Gaslighting is a manipulative tactic used by individuals to make someone question their own perceptions, memories, and sanity. The term originates from a play and subsequent movie called “Gas Light,” in which a husband manipulates his wife into believing she is going insane by dimming the gas lights in their home but denying that anything has changed when she notices it.
Gaslighting can take various forms, but some common examples include:
Denial or distortion of facts
The gaslighter may deny events that actually occurred or distort them to make the victim doubt their own memory and perception.
Gaslighters frequently lie about their own actions or the actions of others, causing the victim to question their trust in themselves and others.
Contradiction and confusion
Gaslighters may make contradictory statements or present conflicting information to create confusion and make the victim doubt their own understanding of reality.
Projection of blame
Gaslighters often shift the blame onto the victim, making them feel responsible for the gaslighter’s behaviour or causing them to doubt their own intentions and actions.
Gradual erosion of self-esteem
Gaslighters employ tactics to gradually undermine the victim’s confidence and self-worth, making them more vulnerable to manipulation.
Yoga Psychology, an integration of yoga and modern psychology, can help individuals identify gaslighting and deal with its effects. Here’s how:
Yoga Psychology emphasises self-reflection and mindfulness practices that enhance self-awareness. By cultivating a deep understanding of oneself, individuals become more attuned to their emotions, thoughts, and perceptions, making it easier to recognise when they are being gaslighted.
Yoga and meditation practices can help individuals connect with their intuition and inner wisdom. This heightened intuition can serve as a valuable tool in identifying manipulative tactics and trusting one’s own judgment.
Gaslighting often erodes self-esteem and self-confidence. Yoga Psychology emphasises self-compassion and self-acceptance, enabling individuals to recognise their inherent worthiness and counteract the negative effects of gaslighting.
Yoga Psychology teaches techniques for managing stress, building resilience, and developing emotional stability. These tools can empower individuals to withstand gaslighting attempts and maintain a sense of self despite the manipulative tactics employed by the gaslighter.
Yoga Psychology encourages individuals to seek support from trusted individuals or professionals when dealing with gaslighting. Engaging in supportive relationships and accessing appropriate resources can provide validation, perspective, and guidance in navigating such situations.
While Yoga Psychology can be a valuable tool in identifying and dealing with gaslighting, it’s essential to remember that gaslighting is a form of psychological abuse. In severe cases, seeking professional help from mental health experts is crucial to address the emotional and psychological impact.
There is a fantastic book published by a great psychiatrist and Yoga Teacher Dr Rishi Vivekananda in 2005 (available in our shop, contact if interested).
Practical Yoga Psychology book