If you’re concerned about inadvertently manipulating others and want to prevent unintentional gaslighting, don’t worry, there are things you can do. Here are a few tips to help you stop unintentional gaslighting:
- Listen actively: When someone expresses their feelings or opinions, actively listen and try to understand their perspective instead of minimizing and dismissing them.
- Avoid overgeneralizing: Refrain from assuming you know how someone else feels, as this can be misleading and counterproductive.
- Validate their experience: Acknowledge their feelings and experiences, even if you don’t agree with them.
- Apologize and accept responsibility: When you make a mistake or hurt someone’s feelings, apologize, accept responsibility, and make an effort to change your behavior in the future.
- Be mindful of your language: Be conscious of the words you use and the impact they may have on others.
- Educate yourself: Educate yourself about gaslighting and learn how to recognize it, so you can make sure you’re not accidentally doing it.
If you feel like you’ve been unintentionally gaslit by another, here are a few steps you can take to protect yourself and build relationships based on more authentic communication:
- Be assertive: Speak up and express your feelings, needs, and boundaries in a direct yet respectful manner.
- Set boundaries: Know what you’re comfortable with and be sure to walk away if someone is crossing them.
- Take time for self-care: Make sure to take care of yourself and practice self-care on a daily basis. Step away and engage in one of your favorite healthy activities if you feel gaslit by someone in your life.
- Seek support: Surround yourself with people who understand you, validate your feelings, and offer emotional support.
Gaslighting can be a destructive behavior, whether done intentionally or not. However, by being aware of our language and actions, we can prevent unintentional hurtful behaviors and create a safe and supportive environment for everyone.
By taking these small steps, we can empower ourselves and others to stand up to gaslighting and create more positive and healing connections in our lives.