Self-Gaslighting — How you Emotionally Abuse Yourself After Being in A Toxic Relationship

Self-Gaslighting — How you Emotionally Abuse Yourself After Being in A Toxic Relationship self-gaslighting — how you emotionally abuse yourself after being in a toxic relationship
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Gaslighting is a subtle manipulative technique wherein someone convinces you that your perception of reality is wrong. It makes you so confused and anxious to the point that you doubt everything about yourself (your reality, judgments, memory, and sanity). Self-gaslighting is a by-product of being constantly gaslit.

Self-gaslighting is like taking up the mantle from the gaslighter (external) and gaslighting yourself on their behalf (internally). It is where you internalize the gaslighting behavior by minimizing, dismissing, and invalidating your own experiences and emotions to the point where you question your perceptions and doubt yourself.

It can be a survival mechanism for someone undergoing abuse, as self-gaslighting suppresses the painful emotions they’re going through. With self-gaslighting, you’re talking down to yourself, which means you are emotionally abusing yourself even before you’re emotionally abused by a toxic person. It’s like gaslighting on top of gaslighting when you’re in a toxic relationship.

The effects of gaslighting will linger for far too long even after you’ve left the toxic relationship, and that will now manifest as self-gaslighting. You’re more prone to self-gaslighting after being in a toxic relationship, as you’ve been constantly gaslit to the point that you believe what they say, and that tape now plays inside your head. The nature of the society we live in also adds fuel to self-gaslighting, as we’re mostly taught that we need to minimize or hide most of our emotional experiences.

Are you Gaslighting Yourself?

  1. Dismissing or minimizing your experiences — This is where you ignore your feelings and dismiss the severity of your emotions by claiming that they’re not important. For example:

“I am exaggerating, it’s not a big deal.”

2. Extreme criticism of oneself — You harshly criticize your reactions and compare them to someone else’s and always feel that you should’ve done better. You feel that someone else reacts better than you. This is also where you “should” yourself a lot. For example:

“I have no reason to feel this way and I should have done better; others have it worse than me.”

3. Questioning your own perceptions — This is where you struggle with separating what’s true and what’s not, even when you saw it with your own eyes or you have evidence. You may feel that you’re remembering things wrongly and question your memory or judgments. For example:

“I must be seeing my own things.”

4. Excusing Others — You always excuse other people for their undesirable behavior or when they mistreat you. For example:

“I know they love me and they didn’t mean it like that.”

5. Always assuming the worst-case scenario — You always think that nothing can go right in your life. For example:

“Nothing good can possibly happen to someone like me.”

6. You blame yourself for everything — This is where you take the blame for even things that are not within your span of control. For example:

“It’s all my fault, I always end up in these situations.”

7. Thinking there’s something wrong with you — You always think the problem is you and never them, you beat yourself up, and you constantly question your worth.

“There must be something wrong with me.”

8. You call yourself names you’d never say to another person — You call yourself profane and terrible names like idiot, crazy, stupid, or just something you’d never call another person.

“The crazy and stupid me is at it again.”

How to Deal with Self-Gaslighting?

Self-gaslighting is doing yourself more harm than good as it involves you continuing the emotional torture you were constantly exposed to by your abusive ex. They planted the seed in you, and your self-gaslighting is now watering those seeds. The first thing to do is to recognize and acknowledge what you’re doing to yourself and understand that you’re in this situation because that narrative was implanted in you by your past relationships.

Once you see that inner voice and critic as not your own truth but a cloud of your past experiences, you can then focus more on what’s within your control in your present life. For example, if an inner voice constantly tells you “It’s all your fault,” you can take some time and analyze the implication of that voice. You can then write down the things that inner voice tells you as your fault, then look at them and sort out the ones that are within your locus of control.

It’s just about building your awareness of the lies that inner voice is feeding you and bringing them to light. See that inner voice for what it is: nothing but a harsh inner critic without any foundation. You also need to be compassionate and gentle with yourself when doing this because self-gaslighting can lead to self-harm. Of course, seeking help with this is a much more effective way, as you’ll get to the root of the problem and address it in a safe space.

Note from the Author

If you’re ready and you’d like my help with healing, finding peace in life and breaking free from these toxic patterns (in less than 2 months) , then you can book a FREE BREAKTHROUGH CALL with me HERE. Happy healing 💙💙. Feel free to share and comment! Use this information with caution, it comes from my own thoughts & bias, experiences and research😊.

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Edwin Bii
Edwin Bii

I'm Edwin Bii, a trained advanced conversational hypnotherapist (ACH) and Mind Shifting Coach from Kenya offering mental health support, and life coaching to help you crush your goalsand overcome your problems. Together, we'll navigate challenges, build self-awareness, and create a happier, healthier you. Let's unlock your potential.

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