The Wildly Confident Podcast

Ep. 44: Gaslighting 102 - The Ties that Bind

May 18, 2022 Kathrine Weissner Season 2 Episode 44
The Wildly Confident Podcast
Ep. 44: Gaslighting 102 - The Ties that Bind
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:

  • How & why others gaslight people and how to avoid being a target. 
  • How to re-parent yourself so you can identify "predators" (the wolf way).
  • Why people gaslight others. 

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, welcome back. So excited you're here today. I am gonna be talking about the second part of a three part series I'm doing on gas lighting. If you missed last week's episode on how we Gaslight ourselves, please go back and listen to it. After this podcast this week, we're gonna be talking about how to when, when we are in relationships with other people who are gaslighting us, or like one on one gaslighting dynamics, and then next week, I'm gonna be talking about the gaslighting that society and culture can do to us. And all of this is a practice and awareness. And the sooner you become aware of something, the sewer sooner, you can take your power back and you can start making choices about how you want to be, who you want to be, what you want to believe. And people will no longer be able to Gaslight you. I call it being like vaccinated against.<laugh> like, you know, wouldn't it be great if you were like permanently vaccinated against like narcissists predators who never had to worry about them again. That is how I feel about the work I do with women, both on the, the three elixers of confidence on the no like trust factor. And also with this Gaslight lighting work. So without further ado, I'm gonna just run through the definition of gas lighting one more time, cuz I just, I really think repetition is important. So even if you heard it in the last podcast, I want you to think about it in the context of one, two people, you and somebody else, maybe it's like you and a parent, you and a partner, you and a boss, you and, and a friend, whatever it is. I want you to think about it in that context. Okay? Because that's what this podcast is about is relationships and gaslighting. The phrase gaslighting refers to the act of undermining another person's reality by denying facts, the environment around them or their feelings targets of gaslighting are manipulated and turning against their cognition, their emotions and who they fundamentally are as people. And I also talked about in the last episode, the people who I believe do this gaslighting, right? The ones who undermine maybe your reality by denying your facts D denying just the factual environment around them or even their feelings, someone else's feelings. So if you're feeling sad, they're like, you're not sad. You know, be happy, right? There's something wrong with being sad. Those people are just always trying to get their needs met through manipulation or control and they seek to destabilize or Denter the other person so they can control them for their own use. I E to get their needs met. And this ends with the other person being hurt. It's a hurtful thing to do to Gaslight somebody it's not nice to control or manipulate somebody. There are other ways to get your needs met. For example, you could just ask to have your needs met. You could say, could you do this for me? And then the other person can always have a choice and say, no, we don't have to control or manipulate them. And it doesn't mean that we have to turn people that Gaslight or manipulate or control others into the boogeyman. Those people typically are doing it unconsciously. Now, some people, I think you're doing it consciously. And maybe those people I'd call predators. But for the most part, people are just unconsciously acting out of family patterns or societal pattern that they don't even recognize themselves. This is how they were taught to meet needs in their family. Like they were highly manipulated as a child and they just believe this is how the world operates. It is just one of the manifestations that we have in our world. And one, I certainly would like to see decreased. And that's why I'm so grateful. This word gaslighting has come to the surface in the last really for me in the last like six or seven years, I didn't even know what it was prior to then. And I'm so grateful. I think it it's had a giant, like just burst in culture. I, I bet you didn't even know what the word was. Maybe even five years ago and I'm, I bet you do now. Right? People talk about it all the time. It's like I awakening of sorts. We're all awakening to this idea that maybe we're being gas lit. Maybe someone's gaslighting us trying to control and manipulate us. And that control and manipulation is done by destabilizing us by denying our reality, by denying our experience by denying who we are right. Saying don't be like that. Don't be like that. I, if you're like that, that's not meeting my needs. I need you to be like this. So without further ado, let's talk about some examples of one on one gaslighting that you might have experienced that you might have even been the one controlling or manipulating. I know that I have been on both sides of the fence here and again, becoming aware of it. Not only protects from not being Gaslight yourself, but it also stops you from causing any more harm or damage to anyone else, unconsciously. Yes. Right? We all want that. We all want this world to be a better place. And I'll give you some examples between parents and children, because we've all had a parent in our life. We know what that, that experience is like to have someone older than us taking care of us. And we were children. So maybe you can resonate with this and for you parents out there, you know, maybe you resonate with being on the other side of gaslighting your kids. So an example of this would be if your kid is hurt, okay, let's say they, they trip in fall. And often I see this all the time when we're out of playgrounds and stuff, but, and I was even guilty of doing it until I learned better, really through nonviolent communication parenting that I was involved in and compassionate com um, communication work I got involved with years ago. But part of that, you know, my kid would fall and I would be like, oh, you're fine. You know, they'd be crying. I'd be like, it's okay, you're fine. Get back up. Like, and there they are crying, you know? And I'm like, oh, just brush it off. And in this moment I'm denying their emotions. I'm telling them to change their emotions. I'm telling'em just to be happy. I'm telling'em, it's all gonna be okay. Instead of sitting with them in their moment, in that moment and being with them in their reality and it making a connection with them, an attachment, right? Attachment parenting, secure parenting is all about connection and attachment. And we always make, we make it connection. First, always, always, always with our kids. That's the first place we go. Even if we need to redirect them, we always do a connection first. And so in the, in these moments, like what, what was really happening was I had a need to not like the pain that my child was going to through. Didn't feel very good to me. And I need for them just to be happy<laugh> and to feel good. Cuz that made me feel good. And it was certainly what I grew up with. My parents brushed off my emotions all the time. And what that teaches kids, is it, it teaches them not to trust their own feelings that it's not okay to be upset that it's not okay to be sad. I know that's certainly what it, it taught me and why it was so hard, you know, as an adult, sometimes when I was dealing with a lot of emotions, like there was shame around it or irritation. I was like, why can't I just be happy? You know, what's wrong with me? A lot of my, not a lot, but some of my clients come to me and they just like, their goal is to be happy. They just wanna be, be happy. It's like, they're still telling that old story that they heard when they fell down the playground just it's okay. Just smile. It's okay. Just be happy. Just except life is not about being happy. You can't be happy all the time. Fact, if you were happy all the time, you would be bored as<laugh>. I don't think that's what living a good life is for at all. I don't think we're meant to be happy all the time. How boring would that be? I'm not trying to say that feeling happy. Doesn't feel good. I don't wanna diminish it, but it's the contrast of emotions. If you were never sad, you would never really know the joy of feeling happy. If you felt happy all the time, it would get boring. It would be all the same. There would be no contrast. So the antidote to this, when you're dealing with your kids or if you've ever been on the receiving side of this, right. And you you're a child, you know, much like me who was told this stuff growing up like, oh, it's fine. Don't worry. You're okay. Get back up, stop crying. Any of that stuff. Like I know I heard those things as a kid, but the antidote to doing this differently, to breaking that cycle that, you know, I'm sure my parents were treated that way. They might have even been treated worse. I often think that's like the situation. Like we're always like upleveling with every generation. And like my, my, maybe, you know, she was treated mu my mother was treated or my father were treated way worse by their parents. So they think this is an improvement. So let me tell you what I believe to be the antidote to all of this. Like what I'm believing is the final improvement. So we, we can just be with the moment, right. Heal that attachment is we acknowledge their experience that they're going through as an adult. I even like to say that I'm an adult because there's so much, um, I like to use that phrase. I'm an adult because there is so much hierarchical culture around us and society that there's always like people who are experts or teachers or that sort of stuff or ball. And so it's already just like really baked into society. So I almost like to say that to my kids, like I'm an adult and I believe you sounds like you're in pain. Tell me more about it. Right. I wanna always wanna acknowledge their experience and I want to believe them. I don't wanna Gaslight them. I don't wanna tell'em it's not happening to them. And this is how they should. I want them to know that I believe them. And sometimes even with my kids, they're having an experience that I don't agree with, but it doesn't mean that I don't believe that's not like that. They're not having that experience. Does that make sense that I can acknowledge them having an experience and I can respect them and I can have boundaries, right? I don't need them to be happy for me to be happy. Now, granted as their mother, they're like my, you know, my little love bugs. And I just, obviously I want them to have a life full of like passion and contrast and joy. I don't actually want them to be happy all the time, but I do also want them to be, I don't want them hurt. Right? I don't wish them being hurt, but more than I don't wish them being hurt is I wish that they trust themselves. I wish that they knew their would learn to know their own feelings and use their own feelings as guide guidance. I wish upon them. They have a like learn a may easing amazing intuition. Oh my gosh. I wish these things above them being happy because that's the stuff that will help them navigate anything that comes up in life. If you can trust your own feelings, trust your own intuition, know that you, your reality is honored and respected and you don't have to change your reality to make yells happy. You can freaking do like almost anything. These are my beliefs, but I wanna give my kids that gift, not the gift of them pretending to be happy<laugh> which is a lot of the gift I got from my parents and my parents. You know, my mom's freaking the best mom in the world. Like she's amazing. And, and so all of this was very unconscious and the good news is as adults, we can always change. You know, I was able to notice that there was nothing wrong with my feelings. I didn't have to feel bad if I was sad. If I scraped and fell my knee and hurt my knee, I didn't have to suddenly get happy. I was able to sit with my uncomfortable emotions. I was able to sit with discomfort and that has made all the difference. Learning that skill is what helps me do really freaking hard things that people, a lot of people are afraid to do. It's because I got to know myself it's cuz I got to trust my own emotions and I stopped gaslighting myself. So if you haven't listened to the lot, last episode, go listen to it. And I stopped letting other people, gas, light myself. But one way I, this is just a great strategy to use. Um, with anybody. Anytime you might notice yourself trying to control and manipulate someone so you can feel better. We always just want to take a step back, take a deep breath and think about how you can acknowledge that person's experience. And you can acknowledge yours. You can acknowledge both. This is what good boundaries are about. This is how we don't enmesh ourselves with each other. When we teach our kids good boundaries, they grew up to be adults that don't get enmeshed and getting co-dependent relationships because they were raised with good boundaries is they're not gonna be, you know, subject to people, gaslighting them because they're gonna be like, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. I know my reality's solid. I'm allowed to have my feelings.<laugh> don't tell me what to do.<laugh> like, you can have your feelings. Okay. I get it. You might not like something about me and you can have that experience, but I'm a lovable person. There's nothing wrong with me. And that's why this is such a gift to give to your kids. And it's a gift to give yourselves as an adult. If you're hearing this, if you have things like in your inner child that you wanna heal, if you have even experiences now where you're doubting yourself, where you're like, Hmm, I don't know if I can trust that or why am I so emotional? I just come back to this reparent yourself. You know, be like, I'm an adult<laugh> and I see that I'm having emotions and that's okay. In fact, it's fricking amazing. You can even leaving get to the point where you're celebrating it, but reparent yourself here too.<affirmative> just, you know, and, and you could even do this with a friend that you trust or a family men or member, but just having someone or even yourself acknowledge that it's okay to be where exactly where you are and you don't have to be anywhere else to make anyone else happy is going to provide so much empowerment in your life. And I wanna also say that, I think this is really, really important as kids get older, because I think a lot of parents they're like, you know, especially teenagers or college kids, like they're moving out into the world and they're starting to see the reality of the world, the reality of culture, you know, when they're a kid, you try to shield them for mall, the bad things, quote unquote in the world. Um, but they find out about them and this is very like eventually, and it's very confusing to them. Sometimes as teenagers and young adults, they're like, whoa, mom and dad have been gaslighting me.<laugh> they've been saying like, things are like lollipops and sunshine. And now I'm noticing there's all these horrible things happening. Right. And I, and parents often like kind of freeze up at this point when their kids like come to them. And they're like, this world like global, warmings one of the, those things that like kids, you know, are really upset about. And parents are like, not the parents that are upset about it, but like they haven't talked to their kids about it typically before. And I'm not trying to say like, introduce your kids to big topics before they're ready. I'm not saying that at all. Okay. Don't go telling your kids about like traumatic things when they're, when there's no reason for them to hear about it. But if they happen to learn about something like Theyre doing a project at school on global warming, I think it's really important to sit with them and hear their experience with it and acknowledge it and not to Gaslight them on it. And even to take responsibility for where, how you are part of the problem, how you haven't been doing everything that you can be doing in it, and you could be doing better. So often I think people deny other people's experiences because they have so much shame around their own, how they've been acting in that experience. And that just causes more confusion in the person. Who's like, wait a moment. But I, I see all this evidence and you're just like, not even gonna have a conversation with, with me about it or you're going to disengage or avoid talking about it. And I think it's really important to this is how we teach our kids about having personal responsibility and acknowledging even where we contribute. Right? We're all contributing to this manifestation. We live here on earth. So take personal responsibility for what's yours with your kid too. And don't dismiss their feelings. Be like, Hey, I see this is important to you. I'm an adult. And I hear that you have a lot of feelings about this and I understand let's talk about it, right? Just be open to it. We don't need to control or manipulate our children because we feel guilty about how we've contributed to global warming or whatever the issue is that your child is becoming awakened to reality from the slumber of their childhood, from the slumber of their dreams. And don't get stuck in your own guilt or shame if you can try, try not to. Okay. And some other examples of, of one on one gas lighting that you might resonate with, has to do with, uh, the concept of someone just telling you that you're a certain way. Like I'm gonna use the term too emotional because I think a lot of women hear this or too sensitive. That's another one. And I think it's important because I think there's a cultural gas lighting on. It starts out with a cultural belief in this particular case that women are overly emotional. That emotions are wild, reckless. They're not good things, right. There's already kind of like, not that I agree with this stuff, but there's like a, maybe like an overall consensus in the cultural manifestation. We live in that. A lot of people believe that. And so what ends up happening sometimes in these one on one relationships is the person looking to control or manipulate. Another person will use those thoughts, those beliefs, that you're being too emotional, that you're being too sensitive. They'll use it against somebody else to try to, to control or manipulate them and to getting their, the other person's needs met. The Gaslight needs met. And because there's already a wound here from culture that is probably inflicts the person, right? That's why they succumb to this gas lighting. They believe it. Instead of just trusting that it's normal to have emotions, emotions, and feel are we're designed to have them.<laugh> they're like, what are the greatest gifts that we have? But yet culture has, has used this as, as a tool. And it's not just a tool. It's also a tool against men cuz men are being told, like don't have too many emotions. That's bad. Right? It's a controlled tool for them too, cuz it, it, it shuts them off from being able to have emotions. It's of just being like, emotions are fine. You're having this emotional experience and I can see that's happening to you. We don't deny someone else's experience. We don't tell them that that's wrong to have that that's bad to have that I used to have. And maybe you have like a boyfriend or a friend or your parents did this or a boss. A, but I used to have, um, a hypothetical boss many years ago.<laugh> that used to say this to me quite often that I was being too emotional or overly sensitive or I could just calm down or I was bringing drama. Then he liked to call it drama. And for me, I, I am, I've always been a person who's had emotions and feelings and I see them as one of my greatest resources now. But back then, you know, it was something I couldn't help or control or maybe I just didn't want to, but, and it wasn't like I was lashing out and yelling at people or doing things like that. But if something upsetting happened, you know, I might get be sad about it. If something, someone crossed a boundary with me, I might be angry about it. Anyway, this whole thing was starting to get to me. Like I heard about it from society and culture. And then this person, who's my boss that had power over me, kept saying this to me. And I was like, starting to shame myself for my own emotions. This was such a sad time to look back on, on my life and really getting in my own head about how I wasn't being professional enough. And I remember, I mean, thank God for this hypothetical person that came to me. There was a consultant that was hired one year to, um, I don't know, do like some, an assessment of the company. And I remember she was helping this person and I try to get along more. And she came to me one day and she closed my office door.<laugh> I mean, it's just like, things like this, but it just goes to show you how screwed up things are. But she closed, she closed the door and she said, you know, you know, don't, if you ever repeat this again, I'll deny it<laugh> cause she had been hired by this person to do a lot of work and was getting paid a lot of money. Right. And, and uh, for this job and, and this person certainly didn't wanna hear probably any critiques about them. And you know, she, she told me that this person had the lowest emotional intelligence of anyone she'd ever worked with. And basically like I was never, this was never gonna be a good situation and that I should just basically quit. And if I was expecting to get any sort of at all, like connection with this person, like I was, that was never gonna happen. And I, I remember just like being so grateful that someone gas like me anymore, that I was like, oh yeah, maybe I have emotions. There's nothing wrong with having emotions. Right. But that I had put this person on some sort of pedestal, like they were like, they knew better or some like that. They did not. And this person was like, they don't. But at the same time, I mean the person who me was like, you know, this did never had this conversation with you. So anyway, and this is all in some like hypothetical fair land story where I used to work because I never want to, I'm not here to blame people or besmirch people or any of that stuff. Right. So we're just gonna pretend that I made up that whole story to give you guys an example of something like this happening to you, but how nice it is. Sometimes when people are, can come through and be like, you're not crazy. Like this is a weird situation. And so often we're not gonna get that validation from an outside person, but we can always get it from ourselves. And I wanna teach you some ways that you can get it from yourself. So you can protect yourself from people like this, that seek to destabilize you in order to have certain control or to get their needs met. But there's, and it talks a lot about some practices here that I talk to my kids about now that I've used on myself that have been incredibly healing around this. And it's from a book called, uh, women who run wolfs it's by Clarissa Pinkola ESS PhD. Amazing book can really only read like a chapter each month. So go slow. But she talks a lot in here about how women or does this culture do not teach people. Okay. Do not teach people about how to look out for pre editors and that in early trainings to be nice causes women to override their intuitions. In this sense, they're actually purposely taught to submit to the predator, imagine a Wolf mother teaching her young, to be nice in the face of an angry ferret or wild Diamondback rattler. So she talks in the book about how wolfs wolfs are in really all CRE creatures must learn that there are predators in this world. And I don't necessarily like the word predators all the time. I really don't think that the person and my hypothetical boss story before, like I don't think he was intentionally trying to be the way he is. I think there's just a lot of trauma and a lot of things going on there and he couldn't help himself. And there was a lot of empathy and sadness I have over that, all of that, you know, it's, it's just sad to think about how much trauma and damage there is in this world. And at the same time, I don't wanna be subject to it. That's stuff like I don't think yeah, you would have really good boundaries. Okay. Absolutely. But I think if you're around that kind of aura for long enough, some of it can seep in cuz there's a, it's also in culture and it can just be hard to hold your boundaries. So I always tell people, obviously follow your intuition, but if it doesn't feel good, right? Even if you have a good boundary there, if this person keeps prodding your boundary, you gotta leave. You guys gotta leave. That is just, that is my opinion. Don't stay like, leave with love. Be like this isn't working. I gotta do me. You do you. So yes, we need to remind ourselves that there are people out there that are willing to control and manipulate us to get their own needs met. It is just something that happens. And the sooner we come to reality with that, the sooner we can be on the look at, look out for it. And the thing that most often people tell me when they recognize this is happening is they can feel it in their intuition. They can feel it in their body. Something feels off. There's almost like an instinct to run much like an animal, right? An's out in the wild. It runs across a dangerous predator. What does it do? Right? Fight flight or freeze.<laugh> the same thing that you might have felt when you were around someone right before they started gaslighting you or were gaslighting you when you look back. Most of my clients who've been through experiences like this say I had a bad feeling or I knew, and I didn't listen to myself. So the practices in learning to listen to yourself. So one it's being aware that there are people out there that are looking to control and manipulate. They're not necessarily predators that might be unconscious. You know, people that hurt other people. And we just need to be aware that that dynamic exists in this world and the surest antidote, the surest antidote to not falling prey to that stuff is learning not to Gaslight yourself. When you believe your own thoughts and your own beliefs and you believe in yourself and you love yourself and you no like, and trust yourself, y'all it doesn't matter if someone comes to you and says, you're too emotional or you're too sensitive that no longer bothers me anymore. It holds no sway. I'm like, okay, I can even say to them, that's your opinion. Those are your thoughts. You can have them. And I disagree, right? I'm not like denying their reality. Right? I, they can have their reality and I respect their reality. And at the same time I disagree and I disagree to the extent that I don't wanna be around people that believe that about me because it feels icky. It just feels icky in my body. And why would they wanna be around me too? They're just seeking to control me right? When someone's seeking to control you so often it drives them crazy until they can control you. So they're gonna try a lot of different methods to figure out how to control you. So that one didn't work. And they're gonna try another one and another one. They're just gonna keep testing to see where they can get in. That's why I always say like, when you have that feeling like cut and run, right? What would a Wolf do out in nature? Cut and run. Anyway, I'm gonna read this excerpt from this book, but you might, you might well wonder if all this could be avoided, right? If all of this gas lighting could be avoided. And as in the animal world, a young girl learns to see the pet editor via her mother and father's teaching without parents loving guidance. She will certainly be prey early on like Wolf pups. Women need a similar initiation. One which teaches them that the inner and outer worlds are not always happy. Go lucky places. Many women do not even have the base teachings about predators. That a Wolf mother gives her PS such as if it's threatening and bigger than you flee. If it's weaker, see what you want to do. If it's sick, leave it alone. If it is quills, poison, fangs, or razor claws back up and go in the other direction. If it smells nice, but is wrapped around metal jaws walk on by woo. So powerful. So powerful antidote always, always is getting awareness awareness around that these predators, these people exist in this world. These dynamics exist and you can decide what you wanna do about it. And when you trust yourself, when you know yourself, when you like yourself, when you're not gaslighting yourself, you're gonna be just fine. You're gonna know exactly what to do. Your intuition is gonna guide you. And you're gonna be like, I feel weird about that. I'm not gonna, I'm not into it. You don't owe the other person explanation either, right? You can just say this isn't gonna work for me. And it can be as simple as that. And I just wanna remind everyone that if you are currently in an emotionally abusive relationship and you need help getting out, you need support. There are a number of domestic emotional abuse, uh, support health outlines. You can call and please seek out help from a therapist, a safe house. There are so many resources out there where people who wanna help you. And this is a very serious thing. This podcast I created

Speaker 2:

Was really more for reflection for people to reflect back on and to protect themselves from ever ending up in a situation like this. But if you are in one currently, please, please, please go get professional help as soon as possible. Okay. Everyone, I hope you have a good week and I will see you next week.