Don’t Be A Victim of Relationship Gaslighting

Gaslighting is a colloquial term created in reference to the theatrical adaptation of a play, Gas Light, to a film starring Ingmar Bergman called Gaslight. The plot involves a a husband who tries to make his wife think she’s nuts. Today, the term “gaslighting” has been created to refer to relationship dynamics where one person feels that another in the relationship is doing the same thing.

gaslighting in relationshipsIf you’re in a relationship and you feel that someone is trying to alter your reality, the first thing you have to understand is that this can only happen when there is the opportunity. So decide how you’ve given someone the opportunity to convince you of a reality that doesn’t feel completely real to you.

Next, give yourself some space from that person. Healthy boundaries are a great tool in any relationship because they give you time and space to check in with yourself and regroup and nurture yourself. So set up boundaries for yourself and respect them.

Learn to say, “Let me give that some thought,” as a response to decisions you’re being asked to make, that you’re not one percent sure about. By saying, “Let me give that some thought and I’ll get back to you,” you’re giving yourself the time and space to consider not just what’s at hand, but the perspective surrounding the request, the relationship and possible outcomes of your decision. Lack of perspective is unhealthy and promotes unhealthy behavior. Perspective is a goal to strive for.

And lastly, take a clear look at the worst case scenario. Many times people act because of what they think will happen if they don’t, not what will happen if they do. In doing this, they tend to spin out and skip steps in the chain of logic that should be the roadmap to a worst case scenario — and paths to take to avoid that. They turn into a storm of negativity. If people can articulate the bottom line in a worst case scenario, they have the opportunity to take the power away from the fear that is driving them to make poor decisions. In other words, simply saying, if I don’t do this, this will happen, allows people to weigh the outcomes, clearly. Will you die if you’re late to dinner with his family? No. So don’t treat the possible tardiness as life and death. Feel yourself breathing more clearly already?

 

 


Learn How To Choose a Better Partner For You.

dating advice

If you look at your past relationships can you see many similar qualities in your ex’s, even though they were different kinds of people? If so, you might either be choosing the unhealthy version of same type, or you might just be choosing a type that doesn’t match for you.

As explained in the video, if you are choosing someone that doesn’t force you to grow, or is just easy to be around, then perhaps you should begin to look outside of your comfort zone. An easy example is someone who doesn’t want to get in shape so they accept a partner who is overweight. Then, down the line, they become upset because their life is stagnant, want someone to blame, and have an unmotivated partner.

Your “issue” might not be getting in shape but could be anything you are afraid of, or know you should change and don’t want to. Some examples are:

  • Jealousy – (So you don’t choose attractive partners, but feel unmotivated by them.)
  • Fear of abandonment – (Same as above)
  • Drink too much – (Choose a partner who drinks more than you but get upset about it down the line.)
  • Doesn’t have a solid career – (You know they are not working on their issues, so you don’t have to either.)

A lot of this has to do with insecurity and self-love. Lets say I told you I have a partner for you that is just perfect. He/she has a great career, works out, always eats healthy, meditates, and always is improving him/herself, and is looking for a perfect person to be hooked up with. How would this make you feel?

Would your thought pattern steer you away from this type of person? Why? Is it because dating them would force you to make changes you are not ready for? And you wouldn’t want to step out of your comfort zone? This is an indication of choosing someone who might keep you stagnant and make you further frustrated down the line.

Would this make you feel as if they would never like someone like you? If this is the case, then perhaps you are dealing with a lack of self-love or confidence in general. In this case get in touch with why you are a great person to be with, and carry that with you throughout your day.

Is your first thought, “yeah-right,” as if this type of person does not exist? Then perhaps you are dealing with a strong negative self-fulfilling prophecy that keeps you from finding this type of person.

Most of the best relationships I’ve seen are based on two different types that respect one another and therefore motivate each other to step out of their comfort zone. Complementary relationships are those that are two different types that force growth upon one another. So like two pieces of a puzzle, although they are very different, they combine well. There are bigger compromises in this type of relationship but more growth.

There is no “wrong” combination, but moving forward you might need to do something different than what your past instincts have told you. Knowing your personality type, in my book, “The Power of Personality Types” allows you to go after the changes you want for your relationships because you know the characteristics each. Having awareness for these types allows you to be more in tune with who will be a great long-term match for you going forward.

As an exercise, think which relationships you had that were mirrors, and which have been complementary? What was your experience in both? If you continue to pick the same type, have you been evolving at a satisfactory pace, or are you not evolving? What lesson do you keep missing and need to repeat? What problems is your ego trying to re-create just so that they can be overcome?

Insight to these and other questions can be found in Chapter 11 of my book as well as a further explanation of these concepts and the characteristics of “Uncomplementary” relationship combinations. More on how to create the right relationship can be found at www.TheArtofUnity.com. There are also meditations to cope with a breakup by clicking on the meditations tab.

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dealing with breakups

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valentines dating advice

Valentine’s Day is meant to celebrate love. Remember when we were little and everyone received cards from everyone? No one was in relationships and yet we were all happy and felt special. However, as we enter our later years Valentine’s Day … [Continue reading]

REAL-ationships vs Illusions

dating relationship issues

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Kissing Do’s and Don’ts

kissing dos and donts

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