Can You Focus On Me?

Person A asks to talk about an intimate issue with Person B. Without absorbing anything they just heard, B brings up their own irrelevant personal issue, to compare and minimize the trauma of A. "You think that's bad? When *I*......."

B doesn't know how to listen to understand, only how to listen to make themselves relevant. In fact, B does this every time A tries to open up and emotionally connect. A now feels unsafe sharing their experiences because of the invalidation they received from B. What's this an example of?

Gaslighting?! How? 

Person B is subconsciously teaching Person A that their feelings aren't real or don't matter. A will begin to wonder if they're oversensitive or unable to handle themselves. Whole time, B might very well be more messed up than A. Continuous redirection of focus from someone else to yourself is insecurity at best and narcissism at worst. 

By competing for the title of "Most Traumatized", it sends a clear message that B has a diminished capacity to care about others. To make matters worse, in the future, B will probably accuse A of not being more emotionally available, not taking into consideration why this is so. People can't open up to you if you can't let something be about them for once, for like 20 minutes...

Since you were looking for ways to connect this to your romantic life anyway, I'll do it for you (bloop, I know how y'all are). 

Being your significant other's peace is not as hard as you pretend it is, lazy. Being their peace is about fostering a safe place to express thoughts and feelings free of judgement or risk of having that vulnerability thrown back in their face. Peace is trust. Not bomb cooking, spotless cleaning, dick splits, or A1 stroke game. On second can be that stuff too, but mostly, it's emotional security.

Think back to the last time you made yourself open up to someone. Did they listen actively, then shower you with support or optimism? Or did they remind you that your problems aren't real, and pale in comparison to theirs? Recognize when you're being gaslit - and call them out on it. It's not always done with malicious intent; sometimes we get carried away with our own problems, and confrontation can improve the relationship. Now, if they try to gaslight you for speaking up? I can't tell y'all how to think, but psychological manipulation is a good place to draw the line *to me*.

How I ended up writing this in the first place:

I owe it to my big bro, AP. He's got this dope clothing line and we usually end up have deep talks in the middle of a selling event. This time, he re-posted a Tweet that touched on the topic of turning trauma into a competition, and our resulting conversation led to this blog post, so yayyy thanks!

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