We’ve all been in the situation when we are trying to hold onto a good feeling, but there is someone in our life who is in a foul mood, or too demanding, controlling, and maybe even sending mixed messages to have us doubt our direction or even the connection to our center.
This is part of life and learning, and there are ways to navigate the waters. Let’s explore the difference between healthy relationships that have some conflict, like any real relationship, and a relationship that does not honor you, and that would have you doubt yourself. This is not only a romantic relationship; it can be in your family, or it can be in your workplace. The good news is that there are solutions.
To get a clear take on "gaslighting" vs healthy disagreement, here’s an overview from @The HolisticPsychologist that summarizes it well:
Gaslighting - manipulates you into questioning Your reality and sanity.
Disagreements: Seeing things differently but recognizing and respecting Your perspective.
Gaslighting - They present opinions as facts and the only correct way to look at things.
Disagreements- They are open to learning about your perspective.
Gaslighting -They shut down the conversation and blame you for getting too emotional to handle it.
Disagreements -They noticed when things are getting heated and suggest taking a break to cool down.
Gaslighting -They attack your perspective to blame you.
Disagreements -They are able to agree to disagree.
Gaslighting- The goal is to make you question your capability, even your sanity.
Disagreements - The goal is to come to an agreement, or have their perspective be seen..
Some telltale EXTERNAL signs of gaslighting:
Some telltale INTERNAL signs:
You may be feeling a range of emotions from confusion, to frustration, to rage and finding yourself obsessing on the accusation and doubting yourself –
It’s easy to fall into this, especially if part of you regards them highly or lean into the times when the relationship feels good. But keep your eye on the whole pattern.
Here are 4 things you can do:
1. Be aware of what you are feeling and trust your intuition. Validate yourself.
2. Journal your observations over time, so you have a reference to help deal with the self-doubt. You will begin to see the pattern.
3. Leave the conversation when you notice your reality and perceptions are being minimized or pummeled. Don’t try to out-fact them – even if you had a file cabinet of evidence or examples their MO is to deny, minimize or turn on you. "I will not continue this conversation if you continue to minimize what I am feeling." (Then, walk away.)
4. Lean into or bolster your support system. Now you need people you can trust who understand this landscape and want the best for you. Don’t keep it in – the self-doubt will only grow. Reach out and you’ll discover a new perspective that allows you to be your authentic self and know that you are more than enough.
Because other people are trapped in their own patterns doesn’t mean that you have to let them infiltrate or influence your life. We are always trying to heal patterns of old needs not being met – like the people pleaser trying to keep the peace – but AWARENESS is a game-changer on every level. It gives you choices you may have not known you have. Your ability to trust your intuition is sacred, your ability to access the simple joys is your birthright, your mission to grow and expand as a soul is why you are here. All these experiences, though painful, help remind you who you really are. Beautiful, expansive, full of life and potential – don’t let anyone ever dampen your spirit – you are wired to expand – and you can connect with those who celebrate and honor who you really are – and this is all completely possible because it starts with you.
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