According to the Oxford dictionary, gaslighting means:
Manipulating (someone) by psychological means into questioning their own sanity. The abuser tries to twist others’ sense of reality. A common example of gaslighting is when someone does something abusive and then denies that it ever happened.
But did you know that you can gaslight yourself? When something is said or done that hurts your feelings, our initial reaction is to feel upset. Then, some people instinctively think, “I’m being dramatic- it’s not that big of a deal.” This is a problem because we don’t give ourselves time to understand that our emotions are valid!
A few signs you are gaslighting yourself are; you belittle yourself/thoughts/feelings, you doubt your memory of how something happened, you blame yourself, you doubt yourself, you question your judgement, you apologize more than you need to, you wonder what’s wrong with you, you assume everyone is disappointed in you, you have a hard time making decisions, and so many more.
Below are some comparisons of what external gaslighting may look like and what internal gaslighting may look like. Either type of gaslighting will cause negative thoughts towards yourself and the situation. What’s important is knowing how to reverse that mindset and turn the negative thoughts into positive self-affirmations.
The next time you begin self-gaslighting, try to take a step back and look at the big picture. Your emotions and thoughts are completely valid and you have a right to be hurt or upset. Once you can acknowledge this, it’ll be easier for you to take an approach towards a solution.