The 1938 play and film Gaslight, in which a husband tricks his wife into believing she has a mental condition by shutting down their gas lights and telling her she is hallucinating, is where the word “gaslighting” originated.
A common form of control in abusive relationships is gaslighting. When the bully or abuser deceives the victim by making up a story and getting them to doubt their judgment and reality, it is a sort of covert emotional abuse. Over time, gaslighting victim begins to doubt their views of reality and occasionally begins to doubt their sanity.
Table of contents
- What is Gaslighting?
- What Causes Gaslighting to Start?
- What strategies do gaslighters use?
- What distinguishes Manipulation from gaslighting?
- Effects of Gaslighting on Mental Health
- How you can deal with the Situation
What is Gaslighting?
You might begin to doubt your judgment, memory, past experiences, and even yourself if someone is gaslighting you. You may feel perplexed and question if there is something wrong with you after speaking with the individual who is gaslighting you. we can be persuaded that you’re at fault for anything or that you’re just being overly sensitive.
A deceptive method of psychological manipulation and control is gaslighting. Gaslighting victims are purposefully and repeatedly given incorrect information, which causes them to doubt what they already believe to be true, frequently about themselves. They might come to question their perspective, memory, and even sanity. A gaslighter’s deceptions can become more sophisticated and effective over time, making it harder for the victim to recognize the truth.
What causes Gaslighting to start?
A relationship with a gaslighter could appear to be going well at first. On a first date, they can complement the victim and then confide in them right away. Such revelation, which is a component of the love bombing strategy, builds trust swiftly even before any closeness has been created. The next stage of manipulation might start more swiftly, the more rapidly a person becomes enamored.
What Strategies do Gaslighters use?
People who use gaslighting are typically pathological and habitual liars who frequently display narcissistic traits. They frequently lie outright and refuse to retract or alter their stories, even when you expose them or offer evidence of their lying. You’re making things up, that never happened, or you’re crazy, they might say.
When you ask someone who gaslights a question or calls them out for something they did or said, they could shift the conversation by asking a question rather than addressing the problem at hand. This not only diverts your attention but also makes you wonder why you should pursue the topic further if they don’t feel compelled to answer.
Gaslighters disseminate blatant lies and slander about you to others. They might act concerned for you while quietly informing others that you seem unstable or crazy. Sadly, this strategy can be very successful, and many people support the abuser or bully without fully understanding the situation.
Another typical gaslighting technique is shifting the blame. Every conversation you have is distorted in some way to put the responsibility for whatever happened to you. However, when you try to talk about how the abuser’s actions make you feel, they can change the subject so that you start to wonder if you are to blame for their poor conduct.
What distinguishes Manipulation from Gaslighting?
A fundamental component of gaslighting is manipulation, although manipulation is a relatively common method that virtually anybody can use, while gaslighters are less prevalent. While marketers try to deceive consumers and children and attempt to persuade their parents at a young age, gaslighting entails a history of abusive activities with the intention of controlling a person rather than merely influencing them.
Effects of Gaslighting on Mental Health
Being informed that you are incorrect, confused, or crazy on a regular basis can have a terrible impact on your mental health. Victims of gaslighting may feel alone and helpless in addition to questioning their own reality and beliefs.
Low self-esteem, confusion, self-doubt, and difficulty concentrating at work or in social settings are further signs of gaslighting abuse. As a result, anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts are very common in those who encounter gaslighting. Before the abuse, young adults who have these illnesses may be more susceptible to gaslighting, which exacerbates their mental health problems.
Furthermore, gaslit victims frequently experience PTSD and have trouble both trusting other people and themselves even after leaving an abusive relationship.
As a result, they could indulge in codependent relationships and struggle to establish genuine bonds. It might be challenging for gaslighter’s victims to move on from the event because they frequently don’t express regret or acknowledge fault. Five Ways to Combat the Signs of Gaslighting Abuse
How you can deal with the Situation
After learning how to spot gaslighting, the next step is to end the relationship, if at all feasible, and stay away from any probable gaslighting scenarios. Here are some steps you can take to defend yourself if you feel gaslighted in a romantic or professional setting.
1) Discuss the situation with others
Don’t let the person who gaslighted you break your ties with your loved ones, close friends, or coworkers who value your opinion and care about you. Tell as many people as you can what’s happening so they can verify your experience.
2) Prioritize deeds over words
Sometimes a gaslighter may say what you want to hear to maintain the relationship. However, if they don’t alter their conduct as well, their words are meaningless.
3) Remind yourself that you are not to blame for the abuse of a gaslighter
Nothing you could or could have done would have prevented you from being gaslighted. It wasn’t your fault that the abuser was abusive; it was their attempt to dominate and manipulate you.
4) Never attempt to reason with a gaslighter
Gaslighters won’t react to reason or acknowledge their genuine motivations, therefore gaslighting is not rational conduct. If a partner, friend, or coworker uses a conversation to make fun of you, cast doubt on your sanity, or question your skills, quit the conversation—and the relationship if you can.
5) Regain your trust in yourself.
It could take some time and effort to learn to once again trust your feelings and perceptions after ending a relationship with a gaslighter. Do not forget that the picture the gaslighter made of you is not the real you.
Keep in mind that you’re not responsible for what is happening to you. The individual who is gaslighting you is choosing to act in this manner. They bear accountability for their deeds. They didn’t make this decision because of anything you did, and you won’t be able to stop them from doing it. But with counseling, you may learn how to make wise decisions and establish boundaries with the gaslighter. Eventually, you might reach a point when you’re prepared to end the relationship