What Is Gaslighting?
As briefly touched upon in the Google definition above, gaslighting is when someone "causes a person to doubt his or her sanity through the use of psychological manipulation." In other words, it's abuse — mental and emotional.
Though oftentimes you will think of "gaslighting" strictly in romantic relationships, family members, friends, co-workers, and whoever else you find yourself around on the daily can also gaslight you. Typically, if you're being gaslighted in a relationship, it's their way of maintaining control.
Warning Signs Of Gaslighting
According to Psychology Today, there are telltale signs of gaslighting. Some of these signs include the following:
- They lie.
- They deny everything.
- They say one thing and do another.
- They tell you you're crazy — or they tell others you are.
Read these articles from creators to see their tips for dealing with gaslighting:
By Morgan Birchall
"You start believing you're crazy for being upset by something they have done to you. You question your memory and sanity because they tell you they haven't done what you say they did. You become so insecure and detached from yourself because you start to look at yourself through their eyes. You are no longer sure about what is true and what is false."
By Gianna Valoe
"If you find yourself answering no to many of these questions and yet you still find yourself in said relationship, it's possible your partner is manipulating you."
"Not only is emotional abuse extremely harmful psychologically, but emotional abusers tend to be extremely intelligent and will rarely make their abuse obvious, making it extremely difficult to spot."
"It's true that physical violence can be deadly, but that doesn't make mental or emotional abuse any better. This type of abuse can negatively impact entire personalities, self-esteem, friendships, and overall mental states."
If you or someone you know is being manipulated or emotionally abused and/or are in need of help, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. Note: you do not have to be in physical danger to call.
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