The term "gaslighting" has become a buzzworthy word in our vocabulary. It's been used to describe the most toxic individuals in our lives. These people can be anyone, from a parent, to a lover, to a sibling, to a best friend, etc. Sometimes we don't even realize that these people are causing so much trauma in our lives, until it's too late. They have become so methodical in their psychological manipulation of our psyche. We go with it because we don't know any better.
Gaslighters are typically abusive, narcissistic, cult leaders, clergy members, and dictators.
To better understand a gaslighter, lets look at the definition and signs of a gaslighter:
How can you tell that someone is a Gaslighter?
These are just a few of the signs to look out for in a suspected gaslighter. These gaslighters feed off of confusion and weakness. The more you show of both, the more turned on the gaslighter gets.
If you have a close friend who is a gaslighter, it can be a rough situation. This is someone you have chosen as your non-blood family. You have great times together, and you've practically grown up together. While all of that is great, what about the meat of the friendship? How do they treat you in both good times and bad? Do they ever turn all of the attention on themselves? Do they take a traumatic event in your life, and spotlight their own semi-traumatic event? When you call them out on it, do they get mad? Do you ever put in all of the grunt work in the friendship (leaving your phone on all night long in case they need to talk, staying on the phone for hours while they sob about the person they are dating, etc), but they cannot do the same? How about good situations? Do they try to take credit for your good situation, or do they try to outshine you?
These are all questions you need to ask yourself.
Friendships are 50/50. It's not a competition. It's not a power struggle. Friendships are your chosen family.
Can you break away from your gaslighter friend?
Absolutely! It's not easy though. It's important to know the signs. It's important to ask yourself questions about whether this is a healthy friendship for you.
It doesn't matter if you have been friends with this person for 5 years, 19 years, 30 years, 40 years, etc. If a friendship is toxic, it needs to end. It may take time for you to gather the strength to end the friendship. Again, it won't be easy. You will lose a few friends along the way (these are the people that the gaslighter tricked into hating you). You will go through a small period of time trying to put out fires. The longer a friendship is, the more fires you need to put out (people will be questioning your sanity because you ended such a long friendship). The gaslighter will be fueling the flames by talking massive amounts of shit about you on social media. If people believe that person, you don't want them in your life anyway. What the gaslighter says doesn't matter.
Life does get a lot easier afterward. You will find that the drama in your life has lowered exponentially. You will feel light and free, better than you have felt in years.
I will say this: do not stoop to their level and blast them on social media. Two wrongs don't make a right. Let them sink themselves. Be the bigger person and move forward. I guarantee you, while you are living your best life months later, they will still have your name in their mouth, low-key blasting you on social media. Let them do their thing. I guarantee you, everyone is getting sick and tired of the person constantly bitching about a friendship that ended several months ago.
If you are currently being gaslit by a close friend, please take an evening to evaluate the friendship. Write things down, like a pro/con list. Imagine your life without this person. Meditate. Really look inward and channel your soul. If your heart, brain, soul, every fiber of your being, is saying "end the friendship," you have your answer. You know what you have to do. When you do end the friendship, don't let the person manipulate you. End it and leave. If they couldn't respect you during your entire friendship, why should you respect them during the dissolving of the friendship?
I hope this helps someone.
#gaslighting #psychology #mentalabuse #friendships #TuesdayThoughts