In case you are not sure what the term gaslighting means, here is a simple definition: it’s a psychological manipulation tactic that makes the victim doubt their sanity.
The term comes from a 1944 movie, Gaslight, in which a man manipulates his wife until she thinks she has gone crazy.
Here are 10 ways to know if you are being gaslighted.
1. Personal Attacks
This person knows how important your kids are to you, and also how much you value your identity. That is why this will be the first thing they attack by saying truly horrible things about it.
They can even tell you that your kids would be better off without you, and they can point out all the negative things about you to destroy your self-image.
2. Even With Proof, They’ll Deny Ever Saying Something
Even though they said they would do something, when they cannot do it, they will deny ever making the promise. It won’t matter if you have texts to prove it or not. They want you to have doubts about everything so you believe you are the problem.
3. Wearing You Down
Gaslighters like to wear their victims out. They will usually slip in a snide comment about you in your conversations. Over time, this will become a full barrage of insults. They do it gradually so you don’t protest.
4. Positive Reinforcement For Your Confusion
Although this person will tell you how worthless you are, the next minute they can tell you how amazing you are. This confuses you even more and makes you think they are not absolutely horrible after all.
But this is just a trick to make you question your perception of them and tempt you to keep them around with the impression that maybe you have them all wrong.
5. Blatant Lies
Someone who is gaslighting you will tell you lies without batting an eyelid, no matter how obvious they are. It’s all because they are setting you up so you can never be sure of what they say, which keeps you constantly worried.
6. Projecting On You
Believe it or not, a gaslighter knows how flawed they are on some level. But they will deny these shortcomings to death.
What they will do instead is accuse you of doing the same mistakes. This is called projection, whereby a cheater will call you a cheater, and an abuser will call you an abuser.
7. They Create Enemies For You
Gaslighters often manipulate people to make them see things a certain way. Using this malevolent power, they will often make people come against you by creating the impression that you are also secretly against them and out to do them some ill or another. With their incredible ability to lie about everything, making people turn against you is easy for a gaslighter.
8. Doing The Opposite Of What They Say
One of the best ways to know that someone is gaslighting you is to look at the things they do rather than the things they say. What a person does says more about who they are than their actions. Gaslighters say one thing and do another.
9. They Are Agents Of Confusion
A gaslighter knows how much people enjoy having calm and normal lives. For this reason, they will make sure you are completely unstable by making you question everything by confusing you.
10. Telling You How Everyone Lies About You
A gaslighter will often tell you how much each of your friends and family members is a liar. They do this to make you question everything you have known about these people. Because you have never heard someone else say this, you will be tempted to believe this is true.
You might think you are too strong to fall for a gaslighter’s tricks, but anyone can be a victim. All it takes is an emotional attachment to an abuser, a dictator, a narcissist, or a cult leader. So, watch out for the above signs.