Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Gaslight Effect

I just started this book today, but it's already reading really well. The subtitle is: how to spot and survive the hidden manipulation others use to control your life. Also on the cover is the explanation that you will "learn how to stop letting other people get inside your head, tell you what to think, shake your judgment, sabotage your self-esteem, make you question your grip on reality."

I'm curious and intrigued. It is interesting how these books end up in my life.

1 comment:

Titianlibrarian said...

p. 68: "So why are we so attracted to this idea of unconditional love? Well, many of us have found love a disappointing experience. [...] We may come to feel, consciously or unconsciously, that love really isn't an option for us, that we'll never meet anyone who's actually capable of giving to us generously and caring for us with empathy and support.

Out of this painful fear, we may try to solve the problem all on our own by re-creating ourselves as strong, self-sufficient, and all-powerful. [...] Instead of looking clearly at a parent, lover or friend and asking ourselves what this person is really capable of, we hold on to a fantasy of what the relationship could be, with all the focus on our own part in it. Instead of looking at how we actually feel in a relationship--satisfied or empty? loved or neglected?--we cling to a fantasy of how we would feel if only we were less selfish, more giving, more loving. And so we leave ourselves wide open to gaslighting. As long as there is any part of us that believes we need our gaslighter to feel better about ourselves, to boost our confidence, or to bolster our sense of who we are in the world, we're gaslightees just waiting for our gaslighters.

Remember what goes on during gaslighting: your gaslighter--even if he's capable of genuinely relating to you some of the time--becomes overwhelmed by his own need to restore his sense of self and his sense of power by proving to you that he's right and insisting that you agree. No matter how much he talks about you and your feelings, he's really concerned with only one thing: getting you to agree he's right."