Gaslighting is used to describe emotionally abusive behaviour, specifically when an abuser manipulates information in such a way as to make a victim question his or her sanity.
Gaslighting intentionally makes someone doubt their memories or perception of reality.
What makes gaslighting worse is that society often engages with the perpetrators view of the world. It is so much easier to believe that the world is safe and predictable when we side with the idea that the victim has done something to cause the abuse—in that way we get to believe that if we just don’t do what the victim did, we won’t get treated like the victim did.
Gaslighting manipulates the victim into thinking that their perception the abuse is inaccurate. The victim comes to see themselves as incompetent and believes that they can neither trust themselves nor the world.
This involves displacing the blame of the abuse onto the victim. The victim sees the abuse as their fault. They are told 'you are too sensitive, you are mentally unstable, I never said that, or you provoked me'.The abuser may deny any memory of the abuse. Frequent use of these phrases after the narcissists’ abusive outbursts are common and are used to gaslight you into thinking that the abuse is indeed your fault or that it never even took place.
If you're uncertain about how to know if you're being gaslighted then here are few points to look out for:
Doubting your perceptions.
One of the most powerful impacts of gaslighting is that the victim begins to doubt their perceptions. You may find yourself wondering whether you saw what you believe you saw, or heard what you thought—or knew—you heard.
Feeling foggy or confused.
Feeling oddly foggy or confused is one of the most common symptoms of being gaslighted. For example, you’re talking to your friend and in the middle of the conversation you begin to feel confused or fuzzy. You might even describe the way you feel as “crazy.”
Outsized responses to trivial matters.
Sometimes we all over-react , which is fine. But if you experience a situation where people always tell u things like "What’s wrong with you? Why are you always breathing down my neck?” to ordinary events.Then these kind of over-the-top responses on a regular basis, maybe a reason of gaslighting.
Conversations go nowhere.
Do you often have the experience of being in a conversation with someone where you either can’t follow the meaning of what’s being said, or the conversation seems to have an endless, repeating loop that never reaches a conclusion or resolution? Gaslighting may be the culprit.
Deliberate Change of focus/topic.
Changing the subject is a common strategy used by most people from time to time in relationships.
But when gaslighting is the problem, it happens on a regular and relentless basis.
You feel like you’re on a relationship roller-coaster.
You may feel like you’re walking on eggshells or you have difficulty staying up-to-date .
Unpredictability is one of the most effective ways to destabilize a situation and cause another person to be in a constant state of uncertainty, stress, and hyper-vigilance.
Words and actions don’t match.
When a person’s words and actions don’t match, it can be truly crazy-making. If someone says to you that they loves you while being blatantly abusive, cruel, or hurtful—you are being gaslighted. So you should be alert as it will save you from additional pain and disappointment by paying more attention to the person’s actions and behavior, rather than their words.
So the bottom line is: If you find yourself in a situation where each question you ask seems to be met with an answer that's completely off-base, and the more you probe the more that person puts the blame back on you, you might be in a situation where you are getting gaslighted.
Thanks for reading!😊