Table of contents:
- There are two reasons why we give in to the gaslighter: fear of an emotional apocalypse and a desire to agree
- Fear of an emotional apocalypse
- Apocalypse is the gaslighter's secret weapon
Video: Why Are We Inferior To The Gaslighter? - Relationships, Society
2023 Author: Oswald Adamson | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-21 20:18
There are two reasons why we give in to the gaslighter: fear of an emotional apocalypse and a desire to agree
Fear of an emotional apocalypse
Most gaslighters have a secret weapon - an emotional bomb that can destroy everything around and poison the atmosphere for a long time. The victim is afraid that if the gaslighter loses his temper, an emotional apocalypse will begin, something worse than a constant stream of unpleasant questions and stinging remarks. The apocalypse is so unpleasant that the victim tries to avoid it at all costs.
- Part 1. When a gaslighter is a good guy and it is not clear what is wrong. About forms of gaslighting
- Part 2. Gaslighter-tormentor: insults, plays on conscience and withdraws into himself
An emotional apocalypse can happen only once or never happen, and the fear of an explosion is sometimes worse than himself. The victim is afraid that the partner will yell at her or leave. She is confident that if the fear is justified, she will not bear the consequences. “It seems to you that you are dying,” one of the patients told me. Then I replied that in fact she would not die, but my answer did not console her.
Sometimes the gaslighter reacts particularly painfully - he goes from caustic remarks to shouts, from imposing a feeling of shame to explicit accusations. If the victim resists, he may behave even worse: constantly shouting, breaking dishes, threatening to leave. The victim will feel that even thoughts of resistance lead to aggravation - as if it is impossible to resist the gaslighter even internally. Complete submission - in thoughts, emotions, and actions - may seem like the only safe solution.
When victims share their fears with me, they often express two conflicting opinions. On the one hand, my patients consider their fears trivial, so they are ashamed of them and doubt themselves. “I know this is nonsense …” each of them says. "Only an idiot would be upset about such little things." Or: “I don’t think this is a serious problem. I'm just so weak. He always tells me that I am too vulnerable."
On the other hand, when I ask what happens if you wave off an emotional apocalypse or leave the room, the victim exclaims that I don't understand how bad things are. “He will keep screaming,” the woman says. "If I leave or ask him to calm down, he will scream even louder." When I ask what is so frightening about screaming, the patients look at me in surprise.
Sometimes it seems to me that the gaslighter's secret weapon, whatever they are, has crushed the victim and destroyed their world
I know the emotional apocalypse is scary. But screaming will not destroy your world, and criticism will not interrupt your life. Even the most painful insults will not leave you in ruins. The victims think that the emotional apocalypse will destroy them, but this will not happen. By overcoming fear and realizing that it is choking and fogging your mind, you will brush aside the gaslighter's point of view and stop supporting it. You will not believe in it and object. You will simply begin to adhere to your own truth, which you learned a long time ago.
Apocalypse is the gaslighter's secret weapon
What is the most painful thing to you? Your gaslighter will hit the sore spot with his secret weapon. He can:
Manage your worst fears.
"You are so fat / frigid / vulnerable / difficult …"
Threatening with leaving
"No one will love you."
"You will be alone all your life."
"No man will tolerate you."
Refer to other problematic relationships.
"No wonder you don't get along with your parents."
"That's probably why your friend Susie is avoiding you."
"Can't you see that your boss doesn't respect you for this very reason?"
Use your ideals against you.
"Doesn't marriage involve unconditional love?"
"I thought girlfriends should help each other."
"A real professional would take the hit."
Make you question your own perception, memory, or sense of reality.
“I never said that. You invented it yourself."
"You promised to pay this bill, don't you remember?"
"My mother was very offended by your words."
“You looked so ridiculous. The guests laughed at you. "
The first step towards freeing yourself from gaslighting in a relationship is to acknowledge how unpleasant and painful an emotional apocalypse seems to you
If you hate raised tones, you can declare that you do not intend to listen to them. Other women are probably comfortable with yelling conversations, but you are not one of them. If you are a vulnerable person, be one. You have the right to define your boundaries and not be equal to others, "less vulnerable".
It is also important to understand that screaming will not destroy your world. This does not mean that the gaslighter has the right to yell at you, but you do not have to give in whenever he threatens to yell. You will probably find it unpleasant to leave the screaming man alone, slam the door, or leave the house for a while. This reaction can make the situation worse.
But you must understand that your partner's weapons are not powerful enough to always yield to him
More on this: Stern Robin. Covert manipulations to control your life. STOP gaslighting. - SPb.: Peter, 2020