Are you feeling like you’re going crazy? Are you second-guessing yourself and your own memories? Chances are, you may be a victim of gaslighting.
First things first, let’s define gaslighting. It’s a form of emotional abuse where one person manipulates and twists the truth, causing the victim to question their own sanity. It’s a sneaky and insidious tactic that can be hard to spot, but it’s important to be aware of it so you can protect yourself.
Now, let’s talk about how to spot gaslighting. One of the most common tactics is for the abuser to deny things that you know to be true. They’ll tell you that you’re mistaken or that something never happened, even when you have clear evidence to the contrary. They’ll also try to make you doubt yourself by constantly questioning your memory or your perception of events.
Another tactic is for the abuser to play the victim or deflect blame. They’ll make you feel like you’re the one causing the problems, or that you’re being too sensitive. They’ll also try to isolate you from friends and family, so that you’re less likely to get support and validation from others.
Here is an example of what gaslighting looks like;
A woman named Sara frequently lies to her boyfriend John and then denies having lied when he confronts her about it. For example, Sara might tell John that she’s going out with friends when she’s actually going out on a date with someone else, and when he finds out and confronts her about it, she denies ever having said that she was going out with friends. She may also try to make him question his own memory by saying things like “you must have misunderstood” or “you’re imagining things.”
Another example would be when Sara constantly criticizes and belittles John in front of others, but when he brings it up later privately to discuss it, she denies ever having done so and instead, portrays him as oversensitive or paranoid.
Over time, John becomes more and more isolated and dependent on Sara. He starts to believe that he’s the one causing the problems in the relationship and that he needs to change in order to make her happy. He becomes less confident and less assertive, letting Sara call the shots in the relationship.
This is an example of how gaslighting can be used to manipulate and control a person. It’s important to recognize that gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse and it’s never acceptable. If you find yourself in a similar situation, it’s important to seek help and support from friends, family, or a professional.
Keep in mind that while gaslighting behavior is most commonly seen in romantic relationships it can also occur in other kinds of personal relationships or even workplace ones, such as a coworker who causes drama constantly by gaslighting her fellow employees or even the boss.
Why Does Someone Gaslight?
Someone may gaslight another person for a variety of reasons, but often it is a tactic used to gain and maintain power and control over the victim. The gaslighter may have an agenda they wish to achieve, such as manipulating the victim into doing something they want, or they may use gaslighting as a way to conceal their own wrongdoings. In some cases, the gaslighter may have a personality disorder, such as narcissistic personality disorder, which drives them to seek control over others. It’s also possible that the gaslighter has a history of being abused themselves and may be replicating that behavior.
It’s important to note that gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse and is never acceptable.
How to Protect Yourself From a Gaslighting Manipulator
So, what can you do to protect yourself from gaslighting? The first step is to trust your gut. If something feels off or you’re constantly questioning yourself, that’s a red flag. It’s also important to keep a record of events and conversations so you can refer back to them later. This can be especially helpful if you’re trying to prove to someone else that you’re not imagining things.
It’s also important to surround yourself with supportive friends and family who can validate your experiences and help you see things clearly. And if you’re in a relationship with someone who is gaslighting you, it’s essential to seek help and consider ending the relationship. Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse and no one deserves to be treated that way.
In conclusion, gaslighting is a serious issue and it’s important to be aware of it so that you can protect yourself. Remember to trust your gut, keep a record of events, and surround yourself with supportive people. And always remember, you’re not crazy, you’re just a victim of a sneaky and insidious tactic. Stay strong, gentlemen.