The term "gaslighting" has been around since the 40's and 50's. It originated from a play called "Gas Light" (1938), in which a husband tries to convince his wife that she is going insane by causing her to doubt her own perceptions and memories. The term has been used in the psychological community to refer to a form of emotional abuse in which the abuser manipulates the victim into doubting their own perceptions and memories. The word has become part of our lexicon today due to it's popularity on social media.
Here are some examples of gaslighting:
Denying that certain events occurred: The gaslighter may deny that certain events or conversations ever happened, even when you have clear evidence or remember them vividly.
Twisting their words: The gaslighter may twist the victim's words or statements, causing the victim to question their own memory and understanding of the situation.
Manipulating their environment: The gaslighter may manipulate the victim's environment, such as moving objects or hiding things, and then deny that the objects ever existed or were moved. This can make the victim feel like they are losing their mind.
Gaslighting their feelings: The gaslighter may deny the victim's feelings or experiences, telling them that they are wrong or that they are overreacting.
Isolating them: The gaslighter may try to isolate the victim from their friends and family, making it harder for the victim to get support and validation.
If you think you are being gaslighted here are a few things you can do that might help:
Stay grounded in reality: Try to hold on to the facts and things that you know to be true. Keep track of events and conversations, and share them with a trusted friend or family member.
Seek support: Talk to someone you trust about what is happening. It can be helpful to have someone to confide in and to remind you that you are not alone and that your feelings and perceptions are valid.
Stand up for yourself: It's important to assert your boundaries and to let the person know that their behavior is not acceptable. This can be difficult, especially if the person is trying to manipulate you, but it is important to communicate your needs and to set limits.
Seek professional help: If you are feeling overwhelmed or if you are unable to cope with the situation on your own, consider seeking the help of a mental health professional. A therapist can provide you with support and guidance as you navigate this difficult situation.
Consider getting out: If the gaslighting is severe and is having a serious impact on your mental health and well-being, it may be necessary to consider leaving the relationship. This can be a difficult and complex decision, and it is important to have a plan in place for your safety and well-being.
Gaslighting is a serious form of abuse and can have serious consequences for the victim's mental health. If you are experiencing gaslighting in a relationship, it is important to seek help and support. Are you being gaslighted? Let me know below.