• Nov 24, 2022

Understanding Gaslighting and Racelighting

Understanding Gaslighting and Racelighting

Even if we live in a world now that is full of opportunities and freedom, there are still people or races that are susceptible to discrimination and stereotyping. It is sad to think that regardless of how sophisticated and advanced everything is now, there are still uncivilized people who do not know how to treat others with respect and compassion.   

You may have encountered the terms “gaslighting” and “racelighting” but have not fully understood their meanings. They may be new words but both are associated with psychological manipulation or emotional abuse. People, who have been victimized by these, are advised to go to therapy near me. They need to learn how to address and manage these things before they develop into more pressing mental health issues.

What is gaslighting?

Gaslighting was a term taken from the 1938 play by Patrick Hamilton entitled “Gas Light.” The play was about a married couple, Jack and Bella Manningham, where Jack intentionally manipulated and abused Bella. “The play focuses on an affluent couple, Jack and Bella Manningham. Throughout the play, Jack intentionally abuses Bella by making her question her own sanity by hiding objects and then accusing Bella of stealing them.” This led Bella to believe that she was delusional and losing her mind.

Gaslighting is a “psychological manipulation of a person, usually over an extended period of time that causes the victim to question the validity of their own thoughts, perception of reality, or memories and typically leads to confusion, loss of confidence and self-esteem, uncertainty of one’s emotional or mental stability, and a dependency on the perpetrator.” The people who usually gaslit others are those who are in power or in authority. They could be a boss, a police officer or even your romantic partner.

There is an imbalance of power between the abuser and the victim. Abusers think that they can get away with anything because they are in the upper chain of command. They exploit the vulnerabilities of their victims related to their gender, sexuality, race, or social status.

The most concerning aspect of gaslighting is that the abusers do more than just control their victims. They want their victims to agree with them that they are weak, dumb, or worthless. Just like what Jack did to his wife in the play, the abusers wanted to destabilize you and make you doubt your judgment or your memory. This could potentially risk your mental health. You may experience depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, or suicidal thoughts.

What is racelighting?

Racelighting or racial gaslighting, is intended to discriminate against a certain race or minority group. It is the “process whereby people of color question their own thoughts and actions due to systemically delivered racialized messages that make them second guess their own lived experiences with racism.” It often exhibits the struggles and challenges in the daily lives of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC).

The BIPOC community has always been at the center of racism and aggression. They find ways to manage and fight racelighting but the people around them constantly question and undermine their abilities. They are forced to believe that their group of people is inferior and destitute.

Racelighting can be extremely harmful – not just on an individual level, but also a societal level. On an individual level, it can lead to feelings of self-doubt, uncertainty in their own experience, and questioning their own moral ‘good’-ness, what they are capable of, and what treatment they deserve from others. On a societal level, racelighting can lead to communities that accept harmful racial stereotypes about themselves, demean the experience of the community, and even the perpetuation of those harmful stereotypes against one another.”

It happens because we pave the way for white supremacy, white nationalism, anti-Blackness and anti-Indigeneity to exist. We may not admit it, but we have this notion that there are people or races that are better and superior than others. When people commit mistakes at work, we then blame their social status or race. We assume that they did not know what to do because they lack knowledge or certain skills.

Why should you ask for help?

If you have been a victim of gaslighting or racelighting, consider attending a counseling or therapy near me session. The hardest truth to accept is that you do not have control over the kind of people who spread hate and aggression. The only thing you can do is figure out how to protect yourself and avoid becoming a victim.

Mindshift Psychological Services provides help and support for people who are struggling with oppression, discrimination, and stereotyping. Our therapy near me will be your gateway to living a happy life. We make sure that, in spite of all your bad experiences, you can learn to process your emotions in a healthy way. You may visit our website to meet our team of medical experts. You may also contact us at (714) 584-9700