Gaslighting is a deception strategy that skews the view of reality. You sometimes second-guess yourself, your memories, and your assumptions while someone is gaslighting you. You’re left dazed and wondering what’s wrong with you after speaking with the person who’s gaslighting you.
These kinds of tactics will make you feel perplexed and make you doubt your own sanity. Let’s dive in at how people deceive others. Simply put, gaslighting is a method of deceiving others in order to obtain control over them. And, unfortunately, it can be very successful. Despite the fact that there are many, we’re here to talk about some of the warning signs and how these behaviors can affect your mental health.
And if you know you’re being gaslighted, the person doing the gaslighting will be open about it. This is done to confuse you and make you doubt your own truth. As time passes, you will notice that these numbers rise.
Gaslighters are pathological liars who lie on a regular basis. And when you call them out or offer evidence of their lies, they will blatantly lie to your face and refuse to back down or change their stories. Their destructive conduct is founded on lying. They can be really persuasive even though you know they are lying. In the end, you begin to doubt yourself.
2. Getting You to Think Exactly what was said
You may be convinced that you heard something, but someone who is gaslighting you will always deny ever saying such a thing, making you feel like you’re in the wrong. This strategy can test your memory, and the victim may be accused of making a mistake.
You could say things like, “I don’t know, you’re wrong,” or “No, that’s not how it happened.” They may even use a technique called manipulation, in which they distort old memories or facts—these don’t have to be related to what you’re talking about, but they’ll almost always add to the mystery.
3. Taking Your Feelings For Granted
You can be met with a smirk or a joke when you say something, and they may accuse you of being too sensitive, making you or your feelings seem or feel insignificant.
‘You might point to the bruises and say, “This happened to me,” when you’re black and blue. But when someone is questioning your truth and you have the uneasy feeling that something isn’t quite right… Women are more likely than men to point a finger at themselves and say, “I did something wrong.” – Associate Director of the Yale Centre for Emotional Intelligence, Dr. Robin Stern
4. The Sensation of Being Overworked
It takes time to become a victim of Gaslighting. It’s an accumulation of lies and derogatory remarks that makes you feel insecure and causes you to doubt yourself.
5. Actions Take Priority Over Words
Keep an eye on a person’s actions; with gaslighters, their actions and words sometimes tell two separate stories. Anyone can say something, and words can mean nothing; what matters is what they do
6. Positive reinforcement
While it might seem counterintuitive, people who gaslight often have positive reinforcement in the negativity. When you hear it, it will make you wonder if the gaslighter is as bad as you thought, and it may make you feel uncomfortable, prompting you to doubt what you thought you knew. It’s a good idea to watch out from everything you were supposedly praised for; did it help the gaslighter?
The individual who is gaslighting knows that uncertainty breeds vulnerability, so the aim is to destabilize you. It’s not unusual for a survivor to seek reassurance and stability from someone they care about, or from whom they desire approval—usually the gaslighter.
If the gaslighter accuses you of something they do, don’t be surprised. Cheating, drug abuse, or anything else entirely may be the issue. It frequently causes you to feel compelled to protect yourself, diverting attention away from the gaslighter’s conduct.
9. Getting People to Change
You may discover that the gaslighter is trying to turn people against you—or at least make you believe that they are. They’re usually master manipulators—manipulation is used in sales, advertising, and politics as well. A gaslighter can also tell you things that they want you to believe someone else is thinking. ‘This person thinks this about you,’ for example.
It’s important to remember that this isn’t always the case and that the gaslighter is likely to lie to you on a regular basis. It’s another attempt to make you uneasy and make you unsure of who you can trust. Alternatively, they might try to persuade you that you are mentally ill or a liar as a means of making you doubt your own truth.
10. Changing The Environment
They can begin to alter your environment in a variety of ways. It’s possible that some of your prized possessions have been damaged inexplicably, or that some of your favorite items have vanished entirely. Things could go missing for a period of time before mysteriously reappearing where you thought they had been all along.
What would you do to help yourself?
Often, the first step is to educate yourself so that you understand what you’re up against. There are plenty of posts about gaslighting on the internet, or you might watch the film Gaslight or Mama Dearest. When a situation or a comment feels manipulative, write it down so you can refer back to it if you’re unsure, and when speaking with the gaslighter, be aware of their tactics and any emotional triggers they may use.
Spend some time to decide whether or not you want to save the partnership, assuming the other person ceases gaslighting. Even when it’s difficult, speak positively to yourself and be kind to yourself. When someone constantly speaks negatively about us, it can be difficult to think positively about ourselves, so practice being kind to yourself as much as possible. If you need assistance or support, seek it from a mental health professional, a helpline, or a family member.