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gaslightingYou have probably heard the word gaslighting before but may not know what it is. Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation that causes the recipient to doubt their reality, feelings, or even sense of self. Gaslighting is a form of abuse, and the abuser will often invalidate the victim’s feelings by dismissing them, saying things like “you’re crazy,” “don’t be so sensitive,” “it was only a joke,” or “that’s not what happened.” Many times it starts subtly, and you may not even realize it is happening. Slowly the recipient begins to question and doubt their way of thinking.

Gaslighting is unacceptable and can have damaging results if experienced long-term. If you suffer from other mental health concerns, such as anxiety or depression, gaslighting has probably impacted what you are experiencing and how you feel about yourself.

What Does Gaslighting Feel Like?

The first step to change is understanding what you are experiencing. Gaslighting can be subtle but still dangerous. Sometimes it could feel as if you are always confused. A person may make you feel like you never truly know what you are talking about. This can create feelings of continually doubting yourself. Other times you may feel the need to apologize or defend your thoughts and actions repeatedly.

Communication Tips

For some of us, communicating does not come easy. However, if someone is gaslighting you, it is crucial to communicate effectively. One tip would be to maintain eye contact. Be mindful of your facial expressions and body posture. You can stand up for yourself without being aggressive. Communicating effectively takes practice. It is not something that will probably come instantly or easily for most people. However, effective communication will ultimately help you in many different areas of life. From relationships, work, school, or activities, communicating makes a significant impact. As you learn to communicate, you will probably also be able to better work through other areas of life where you struggle.

Being the victim of gaslighting can significantly affect a person. While it can start subtly, it can be very harmful to the victim. If you already suffer from mental health challenges such as anxiety or depression, experiencing gaslighting can make symptoms more extreme. Understanding what you are experiencing is the first step in effectively creating change. Learning to communicate clearly will help you stand up for yourself and set clear boundaries. Learning to communicate effectively can be challenging. Here at The Guest House, we are ready to help you gain the skills needed to work through any challenges you may be facing. Call us today to learn more about our treatment options at (855) 483-7800.