Are You Gaslighting Yourself?

Are You Gaslighting Yourself?

Are You Gaslighting Yourself?


Gaslighting – the psychological manipulation technique used to make someone question their own sanity – is often thought of as an interpersonal dynamic but have you ever considered that you might be gaslighting yourself?


What is Gaslighting?

In its most basic definition, gaslighting is a form of psychological abuse that involves an individual strategically and systematically attempting to make someone else doubt their own thoughts, feelings, and perceptions. It’s a way of controlling and manipulating the victim, and it can happen in any kind of relationship, including the one you have with yourself.


What is Self-Gaslighting?

This is a type of cognitive distortion in which a person begins to question their own thoughts, feelings, and perceptions. It’s a way of denying or ignoring the truth – of convincing yourself that your own version of reality is wrong or that you’re not worth believing. The reality is this form of gaslighting is something that many of us do in our everyday lives. It’s often a form of self-protection or self-deception – a way of avoiding unpleasant realities or the difficult emotions that come with them. But it can have a profoundly negative impact on our mental health, our relationships, and our overall well-being.

So, how can you tell if you’re gaslighting yourself? Here are some telltale signs to look out for:
  • You’re constantly undermining your own decisions and thoughts.
  • You talk yourself out of taking risks or trying new things.
  • You frequently second-guess your own actions.
  • You doubt your opinions, even when you know they’re right.
  • You blame yourself for things that aren’t your fault.
  • You’re constantly questioning your own sanity.


Why Would Someone Self-Gaslight?

This is a form of psychological abuse where an individual causes themself to doubt their own self-worth and judgement. It can be a result of low self-esteem, insecurities, and feelings of worthlessness. People with a self-sabotaging mindset tend to be more prone to self-criticism and they can find it difficult to believe in their own abilities and perceive themselves in a positive light.

Low self-esteem can be a major factor in why someone might self-gaslight. People with low self-esteem may have difficulty accepting compliments or believing in their own capabilities. They may put themselves down and compare themselves to others, thinking that they are less capable or worthy. This can lead to them questioning their own judgement and decisions and second-guessing their actions.

It can also be an unconscious defense mechanism. People who self-gaslight may be trying to protect themselves from potential failure or disappointment. By doubting their own abilities, they can create an excuse for not taking risks or pushing themselves out of their comfort zone. They might believe that if they don't expect too much from themselves, then they won't be as disappointed if they don't reach their goals.

It may also be due to internalized negative messages. If someone has grown up in an environment where they were constantly put down or told they weren't good enough, they may have internalized these messages and believed that they are true. This can lead to them questioning their own judgement and feeling like they are not capable of achieving success. How you formed this sense of gaslighting  can also explain what your attachment style is and how you pursue relationships with others.


Ways to Stop Gaslighting

If any of these sound familiar, it’s possible that you’re engaging in gaslighting yourself. The good news is that you can unlearn this destructive behavior, and there are effective ways to do it.


1. Recognize when you’re doing it. This can be difficult, especially if you’ve been engaging in this sort of gaslighting for a long time, but it’s important to become aware of it and start to pay attention to your thoughts and feelings.


2. Challenge the negative beliefs you have about yourself. Remind yourself of your accomplishments and strengths. Talk to yourself like a friend would, and don’t be afraid to give yourself a pat on the back for taking small steps toward progress.

3. Practice positive self-talk and affirmations. Replace negative thoughts with more positive ones, such as “I am capable and strong” or “I can handle this challenge.” Remind yourself that you are capable, worthy, and deserving of respect. With time and effort, you can learn to break the cycle of gaslighting and start to build up your self-esteem.

4. Remember that it takes time to unlearn this behavior. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you slip up. Be gentle with yourself and keep working towards making progress each day. Then, start to challenge those thoughts and feelings. Ask yourself if they’re really true, and remind yourself of the facts.
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