There are many forms of psychological manipulation that psychopaths’ use. All forms of psychological abuse are tricky to detect, but in this article I will be talking about one in particular – gaslighting.
Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation that is very difficult to detect. The scary part is that no one is immune to this form of manipulation, regardless of how intelligent a person is.
The tricky part with this type of manipulation is that the psychopath start abusing you slowly, one small step at a time, making it impossible for you to notice that you’re being manipulated.
Another disturbing fact is that most of the time psychopaths use this to manipulate their loved ones. Indeed, humans have a tendency to believe in the people they love completely, which is only making things easier for the manipulators.
First, let us see what is gaslighting. Simply put, gaslighting is giving false information to someone and insisting it’s true. Doing so, the manipulator has the intention to create false sense in the other person of what is the truth and what is not.
The goal is to make someone believe that they are always wrong and that you are right. Ultimately, the manipulator wants you to feel false sense of guilt for all the problems you have between each other.
Slowly, manipulators start to gain the trust with simple lies and excuses. For example, they will give you an excuse why they did not came on time that is hard to believe, and they will stick with it. Eventually, they will start to lie for bigger things and more serious matters.
If you doubt whether you are a victim of gaslighting, there is a way to check. All you need to do is ask yourself three questions. If the answers are positive than it is quite possible they you are a victim of psychological abuse.
1.Does the person you suspect makes every situation look like you created the problem? For instance, when you ask them where they were or what they were doing? Does he or she try to put the blame on you, only because they don’t want to answer the question? I will give you some examples to see if you have heard the exact phrase or some similar ones.
“I told you not to wait for me because I have a staff meeting. You never listen to what I say, do you? You don’t care what I have to say! It is your fault you did not hear me!”
“You are always asking me if there is something going on, you are really annoying!”
“I was so tired and felt asleep, that is why I never called. I can’t believe that you are mad over this! I just needed a rest! Can’t I do that anymore?”
2. Is someone trying to make you feel insecure by telling you that you are too emotional or naïve, and that you are dramatizing too much? For example:
“He is just a friend, he calls only because he needed help with something. Why are you so jealous?”
“I was not out with another woman, it is your imagination. I was working all night. How could you be so jealous? You are imagining things!”
“I was not out last night, why don’t you trust me!? You are supposed to trust me! It hurts me that you don’t! “
3. Have you forced yourself to believe in something you know is a lie told by a loved one?
“I was not looking at her, I was just watching the sign next to her!”
“I told you I am not free on Saturday! But you never listen when I talk! I knew you didn’t pay attention!”
“I don’t know who you saw kissing that guy, all I know is that it was not me!”
If you have been in these or similar situations, and answered all three questions positive, then the chances are that you are dealing with a manipulator! It is very important that you don’t deny what you know is true, no matter how much you love them!
The best thing you can do is ask for an opinion from some family member. They will have much clearer picture from their point of view. Don’t wait until it’s too late to accept this.