Gaslighting, not sold at your local hardware store.

gaslitten

11 Warning Signs of Gaslighting

Gaslighting is a manipulation tactic used to gain power. And it works too well.

Posted Jan 22, 2017

123rf Stock Photo/Standard License
Source: 123rf Stock Photo/Standard License

Gaslighting is a tactic in which a person or entity, in order to gain more power, makes a victim question their reality. It works much better than you may think. Anyone is susceptible to gaslighting, and it is a common technique of abusers, dictators, narcissists, and cult leaders. It is done slowly, so the victim doesn’t realize how much they’ve been brainwashed. For example, in the movie Gaslight (1944), a man manipulates his wife to the point where she thinks she is losing her mind.

People who gaslight typically use the following techniques:

1. They tell blatant lies.

You know it’s an outright lie. Yet they are telling you this lie with a straight face. Why are they so blatant? Because they’re setting up a precedent. Once they tell you a huge lie, you’re not sure if anything they say is true. Keeping you unsteady and off-kilter is the goal.

2. They deny they ever said something, even though you have proof. 

You know they said they would do something; you know you heard it. But they out and out deny it. It makes you start questioning your reality—maybe they never said that thing. And the more they do this, the more you question your reality and start accepting theirs.

3. They use what is near and dear to you as ammunition. 

They know how important your kids are to you, and they know how important your identity is to you. So those may be one of the first things they attack. If you have kids, they tell you that you should not have had those children. They will tell you’d be a worthy person if only you didn’t have a long list of negative traits. They attack the foundation of your being.

4. They wear you down over time.

This is one of the insidious things about gaslighting—it is done gradually, over time. A lie here, a lie there, a snide comment every so often…and then it starts ramping up. Even the brightest, most self-aware people can be sucked into gaslighting—it is that effective. It’s the “frog in the frying pan” analogy: The heat is turned up slowly, so the frog never realizes what’s happening to it.

5. Their actions do not match their words.

When dealing with a person or entity that gaslights, look at what they are doing rather than what they are sayingWhat they are saying means nothing; it is just talk. What they are doing is the issue.

6. They throw in positive reinforcement to confuse you. 

This person or entity that is cutting you down, telling you that you don’t have value, is now praising you for something you did. This adds an additional sense of uneasiness. You think, “Well maybe they aren’t so bad.” Yes, they are. This is a calculated attempt to keep you off-kilter—and again, to question your reality. Also look at what you were praised for; it is probably something that served the gaslighter.

7. They know confusion weakens people. 

Gaslighters know that people like having a sense of stability and normalcy. Their goal is to uproot this and make you constantly question everything. And humans’ natural tendency is to look to the person or entity that will help you feel more stable—and that happens to be the gaslighter.

8. They project.

They are a drug user or a cheater, yet they are constantly accusing you of that. This is done so often that you start trying to defend yourself, and are distracted from the gaslighter’s own behavior.

9. They try to align people against you.

Gaslighters are masters at manipulating and finding the people they know will stand by them no matter what—and they use these people against you. They will make comments such as, “This person knows that you’re not right,” or “This person knows you’re useless too.” Keep in mind it does not mean that these people actually said these things. A gaslighter is a constant liar. When the gaslighter uses this tactic it makes you feel like you don’t know who to trust or turn to—and that leads you right back to the gaslighter. And that’s exactly what they want: Isolation gives them more control.

StockLite/Shutterstock
Source: StockLite/Shutterstock

10. They tell you or others that you are crazy.

This is one of the most effective tools of the gaslighter, because it’s dismissive. The gaslighter knows if they question your sanity, people will not believe you when you tell them the gaslighter is abusive or out-of-control. It’s a master technique.

11. They tell you everyone else is a liar.

By telling you that everyone else (your family, the media) is a liar, it again makes you question your reality. You’ve never known someone with the audacity to do this, so they must be telling the truth, right? No. It’s a manipulation technique. It makes people turn to the gaslighter for the “correct” information—which isn’t correct information at all.

The more you are aware of these techniques, the quicker you can identify them and avoid falling into the gaslighter’s trap.

PANDEMIC TV

pandemic tv

Pandemic TV, one thing that has gotten a lot of attention during this pandemic is TV. The ratings must be off the chain. I think I might have reached professional TV watcher status. As I explored my options, I noticed that there is one TV opportunity that I didn’t have that was being talked about, The Morning Show on Apple TV. So I decided to try the free one week for Apple TV. When I tried though, the condition was that I had to watch it on my Apple product, i.e. Mac, IPad, etc.. The problem was that I didn’t own one, at least not one that I could remember the password to. So I decided, in my Pandemaboredom, to buy an IPad, there were good deals all over and the deal that caught my eye was; buy an IPad, latest edition, cheaper than they were last year, more powerful and get a year of Apple TV free. I jumped all over the deal and set up my IPad and started to watch my free Apple TV. What I found out is that the Oscars, Grammy’s, Emmy’s, maybe Tony’s might be swept by Apple TV. Huh, I just EGOT, even though I think I put them in the wrong order. Anyway, Apple TV has the best mini series TV I have ever seen. I was thinking of buying a portable potty just so I could binge the shows, then I realized I just could take the  IPad to the bathroom (I didn’t do that, at least not to watch the TV shows). The shows See, Defending Jacob, Truth Be Told, For All Mankind and the movie The Banker, which was amazing, has left me knowing that there is no way that you aren’t left knowing that Apple TV just took entertainment to a new level. Can’t wait for Greyhound to come out and just want to see if they add some kind of Latino ethnic series, something like Showtime has done with City of Angels into the mix. I have a great idea about a Federal Law Enforcement Agent that dates an illegal Colombian woman and tries to keep it secret while doing his job. It’s interesting. LOL, ahhh, life is funny. It’s a comedy.

ABORTION

abortion

With the Supreme Court ruling that a Louisiana law is too burdensome to people seeking abortions, the question of abortion and the death of fetuses has come to the forefront. I have a couple of scenarios and/or questions that I just don’t understand. Do fathers have a say in an abortion and if they don’t why do male judges have a say? If a person hurts a woman that  is pregnant, less than 8 weeks, and creates a miscarriage, is that murder? If a woman that is driving to get an abortion and gets into an accident by a drunk driver and creates a miscarriage, did (s)he commit murder? If it is murder, if my girlfriend or wife drinks or smokes during her pregnancy, which could create harm to the fetus can I get a restraining order or an injunction so she would have to stop? And if she causes that fetus to abort because she accidentally eats something that created a miscarriage is that manslaughter? babyslaughter? fetusslaughter? If you believe in the death penalty, are you allowed not to believe in abortions? And if you believe abortions are legal, are you allowed to believe that the death penalty is illegal? I am sure there are so many more questions but those just a few off the top of my head. I’m pro-choice but would never get an abortion, mainly because I’m not a seahorse, if you get that joke, you’re pretty damn smart.

IN THE DAYS OF A PANDEMIC

pandemic

With the pandemic ravaging our community, every armchair economist has a plan that would be better than what the current plan is. Two trillion dollars seems to have made little progress in reviving the economy nor have the $1200 monthly checks being sent to homes. Some of the funnier ones were to use the money to buy everyone military grade gas masks or to use them for human bubbles. I can see someone on the shore being blown out to sea. Some others made sense. To freeze everything. No payments for anything and use the two trillion to pay grocery stores for food for people, obviously the grocery stores would have to show a receipt and allow shopping once a week with $100 max for a single person and increment by $40 per household member, and use the stimulus to pay utilities, capping how much the utility and cable companies could charge. You freeze mortgage, rent, car and other non essential payments and when this is all over, just restart them. Also freeze firing people or layoffs and freeze non essential businesses, like selling cars or whatever. Just completely halt everything non essential. This would also help with the quarantine and should help with saving money or using the full stimulus package prior to the pandemic being overcome. But that would have to be a plan that would have been in place already. Once this all over, maybe they can put a contingency plan in place, and be ready for SARS 3, the return of the Sith virus.

I will say, that if there was a national medical insurance, Bernie Sanders love baby, that card could be used as a debit card when buying groceries for the above mentioned solution. It would act as an “in case of national emergency” card. I know that the conspiracy theorists and these minute militia crazies would say it would be a way for the government to keep track of you and I would tell them that Darth Vader told me that the Guardians of the Galaxy wouldn’t allow it or Cinderella would get pissed off and beat up Snow White and take the dwarf’s AR-15’s while the tooth fairy takes all the teeth, not just the one under the pillow, in France. So we’re good.

Since the latest news that a re-emergence of the coronavirus may hit this winter, you would think that it is imperative to get a functional plan put in place to combat the health and economic outfall from its encore. The ability to suspend, or suspended animation, the country to withstand any potential pernicious outcome would seem the rational thought, yet no one has mentioned it. It would seem to be the smart thing to do is mediate any long term effects by just freezing everything. Only allow the necessary daily functions and make sure that no one loses a dime during the process, this is vital because when the country re-opens, their cabin fever will most likely have them go out and spend, and they have to money to spend, which would reboot the economy. The smart thing for the government to do for future pandemics is to have a fund set in place, in an account that garners interest on that money, so when a pandemic hits, they have those funds in reserve, the best place would be in the Social Security Administration, which already has those accounts in place.

DIVORCED W/ CHILDREN

divorce with children

The worst part about a divorce is how it affects the children. The effects can sometimes be minimal but can be seen sometimes in their grades as they start to dip, their behavior as they become more rebellious, their lack of closeness, their lack of caring and their lack of a path forward due to the parents not sharing the same plan or principles on how to guide their child.

Sometimes tough love is what is needed sometimes a lending ear but how would one know what the other is doing or what is needed if you are not there all the time?

PRAISE v. SHAME

shaming

In the era of the shaming culture, pointing out perceived flaws in people to have them conform to your views is incredibly dangerous. I read some of the news articles where famous people are shamed for different things that they do, these things, all of which the shamer is being petty and nit picky and am sure has done much worse, are relatively silly funny things. As I read these articles, I start to wonder why people try and shame someone? Is it because they are so devoid of a real life that the only way they can be happy is to try and belittle someone else? Or is it that they want to feel superior to someone that they truly want to be like? It could be that they were shamed all their lives and now they have found a way to let their frustrations out. While ironic that my thoughts seem to shame the shamers, I am actually looking for the root cause. One thing is for sure, shaming is a movement that has taken hold and won’t be going away any time soon.

In the old days, and not when I was a kid as my son would like to say “the old days when you had to dodge the dinosaurs” but when this country was in its infancy (I wasn’t around then either), people would create a village by building one house at a time. Everyone would come together and help build their neighbors house, then they would help build another house until all the neighbors had a home. This constructive team building, a term I’m sure you heard in your job, was something people aspired to. Neighbor always had a positive connotation and meant something good.

Now, in the days of social media, where you can be somewhat anonymous and don’t have to confront a person that you disagree with, people become emboldened and say things that they would not normally say. I’m sure that this was not the intention of social media when it was thought of but it is what it has become.

Psychology has taken a turn to using shaming as a technique to try and bring people into conformity and to teach humility. I believe that to be an ineffective method to teach a lesson and should only be used as a last resort, if at all. Praise used to be the preferred method to bring people together and to show unity in common beliefs, but those methods don’t seem to be relevant anymore or are not talked about or highlited the way they used to be.

The problem with shaming is that once you are done with one person, you are looking for the next person to shame and it becomes an addiction to humiliation. That’s disgusting, you’re sick, what a weirdo… blah, blah, blah. This ongoing and downward spiraling method of trying to bury people under your feet instead of picking people up on your shoulders seems to be contagious.

It used to be that if you didn’t like what someone did you expressed disappointment in private, had a conversation eye to eye, voiced you opinion, listened to theirs and then decided to either break off communication with the person (what people now a days call ghosting) or you would say that it was not important enough to end a friendship or relationship and forgive and forget.

Praising always seemed like a better method of communicating. Telling someone what they did right or what you found impressive about them to fortify that train of thought seemed to have a better result that would lead to better communities. I’m not saying that you can’t express disappointment when warranted, this isn’t Pleasantville, people do do stuff wrong, what I am saying is that shaming should be used sparingly and only in private.

While I understand that shaming is a type of psychological warfare used on battlegrounds, trying to shame, lets say a political figure, a congressman or congresswoman who have their constituents, is worthless and only seems like bullying. The people that voted for them and the people that will have a voice in their election are the only people that should have a say in their political ideology and that say will come in their next election. This also goes for regular people, famous people, basically all people. What good do you get from shaming someone, absolutely none. You get more from praising their good actions, as they will most likely repeat them.

Now, if you make money from shaming someone, if people are paying you to shame a person or group of people, then I can see…… that you are hard up for cash and should find a better job. In the end… In the end it is my solemn belief that God will judge you for you actions and telling him that shaming got you that brand new TV set with the Ultra High resolution that was 72 inches is not going to go over very well or that new white SUV even though you already have two cars, probably won’t work either.

This article is in response to the person at the gym that believes that shaming is how to shape politics. It wasn’t a great conversation.

MARIJUANA ON THE BALLOT

‘somarijuana

In last weeks debate, Joe Biden says he would not make marijuana legal until further studies are done and he was met with criticism by Sen. Booker. I’m not sure that Sen. Booker’s criticism was appropriate (I’m not saying that Sen. Booker’s stance is wrong, I’m only opining it). Marijuana is a popular drug that most people see as harmless and should be legalized. I think that they couldn’t be more wrong. I think that marijuana, if legalized, would destroy the middle class and poor people. Cheeseburgers and pizza are harmless but yet we have the worst obesity problem of any nation, do you know why, because cheese is mildly addictive and acts on the same neuro-receptors as heroin. BRB, making a myself a cheese melt (I’m not).

Marijuana is much more addictive than cheese and the problem will be more exasperated by the fact that this country doesn’t run on Dunkin but on compulsion. All these ads on every single electronic device are meant to make you want. They flicker, they’re bright, they’re shiny, they grab your attention and they’re repetitive (that should be illegalized). There is a prevailing thought that people that get addicted are people that have weak minds, that is a myth. Addiction has no boundaries and while some people will try it once only and some might do it in their college years and not really inhale, others will become addicted even though they might have strong minds. Just because it didn’t affect you that way doesn’t mean that it won’t affect someone else in a more dangerous manner.

The other problem of note is playing in courts today. Juul is defending themselves against State Attorney Generals because they targeted minors in their adds and because they made flavored vapes that would appeal to minors. The States are contending that Juul acted irresponsibly, which they did, in my opinion.

Lets add another wrinkle to this, people have died from vaping, but not from vaping nicotine but marijuana. They vape the same two products with the same two external additives, the only difference was the nicotine and marijuana. The people that vaped the marijuana became really sick with some dying while the ones vaping nicotine, did not. The news has reported that vitamin E might have been the culprit but it is my belief that came at the urging of the marijuana lobbyists, that also is an opinion.

The fact is that marijuana is a money maker. Marijuana has produced large amounts of income and some people will overlook the side effects, if they can rationalize it, to rake in the income that comes with the legalization of marijuana. That’s sad and it’s also greedy. Marijuana addicts roughly 10 percent of the people that try it (and that’s a rough estimate given by the NIH, it could be higher because studies are limited, but it won’t be lower), legalizing the product would mean that up to 30 million people could use the product. That would mean that 3 million people could get addicted to the product. If we play Russian roulette with addiction, we can say that about 80 percent (2.4 million) of the people that would end up addicted would come from the middle to lower class (poor). That addiction would eventually lead to these people to lose their homes, jobs and their families would be irrevocably harmed, but its ok, because you made that extra revenue that you are now using to treat the problem. You can also honestly say that some, couldn’t give you a number, of those people only did the drug because you legalized it.

I say, keep marijuana illegal. Reduce the sentencing guidelines for the users and force them into rehab. Make the penalties for pushers stiffer and go after the cartels. If, in your heart of hearts, feel like that marijuana is safe and would boost the economy (it won’t) then have a designated place like an Amsterdam. Maybe make it legal just in Las Vegas, hell, almost everything else is, and split the proceeds with the 50 states equally. I think that would be the responsible thing to do.

In a good note, cigarette use is down to 278 billion cigarettes from a high of 631 billion in 1980. The difference was that politicians and activists started to say that cigarettes are deadly. They prohibited television ads for cigarettes and raised the age to buying cigarettes to… 21? …18? One of those and they also started school programs depicting the use of these products as extremely harmful. So what I say is, if you are going to legalize marijuana, at least you have the game plan to reduce the consumption to a couple of hundred billion blunts when it starts ruining our country.

Don’t choose money over morals, you’ll forever regret it.

Let me add that it won’t stop illegal sales of marijuana, it will increase it. That dime bag that costs $50 at the legal dispensary, will still only be a dime bag at the corner. You are going down the same path as cigarettes but with more profit for the illegal vendors and the cost of stopping the illegal distribution, which will also come from the legal dispensary back doors, will cost you more than you will profit. It is not a worth while endeavor, it seems that learning from past mistakes is not a thing that we do. Cigarettes are an anchor in our society that create more problems and costs than the tax can cover, why would you think that a more addictive substance would prove to be the answer to your problems. Your adding another element to a shit sandwich, BLT – blunts, lard and tobacco. Our healthcare system is already overridden with problems from the lard and tobacco, which produce cancer and heart problems, you now want to add a third element in order to fix it? Doesn’t that sound crazy?

More importantly, I told my son it’s not Ok to do that shit, and you’re telling him it is, so, stop it, stop it right now.

And this not a referendum on Sen. Booker’s decision, their are plenty of politicians on both sides that feel legalizing the “green gold”, “purple haze”, “pinner”, “pacman”, “Nixon”, “Maui Wowie” or “juana”, “maria”, “mota”, “yerba santa”, “queso verde” (I just made that last one, lets see if sticks) is an appropriate way to feed the tax man, it isn’t, again, in my opinion.

 

What To Do When Your Child Faces A Bully

Bully

My son used have problems with bullies, most children do, even the bully themselves sometimes have their own tormentors and that’s why they torment. I’m not here to talk about about the psychology of the bullies, I’m here to tell you how I handled the situation.

STEP 1

I gave my son guidelines on how to act in case of an attack by a bully. I told him to follow some common sense reasoning that would make sure that he would not get in trouble. I said if it gets to be too much, just walk away, laugh like it’s funny and walk away. If the bully gets frustrated and tries or does hit you, and it doesn’t leave you in fear for your safety, walk away and tell a teacher. If the bully wants to fight you and you tried to walk away and he has thrown multiple shots at you, then you must defend yourself.

STEP 2

I taught my son how to box and to do push ups, sit ups and planks. I bought him a heavy bag, gloves and used my old focus mitts and taught him the basics of boxing. To my surprise, he packed quite wallop with his right hand, so I taught how to strengthen his left hand and how to throw a left hook. I taught punches by numbers, 1 through 12, starting with a stiff jab to the nose or eye (#1) and ending with a bolo punch or modified uppercut to the midsection with that powerful right of his (#12). The funny thing is that boxing took to him like a fish takes to the water. He was a natural. He has good coordination, he now invents his own combinations, he can start with a jab and move to the right and hook downstairs and then hook upstairs with his left. What this did was take his mind of the bullying, he had to focus on what he was doing, and it instilled a confidence that only being good at a sport can do. The other funny thing is, he doesn’t like boxing. He likes computer games.

STEP 3

The name calling is what bothered him. So I started to call him fat (he isn’t, he’s actually really thin) and making fat jokes and started to throw yo mama jokes at him. He would laugh and he would hit me right back with the different fat and yo mama jokes. Now when he gets teased, he has an arsenal of yo mama and fat jokes to rely on and more importantly, it doesn’t bother him anymore. He laughs but he takes them as jokes, like if it was me and him playing the dirty dozens. He doesn’t get bullied hardly at all now, since he has his own jokes and I taught him how to laugh at himself and not to take things so seriously. This is Step 3 but in a line of defense against bullies, this is his step 1. This is his go to solution. But if things do get out of control, then I’m sure he will know to walk away and if things do become violent, I hope that his boxing kicks in. While I don’t want that, I would rather he be prepared for the worst and only experience the best than not be prepared at all.

The reason my son started to get bullied in the first place, only the “O”ld man knows…..

 

 

REUSABLE BAGS

reusable bagsReusable grocery bags are used so you don’t use plastic bags. Plastic bags don’t decompose and stay intact and are harmful to the planet. I just ordered 3 reusable bags and used them for the first time and couldn’t believe how convenient they were. I had them in my cart, placed all the stuff in them and went to my car. I guess you don’t even have to pay when you use them. I can’t understand why more people don’t get them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m just kidding, I paid and they were extremely convenient and comfortable.