Gaslighting happens when someone intentionally twists your perception of reality for their own gain. It is a form of psychological manipulation and emotional abuse whereby the gaslighter refuses to take responsibility for their behavior by constantly lying and denying.
They deny events that took place such that they make you question facts, your memory of events, your feelings, and such. A gaslighter chooses to invalidate your feelings and make you feel crazy and confused, and unheard.
I feel gaslighting is common in relationships especially if you are dating an emotional manipulator. People who gaslight want to manipulate situations to work in their favor. They cannot take responsibility or be accountable for their action. Often, these people have unhealed childhood wounds that affect their behavior.
How to tell if someone is gaslighting you
Gaslighters lie all the time
A person who wants to gaslight you will constantly lie to you to your face and will not change their story. Even when you have proof of something they have done, they will continue to deny and lie telling you that you are making things up and that what you are accusing them of never happened.
People that are gaslighting you will not take responsibility for their behavior and will always turn into lying in every situation. When someone lies to you so much even about obvious things, they are trying to gaslight you and show that what you think and feel does not matter.
They minimize your thoughts and feelings
People that are gaslighting you will try to trivialize your emotions and show you that what you feel or think does not matter. If you raise an issue with them, they will show you that you are making a big deal out of something small and your emotions are not important.
They will tell you that you are overacting or you are being too sensitive. Minimizing your feelings makes you feel that maybe you are too sensitive and as a result, you start to let them get away with things since you don’t want to be the one who is constantly overreacting.
They deny things they said before
Gaslighters don’t keep their word. When they say something, they will retract it if it is not working in their favor. They will make you think that you remember wrong and they did not say what you think they said.
They shift blame
Gaslighters will often use reverse psychology with you. With every discussion or argument, they will turn the tale around so it seems that you are the one at fault. If you try to express how they wrong you, they can turn it around to show that they behaved the way they did because you led them to it. They want you to feel that you are the one at fault and causing their behavior.
They don’t offer a safe space for expression
A gaslighter will counter things you say and don’t allow you safe and ample time to express yourself. When you want to say something or express how you feel, a gaslighter will nudge you on with their narrative so, in the end, you are saying what you want not what they want. They will often divert and change the topic or even put new ideas in your mind so that you are not free to express your thoughts.
Signs of gaslighting in your relationship
You no longer feel like you are the person you used to be
You feel that you can no longer recognize yourself and that you are living in someone else’s dream or realm. You have lost your sense of identity.
You are more anxious in your relationship instead of feeling secure and loved
A healthy relationship is supposed to make you feel secure and loved. In a gaslighting relationship, you feel anxious, insecure and you can no longer trust yourself or your judgment.
You are less confident than you used to be
As you slowly lose yourself in a gaslighting relationship, you lose confidence as well. you start to doubt your talents, abilities, the ability to be independent or to express yourself.
You are often wondering if you are too sensitive and get offended easily
If you find yourself asking ‘am I being too sensitive’ quite often, you could be in a gaslighting relationship. Gaslighters will have you believe that you get offended easily even when you are raising a valid concern.
You feel as if you cannot do anything right, everything you do feels wrong
You lose confidence to do anything since you have been convinced that you cannot do anything right. Gaslighters will criticize you so much that you start to doubt yourself.
You are constantly apologizing
If you find yourself constantly apologizing to your partner, there is a chance they have gaslighted you so much you think you are constantly in the wrong. You always think it’s your fault when things go wrong because they turn every situation and show that it was your fault things went wrong.
You constantly feel as if something is wrong but cannot point at the exact wrong thing.
You no longer feel safe and you are always walking on eggshells afraid to offend your partner. They have made you believe that all you do is wrong and you constantly feel that something is wrong even when nothing is wrong.
You always question your conversations and responses to your partner afraid that you will say something you shouldn’t
Having been made to believe that you are too sensitive, you overreact or you remember things wrong, you start to worry about saying something since you are afraid that you are going to offend your partner.
You make excuses for your partners gaslighting behavior
Gaslighters expect you not to expose their behavior to others and protect them. one sign that you are in a gaslighting relationship is when you find yourself constantly defending your partner’s behaviors to your friends and family.
You feel isolated from friends and family
Gaslighters love to isolate. They want to control you and your sanity and will isolate you from people who might help you see things more clearly.
You are so indecisive and cannot easily make decisions because you cannot face the responsibility of any consequence or outcome
If you find yourself struggling with decision-making, you could have been made to believe that you cannot make a good decision by a gaslighting partner. They make you lose your confidence and ability to stand for yourself and your decisions.
You feel hopeless and struggle enjoying things you used to love.
Gaslighters will suck the life out of you and you feel hopeless that you can no longer enjoy the things you once did.
What gaslighting sounds like
- You are overreacting
- I never said that
- I don’t do that
- You need help
- You are upset over nothing
- You are confused
- Just calm down
- Stop being dramatic
- Why are you being defensive?
- What are you talking about
- Stop imagining things
- That’s not happened, you’re remembering things wrong
Now that you have learned how to tell if someone is gaslighting you, what gaslighting sounds like, and some of the signs that you are being gaslighted in your relationship, you can work on dealing with gaslighting and have happier relationships and happy life.