It is really not about you(DW# 789)
Jul 02, 2020
The victim of gaslighting will need to keep reminding themselves that it is not about them. That the practice of gaslighting is about the gaslighter’s poor coping skills.
It helps to understand that it is about the gaslighter’s need for control and power That some people use gaslighting as a way to control the moment in the relationship, to stop the conflict, to ease some anxiety and to feel "in charge" again. They have not learnt to take responsibility for making a mistake and believe that it is unsafe for them to do so. They keep control by deflecting responsibility from themselves by blaming the other person and trying to prove them wrong.
Of course, no one wants to start out doing this in their relationships. But when they do it once or twice, they witness it, they feel the effects of it, or stumble upon it and they realise that it is a potent tool.
IN OTHER WORDS, IT WORKS.
It works to silence conflict and any challenge to the gaslighter’s behaviour. And so they keep doing it till it becomes second nature.
The victim of gaslighting is often so distraught and busy second guessing themselves that they need to be reminded that this is not about them. When they find out that they have been the victim of gaslighting, their confusion can turn to anger and rage.
In working on their own healing and taking the journey of forgiveness for themselves, it may help to develop some compassion for the gaslighter. To realise that gaslighters tend to be insecure. That in order to feel "equal", they need to feel superior. In order to feel safe, they need to feel they have the upper hand. They have few other coping skills or other ways to negotiate differences.
Of course, this does NOT excuse the behavior. It is still a choice that they are making to engage in unhealthy behaviour rather than working on their own healing. But knowing these things may help the victim take gaslighting less personally while they decide whether to maintain the relationship.
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