The Wildly Confident Podcast

Ep. 43: Gaslighting 101 - It’s All in Your Head

May 11, 2022 Kathrine Weissner Season 2 Episode 43
The Wildly Confident Podcast
Ep. 43: Gaslighting 101 - It’s All in Your Head
Show Notes Transcript

Ever have someone make you feel...

Make you question your reality

Like you are lost in a house of mirrors in your own head!!

Welcome to my 3 part series on Gaslighting….

I am breaking down gaslighting into the 3 major ways it effects you…

  1. How you Gaslight yourself.
  2. How others might Gaslight you.
  3. How society at large Gaslights certain groups of people…from time to time. 

On this episode you will learn:

  • What exactly is gaslighting 
  • What sort of people gaslight….and why they do it (ugh).
  • How you gaslight yourself and why stopping is the antidote to becoming UN-gaslightable (aka - the cure to be gaslighted in the future). 

Follow me on Instagram @katweissner and check out my website at

By listening to this podcast you agree to the following Disclaimer:

The Wildly Confident Podcast, LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of KLW Coaching, LLC, all rights reserved. 

Speaker 1:

Hey, super excited. You're here for another week. I'm going to be doing three podcasts in a row. This one being the first one on something called gas lighting. If you don't know what it is, hold on. I'm gonna be, um, defining it in a moment. And if you do, you're probably super excited to hear more about this term and see how you can be smarter and stronger against people who are trying to Gaslight you. So the first podcast is going to be actually on how we Gaslight ourselves super important. And actually this is like the healing root of the healing seed of the next two podcasts. The second one I'm gonna be doing is how we get how we in get gas lit by other people. So what I call like one on one gas lighting and the third podcast I'm gonna be doing on gas lighting is societal gas lighting. So where society, culture is actually gas, lighting, mass amount of people all together, super exciting, right? You are going to leave these three podcasts feeling super empowered, super wise, and you're gonna have all these amazing tools to help stop yourself from being gas lit in the future. Yay. Right.<laugh> so without further ado, let me define gas lighting for you. Gaslighting was named one of Oxford dictionary's most popular words in 2018. It's one of those newer words that have been used a lot more in the last five years. And I have to say the first time I even heard of the term was like in 2016, I remember being at a therapy session. My therapist was like, it sounds like you're being gas lit. And I was like, what the hell is that sounds kind of interesting. And I often think when, you know, certain terms start coming to light become really popular. The fact it was one of the most popular words in 2018, there's like a consciousness rising. There's like a reason why this word is becoming so important. More people are being awoken to, or to be, to see how they are being gaslighted in their life. And that it's time to make a shift or change. I do not think these things happen by coincidence. So the phrase to Gaslight refers to the act of undermining another person's reality by denying fat facts, the environment around them or their feelings. Okay. So it's, it serves as a way of denying your reality, saying what you are seeing isn't real right? Denying facts, the environment. So what you see smell here, like that's an not real or your feelings are not real targets of gaslighting are manipulated into turning against their own cognition, their own emotions and who they are fundamentally as people. Wow. Right. If anyone's ever heard of this term, you probably are aware of it and you probably have been gas lit in the past, or you're aware that you've been gas lit and that's how you found out about it. And people new to this term might be like, Hmm, I don't know if it's ever happened to me. So hang on, we're gonna walk through some examples of how you might have been gas lit actually in all three different levels. And again, I'm gonna be going into much more detail on each one of the podcasts. This one's really how you Gaslight yourself. And the next will be the one on one and the one after will be societal. But I do wanna run through some examples just in this first podcast of all, uh, just at least one thing in each one of those categories. So you can kind of get a feeling of what I'm talking about. Cuz this gas lighting is everywhere. The more I've become aware of it, the more I've been like, wow, I see it here. I see it here. I see it here. I see how I'm being gas lit how reality as being diminished and it's so stink and empowering to be aware of it and be able to act out of choice in the moment for my highest. Good. Okay. So first example, I'm gonna do societal gas lighting. Here's one example for women out there, but you can certainly use this for other types of things. Especially with racism. Women have been told that we're equal that we have equal rights. We have the right to vote. We have all these other rights. Like why are we complaining? Like things are fair. Look at the law. You have nothing to complain about. It's all your own or problem. If things aren't working for you. So they're denying the facts. The facts are that women get paid less than men. Men are constantly being sexist or they have, uh, certain types of, um, unconscious discrimination they use against women in the workplace where they are more likely to promote other over women. There are so many factual studies that show this sort of discrimination and, and across the board in different workplaces and same thing with racism, same thing with people, discriminating against people for dis uh, disabilities, or even because of someone's weight, right? What they look like. And people like to use as a defense that, well, the law say, you know, the law say, everything's fine. Like there's nothing like what are you complaining about? It's all your own problem. There must be something wrong with you. Except you look at the facts and you're like, huh? The facts don't completely match up here. And so what someone is doing is they're, they are basically denying reality and then believe aiming the person who is being discriminated against. This is an example of how society gaslights people. I'm gonna give you two examples of one on one gaslighting. The first one is a one between a parent and a child. It's really common for parents to occasionally Gaslight their kids. And I just wanna say, you know, we probably all have been on either side of gaslighting in our life. We probably all have Gaslight other people and we've all been gas. It ourselves. The way I Def define someone who is gaslighting somebody else. And some people have different names for this. You know, I might call them a controller or a manipulator. I think that's a really fair title for them. Some people would call them predators. I think in some instances, these people are that are gaslighting all the time, but often a lot of gaslighting I see is just people grasping for control cuz they don't feel safe. And they use a lot of manipulation tactics. And often I believe it's unconscious. It can be a, a family pattern that's been passed along. It can be a societal cultural pattern. I think we see this with what I would call corporate, maybe greed.<laugh> where we, we read these stories. We're like, how is it that some people at Walmart are on food stamps and these other people way at the top have more money than anyone could ever use in their life. If like we look at that and say, how is that even possible? How like that doesn't make any sense. I feel like I'm being gas lit just like that. Story's confusing to me. When you tell me there's the American dream and anyone can make it. And you know, life is fair when I hear those principles. And then I see this stuff happening where some people are barely surviving, barely can eat and other people have so much money. They could just like burn giant stacks of it. And it wouldn't matter to them. That to me is cultural gas lighting. But let me first explain to you what I would would call what, what really like what someone is, who gas lights, why they Gaslight. I see the gas light, the person doing gas, lighting to someone else didn't denying someone's facts, right? Denying the environment around somebody denying someone else's own feelings as someone who's just trying to get their needs met through manipulation or control of someone else. They seek to destabilize and dissenter the other person in order to control them for their own use. And an important caveat about this is that the person being used, the person that this Gaslight is looking to destabilize will call'em like the gas Lighty<laugh> maybe, or, or just some people would call them the prey. That feels very victim to me. But I would just say the unconscious person, the person who's unconsciously, not even is happening, cuz I think that's what happens in a lot of this gas lighting that you wake up one day and you're like, oh my gosh, like I was being gas lit for like years potentially. But that the person being gas lit the unconscious individual being gas lit, they are typically harmed by this sort of behavior. They're emotionally harmed. They can be financially harmed and in some cases, even physically harmed. And so that's how I would distinguish the gas to someone who's doing the gas lighting to somebody else they're looking to get a need met. And sometimes it's conscious like it it's it's predatory, right? It's done on purpose. But often I really believe it's done unconsciously by the even, even by the person doing the gas, lighting to the O other unconscious person, the person doing the gas, lighting the person, manipulating the person control.<affirmative> I really believe that most of the time that person's just acting from their own family, um, abuse patterns or their own patterns in life that they have been taught. This is how you get needs met. And that they're just going around trying to get their needs met. I mean, aren't we all in a lot of ways, but you know, it's no, and this is a, it meant to shame people, but you know, the way to get your needs met is to ask somebody else, if they would be willing to meet your needs in integrity and honesty, not trying to control or manipulate them by denying reality and denying their feelings. So you make that person feel like they're going crazy or you destabilize them or dissenter them. And so all of a sudden, you know, they, they lose trust in themselves and they start to feel like you are the authority. Like you are the per the person who's gaslighting is the authority, the manipulator, the predators, the authority, that's their whole job. When they're doing this, they wanna be seen as the authority. So the person they need to stabilize will come to them and seek advice, come to that person, the manipulator and meet that manipulator needs because that person who's been gas lit is, feels off center. And they think this other person has the answer. The whole term gas lighting came about because of a movie in like the thirties or forties. And the movie was like one of those old, black and white movies where the husband is trying to make the wife go crazy. And I think he wants her to, to basically think she's insane so she can be locked up and he can then have access to some money or Jules or something like that. And he does things like ha like move pictures around on a wall and then claim they weren't when she's like, did that picture move? And he's like, no. And then he's like, are you okay? Are you, are you sane? Or like things like leaving lights on when they were supposed to be off. And then she's like, well, I thought they were on. And then he's like, are you crazy? Like, things like that, right? Clearly denying somebody else's reality denying POS like definitely possible facts here. And, and then saying, you know, are you crazy? Are you okay? Do you need help? The person who might be gaslighting you or any gaslighting you might be experiencing the person doing that just really wants you to question your own reality and for you to put authority and trust in them. So they can manipulate you into getting what they want. And this sort of training. The reason why humans are susceptible to this stuff is it's baked into a lot of culture already. Just our whole dynamics with our parents, our dynamics in the school system here in the United States is very much, this there's an expert. There's a teacher, there's your, and they know best. They are the authority. And you're supposed to follow that there are rules and you learn a lot of this stuff, um, between birth and age seven, which is when a lot of this, this like relationship subconscious dynamics, uh, get embedded in your brain. So when someone shows up and they basically are like, you're crazy, or you're off, and I know better than you. And, and you're like, oh, this feels a, you know, you might recognize this feels a little weird. A lot of my clients I talked to later on after they've been gas lit after they've been in experience like this, they usually say like, I felt like something was off and we're gonna come back to that. Cuz that is one of the major antidotes. One of the major things you can do in order to start optimism happening from you is trusting your own gut, trusting your own feelings and just trusting that you freaking know what's best for you. Okay? But we'll come back to that. But because a lot of stuff in society as it is, is really this hierarchy of power and this society and this culture, it's pretty easy. It can be pretty easy to fall prey to these sorts of tactics as an adult because you're almost operating from an unconscious system. But I do wanna say like, don't feel like you're gonna be a victim to this. You guys, the more you come aware of this stuff. And the more that you always seek your own guidance and learn how to know like, and trust yourself, especially trust yourself and trust your own intuition and trust your own gut and follow that stuff. The less and less this stuff is gonna happen to you almost to the extent that I would like to think that I never have situations where I get gas lit anymore, at least on a one on one level or with myself now, societal gaslighting. That's a whole bigger thing that I'm still working for through. And we'll go into that more on that specific podcast, but some examples of one-on-one pod, um, one-on-one gas lighting might be between a parent and a child. I remember distinctly knowing, having a felt sense of my body, that a lot of the stuff I was learning in school was just BS it. There was something that felt off about the entire system and my parents being like, oh, well you don't have a choice and it will be better. And don't worry. And what my parents were doing to me in that moment where they were telling they were telling me, they're denying my own feelings in that moment. And they were denying what I believe to be pretty clear facts about the education system, about how there are a lot of things we learn in it that aren't very helpful. And there's a lot of things that I think we should be taught, right? They weren't willing to even sit there and question the system with me. They were just in comply with it and they told me, oh, don't worry, it'll be fine. Right? Put on a smile. We don't want you to worry, worry us. Right. They're trying to control me so they can get what they need, which was probably peace and quiet<laugh> and I don't know if I can blame them, right. It, it's hard to, you know, it's hard to be upset. This is probably the way their parents treated them. It was conscious. And again, this stuff happens all the time in the parent dynamics where parents sometimes are just looking to get five minutes to themselves or peace of mind. And this is not meant to like guilt everyone on this podcast. Who's a parent into like being like super parent. Okay. There's actually a really easy antidote to this where you, you know, know for the parent and I'm gonna share it in the next podcast for the one on one stuff that they can do to talk to their kids, which isn't denying their facts. That actually takes just as long as denying their kids.<laugh>. So it doesn't mean that it's more work. It's just, it's different than probably the, the system that you've been trained on. It's different than what you've learned in your unconscious, the way your parents treated you. So it can be a little uncomfortable at first, cuz you have to be aware of it to break the pattern, but it's a game changer and you'll be empowering your kids and empowering yourself. Another type of one on one, um, gaslighting that has occurred to me has been when people have told me I'm too sensitive or too loud, or just anything, especially bosses at work and or, and, or like a significant other like a partner. I had a boyfriend a long time ago that did some gas lighting to me. Of course. I didn't know it. Right. This was like, gosh, 20 years ago. Y'all but he would say I'm like too emotional<laugh> and I believed, because I think there's a story in culture already that women are too emotional and that that's a bad thing. Right? So I was like, oh, teach me how to be better basically. I mean, I didn't say that, but that was what my energy was saying. And he was like, manipulating me by denying my own feelings. Makes me so mad.<laugh> anyway. Now I, I know, you know, and I'm actually not gonna go into how to work around that. I will go into how to solve these one on one types of gaslighting in the next podcast. So if you have any sort of dynamics like this in your life, please listen for next weeks. Okay? Cuz I have to get started on how to deal with how we Gaslight ourselves. This is super important and this will absolutely be something that's gonna change your life. If you start to follow these practices, this is one of the key ingredients to becoming more confident, to becoming more empowered is to not Gaslight ourselves, to not deny our own facts, the environment we're in and our own feelings. I'm gonna give you some examples right now of how you might be doing this. Especially for women out there. Women love to deny that they're angry. They're like, woo, no, I'm not angry. I don't get angry. I don't really ever get that angry. If I'm angry, I'm only allowed to be angry for like a little bit. And then I have to be like naive and like forgive and all this other stuff. And you guys, you can't push anger down. Anger is a portal. You have to walk through it. In my opinion. And to me, anger is very much that fight energy and fight flight or freeze. And so anger is like the portal to freedom because freeze, you're stuck fight. You're running away. I mean a flight you're running away, but fight means that you have the ability and the strength enough to stay in fight. A lot of times as women we're gonna be going into freeze or flight because we're smaller than other people who are attacking us or we're children when this is happening to us. So we don't have the physical or mental capabilities to fight back. Anger is the fight energy. And I always know when I'm healing from any sort of trauma or a place where I was a victim, where I wanna move into empowerment or a place where I'm unconfident into competence. I have to go through anger. That is like, I have to move from freeze to, to move through my flight energy. And then I have to move through my fight energy, which is anger and denying that I'm angry is always just gonna be having me push back down to flight and it's gonna keep me stuck in old patterns. We have to move through the anger in a way that's safe for us and safe for everybody else. Got lots of great tools. If you're interested in learning more about working through your own anger, I book a free consult call with me. I have them right now for a few months, I'm gonna be just doing a bunch of free consult calls and then connecting with people. So if you're interested in that, you can book it under my website or under my IG account. Anyway, anger is a top one and eventually the anger will end, but you can't end it too quick. You can't control the anger. It will end when it wants to end some other ways. You might be gaslighting yourself, imposter. Syndrome's a big one, thinking your talents. Aren't real right? You're denying the facts. Look at your resume. Look at your skills. Look how amazing you are. Other people say it to all the time. You know how many times is someone is someone giving you a compliment? And you've been like, oh, that's not true. Stop it. It is true.<laugh> I always tell people to say, and it's all true. After someone gives you a compliment, right? Stop gaslighting, the situation, stop gaslighting yourself. Another thing. Um, another way you might be gaslighting yourself is shoulding yourself, telling yourself you shouldn't feel this way, or you should be like this again. You're done denying where you are right now. And you're typically denying your own feelings. Y'all know that shoulding yourself is not something you should be doing.<laugh> oh, I love how that was in there. It's not kind, it's not compassionate to yourself. Okay. How about excusing others, bad behavior and blaming yourself. Who's done that here. Who's been like, well I did this or I did that and they didn't really mean to do that. Right? And then they go back and do the same thing again. Now I'm not saying that you don't have some responsibility in co-creating some of the things in your life cuz you absolutely do. And maybe you did have some something, some of this, but here's how we deal with that. We like accept a responsibility for what we did. And we have a boundary around where we end and the other person begins. They have responsibility to, okay. It's not all on you. And every time that we do things like that, we're distorting reality. We're taking on too much of an emotional burden and the bad behavior is typically just gonna repeat itself. Another really popular one. I've seen a lot of women do, but men do too. Is people pleasing. This is where we're getting out of reality with who we are, right. Literally our own feelings. We're denying who we are as a person, uh, in order to try to please somebody else. And it just, it might feel good for a little bit, but it's gonna get you out of that. No like trust factor with yourself. And if you missed my podcast on those, those came out a few weeks ago, go back and go back and listen to those. Y'all it's those it's so powerful. It's it's the key. The three key ingredients to feel and confident to knowing yourself is no like and trust and people who are stuck in people pleasing, you are Gaslight your reality. You're Gaslight yourself. You're saying that the way you feel, you can't feel that way. Cuz you have to feel this other way to make somebody else happy, right? It's not gonna feel very good when you're denying your own reality. You're gonna get what I call lost in a house of mirrors. You're gonna lose your grounding or your sense of intuition. And your intuition is so important. It's your in your knowing. It's the way that you were going to be able to know or sniff out. So to speak when controllers and manipulate are trying to Gaslight you. And so you gotta learn how to turn up the volume on your intuition for yourself. And the only way you could do that is by stopping stop, denying your reality, stop, denying how you're feeling. Stop, denying that you're a brilliant person that you're amazing. Stop denying that you have tons of emotions and the that's okay. Emotions are amazing. Stop denying that you don't like cheese or whatever it is that you're people pleasing about or that you don't like that music or that you don't wanna go to that restaurant tonight or that you don't wanna go to France or whatever it is that you're people pleasing on or that you don't wanna go to your parents' house for Christmas Eve or whatever it is guys. Okay? Every time you deny your own feelings inside, every time you do that, you are getting out of trust with yourself. You're not getting your own back and you're gonna be losing some of that grounding. That's so important to having the confidence in life that I know we all want that, you know, eternal ever flowing, amazing confidence where we really know ourselves. We really like ourselves. We really trust ourselves. So I hope that you guys were able to identify in there. Some of the things that you might be to and the antidotes to this, the antidotes to learning how to not Castlight yourself anymore is to start believing yourself. Come back to yourself, come back to how you feel in this moment. Slow the F down people when you're stuck in hurry sickness. Or, and if you don't know what that is, listen to my hurry sickness podcast. I think it's like episode 23 or 24, but slow down. Get in touch with how you feel in this moment. Get in touch with what you like in this moment. What do you trust in this moment? And we start to build micro trusts practices. I do this with my clients, but we start small with the nervous system because often when we've been Gaslight ourselves for so long, we don't really trust ourselves. We're like, Ooh, I don't know if you can handle that, right? This is one of the reasons why we don't make big changes in our life or we're not living our dreams or pursuing all our passions is because there's an internal distrust that we can actually follow through with things or why we quit our, you know, new year<affirmative> new year's goal or whatever we have going on. Why we quit any of the things that we really, we really think we desire in our life. We, we don't have the internal trust with ourselves to follow through and we lose this trust by deny by gaslighting yourselves over the years. So don't blame yourself if you're doing this a hundred percent of everyone I know does a few of these things a hundred percent. So it's, I, I think like this is like, you know, just a huge, a huge opportunity for everybody to get more empowered is becoming aware of how we Gaslight ourselves coming aware of what particular things you Gaslight yourself on and getting to just have a lot of compassion and kindness for yourself for doing it right? It's no problem. Really. It is no problem. When you become aware of it is when you take all your power back and you have a choice about how you wanna act differently. How do you want to honor your feelings? How do you wanna say it's okay to be angry. I'm not gonna do those things I don't wanna do anymore. I feel in my body, I don't wanna do it. We wanna come back to our bodies and really get in touch with how they're feeling and what they wanna be doing. My meditation teacher years ago used to call this process like really coming into yourself into your own home and closing all the doors and closing all the windows. Right? And if someone comes to the door and knocks, you can invite them in if you want to, but just continuing to have really good boundaries and knowing what you like in your house. Do you like the walls? Pink? Do you like them green? Do you like to have plants in your house? What kind of food do you keep in your house? Right? The house being the inside of you, who you are,

Speaker 2:

Get to really know yourself and don't leave your doors open for anyone to come in. Don't leave your windows open for any new idea to breathe in. Okay. And get you confused about your feelings or your thoughts or what environment you live in. Get to know your environment, get to know your own feelings. They are your best friend. They are here to help and guide you. So I hope this was so helpful on helping you understand gas lighting. I know this is kind of a long episode because I went into just the general overarching gas lighting, but the next episode would be a little shorter. So please come back next week to learn one on one gas lighting and how to overcome it. And the last one of course will be on that societal gas lighting. It's gonna be so juicy. So mind expanding so powerful and is really gonna help out level your confidence. And as always, if you are in a situation where you're being emotionally abused, or you are experiencing any trauma in your life or any sort of emotional distress, please reach out to a professional therapist or a psychologist, reach out and get help. There are so many people who are here to help you. And so please, please, please go get help today. There's no reason for you to be stuck in a situation that it's unhealthy for you. You're an amazing person. You are loved and cared for and you are worth having the amazing life you desire. So please go get help today. If you're in any sort of situation like that. And as always too, please don't judge yourself about any of this. Please don't be in judgment. Please. Don't shame your, if you notice you have any of these habits going on internally within yourself, always come back to love and compassion. These things we were, I don't think we're designed as human beings to live like this. I don't think like this is part of our DNA. It's a societal cultural thing that gets passed on from generation to generation. So it's not your fault. The there's nothing wrong with you and becoming aware of it is what's gonna help shift at all, but aware of it with loving kindness. Okay. I'll finally let you guys go. Big hugs, have a great week and I'll talk to y'all next week. Bye.