In this third part of my Gaslighting series I will provide proven ways to counteract gaslighting techniques.
I wonder if Robert Louis Stevenson was referring to gaslighting behavior in his famous story Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde? Apparently, he was fascinated with the fact that people could be inherently good but at the same time do unspeakable things. So, I will answer my own question – no, he was not writing about gaslighting behavior but pointing to the dual nature of people.
That said, when a person is using gaslighting techniques they are behaving like the character Mr. Hyde when treating a person in a despicable manner; and like Dr. Jekyll when they are being kind and caring. The gas-lighter knows that they must be loving and sweet every now and again to keep their victim hanging on and give them hope that they will once again experience the gaslighter’s “good side”.
Each day the victim wakes to the uncertainty of whether they will be faced with Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde.
I want this post to be useful and beneficial to you and me. That said, I have added affiliate links to this article and would love it if you decide to use them. 😘
READING TIME: 7 Mins. Or JUMP AND SKIM:
Before I show you how to counteract gaslighting I feel it’s important to point out that if you are only just realizing that you have been manipulated, don’t blame yourself. Or start go over and over in your mind as to why you didn’t see what was happening at the time. It doesn’t matter.
What matters now is that you HAVE realized and you want to to get back to be being you and not someone’s puppet.
I said puppet, not muppet.
I repeat, this is NOT your fault. Hindsight is a wonderful thing but you’ve got to let go of the past – that’s not who you are NOW.
Listen, I can’t even count the number of times I was under the gaslighting influence with past ex-boyfriends. In one particular relationship, it went on for years. I didn’t know what was happening. I just kept trying my best to keep the relationship going because I believed I loved them and I wanted it to be a success.
For me, I remember forgiving him very easily and just wanting to get on with making it work. At times I would think to myself that it was probably my fault and other times I just couldn’t put my finger on it.
Being constantly told you have made something up, imagined it, or that you are just plain old crazy makes you doubt yourself more and more. Then when you are feeling your very worse they are loving and kind towards you, and this change is such a relief that you embrace it and want to enjoy being with them.
Is it any wonder you fall under their mind spell?
Well, no more my lovelies! You can break their spell and claim back your power and counteract their gaslighting techniques.
This Is About YOU
In my experience, it is near impossible to change someone who uses gaslighting techniques to manipulate and control people. I want to be really clear here and point out two things:
- I am not judging a person that gaslights. Remember, judging benefits no-one and how or why the gas-lighter became a gas-lighter is not known. It is not about them. It is about you because if you are in a relationship where the majority of the time you feel unhappy and sad then you need to do something about that. Protect your mind and move on so that you can live in peace and contently.
- The gas-lighter will not change unless they seriously want to. You will waste your time and energy in trying to get them to change and instead will become affected by their emotional abuse.
But what you can do is :
- Know what to say to shutdown the gaslighting
- Build Up your Self-Esteem and Self-Worth
- Develop Self-Compassionate
- Practice Self-Care
- Use Mindfulness
Let’s look at these in more detail now.
7 Phrases To Stop Gaslighting In Action
When being gaslighted they may:
- Invalid or dismiss your feelings
- Insult or criticize you
- Contradict you by denying what happened/what they said/what you said.
Here are some phrases to use to shutdown the gas-lighter:
- “This is how I feel, my feelings are my feelings.”
- “These are my emotions and this is my experience.
- “I realize your intention was to make a joke but it was hurtful to me.”
- “If you continue to speak to me like that, I will walk away from this conversation.”
- “I didn’t imagine that I see your point of view is different from mine.”
- “We remember things differently.”
- “I know what’s best for me.”
Build Up Self-Esteem & Self-Worth
Both self-esteem and self-worth are internal jobs. In other words, it’s your opinion of yourself and what you think of you. Therefore it is something going on in your mind, whether that be a thought or belief.
Most of the time we are running from old beliefs and thoughts that we have held since growing-up. It is those limiting thoughts and beliefs that need to changed and replaced with ones that benefit and support us. One of the most common and harmful thoughts that people have is about not being enough, for example:
“I am not good enough”
“I am not smart enough”
“I am not pretty enough”
“I am not successful enough”
There’s a lot of information on my blog about how to build up your self-esteem so check it out. I recently did a review of the online program called I Am Enough. The course provides everything you need to start investigating your thoughts and beliefs plus practical information to make the changes you need:
One of my favorite quotes (ever!) is from the late Wayne Dyer:
“When given the choice between being right and being kind, choose kind.”Wayne Dyer
He’s saying drop your ego, it doesn’t matter – just be kind.
Being compassionate to others is when you offer understanding and kindness. Now turn that around on yourself. When you make a mistake, watch your internal reaction. Are you really hard on yourself? If you said yes, would you react the same way to a small child? Of course not, so begin to understand and be kind to yourself. This is self-compassion.
Self-compassion will develop as you work on your self-worth. As cheesy as this may seem, I’m going to say it anyway – “You are enough and you do deserve to be happy.”
I know self-care has been a bit of a buzz word of late and it falls into two categories:
- Internal self-care (journaling, meditation, deep breathing, fresh air walks, self-hypnosis)
- External self-care (pampering days, manicures, pedicures, face masks, massage)
I’m all for it – both, that is! Mix up the two depending on what you need. Whether it is internal or external self-care they will have a positive effect on your well-being.
However, when it comes to getting out of a gaslighting relationship I strongly recommend working more on your internal self-care.
One of the most effective internal self-care tips I can give you is to practice mindfulness.
Use Mindfulness Against Mind Manipulation
Mindfulness has plenty of benefits and can be used against mind manipulation.
Let me explain.
Mindfulness in its essence is about staying present in your mind. The practice of bringing your mind back to this moment when it starts to wander off to the past or future.
By doing this you will:
- Be calmer
- Think more clearly
- Not be ruled by your emotions
- Have better memory recall
All of these things will help you to know that you are not imagining things and you will trust yourself again.
The more you practice mindfulness, the stronger your mind will become.
Mind Your Mind
I do love a good oxymoron (words that contradict). I’ve always thought that emotional intelligence is an oxymoron.. Ha, ha, ha.
I mean, really? Hilarious. 😂
And when people say, “I’m going traveling to find myself.” What???
“Find myself” – now that is contradictory. How can you find yourself when you are always with yourself?
My point is, your mind is always with you – get to know and understand it – it is literally, right under your nose. Or behind it? Who knows? 🤣
Seriously though, counteract gaslighting techniques by minding your mind. It is precious.
The name of The Game is Experience so let us experience Connecting and Sharing.
Share any gaslighting experience or tips on how to deal with it in the comments below.
As stated in my Medical Disclaimer, this blog website is for information and entertainment purposes ONLY and is not medical advice.
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