can also be gaslit. Our brain is in the programmable theta state up to approximately age 7, meaning whatever the child experiences is imprinted in their being and becomes part of their belief system.
If the parent is mentally unwell because they have experienced their own abuse as a child, they can easily manipulate the child so they can get their own needs met. They may not even be aware they are doing it as it’s been their program too. A child’s whole world revolves around their parents and they desire love and acceptance from them no matter what. They have no idea there is dysfunction or abuse occurring, it’s all they know therefore it is normalized.
This cycle creates low self-esteem, self-doubt, uncertainty, and a lack of trust in their own intuition, so it shuts down.
Gaslighting can be used by anyone, besides parents, it can also be a family member, partner, friend, guru, leader, teacher, groups, organizations, or even governments.
If this is sounding all too familiar or you know someone who fits this description, keep reading.
Think about how you feel about your relationship with the person who you suspect gaslights you. If what they say to you feels ‘off’ and you have a lot of doubt when you are with them then your soul is trying to get your attention.
Healthy relationships are built on mutual trust, honesty, respect, and open communication and we are entitled to make our own decisions freely. We all deserve this freedom, these are basic human rights.
Some things you can do to empower yourself:
- Practice mindfulness. Gaslighting can alienate you from your thoughts and feelings so you need to get reacquainted with them.
- Keep a journal to record how you feel and what you really think. Keep it in a private place so you feel safe using it.
- Validate your feelings and points of view in your journal and in your self-talk. They matter, you have a right to feel whatever it is that comes up, even if it does not seem to be true, it’s a clue to what is needing to be healed.
- Seek help. It could be a trusted friend’s perspective, read a book on the subject, or find professional support. Depending on how emotionally charged you are you may want to seek out a support group, a therapist, or explore spiritual life coaching sessions to heal and empower yourself.
Now for the positive side of gaslighting, the reframe. I invite you to consider this perspective shift, it will expand your thinking and open you up to new possibilities.
Reframed Perspective: from the spiritual big picture, everything happens for a reason, it’s unfolding according to a divine plan we don’t have the privy to know at our level of consciousness, and your soul actually chose to have experiences such as gaslighting.
Why? So you could fully experience and understand the contrast of what it’s like to feel less than, powerless, betrayed, disrespected, and having a lack of trust in others and more importantly yourself.
Why would my soul choose this?
These are the growth experiences our soul is always guiding us towards having for its evolution. Earth is a world of duality, right/wrong, good/bad and this is where souls evolve so, in order to experience life fully, we must forget we are multidimensional beings with unlimited possibilities to be able to go into the dark and come out on the other side with a full understanding of how it feels and what we have learned about ourselves.
When a person is conditioned by gaslighting, over time they develop a highly sensitive awareness of their environment as part of their survival coping mechanism. They are actually extremely intuitive, the opposite of what they have been conditioned to believe.
Once the old, false beliefs can be deleted through reprogramming the mind and healing the heart they can begin to hone their gifts and talents to help themselves and others awaken to their truth of who they are. This is the soul’s mission for being here.
This type of life experience gives the soul the wisdom they could not have received without going through the pain of it so in this sense there was a purpose to being abused in this way. Think about generations, each generation becomes more evolved and they learn from the past generations so they can be better and do better in the present and future.
We become more accepting of our self when we learn and embody the deeper meanings our life unfolded the way it did and we can learn to use it to our advantage.
Yes, it’s work to undo the programming and heal, and freedom is the reward. It’s our responsibility to seek the help we need and never give up on ourselves, this is part of our purpose.
Healing from gaslighting is one of the most liberating experiences I witness my clients having. They feel empowered and excited for their future. They finally get to express themselves freely and feel safe doing so.
So remember, no matter what hardships you have endured, you can find your light in the darkness of your soul adventures and turn your life around to be who you truly are, love, compassion, unity, peace, harmony, joy, and abundance. Then your soul mission is fulfilled.
If you would like to explore how spiritual life coaching can support you in your journey please consider a complimentary Clarity Call with me. The intention of the call is to help you determine what is your best next step based on where you are. Book your call here.
Namaste brave soul.