I wasn’t familiar with the term “gaslighting” until a friend of mine realized they’re a victim of it. And I was surprised to see that not many people actually know about it, even though it’s so present nowadays.
The term gaslighting is used to describe the way one person (usually love partner) uses psychological manipulation to brainwash their partner. This can be really serious, depending of the sensitivity of the person. The movie Gaslight (1944) shows a scenario where a woman is driven to madness by the gaslighting of her husband.
The worst thing about gaslighting is that anyone can fall a victim to it since many abusers, manipulators and even narcissists use it for their own benefit. The victim is usually manipulated for power and they’re always brainwashed to the stage where they question their own reality and as in the case of the 1944 movie, the results can be severe.
It is crucial to recognize this method in order to act on time. It is important to be honest to yourself and admit that there is a problem in case you believe that your partner is using gaslighting for manipulation.
Here are some typical forms of gaslighting:
1. Shameless lying
Experts in manipulation are capable of telling a lie while keeping a straight face. At the beginning, you might notice that they have told you a small lie, and you would decide to keep quiet. However, the lies will only grow and you might find yourself not able to recognize a lie from a truth one day. Their goal is exactly that – to keep you unsteady.
The dishonesty doesn’t end with the lies. The gaslighter will deny their promises and their actions, even when you have proofs. All the denying will soon make you question your reality. You start believing their words more than your own eyes.
3. Your loved ones are their weapon
Your children, the family and your friends will become their strongest weapon. They know you love them and they will attack them first. The person who loves you honestly doesn’t want to keep you apart from your loved ones. The manipulator will speak ill of them because they feel threatened by them.
4. It doesn’t happen over night
Another thing about gaslighting is that it is done gradually. The manipulator brainwashes their partner slowly, but effectively. The victim doesn’t realize it’s happening to them during the process. Once they realize, it might be too late.
5. They will say one thing and do another
They say actions speak more than words. Manipulators speak a lot, but don’t do much. Focus on the actions instead of the words.
6. They might surprise you positevly, but for a bad purpose
Whenever you try to put an end of the relationship, they come after you and start praising you? This is just another trick. Don’t think that they are not as bad as you thought or that they will change. They are as bad as you know they are and they will never change. It’s just another act.
7. They want to confuse you
The goal of the manipulator is to cause uneasiness and to make you weak. That’s why they will do anything to prevent you from getting your stability back.
8. They accuse you of things they do
No matter if it’s something as simple as smoking or something more serious, the manipulator will make you feel guilty for their actions and decisions. Even if you defend yourself, they are winning because they are causing you question your reality and feel bad.
9. They want to see everyone turned against you
The manipulator will try to isolate you from the rest of the world. Being a pro at manipulation, they might even get other people by their side against you. They will use these people to weaken you using lies and scams. They might even go as far as to make you feel useless just to control you.
10. They tell you you’re crazy
In making you question your reality, they will tell you and everyone else that you’re crazy. They will make you question your sanity so that nobody would believe you if you want to defend yourself from the manipulator.
11. For them, the others are the liars
It might seem to you that your family, colleagues, friends and the rest of the world are against you. Let me tell you something: the story of two people in love, alone against the world doesn’t apply to real life. If you hear these words, be certain that the gaslighter wants you to stop believing everyone else and to turn to them to get the correct information, which is not at all that.
The sooner you admit to yourself that you’re being a victim of gaslighting, the better for you. You don’t need someone who is using gaslighting to have control over you. Indeed, nobody has the right of control over anybody.
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A professional writer with over a decade of incessant writing skills. Her topics of interest and expertise range from psychology, to all sorts of disciplines such as science and news.