Using anger to deflect. Gas lighting is often something therapist don’t know about. It is a spectrum thing. Subtle it can be to the point where it is almost undetectable.
So, recently had the experience of witnessing this behavior in the most subtle way so far. It is a common way to deflect off of one’s self to create discontentment and uncertainty in the other person. Divert the attention and create doubt.
I hear about and witness this type behavior in men mostly, but it can be and does show up in women also.
So, one partner, person, friend etc. is getting too close to the truth of what the other doesn’t want to acknowledge or discuss for whatever reason, getting their way, or avoidance ( avoidants are prone to use this behavior- it creates distance ) of working through something and coming to a place of clarity, resolution, or even follow through.
Using anger to deflect towards women often is used to take advantage of what is a common trait among women – to doubt themselves. Us women do. It doesn’t work to our advantage, but we have been taught to blame ourselves, doubt ourselves.
When working with men, and I hear them talk about the women ( in the past or even present) tell me she was distant, uncommunicative, non intimate and shut down . I have to question him. What I’m hearing in this statement is, it was all her. I tried to go to counseling and I tried to talk to her and she wouldn’t communicate. She became distant and unresponsive to me.
This is a victim mentality. She might have very well been all those things. If he isn’t taking responsibility for his share, then the red flag is there. In my experience and in my practice, research even in my own dating the pattern is there often times.
So, it takes two to tango. It takes a catalyst and a reactor. Covert deflection women can feel it! Eventually when it happens enough they will shut down and eventually all the way. Emotionally and physically.
Why? Because women are feeling beings, if it feels bad, it feels attacking, it feels angry ( even though the man is showing calmness on the exterior) she will pick it up. She no longer feels safe.
The subtle anger to deflect creates a covert pathway to control. It might well be subconscious and it also might be conscious.
Either way in my experience every time I’ve had this come up personally or professionally there has been a gas lighting man in the situation. Now that being said, it isn’t always this way, there are some women that just really are ” avoidants” also. There are some women who don’t like intimacy or sex.
So, the purpose of this article is to give men an opportunity to take the victim mentality of something being done to them, and looking at how they contributed to it.
Because when I see the emotions come up of being deeply hurt by it, that is all wonderful to get it out and feel it, but there is also a great opportunity to self reflect and take responsibility for being part of the tango.
How might you as a man have been taught this behavior growing up, did your father do it, your mother? Otherwise you will be attracted to in a big way, the situation again. The biggest ” chemistry” is with the women you will co-create the dysfunction with.
Long article I know! If you can make it to the end, bravo!!! Something to ponder! All you have to lose is your story, and what you gain, is your freedom. Contact me: Lisa Hawkins .