There are times when we internalise the blame as a way of protecting ourselves from a trauma that may befall us from others. However, in the process of protecting ourselves, we end up gaslighting ourselves. Addressing this, Therapist Ramani Durvasula wrote, “Self-gaslighting can often be a self-protective maneuver – trying to get ahead of the gaslighting or invalidation of others. But most often it is an internalization of the invalidating, minimizing and shaming narrative of the narcissistic people around you. Narcissistic folks indoctrinate you into believing that you are less than, not enough, so you are often doubting your own reality, and undermining yourself.”
Dr Ramani Durvasula further explained the signs which show that we are self-gaslighting:
Assuming we got it wrong: Instead of keeping the option that something or someone else can also be responsible for a mistake, we always assume that we are wrong. Hence, we end up being hard on ourselves, and having a lot of regret for a long time.
Apologising: We should take ownership of the mistakes we make. But, when we are not at fault, we still end up apologising only because we want to keep the peace. This further makes us have very little confidence in us and- almost no trust.
Toxic self-talk: The way we talk to ourselves in the head makes up for a lot of the trust and confidence we have on us. When we use words like stupid or dumb on ourselves in the mind, it makes our self-confidence fall further.
Undercutting abilities: When we keep undercutting our own abilities constantly in front of others, we drop our own confidence and abilities for ourselves and for others as well.
Minimising achievements: When we keep undermining our own achievements, it may feel like being humble for some time, but it will also make our achievements look small.