Post # 1
I just read this great article about ‘gaslighting’, basically when someone tells you you’re reacting to something wrong. Here’s the blurb:
“You’re so sensitive. You’re so emotional. You’re overreacting. Calm down. Relax. Stop freaking out! You’re crazy! I was just joking, don’t you have a sense of humor? Sound familiar? If you’re a woman, it probably does.”
It was a lightbulb moment for me, Bees! My ex bf used to do that all the time. It was enough to give a girl a complex. But I think we also do this to ourselves and each other all the time (probably since, you know, everyone else does). There are so many threads here that start with ‘should I be angry?’ ‘am I overreacting?’ ‘am I crazy?’. It makes me kind of sad to realize the reason I second-guess my feelings is because my parents, my boyfriends and my friends have been telling me they’re wrong all these years! (Not everyone, but you get the idea.)
Have you ever been ‘gaslighted’? Do you have a way to deal with it?
Here’s the article: http://thecurrentconscience.com/blog/2011/09/12/a-message-to-women-from-a-man-you-are-not-%E2%80%9Ccrazy%E2%80%9D/
Post # 3
It drives me nuts when people do this. I actually had a nurse giving me a shot once tell me I shouldn’t be afraid because there’s nothing to be afraid of. There is to me! I also hate “You shouldn’t be upset,” because guess what? I am. A lot of times it makes me more upset but I’ve also found that if someone does it enough, I stop going to them to talk about things because I don’t feel like I get anywhere with them.
I did tell my husband the other day that I realize I can get intense in some situations but I never think it’s an overreaction, it’s just who I am (we were talking about sometimes when people think I’m “out of control” or “crazy”). It has made me second guess my feelings sometimes and sometimes I do still feel stupid but I’ve tried to get to a point where I work through why I feel that way if it seems like I’m being overly sensitive.
Post # 4
It is commonly accepted among my FI’s close friends that I am crazy. Mostly because I was on medication for depression/social anxiety/agoraphobia for a few years, but I am off all of them now! Last week, one of his good buddies, a groomsman in our wedding, was talking to me and said something, I forget what, and followed it with, “I would worry that I’m sounding crazy, but I’m talking to you! So I can’t sound crazy!” And I was like… ouch. And I had to drive for an hour in a car with this guy after that. His friends are always telling me that I am reacting incorrectly, too much or too little or too crazy. They feel completely comfortable saying that to my face. What’s up with that? I understood when I was on my meds and struggling to even speak out loud to them, but I have been through so much to be -not crazy-. They call me crazy every time I see them. I wish I had a good way to deal with being “gaslighted”! I try to just ignore them and grumble to myself, but I wouldn’t recommend that as a coping method. :/
@mandb122: I -hate- it when doctors or nurses tell you things like that. It makes me feel like there is something wrong with me, that I am scared of them or the big scary testing machines or needles or whatever.
@Jillbean: I also get concerned when we bees post things asking if we’re crazy or wrong or guilty because other people have told us we should be. This happens to me all the time. I want to give all these bees good hugs! This post has given me a lot to think about. 🙂
Post # 5
I was just telling a friend about gaslighting a few weeks ago! I didn’t realize until recently that the term isn’t more widely known!
Post # 6
Yep I am familiar with this… When I was growing up my mum always had a tendency to tell me that my feelings and the way I reacted to things were wrong, and I often find myself questioning whether my feelings are “valid”. It’s a difficult thing to shake off.
Post # 7
@mandb122: I am guilty of telling people things like that over fears that I believe are silly. I think that its not meant to sound that way, just that the person can’t relate to why you are scared over something like a little ol’ needle. I’m not scared of them, but I don’t like them. I am terrified of heights, but that also has to do with vertigo and the way my body reacts to it more than a mental reason (and I don’t mean mental in a bad way, more like your fear of needles is something within your brain, not a physical reaction).
@sunny1: that’s not cool, AT ALL!!! I would look at his friends firmly and say, “STOP calling me crazy!! I have worked long and hard on my issues, and am doing very well with no meds any longer. How would you like it if I said your stupid for playing video games, your lame for not having a gf (insert hurtful truth about that person)???”. And also tell your Fi that you won’t tolerate them acting that way, and if they continue, then you will no longer hang out with them.
Post # 8
I read this too and really enjoyed it! I thought the part about the way we tend to preface opinions with “I’m sorry” or punctuate them with smiley faces, was so interesting! It’s true people (especially women) seem to think they’re not allowed to say how they feel anymore. For someone like me, that makes things (like planning a wedding for instance) hard to do because I’ve been told so many times that I’m crazy, emotional, overreacting, overthinking it, reading too much into it, taking things too seriously/personally. It’s like we’re not allowed to have feelings anymore. And I do realize this happens to men too, but I think that the author is correct that women are more conditioned to *accept* this type of treatment. When you hear that a woman is *crazy* you get a very different image than a *crazy* man.
Post # 9
I never heard this term before, but I AM SO GLAD YOU POSTED THIS, @Jillbean:!!
People do this to me all the time. At the doctors (it’s not scary!), at work (you are too reactive!), at home (you’re crazy!), ALL OVER THE PLACE!
Why can’t people just let me be me and let me have my feelings? I will def. be looking this up later and reading more about it.
Post # 10
Wow, people do that to me all of the time. It really makes you feel less confident in yourself. I barely trust my own feelings anymore because people always tell me I’m wrong, but I’m trying to work on that.
I actually have a story related to that. About six months ago I started to have trouble breathing. I can be really paranoid about my health and I’m always on the lookout for the smallest symptom so I can catch things early, so my parents (I am in school and am living with them to save money) just blew me off. Then it started getting worse, and I kept insisting that something was wrong and they weren’t taking me seriously. They said I was getting hysterical and to suck it up, nothing was wrong with me. Finally, after a week of this, it got so bad that I could barely walk, had to sit up to sleep, and could only take in shallow breaths, I felt like I was going to die and I was so scared! My parents were STILL skeptical, thinking I was overreacting and being silly, until they called a doctor to humor me and told him my symtoms and he said to call an ambulance and get me to the ER right away. So they took me to the ER and as it turns out, I had a REALLY nasty case of pneumonia, one of my lungs was nearly full of fluid! They felt horrible after that. I knew that something was very wrong with me the whole time, but no one believed me, and it sucks that people second guess how you feel when it really matters.
Post # 11
gaslight – my all time fav movie!
ive not experienced some of the above but i hate when bullies use the line “im only joking, you cant take a joke” so they try to make out that you are the problem not them
Post # 12
I know I’m guilty of saying these things sometimes, but I really try not to. I try to operate under the philosophy of “it’s OK to feel however you feel, but it matters how you respond.” I’ll have to make an even bigger effort not to “gaslight.”
Can we sticky this? I see a TON of bees who respond to posts in this way, and it usually isn’t helpful.
Post # 13
@ttwo2: That’s terrible! Thank goodness you’re all right. <3
Post # 14
My mother does this all the time.
“You’re just being dramatic.”
No actually I’m having kind of a legit problem and you want me to ignore it because that’s what YOU do.
Post # 15
@thehoneybear:It definitely was pretty terrible! Thanks for your support 🙂 And wow I didn’t realize how long-winded my story was until now 😛