October 1, 2020
October 7, 2020
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gaslighting and low self esteem

The undermining of another person’s feelings, or creating doubts in another person’s mind about themselves, is called gaslighting. This is a serious form of emotional abuse. The gaslighted are those who are manipulated into becoming the opposite of how they basically are as people.

Some gaslighters do it intentionally while some do it out of habit, not knowing how their words are affecting the other person’s wellbeing. Sometimes, gaslighters are those who have been gaslighted all their lives and, therefore, subconsciously do the same to others in order to feel ‘in control’ or ‘powerful’.

In life, we encounter different types of people at school, family parties, holy places, clubs, etc. As I was born to be rebellious, I would naturally tend to do things differently and would often be asked the question, ‘What do you think of yourself?’ followed by ‘you cannot do it this way’, or ‘don’t do it if you don’t know how to do it’, etc. Everyone seemed to know it all. These were some of the reasons why I began lacking confidence in myself, which resulted in me doubting my self-worth for a quite a while.

Some people probably thought it was a joke but sadly, their words stuck with me and gave me such low confidence that I could barely introduce myself without a pounding heart. Stage fright was another thing I developed over the years due to this. Even if I thought I could do something, I would feel that I was capable of screwing it up. This is how the both are linked: gaslighting and low self esteem.

This is something I wrote for the gaslighters, intentional or unintentional, in my life…

gaslighting and low self esteem
Gaslighted – by Cindy D’Silva

Then, after I became a mom, I automatically began believing in myself, accepting my capabilities and embracing all my inner qualities. The way my daughter looked up to me made me confident that I was capable of bringing up a good individual. I was a tigress who was an expert at protecting her cub. I was gifted with numerous abilities. I was brave enough to ignore the negative vibes around me. What other proof did I need to believe I possessed all the qualities of a confident young woman?

Here is how to spot if you’re actually being gaslighted.

What I learnt from this episode was that we are capable of gaslighting someone without our knowledge, especially if we have the habit of not thinking before we speak. So, it’s always better to think before you speak to anyone, particularly your loved ones. Having said this, I hope I haven’t by chance gaslighted anyone in my life because that is something I would never do intentionally. If I did, I hope this post inspires them to forgive me.

Do you have any gaslighters who made you feel you were incapable of doing things right? Or make you feel you are imagining things? Think hard and tell us in the comments below.

gaslighting and low self esteem
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I have submitted the poem to DVersePoets Poem linky!

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Cindy D'Silva
Cindy D'Silva
Cindy D'Silva, besides being a mother of two angels, is a belly dancer, writer and photographer. She loves partying, bowling and eating sushi. There is a detailed biography about her on the ABOUT ME page in case you would like to know more. :) You can like and follow her Facebook page to get all updates on the latest blogs and more:


  1. […] don’t find interest in doing anything. It is related to lower self-esteem. Our interest comes from the feeling of happiness or satisfaction that we get while doing […]

  2. Latanya says:

    Howdy! I’m at work browsing your blog from my new iphone 4! Just wanted to say I loved reading through your blog
    and look forward to all your posts! Carry on the outstanding work!

  3. Cedric Noronha says:

    Very good post about inner feelings. Highly motivational. Nicely written. Keep up the good work.

  4. Hema says:

    I can resonate with this very well, earlier I too used to feel low at others view on me, now I just let it go. And I am at peace.😍
    Well written👌👍

  5. Grace says:

    Words can hurt; and mean words can take a toll on one’s self esteem.

  6. Bjorn Rudberg says:

    I love that you came out of this… to be treated like that makes growing painful and hard… but once you break free you will bloom.

  7. Jenna says:

    Thank you for sharing. This is an important topic. Growing up, I was often told, “You’re just too sensitive,” “I never said that,” “That never happened…”

  8. Modern Gypsy says:

    It can be so difficult to spot when you’re being gaslit, and also to regain your confidence after being gaslit for years! Your poem struck a chord – very powerfully written!

  9. Thanks for this. I know so many in real life who have suffered so badly after being gaslit… They have struggled for years even after coming out of the relationship.

  10. Mrinal Kiran says:

    I am full of self doubt and low self esteem… I have recently began realising where those patterns and stuff began.. Now i am trying to heal.. Nice post! ❤️

  11. Tina Basu says:

    And many don’t even realise that they are being gaslit. This is such an important post Cindy. We do take our selves granted sometimes!

  12. Self Esteem of a person is so important and it is so easy for a malicious person to create havoc by attacking the self-esteem of a vulnerable and sensitive person. Gaslighting is indeed common and one needs to develop a good defence against it.

  13. This is a great post Cindy. I never knew such a term existed. I have been gaslighted before and actually have taken them close to my heart and felt bad about it. But now, I don’t give two hoots to people because maybe with experience, I have come to the conclusion that these people don’t matter to me in lives. And now its more like I live my life as per my terms.

  14. MeenalSonal says:

    Cindy, this post showcases the courage and belief you have that you have left all the gas-lighters behind. And your poetry side is so good that expresses each emotion. Sometime gas-lighters speak words in an opposite manner, for example they say ‘why you this particular thing, you are not fit for it, you better try this’. In this manner they are showcasing the care but killing the aspiration one have intuition for.

  15. Vaishali says:

    Your post is an eye-opener for a lot who don’t understand the word ‘threshold’ and ‘capacity’ from emotional pov. It’s strange how most of us lack basic empathy and take others for granted. I want you to know that you are more than you. Sending hugs!

  16. Snigdha says:

    I came to know this new term today ‘gaslighting’ . But it is true that such people do really exist among us . You have penned down this very neatly ..

  17. Deepika says:

    Gaslighting is a new term and a concept for me. Thank you for introducing this one. I think this is a very serious issue, one should be aware about how they talk. This may affect others’ self-esteem badly.

  18. Judy Morris says:

    Surely low self esteem has a deep connection with Gaslighting as a matter of fact there were many alarming details that I came across when I was researching for an article I had written about it in the past. Even I feel there were few such people that also affected my peace of mind and of course self esteem. Loved the poem.

  19. Varsh says:

    Many gaslighters do that in subtle ways which are meant to break you and yet not fight back. Waste of time and energy to indulge in them, I feel.

  20. Shreemayee Chattopadhyay says:

    Gas lighting is totally a new concept to me. Yes, I agree with this that we should always think twice before speaking out. It may damage one’s self-confidence, especially in the kids.

  21. What a lovely and one of the most important topics you have covered Cindy. We come across many such people who affect our lives. Didn’t know about the gaslighter term either!

  22. Rashmi Chand says:

    true, glad you chose to write about it. most often we tend to say things wiithout our knowledge that they might affect others adversely. we need to be mindful

  23. Gaslighting is quite common in the world we live in. This manipulative behavior needs to be changed yet it is done both intentionally and unintentionally so often. Your candid take deserves a pat on back.

  24. Swati Mathur says:

    Oh for got to mention about your poetry.. Heartfelt ❤

  25. Ruchi Verma says:

    This is really something new for me to learn the term “Gaslighting” but I so much agree to the point that yes we should think twice before speaking out !! Love the poem !!

  26. CurrentlyReadin says:

    More Power to you!

  27. Neha Sharma says:

    I did know about gaslighting but had no idea that it can be unintentional too. You made me ponder on this.

  28. Kinshoo says:

    Well written. A very common problem. Been there, faced it. But glad we all finally got over with it.

  29. Brilliant post! Back in our days, we faced gaslighting and bullying offline only. However, with the advent of social media kids of today face this online as well. It can get very stressful for a growing child and even an adult. Working on one’s self-esteem is critical. Glad you chose to write about this.

  30. I never knew such a word existed for the experience. I have too been gaslighted and I would get doubtful and cautious about myself. But now I m more vigilant and firm and dont allow or give anyone an opportunity to do this to me.

  31. Ashvini Naik says:

    So aptly put, Cindy.

    Indeed, gaslighting can have various toxic forms, sadly, inflicted by known & loved ones. A lot of people in the world get gaslighted day in, day out. Without even being aware of what’s being systematically done to them.

  32. Vashi says:

    This was such a heart to heart & i do relate to this so much as i had often heard such mean stuff during childhood& even now people light heartedly only but still try to pull you down .. when you have 100 qualities & they r just stuck up with look or one thing that does not even matter.. we must think before speaking , our words can create havoc on someone psyche

  33. It’s quite amazing that you have so candidly admitted your feelings. I would’ve never known this side of your personality, because you are so confident in your writing. I too have had my fair share of being bullied and gaslighted though, so I completely understand. More power to you!

  34. Though gaslighting is new term for me, but I agree there are so many people in our society who behave in that particular way to emotionally abused other people. and these kind of behavior lowered the self esteem of person who faced all these. loved the poem and again hats off for sharing personal experience so bravely. this is your unique style and I admire it so much.

  35. I was bullied quite a bit in school and was gas lighted quite a bit and as an adult I ended up being a person with very low self esteem. It took me quite a while to shake off the effects of gas lighting and regain my self esteem. The poem is poignant.

  36. I loved the poem Cindy.
    You have explained the link between Gaslighting and low self esteem very well.
    Liked your article.

  37. Debdatta says:

    A lot of people do not know of this term yet, but most of them have faced this at some point of their life I am sure. Gaslighting is more common than one would think.

  38. Aarti says:

    Words are powerful and they can absolutely shred one`s self esteem. Most of us do not realise that and yes Gaslighting is very much around. Whenever we talk down we gaslight don`t we ?

  39. Gaslighting has been a subtle silent killer of many girls and their self esteem. I have also spoken at lenght on my social media accounts to raise awareness for this thing. And the sad part is most women are educated and come from well to do families.

  40. I got to learn something new and trust me such people exist and make you feel low all over the time
    You have mentioned it so deeply and really loved the way u have penned it.

  41. Neha Tambe says:

    Gaslighting is a dangerous and manipulative behavior that needs to be stopped, sadly people who are being gaslighted hardly realize the process to protest or raise a voice against it.

  42. Its a common thing many people face. Male as well as female.
    The post is very good. Hope it reaches maximum people and they can look into themselves.

  43. Suchita Agarwal says:

    Words – they hold power. I think this is such an important thing to educate people on. You have nothing nice to say, you should say nothing.

    • True though some people deserve to be taught how to behave with other people.

      • SwatiMathur says:

        I definitely have gone through this but as I grew I understand and became more self-aware about my self. It used to effect but not anymore. Great topic you have touched.. I also want to write on this being an EQ coach.. Now I help people to come out of this.

  44. Lavanya says:

    I have read several posts on self esteem and gas lighting but your personal experience made it seem all too real. Loved the poetry.

  45. I never knew there was a term such as Gaslighting. Yes I also have encountered it and sadly in my very own personal space but I am proud to have come out of it and never let it hurt my self esteem. Lovely poem!

  46. Harshita Nanda says:

    Such a pertinent post in today’s day and age. All of us have, at one point or the other been it’s target. Very well written!

  47. Ishieta says:

    true! gaslighting is something that is done often without people realising it because we dont accept that this is a real issue and something that people need to be aware of, and consciously stop!
    people need to build each other up, give feedback (if they must) in a constructive manner and not view words as a weapon of power!

  48. That was a thought provoking post. As intentionally as i would never bring down another person, i so hope I have never gaslighted anyone either through words or attitude.
    This post will make me reflect on this consciously.
    Incidentally i loved the poem on it and i have saved it to share separately, with your permission. It deserves to be! 😊

  49. Nils says:

    It has happened with me. I didn’t know that’s what it was called but there have been times when stuff people said in anger or as a careless remark stuck to me and affected my self confidence. I try hard and get out of the same but sometimes bravado isn’t enough.
    The poem is lovely!

  50. Nitisha says:

    Although I’ve been gaslighted before, I learnt a new term today. The only way to escape low self esteem is to keep your true and motivating critics close. The rest don’t really matter, and I learned this really late

  51. Alpana Deo says:

    Thats a very important topic Cindy. As you said, we may not realize but our words may be gaslighting someone so think before you speak. Coming out of the shell and standing up again needs a lot of courage, specially to someone who has made a notion in his/her mind that they are not good enough. The good enough dilemma is not very easy to break.

  52. Archana says:

    Thats a new term I learn today ’Gaslighting’. But feeling of gaslighting is absolutely not new to me. At various points we all might have encountered with the situation where a continuous discouragement ruined our self esteem, inner confidence. At this point I believe it becomes the responsibility of parents to make sure that their child’s self confidence shouldn’t get damage at any cost. I love the poem Cindy!

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