Gaslighting and self-validation are two opposing concepts that can greatly impact our mental health. While gaslighting involves manipulating someone into questioning their own reality, self-validation is the act of affirming and acknowledging our own thoughts, feelings, and experiences. In this article, we’ll explore the differences between gaslighting and self-validation, and the importance of cultivating a self-validating mindset.

Gaslighting Yourself

Gaslighting can come from others, but it’s also possible to gaslight ourselves. When we gaslight ourselves, we begin to doubt our own thoughts and feelings and may even start to question our own reality. This can happen when we internalize negative messages from others, or when we hold ourselves to impossibly high standards that we can’t meet. It can also happen when we ignore our own intuition or feelings in order to conform to someone else’s expectations.

For example, someone may gaslight themselves by thinking, “I must be overreacting” or “I’m being too sensitive” when they’re feeling hurt or upset by someone else’s actions. These thoughts minimize their own feelings and can lead them to doubt the validity of their own experiences.

Validating Yourself

On the other hand, self-validation involves acknowledging and accepting our own thoughts, feelings, and experiences. When we validate ourselves, we honor our own emotions and give ourselves permission to feel and express them. Self-validation also involves recognizing our own strengths and accomplishments, and reframing negative self-talk into positive self-talk.

For example, instead of gaslighting themselves, someone might validate their own feelings by saying, “It’s okay to feel hurt by what happened” or “I’m allowed to be upset right now.” By validating their own emotions, they can better process and work through them, rather than suppressing or denying them.

The Importance of Self-Validation

Self-validation is crucial for our mental health and wellbeing. When we gaslight ourselves, we deny our own experiences and feelings, which can lead to anxiety, depression, and a host of other mental health issues. On the other hand, self-validation can help us build resilience, self-confidence, and a stronger sense of self.

Self-validation also helps us set healthy boundaries in our relationships. When we trust our own experiences and feelings, we’re better equipped to communicate our needs and assert our boundaries. This can lead to more fulfilling and respectful relationships, both with ourselves and with others.

Tips for Cultivating a Self-Validating Mindset

Here are some tips for cultivating a self-validating mindset:

  1. Practice self-compassion: Be kind to yourself and acknowledge that it’s okay to make mistakes and experience difficult emotions.
  2. Identify your own values: Knowing your own values can help you stay true to yourself and validate your own experiences.
  3. Reframe negative self-talk: Challenge negative thoughts and reframe them into positive affirmations.
  4. Seek support: Surround yourself with people who validate your experiences and feelings, and seek out professional help if needed.

The Bottom Line

Gaslighting and self-validation are two opposing concepts that can greatly impact our mental health. By cultivating a self-validating mindset, we can honor our own experiences and emotions, set healthy boundaries, and build stronger relationships with ourselves and others.

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