5 Ways To Know If You're Gaslighting Yourself
by Natashya Khoo on Oct 13, 2022
The term ‘gaslighting’ has been thrown around a lot in recent years, which might make you think that it’s something that’s only trending now. However, being gaslit has been something that’s been around for as long as relationships- friendships, romantic or otherwise.
Being gaslighted means that someone has manipulated you into taking the blame for something that isn’t your fault, or have made you think you were wrong when you were actually right. We can all point to someone in our lives that has made us feel that way by being unapologetic, quick to blame & even quicker to defend themselves.
It hurts, but sometimes, the person we point to doing the gaslighting is the person in the mirror. Growing up Asian, we’re especially prone to holding ourselves to perfectionistic standards. Here are 5 ways to know if you’re gaslighting yourself.
- You constantly belittle your achievements
- You don’t have a kind inner voice
- You’re overly harsh on yourself
- You second guess everything, even things you’re sure of
- You don’t try new things
1. You constantly belittle your achievements
What is your response when people give you a compliment? If it’s something along the lines of ‘no, it wasn’t a big deal’, that might be a sign that your inner gaslighter is speaking. The self-sabotage stems from the idea that you can never be good enough, which in most cases isn’t an objective view of what’s really happening.
2. You don’t have a kind inner voice
It’s hard to recognise a gaslighter because they’re often passive aggressive in how they make you feel bad about yourself. Does your inner voice sound unkind? Does she tell you that you could have done better, or that everything is your fault? A good rule of thumb is whether you’d talk to someone else the way you talk to yourself.
3. You’re overly harsh on yourself
Feeling bad about yourself is one thing, but being mean to yourself is a whole different level. By being hard on yourself, you’re subconsciously trying to make your inner saboteur feel better. You’re doing the gaslighting before your brain can do it. This might even get in the way of your work- you get so fixated on the details that you can hardly get it done.
4. You second guess everything, even things you’re sure of
Gaslighting yourself long-term, or being gaslit, makes you lose your handle on reality. You’re not sure what’s true & what’s not because you’re constantly being told otherwise. This can cause you to second guess everything you do, think or say- even if it’s something that you know very well.
5. You don’t try new things
Doing something new lends the opportunity to enjoying it, but also potentially not being good at it. Someone who gaslights themselves is well-aware of the risk of failure, so the only way to mitigate this risk is to not try anything at all.
If you find yourself having gaslighting mindsets and habits, it’s important to take steps to heal that part of your mind- even reading this article is a great first step! Besides that, intentional mindfulness & telling a friend to hear your thoughts are great first steps.
Don’t struggle alone, LIVLOLA Fam. There is hope yet!