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5 Signs You Are Self-Gaslighting

Author: Florida Women's Law Group
Date: Nov 30 2021

5 Signs You Are Self-Gaslighting

Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse, generally used by narcissists, to psychologically manipulate victim’s into questioning their perceptions, judgements, and reality.  This is used as a method of control and makes the victim more dependent on their abuser.  Their self-confidence, self-worth and sanity are diminished until they can no longer trust if what they think or feel is real.

Gaslighting is most attributed to abusive relationships however one of the consequences is self-gaslighting.  This occurs when victims internalize the behavior and then minimize or dismiss their experiences, feelings and emotions.  It is a form of self-sabotage that questions your value, accomplishments and strengths.

If you have had any of these thoughts, you may be self-gaslighting:

“Maybe it wasn’t that bad.”

“It’s my fault that they said/did that.”

“I’m overreacting and being too sensitive.”

“It could be much worse; I shouldn’t be upset.”

“I’m making more out of this than there is, I’m probably making it up.”

5 Signs You Are Self-Gaslighting

  1. Minimize Your Feelings – Do you find yourself suppressing your feelings and emotions? You may dismiss your feelings or tell yourself that you are overreacting or being too sensitive.  You convince yourself that your feelings and emotions are not important and quickly dismiss them as wrong. 

  2. Blame Yourself – If someone does something that hurts you physically or emotionally, you make excuses for their behavior or blame yourself. They were probably having a bad day or something you did made them react in that hurtful way.  You believe that something is wrong with you to justify their behavior instead of validating your own feelings.

  3. Own Worst Critic – Self-gaslighters compare themselves to other people and criticize themselves in comparison. Or think you shouldn’t feel a certain way because another person has it worse than you.  You find yourself criticizing everything you do and say.  Is the word “should” a big part of your vocabulary?  “I shouldn’t feel this way”, “I shouldn’t have said that” or “I shouldn’t have done that.”  This is because of the insecurity you feel and the inability to validate your feelings.

  4. Don’t Trust Your Judgement – After being a victim of gaslighting it makes you question yourself, leading to doubts about your judgement and intuition. This makes you second-guess yourself or question if something really happened.  You may have trouble believing yourself and instead thinking you made it all up.

  5. Doubt Your Self Worth – When you are living in a constant state of self-doubt and suppressing your feelings it leads to diminished self-worth. You convince yourself that you are not worthy of praise or accomplishments.  This can lead to you not pursuing jobs, relationships or opportunities because you feel like you aren’t deserving or smart enough or good enough.

If any of these behaviors sounds familiar to you, you are a victim of self-gaslighting.  There are ways to get past this and unlearn these unhealthy patterns.

Techniques to Overcome Self-Gaslighting

You can heal and learn to trust and value yourself and your emotions.  Here are some techniques to help you overcome self-gaslighting.

  1. Acknowledge the Behavior – In order to get past self-gaslighting the first step is to acknowledge that you are doing it. Try to determine the root cause of the problem, when it started and why you have trouble acknowledging and validating your own feelings.  Learning how it started can help you heal from the trauma and begin to move on.

  2. Practice Self-Affirmations – Letting yourself acknowledge your emotions and feel them is the most important part of moving past self-gaslighting. When you start to think negative thoughts or invalidate your feelings acknowledge it and tell yourself that how you feel is valid.  This may be uncomfortable at first but the more you practice it the more you will believe it.  Think of it this way, would you talk to a friend the same way you talk to yourself?  What if a friend talked to you in the same way, you probably wouldn’t stay friends with them for long.

  3. Journal Your Emotions – When you begin to self-gaslight yourself, write down your feelings and what you are thinking in a journal. This helps to validate your emotions and help you process and understand your emotions.  Journaling will help you realize the importance of your feelings and learn to value them.  It’s also very cathartic to write it all down and express your feelings.

  4. Practice Mindfulness – You need to learn how to fully feel your emotions and take care of yourself. Mediation, yoga and mindful exercises are great ways to ground yourself and practice self-care.  Talking to a therapist, friend or family member can also help you work through your trauma.

Gaslighting, whether done by someone else or by yourself, is very harmful and emotionally abusive.  Learn to accept your thoughts and emotions and know that you deserve to be self-confident and validated.

At Florida Women’s Law Group, we have the experience, resources and skills to provide you with empathetic and compassionate legal service.  We are here to provide legal advice and the assistance you may need throughout your divorce.   We represent women just like you to help you get through this and onto a better and happier life.

Florida Women’s Law Group