What is gaslighting? It’s a form of emotional abuse where the perpetrator makes the victim feel as if they are losing touch with reality. The term originated in 1938 from the British play, Gaslight; and then with the film adaptation in 1944, which portrayed the story of a woman whose husband manipulated her into believing she was slowly going insane.
Gaslighting is subtle; a gaslighter uses their words to control. After all, words are powerful. Proverbs 18:21 says, “The tongue can bring death or life.”
Most people, however, don’t know they are victims of gaslighting. What about you? Would you know if someone were gaslighting you? Here are 7 warning signs: (more…)
Are you tired of attracting unsafe people? When you start to surround yourself with safe people, you will form healthier relationships. David put it this way, “Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers,” (Psalm 1:1).
If you want to attract safe people, you must take steps to become a safe person yourself. Also, you will need to identify whether someone is safe. To help you, here are the top ten traits of unsafe people. (more…)
You may think it’s okay to talk to your spouse like this:
- “You’re too sensitive!“
- “Don’t eat that!“
- “You’re so messy; get your act together!“
You may even think you’re doing them a favor by pointing out what they need to do to improve. But this is criticism, and it will ruin your marriage. After all, no one likes to be criticized. When you criticize your spouse, it will only make them defensive. Instead, give up criticizing—it might just save your marriage!
The next time you find yourself putting your spouse down or suggesting something they can improve upon, why not find something you admire, or are grateful for, in him or her—it could just transform your relationship! (more…)
In the book Take Your Life Back, there’s a concept we call relational dictatorship. Some of you need to take your life back from a relational dictator who thinks they know what is best for you. Either a wife or a husband can be a dictator. Sometimes a parent can still be the dictator; and their adult child (which is an apt description) can be married with children of their own, but they’re locked into their own childhood by the parent who won’t let go and allow them to individuate into a full-fledged adult.
What happens when we’re in a relational dictatorship? We’re stunted in our growth as a person, and we’re ruled by our emotions. There’s nothing wrong with emotions, but they’re not meant to rule our lives. Why? Because when we’re ruled by our emotions, we’re living a reactive lifestyle and we’re reacting to the dictator. (more…)
Elizabeth had been in a small group of ladies she had known since growing up. She felt so comfortable with them that she opened up and shared some important things. But after she risked telling about something very personal, she learned they gossiped about her. Elizabeth felt so betrayed that she left the group and has struggled with trusting new groups.
Like Elizabeth, you may have been betrayed by a group that betrayed confidence or gossiped about you. Sadly, many people have been hurt by gossip in groups, or have had someone share what was shared in a group to someone outside the group. (more…)
From the moment we take our first breath, we need a healthy bond with our parents. When we are hungry, our parents feed us; and if we fall, they pick us up. This secure connection sets the stage for healthy relationships in the future. By having a secure attachment, we feel seen, heard, and understood.
As we get to be older, we go off to school and learn how to develop relationships with others. And at the end of the school day, we come back home to our parents and hopefully get our needs met. This bond gives us the stability to learn to separate from unhealthy people and relationships. It can also help us to develop boundaries.
What if we did not form a strong, healthy bond with our parents? (more…)