Would Mary Kay consultants recognize if they’re being ‘gaslighted?’
Gaslighting is a form of mental and emotional abuse. In fact, it’s been called one of the “most dangerous forms of mental manipulation” as it results in “self-doubt, diminished self-esteem, and reduced self-worth.”
Although the term ‘gaslighting’ originated from a 1938 play (‘Gaslight’), which later (1944) became a movie starring Ingrid Bergman, it is a very real form of emotional abuse that often happens in abusive relationships.
The tactic of ‘gaslighting,’ as it is explained here, “is a very effective form of emotional abuse that causes a victim to question their own feelings, instincts, and sanity, which gives the abusive partner a lot of power….Once an abusive partner has broken down the victim’s ability to trust their own perceptions, the victim is more likely to stay in the abusive relationship.”
The Urban Dictionary defines ‘gaslighting’ as:
A form of intimidation or psychological abuse, sometimes called Ambient Abuse where false information is presented to the victim, making them doubt their own memory, perception and quite often, their sanity. The classic example of gaslighting is to switch something around on someone that you know they’re sure to notice, but then deny knowing anything about it, and to explain that they “must be imagining things” when they challenge these changes.
A more psychological definition of gaslighting is “an increasing frequency of systematically withholding factual information from, and/or providing false information to, the victim – having the gradual effect of making them anxious, confused, and less able to trust their own memory and perception.
While people often attribute gaslighting to personal relationships, it can occur in just about any relationship—including so-called “professional” relationships and, especially, multi-level-marketing schemes.
Here’s 15 ways to tell that you may be being ‘gaslighted’ (from PsychologyToday.com) [emphasis added]:
How do you know if you are being gaslighted? If any of the following warning signs ring true, you may be dancing the Gaslight Tango. Take care of yourself by taking another look at your relationship, talking to a trusted friend; and, begin to think about changing the dynamic of your relationship . Here are the signs:
1. You are constantly second-guessing yourself
2. You ask yourself, “Am I too sensitive?” a dozen times a day.
3. You often feel confused and even crazy at work.
4. You’re always apologizing to your mother, father, boyfriend, boss (or director).
5. You can’t understand why, with so many apparently good things in your life, you aren’t happier.
6. You frequently make excuses for your partner’s behavior to friends and family.
7. You find yourself withholding information from friends and family so you don’t have to explain or make excuses.
8. You know something is terribly wrong, but you can never quite express what it is, even to yourself.
9. You start lying to avoid the put downs and reality twists.
10. You have trouble making simple decisions.
11. You have the sense that you used to be a very different person – more confident, more fun-loving, more relaxed.
12. You feel hopeless and joyless.
13. You feel as though you can’t do anything right.
14. You wonder if you are a “good enough” girlfriend/ wife/employee/ friend; daughter (or Independent Beauty Consultant/Director).
15. You find yourself withholding information from friends and family so you don’t have to explain or make excuses.
If you know (or are) a Mary Kay consultant (or director) and have the any of the above emotions because your “business” is not doing well, the chances are, it’s not you, it’s possible you’re being ‘gaslighted.’
- The ‘Sharks’ of Mary Kay Cosmetics
- Kerri’s Story: A Chronicle of Mary Kay Manipulation, Threats, Abuse & Bankruptcy