It’s all well and good knowing the meaning gaslighting and what it looks like (as outlined in my last post here), but what if you need to know how to deal with gaslighting? You’re in the right place if you are being gaslighted. So, without further delay let’s talk about how to get out of gaslighting relationships.
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:
First, make sure you are being gaslighted because it isn’t always obvious. We don’t always agree with other people and vice versa. Everyone has their version of events which may be slightly different to yours but that doesn’t mean you are being gaslighted. Even if their behavior feels rude, patronizing, or critical to you.
So, how do you know?
Pay attention to how you feel and not just what the other person is saying or doing. The other person’s intention is everything here. A person that is trying to manipulate as opposed to someone making general conversation will more than likely spark your intuition (or gut feeling). Remember – take note of this. We pick-up a lot of signals unconsciously, we know things before we know them, so to speak.
This is NOT hocus pocus, and it is certainly not some airy-fairy notion. I would surmise that if you actually looked a little deeper there is a sound reason why you knew something before you knew it, and it would be based on:
- Past experience
- Knowledge gained
Just because you do not remember initially doesn’t mean the past experience or knowledge is not there. It could be deep within your subconscious and you may not be aware of it. BUT your subconscious remembers and KNOWS everything you have ever experienced.
Note about Unintentional Gaslighting: “I don’t have time to listen to this!”, “Come on get a grip, you’re being oversensitive” may seem like gaslighting but it could be unintentionally. Some people are just busy, self-absorbed, or unhelpful with their responses. Focus on how you feel, and this will assist you in knowing their intent.
My recommendation: Pay attention to how you feel and your intuition, not just the other person’s actions. In the beginning, it can be challenging but the more you keep focusing on what is happening now – both with how you feel and what they are saying – the less confused you will be.
Having established that you are being gaslighted, what’s next?
What you say and do when being gaslighted is important.
Respond Don't React
A lot of emotions will be swimming around inside of you when you are being gaslighted. This is completely understandable as you are being told that what you experienced did not happen, for example:
“You are imagining things.”
“That did not happen like that, are you feeling okay?”
“You’re losing it, I did not say that.”
“You’re crazy, I would never say that.”
When we are emotional we cannot think straight and because of this we may react rather than respond. Personally, I used to react a lot to various situations, not just gaslighting and it was NEVER beneficial to me. I’ve trained myself to wait, listen, and respond, and now, life is calmer and more peaceful and so is my state of mind.
By keeping calm and not reacting you are able to focus on the truth. Once you react and start denying what they are saying you will begin to get frustrated, angry, and upset. Most gas-lighters do NOT back down and will continue to lie to you. They want you to get in a tizzy because when you do, you get confused and you are easier to control.
If the situation is extreme, take yourself out of it. Tell them you will discuss it later and then go for a walk so that you can get clear in your mind and away from them.
My recommendation: YOU take control of your breathing, emotions, and state of mind. Take slow, deep breaths, count to 10, tell yourself to be calm, repeat positive affirmations (“I know who I am, I trust myself”), and then RESPOND. Do not react.
The realization that you may be in a gaslighting relationship may give rise to heightened anxiety and self-doubt, where you start to question everything and you can’t decipher the truth from the lies.
If so, start collecting evidence.
Prove It To Yourself
The evidence you collect is for YOU. To prove to yourself what happened and what didn’t. It is not for the other person. Manipulators can be shown proof in black and white and still deny it.
This is about re-establishing your peace of mind.
Start to record information so that you can go back and check it when someone denies saying or doing something:
- Keep a journal and record events that happened and conversations
- Take photos and save emails (for the workplace or legal situations)
- Note down pertinent dates and times
My recommendation: Evidence collecting is not always necessary when dealing with gaslighting but if you feel it will help you in your situation then remember to do it with self-awareness and not overwhelm yourself.
Easier said than done but when dealing with gaslighting – show them that you are not bothered by their behavior.
Fake It Till You Make It
Feeding the gas-lighter ammunition (by reacting and getting upset) encourages them. This is exactly what they rely on, as they want to de-stabilize you. Once you are unsettled and undermined they have control. Over time this continued treatment will erode your self-esteem and you will not trust yourself anymore.
You have to stop it in its tracks by remaining calm and even though you may be bothered you must not show it. Fake it until you really aren’t bothered. Once they see you are not going to rise to the bait and you don’t care they will lose interest.
This is especially useful in the workplace. Flippant remarks and insults can be batted off and the manipulator will move on.
My recommendation: Sometimes we just need a little time to get our head together, so fake not caring what they say or do until you really do not care.
Self-doubt is paralyzing, so how do you know if you haven’t just misremembered something?
Misremembering Or Gaslighting?
Misremembering something is when you don’t remember what you were wearing at the work do a couple of years ago. But when someone tells you that you didn’t even go to the work’s do when you know you did, that’s gaslighting.
This can be really frustrating but if you start to argue about it and get annoyed then you leave yourself open to being manipulated.
Again, keep calm, and do not get into it, tell them that you remember things differently to them and walk away. You can then keep control of the situation and yourself.
My recommendation: Be confident in yourself and your truth. Be strong and keep focus on your version of events.
Self-care has never been so important as it is NOW!
7 Super Self-Care Strategies
Practicing self-care will make a BIG difference to your state of mind. The Importance Of Self-Care has never been so important as it is NOW!
For peace of mind start with my 7 Super Self-Care Tips (click the Info-Graph to download):
- Pay attention to how you feel and your intuition.
- Keep a journal to understand your emotions and get to know how you tick.
- Get enough quality sleep, breathe deeply and drink lots of water.
- Be mindful and stay present.
- Respond to people and situations – not react.
- Build up your self-esteem and self-worth.
- Reach out to people you know you can trust.
But what if the emotional abuse has gone too far and you can’t cope on your own? Seeking out professional advice may be the answer.
Get Professional Support
Gas-lighters often try to isolate you but you don’t have to deal with your gaslighting situation alone. Abuse can get very serious, even dangerous and you may need to seek out a therapist.
A therapist can assist in helping you understand your emotions and what is happening. Additionally they can help you work out a plan on how to move forward.
I wrote two articles about therapy that you may find useful here:
As stated in my Medical Disclaimer, this blog website is for information and entertainment purposes ONLY and is not medical advice.
The name of The Game is Experience so let us experience Connecting and Sharing.
Write a comment below about when you experienced gaslighting and how you dealt with it.
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