But when the balance of power shifts, and one partner begins to manipulate the other, we enter the murky waters of psychological abuse.
Gaslighting, a particularly insidious form of emotional abuse, can gradually erode a person’s confidence, distort their reality and leave them questioning their sanity.
The term originated from a 1940s play and film called Gaslight, where a husband systematically manipulates his wife into believing she’s going insane.
If you’re feeling uncertain about the dynamics in your partnership, keep reading.
Knowledge is power, and recognizing the signs of gaslighting is the first step towards healing and regaining control.
They deny things you know are true
One of the most classic signs of gaslighting is when your partner consistently denies things you know are true.
You may have undeniable evidence or strong memories, but they will insist they never said or did something, causing you to doubt your perception.
They use confusing language to distort your reality
A gaslighter will often use ambiguous language to confuse and disorient you.
They might change their story halfway through a conversation, contradict themselves, or deny something they just said.
This is all designed to make you question your own memory and understanding of events.
They trivialize your feelings
If your partner consistently dismisses your feelings or tells you you’re overreacting, it’s a classic sign of gaslighting.
They might tell you you’re being sensitive, irrational, or hysterical in response to your legitimate concerns or emotions.
They turn others against you
Gaslighters are excellent at manipulating not only their victims but others as well.
They might spread rumors or lies about you to friends, family, or coworkers, causing you to feel isolated and unsupported.
They project their behaviors onto you
Projection is a common tactic used by gaslighters.
They might accuse you of cheating, lying, or being manipulative, when in fact, they are the ones engaging in these behaviors.
They make you feel as if you’re always in the wrong
No matter the situation, a gaslighter will always find a way to make you feel like you’re in the wrong.
They will blame you for their actions, saying things like, you made me do that or it’s your fault i’m angry.
They wear you down over time
Gaslighting is a gradual process that happens over time.
The gaslighter’s goal is to wear you down and make you doubt your reality and sanity.
They might start with small lies and manipulations, gradually escalating them until you’re left feeling utterly confused and helpless.
Recognizing these signs of gaslighting is crucial for your mental and emotional wellbeing.
If these signs resonate with you, remember that you’re not alone, and there are resources available to help you navigate this difficult situation.
Share this article on social media to raise awareness about gaslighting and potentially help someone who might be experiencing it.