The Wildly Confident Podcast

Ep. 45: Gaslighting 103 - The Matrix

May 25, 2022 Kathrine Weissner Season 2 Episode 45
The Wildly Confident Podcast
Ep. 45: Gaslighting 103 - The Matrix
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 society often targets & Gaslights minorities or marginalized people
  • How you might have been gaslit around your "weight" or "health"
  • How to take your power back from societal gaslighting

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:

Hello. Hello. Welcome back to my third episode on gas lighting. Super excited that you've made it this far. If you miss my last two episodes, go back and listen. The first one was on how we can Gaslight ourselves. The second one was on one, on one gas lighting, and this one is on or cultural gaslighting. It's like communal gaslighting. It's actually the source of a lot of the beliefs and thoughts on why we're susceptible to one-on-one gaslighting or why we Gaslight ourselves. Um, as well, a lot of them come from culture. They come from society. And so this is super important to hear about cuz some of these, you might not have realized we're actually making you some of these beliefs are actually pretty disempowering and they're all part of, uh, gaslighting of, of reality, gaslighting of a reality of the way the world is in order to control or manipulate society at large. And I really wanna stress this. I said the us at the end of my last episode, but if you are currently in an emotionally abusive relationship, please know there are plenty of places to go get help. Please go get professional help. You can listen to this podcast if you want to and use your own guidance on what to do for yourself. But if you believe you are an emotionally abusive relationship, please, please, please get, go, get help from a therapist. Go get help from a safe house call, you know, do what you can to protect yourself. Okay? Listening to this podcast is not enough<laugh> you need to go get help and take care of yourself. Okay? So let's have fun with the societal gas lighting. I app absolutely love, loved love, loved researching this topic. It was super fun for me first. I wanna just share with you again, my definition of the definition of gaslighting I've been using gaslighting refers to the act of undermining another person's reality by denying facts, the environment, or around them or their feelings targets of gas. Lighting are manipulated into turning again against their cognition, their emotions and who they fundamentally are. As people. Now I see gas lighting as a tool of people. People use it in order to try to control or manipulate other people. So the person who's doing the gaslighting, the person who's trying to make the other person not believe their reality, not believe the facts they are trying to get their needs met. And by doing this, they are harming the other person they're harming the person they're gaslighting. They're harming the person that they're saying. That's not true. You're overexaggerating, you're just confused. You don't know what you're talking about. You're crazy. You're rational.<laugh> um, I don't know if anyone's ever heard those things before. I certainly have a few times in my life and sometimes I believe them. I believe them before I became really self aware of how this gaslighting is pretty prevalent in our culture and that I just need to be aware of it. And I need to also just really know and trust myself and not Gaslight myself, trust my own emotions. Trust my own experience, have good boundaries around other P people. Super important. The person doing the gas lighting often will exploit stereotypes or vulnerabilities related to gender, sexuality, race, nationality, and or class. And I'm gonna say in here as well, like religion and also a big place. I see a lot of societal gas lighting has to do with body types and people who are overweight or what the term even healthy means. There's a lot of societal gas lighting going on where somehow, if you're fat, you're not healthy. And I've read study after on this. And I, you know, honestly, when I first found out they weren't related, my mind was like, but wait, my entire life everyone's told me it's so important to be thin and healthy and all of this other stuff and that fat people, I, I hate to even almost use that term, but people who weigh more than what culture tells us, we should weigh, right? What culture set is like the ideal weight that they're unhealthy. What I came to find out was via a number of studies. You all can look this up. People who actually have really low BMIs who are like Uber thin the ones that culture venerates, the models most likely, right? I think it's like a lower BMI than 18.5. I are more unhealthy, more likely to die than people that that are obese. It was just like, I, I started doing more and more factual research into weight and health and fat, especially being a coach. And so many women coming to me, unhappy with their bodies and wanting to look at the facts to the situation and realizing that I had been gas lit most of my life to believe in this ideal body type. Not just that, like I would be more attractive and other people would like me more. I E that's that's not true.<laugh> because what I found is like, everyone likes what they like. Right. It doesn't, you know, just cuz you're the ideal model, body type doesn't mean that people are gonna be attracted to you. But also like I had been sold on the idea that it was healthier. I think I'd come to a point where I was like, well, I don't really care about looking like a model or being like Uber thin, but I just wanna be healthy. And when I came to research more about health and, and how, you know, I got into the health at every size movement and recognized that oh, people are healthy at all different sizes. And that, to me, that was a total BS story. I had been sold by culture in order to control me because y'all, I mean, I've been on a number of, I, I don't wanna call'em diets, but I'd say, I'd say cleanses, I've been obsessed with my body over times. I've hated on my body for the way it's looked. Sometimes if I've gained weight, especially after I had a baby, oh my gosh, every time I had a baby, the first one, especially, I mean just the amount of frustration I had cuz it took me like a year to, to lose the weight. Um, was just how it's just crazy that that happens in this culture. Really it's crazy making. It makes you feel crazy because you end up betraying yourself and shaming yourself or how you naturally freaking or built that's sliding. It's denying the facts of the situation that it's okay to gain weight during pregnancy. And it's okay if you never lose it, a lot of people are, are healthy and they're overweight or over. I don't wanna call it overweight, but bigger than the ideal body weight, this culture puts in a pedestal. So what about this culture? One me to feel about my weight and wants me to think I'm being unhealthy about my weight. Why do they care about this? If they really cared about my health, all the studies show that, I mean, I can go on and on about health, but like red, meat's not very healthy for you even eggs. Aren't that healthy for you? Except this culture's constantly like eat meat, eat protein.<affirmative>, you know, eat, eat all these things that aren't that healthy for you. Right? But shame fat people. Let's put this dispersion over here and let's just shame fat people. Instead of getting really honest and looking at the facts of what is actually healthy heart disease is one of the number one killers and this country. And as far as I can tell completely preventable from diet, except this, our government is constantly pushing. You know, they're, they're controlled in a lot of ways by these lobbyists and is, you know, these food pyramids. I mean, some of the stuff I've read on this, it just blows my mind. They it's almost like they want people to have heart attacks and, and I'm, I, it like, it, it it's so obvious to me that the answer to all the issues with heart disease are eating a plant based diet from everything I've read over and over and over again, and maybe eating tiny bits of meat and moderation or some fish has such a simple solution, but that's never talked about. And so I look at this and I'm like that there's a gas lighting situation again, but why, why is this happening? Of course, I'm really curious about it. And I think so much of it comes back to someone, you know, wanting to manipulate and have, you know, get their needs met. I either needs, might be needs for power, right? There might be these giant conglomerate companies. These companies that you know, are their own entities. They're like their own like little hu ings basically. And there might be people at the very top that wanna make a bunch of money and the way that they make a bunch of money and keep the shareholders happy is by telling everybody that they need to eat a bunch of red meat all the time. And I know this might a few people off. It's just, I, I personally, my reality is my truth is that that stuff causes a lot of health issues for people. And I personally want people to feel healthy and I wanna stop shaming people for the body that they were built with. I was reading some place that some people have enzymes in their, or, um, certain like bacterias that actually make them, um, when they digest food, they get more calories from it than other people and that they actually are able to take more calories out of it. And this was a good thing back in the day when there was less food and you know, more scarcity. So while a box might say a hundred calories on it, some people might be getting 200 calories out of it now. I mean, I don't know the science behind it. And that might be a little bit of an exaggerated number, but y'all, I mean, you read a box and you think, oh, that person, I mean, we're all, why can't they? Why can't they eat less? You know, there's like this whole thing, like, oh, they're just eating too much, right. Someone who doesn't fit this ideal weight, that's more gas lighting. There's actually science that shows that some people just get more calories from food. And those are people that, that might have been like, um, an adaption that was like really amazing. Not even that long ago when there was more scarcity around that when there was less food that you got more nutrition, like more calorie counts from it, right? Like you were less likely to starve. That's a good thing just in this culture where like fast food and ex and excess unneeded food is around us all the time. Convenience food where it's so unhealthy. That's not a great thing, but it was just really interesting. The more I started even learning about this to notice how gas SL I was even on like, well, you could just count your calories. Well, not so fast. Right? I recognize every time that I'm too dogmatic or black and white about things that I'm probably being manipulated around them, that everything is on a spectrum. Even when I'm talking about as on a spectrum. Yeah, absolutely. There are people who are overweight that aren't probably also healthy. And there are also people that are the ideal weight who are UN unhealthy. Like there's always exceptions. There's always a spectrum, but overall being, having more weight on your body than what society deems you have, doesn't make you unhealthy at all. Often that's just genetics. Often those people have that stomach enzyme, that stomach bacteria, there's a lot of things going on there. And you know, there's so much judgment around this and culture around people who have excess weight on them. And again, I don't even know, I gotta come up with a better term for this, but it's just absolutely not reality. And those people do get discriminated against, I believe because there's stories around like, oh, well they're not healthy. They're not making good choices. They're being lazy. Like all this BS stuff. And that is like totally, probably confusing to them. Cuz they're like, if anything, like, what I've read is is that those people like are some of the healthiest people, like they're constantly counting calories, cuz like they've been told this total cultural BS story that isn't true to make them feel like and to have all the rest of us to have, you know, people who are in this ideal weight range to blame and like it's dispersion, right? It's some, it's, it's someone to blame. Like the, the Jews were blamed in the Holocaust. Y'all like, it's, I'm not trying to compare this to the Holocaust. But I'm just saying often when culture is trying to control a certain group, they use um, fear tactics and uh, untruths. And then they look to blame another group too. It's like a dispersion to be like, Hey look, it's like a slight of hand, like a magician slight of hand, like look over here. Right? Don't look at reality. Don't look at the facts.<laugh> we, we want to control you so we can get what we want. It's just, it's like unhealthy capitalism. It's it's I capitalism. Y'all like if capitalism hadn't happened, women probably wouldn't have all the rights they have today. So I'm beyond grateful for capitalism. And I notice in some areas it's kind of gotten outta control. It's put, put profits needs above people. We should all care about educating everyone about good health. Even if it means that hospitals and pharmaceutical companies are gonna make less money from medicine. Even if that means that there's gonna be less cows eaten and people are gonna make less money in those areas, okay. There will be other opportunities for people to make money. It's not like those people are gonna be out of jobs. I just do not believe that when we're not so worried and constantly having to deal with so many health issues, what else could we create in this world? How long could we live? What if we could live a whole lot longer than we're currently living? If we had the real facts about how to be healthy and we gave ourselves permission to love our, our bodies instead of spending so much time hating and trying to control and change our bodies, right? GA the societal gaslighting seeps in to our own personal opinions about ourselves and makes us feel crappy. It's just, it's just such a travesty. And this is just one example of societal gaslighting, but it exists in absolutely with racism too. Oh my gosh. Right? I mean, I look at, you know, what the talking heads say in this culture and that every, you know,<laugh> so often like racism doesn't exist anymore. Like everyone has the vote everyone's equal. I mean, I would say this about for women too, but you know, racism, isn't, you know, I, I, prior to a few years ago I heard so many people say like, I'm not racist. Like racism is only a thing in the south. Gosh, that's something I heard a bunch. And then you get George Floyd. And that's just one thing that got a lot of publicity where there was actually like a videotape that was like showing the truth, the truth with a capital T right? Those police officers were saying something different. Right? But we, we had the video, we knew what happened. We know we now know there's so many more, more truths coming to light or maybe truths were being made aware of about how much racism is baked into this culture. Doesn't matter what some law says. If there's all these other situations happening that are completely the opposite of that, right? It's confusing. Don't tell me there's no racism. And then have all these things that are racist happen and be like, you're just overreacting. It's all in your head. It's not all in my head. It's not all in anyone else's head. These are real facts happening. And those are real emotions. People are having. The only way to solve the problem of racism is to say, that's real, that's happening. Your experience is real. And will, what can we do about it? How am I part of this problem? And how can we change it? But when we pretend like it doesn't exist, that's, we're gaslighting people and we're gaslighting ourselves. We're not making this world a better place. The health system can be super gas. Lighty too. I've read a number of studies, not just for black people, um, or dealing with racism in the health system. But just like anybody, who's not a white male. So many studies have been done. Maybe just on males in general. Maybe not just white males, but the system is designed completely around men's health. And I mean, I've had so many doctors tell me, like it's in my head. I remember I went in to see a doctor once and I had this, this horrible migraine. And I was just like, so, and he was like, it's just in your head. It's not a big deal. And I'm like, I'm like literally gonna die right now. And he is like, don't overreact. And then he was like, did you take drugs? Like I was taking illegal drugs. I was like, no, I have a migraine. Right. I'm in pain. Just denying my reality and someone who's in power like that. Right? Like a doctor, someone who I used to grant power to. I no longer do. Okay. Never grant any sort of power to anyone outside of myself. Again, without them proving they're worthy of it. I don't care if you want to school for a long time doctors. And like, I'm still grateful for you cuz plenty of you are wonderful people, but a lot of you have done hurtful things to me. And now I am like, I don't trust you all. Like there's, there's gotta be a point where I'm like, we have to be in co-creation together. I want to feel like I have a choice in these decisions instead of you belittling me. Right? And there's so many little answers stories. I've read about people going in, who were above the, um, the average normal weight stuff. The culture tells you to be right. I E what this culture says is fat. And they were just told they had like real health issues. Okay. Something was happening. Like their liver was failing. They had an ulcer, like some real health condition. And the doctor didn't even look, they just said, you gotta lose weight. That's your problem. It's gas lighting y'all and it's kill it is killed people in the past. Anyone who has any sort of power or authority over other people, or is in that privileged place where people can console with them, counsel with them and, and trust them. It's so, so important to remind people that they always have their own autonomy, that they need to go research things on their own. I always remind people at this end of this podcast that you just, I am not an ex expert on this stuff. I am not, you know, your authority figure your guru. I am just a person sharing with you. My life experiences than if anything resonates with you, look it up, see how it fits for you. Do your own research. Okay. I'm here to expand your mind and hopefully to make you feel more empowered and confident. That's my whole game. That is everything I, I want for you. Um, I think, you know, sexual harassments come to a way better place at work, but it used to be that people would say like, I'm just having a bit of fun or she's overreacting or being too sensitive, right? Like my experience of you touching me inappropriately,<laugh> at a place where I'm supposed to be working or making inappropriate comments to me is somehow I'm crazy about it. Right? If anyone is making you feel confused or telling you that you're overexaggerating or that you're crazy, or that you're overly emotional or irrational, or they're like the tone police, like, you know, or they're like, don't be too loud or any of that stuff, or you feel like you're in the highlight zone. Like that might be a sign that you're in a situation where you're being gas lit. And again, I'm gonna urge you to please go seek professional therapist help with any situations that if you are currently in that situation right now, and the last situation I know would bring up for cultural gaslighting and I'm sure you're gonna be able to think of a whole bunch more. Now that I brought this up, brought up some of these other example for you is the legal system. And I having worked in and out of the legal system for my part of my professional career, I really wanted to believe in it. And I have just come to believe for the most part. I mean, it's better than what a lot of people have in this world.<laugh> so, you know, again, we could say like, I'm really grateful for capitalism. I'm really grateful for the legal system. And I feel like it needs to evolve. You know, it's gotten to a point where it's not necessarily serving. I think a lot of the people it needs to serve and it's not doing the healing, it needs to do like the legal system judges right. And wrong in some cases that can be really good. But for my, like, it can be really healing for some people, I guess, is what I wanna say. Not good, but healing. But in my experience, like the things that have been most healing for me are always, and you of restorative justice process, you know, it's so much of what people want when they end up filing a lawsuit or when something has happened and is a reconciliation. They need a right to be heard in a safe place. And whether or not the person that did, did the act to them is going to apologize, you know, or is going to get in trouble. So often the victims don't want that person necessarily to, to go to jail. They want them to have a process of healing themselves, right? They don't want them to do it to somebody else. They wanna see the impact they, they want to, to have that person healed or rehabilitated. So it doesn't happen to anybody else. And they want to heal themselves as well. Right. And the legal system, I just don't think is designed to do that. It's designed to like, be like, this is the bad person and they go to jail and they shame on them. And so many people cut outta jail. And the, the amount of times that, you know, the percentages for people ending up in jail again is, are so high. It it's breaks my brain. It just doesn't seem to be working the justice system. The legal system doesn't seem to be working. I mean, something like I was in a civil lawsuit work. And like, I think like 99% of our cases got settled out. So we don't even make it to the legal system. It's just kinda like this dance about people kind of making amends. But what I learned about the dance is the more money you have, the longer you can dance, the more money you have, the more you can bury people. To me, the legal systems turned into at least in the civil side, a giant dance of money and fear. And I don't know if it's really serving its purpose of true justice. Can we say our justice system or legal system is true justice? There's a reason why so many women who are raped don't report it to the police. Don't re don't go to, uh, court and deal with it. It's because it's fricking and traumatizing to the woman. I have dealt with being sexually assaulted myself and harassed. And I have really never thought about going to the legal system. What I really wanted was for my abuser to apologize to me, or to have some sort of reconciliation process where we could talk about what happened. I, people could take responsibility and there could be like a sense that there was gonna be some rehabilitation for the person who had done me wrong. Like some sort of sense that this wasn't gonna happen again to somebody else. So I could feel safe about it, the thought of ever going to like the police or the legal system where I already feel gas lit by those people. I already don't really trust the legal system. I don't think you know that they have the best interest of women at heart all the time. And I certainly, you know, there was a lot of me that doesn't trust the police system that much either. I mean, there's like, I've read the studies. There's like thousands of rape kits that have never been tested. Why would a single woman want to go get a rape kit and have a non tested? Like that just breaks my brain? How is that happening? Like the system's like, yeah, look, you, women can do something about this. Go to the police, go to the legal system. You know, why aren't you guys doing something about this? And it's like, well, I don't know. Y'all, don't run our tests a lot of the times, like you're gaslighting us, you're telling us we have options. And then you're not really doing anything about it. It's just really sad. So, and I think it's, that's just a sign of a broken system. Every time I catch myself being gas lit by selling in society. I'm like, that's where something needs to change. Like that's unhealthy. That's not really working for society as a whole, like people are getting hurt. And when people are hurt, they're less likely to show up in their fullness. They're less, less likely to like show up in their brilliance and share their gifts and less likely to bring the world to the next level. And that is what I'm all about. Like, I, I want everyone to feel safe, to feel empowered when we all feel that like our ne primary needs are getting met when we feel that way. Imagine like, if we all felt that way, like what would we be able to accomplish here on earth? Like amazing miraculous things. It just breaks my brain. Sometimes thinking about how stuck we can be. And some of these old systems, and these are slow moving systems that can take a while to change. And so the first thing we do with the societal gaslighting, like anytime things are black or white, anytime I'm shaming myself, like I think almost probably like all of the, the individual gaslighting you're doing to yourself. Like if you go back to the first podcast, there's a root in that from societal gaslighting. So like it starts out in society and then it somehow gets rooted in you. And then people use one on one. People use it to further just manipulate you. And so if you have anything in you that you feel shame about, that you notice your gaslighting yourself about see where that comes from in society and start to research it, find out the facts and figure out if what society's telling you is not factual<laugh> cuz it probably isn't. If it makes you feel bad about yourself and about yourself, there's probably a reason the society's seeking to control you there or keep you small or diminish you often. That reason is so you will buy things you don't need<laugh> so other people can get rich, cuz for some reason that seems to be a thing that everyone's a lot of people are aiming to do instead of just like living a wonderful life, sharing your gifts with the world, having a community that you love, connecting with people. So many are wonderful things in this world, other than being super duper rich. It doesn't mean that I don't love money. Money's just a tool. But some people I think have gotten really lost at the top. And they're partially behind some of the drivers of these cultural manifestations, these cultural gaslighting that you know can get in your head. So this is where we, we notice it, right? We notice if you listen to my second podcast, which brought up that wonderful book, women who run with wolfs, but um, we, we see where the predators are, where the manipulators we're being controlled. We become aware of it. And then we take our power back. We say, Nope, I'm gonna trust my own intuition. Nope. I notice you're bigger and stronger than me and that you want something for me. I'm gonna go the other way.<laugh> that's how we feel about these giant corporations. I notice that you're you're maybe not, you don't maybe have my best interest in mind. I'm gonna maybe I I'm gonna go stage left<laugh> anyway. Yeah. So then we, we step it back into our power and we notice what's us and what's not us. This desire to be super thin and attractive in a way that society wants us to be, to be might not be actually you. Right? What is you the way you were naturally born? The beautiful baby that you are, uh, what age in your life was your body not. Okay. Let me ask you this. Let's run through those questions. This question really quick. Before we get off this podcast. Was it when you were first born, was your body not okay? Was it when you turned one or maybe when you turned two, when did your, your body suddenly not become acceptable anymore? When did you start not liking your body?

Speaker 2:

3, 4, 5, right? Six.

Speaker 1:

We gonna keep going 7, 10, 15. When did that suddenly happen to you? Y'all nothing changed about your body. You were born perfect whole and complete just the way you are. What changed was your thoughts about it? Somehow something got out of you, this thought got inside of you from culture about how you're supposed to be, how you should be, what I'm offering for you is that you don't need to believe that anymore. You get to choose what you wanna believe and you might as well choose something that feels good to you as always do your homework. Figure out the facts, check in with your intuition and see what feels good to you. I wanted to note really quick that I use some terms in this podcast, such as quote, unquote fat or quote unquote overweight. And I have to say I've done some research in, I don't know what the correct politically correct term to use. It seems like excess weight, but I really, really don't like any of these. And I will tell you, I am a person of privilege around weight. Meaning I have typically been within what society deems as a normal weight range for most of my life. Yes, I did gain a lot of weight when I was pregnant, but then I lost it all within a year. And so I wanna call myself out on my privilege here and know that, um, I'm really talking for my experience and I don't, there's nothing wrong with anyone who's of any size and there doesn't need to be a reason why you're of that size. You're perfect. Just the way you are and there's nothing right or wrong about being any weight. And I think that's what I'm trying to get at this podcast. And I really wanna make that clear that I'm not at all saying that a certain weight is better or, but I think society is, and I to call out in this podcast, what I've noticed on my own experience to educate myself from, for my own empowerment and for my client's empowerment is that there doesn't need to be a reason why someone's any given weight and it doesn't need to be that one person is X, Y, Z, or whatever. Okay. It doesn't need to be any of that. Right? Our body, he just is, our body just is amazing just the way it is. And we don't need to label it in any sort of negative ways. And y'all know that I am a white woman. And so I've never experienced racism myself, but I have done a lot of work over the last few years, learning about how to be an anti-racist and how to Kate, myself, and to become aware of racism that it, that I believe still exists and in this society and is still minimizing people, diminishing people, disempowering people, none of these things I want to exist in this world. And so I wanna just note my place of privilege in this podcast is, well, if you're interested in learning more about being a white ally or just being an anti-racist, there's so many great books out there, one of my favorites is how to be an anti-racist by, uh, Ebra X, Kendi and Kendi. There's so many, so many out there. So just, uh, you can Google anti-racist books or anything learning about racism. If you want to learn more about how racism exists in this culture and what we can do about it. I hope you enjoyed these three podcasts I did on gas lighting. And I've said it before. And I'll say it again. If you're currently in a situation where you are being gas lit, please, please go seek professional help you guys. You're not alone. And there are plenty of people out there who can help you get out of any sort of emotionally abusive relationship. If you feel trapped or stuck or afraid or anything, please, please, please go get professional help. Okay. Y'all I'll see you next week. Bye.