The topic for this blog-post was suggested by Manisha from Be yourself unapologetically She writes poems and articles on various topics that you might find interesting. I like her poem HILLS ~ A POEM (FICTION) which expresses a wonder about nature and fantasy of a child. Do check out her blog to know more about her!
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What is gaslighting ?
“Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation in which a person or a group covertly sows seeds of doubt in a targeted individual, making them question their own memory, perception, or judgment, often evoking in them cognitive dissonance and other changes such as low self-esteem.”Wikipedia
In simple words, when someone is trying to belittle you by abusive words or simply making you feel negative about yourself, it is a form of gaslighting.
It is especially dangerous because it distorts our own perceptions about ourselves. It is a form of hypnosis which can change our internal beliefs in a highly negative way.
- A boss abusing and belittling an employee (over and over) for insignificant errors
- A friend or a spouse manipulating a person to make him/her feel low and depressed
- A bully harassing others for an ego boost
- Absolutely any negative behaviour that attempts to assault another person’s beliefs and existence
We see such examples in everyday life. So, we must always be ready to defend ourselves against it. In fact, we must be prepared to deal with all kinds of negative behaviours that can harm us. that:
Dealing with gaslighting
So here are some ideas that will help you deal with all kinds of negative behaviours.
1.) Shift Your Focus towards YOURSELF
If you are feel that you easily become victim of such negative behaviours, you need a complete shift in your mindset. Instead of thinking about that person, you need to shift your focus towards YOU.
You must realise that there are two elements which make gaslighting successful:
- The actions of a person who is attempting gaslighting
- The reactions of the mind of the victim
You have no control over the actions of others. But you can have complete control over how your mind reacts. If you somehow shield your mind to their words and actions, you will not be affected by it. It is as simple as that.
You will keep being a victim as long as you think about their actions and ignore your reaction. So it is very important that you stop thinking about their words and focus on making your mind strong and positive.
You can move on to step 2 only when you have made that clear.
2.) Don’t accept their words
It is up to you to accept or reject their negative words. You have a choice. Read this beautiful story.
“It is said that one day the Buddha was walking through a village. A very angry and rude young man came up and began insulting him, saying all kind of rude words.
The Buddha was not upset by these insults. Instead he asked the young man, “Tell me, if you buy a gift for someone, and that person does not take it, to whom does the gift belong?”
The young man was surprised to be asked such a strange question and answered, “It would belong to me, because I bought the gift.”
The Buddha smiled and said, “That is correct. And it is exactly the same with your anger. If you become angry with me and I do not get insulted, then the anger falls back on you. You are then the only one who becomes unhappy, not me. All you have done is hurt yourself.”
Negativity can only be eliminated by positivity. If you are faced with negative environment, your positive attitude will cut that fog like a knife through butter. When your mind is trained to be calm and positive, you have a powerful shield around you, which always protects you.
3.) Play with your mind perceptions
Gaslighting is someone else attempting to play with your perceptions for negative results. You can do the opposite. You can start playing with your own mind to bring positive results.
Visualize that image or a memory of the moment when you were hearing those words. Now, MUTE. See, you don’t hear anything now! It feels loads better to mute their meaningless words, doesn`t it? Play with them and make that memory as funny as you can.
Remember “harry potter and the prisoner of azkaban”? How did students face their darkest fears? They imagined them in a funny way. They played with their perceptions. It really works! riddikulus!
4.) Practice positive affirmations
Positive affirmations are counter forces for any negative thing you feel. If words can make you feel depressed, words can also uplift and inspire you and increase your self esteem!
Use the words in your favour. What you say about yourself is far more powerful and effective than what anyone else can say. Check out my post on Using Affirmations to influence your unconscious mind.
Keep company of people who make you feel really positive about yourself. Write, read and take in only the information that feeds your positive attitude.
Only when you have filled yourself with positive force, you will be able to forgive. Forgiving is not about them, it is about you. When you forgive, you will lift up a great burden from yourself. You will let go of all the negative thoughts that you were holding for that person.
Understand that behaving in such a way is their nature, and forgiveness is the greatness that you are!
No one in the world has the power to make you believe what you don’t want to. This post started by listing the negative actions of other people, but I will always emphasize the power of positivity that YOU can have. It is far more important than anything that anyone has to offer. So, train your mind and make it stronger, wiser and positive.
Here are some questions to think about:
- Do I ever feel victim to someone else’s words?
- Do I react too negatively to other people’s behaviours?
- Is there any relationship in my life that constantly makes me feel bad about myself ? Can I end it?
- How can I shift my mindset towards becoming a more positive person?
- Who are the most positive and empowering people I have around me?
Thank you for reading. This was the first suggested post that I have made, and I enjoyed writing it!
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Featured image source: Eric ward on unsplash