Gaslighting can happen to anyone, so if something's off, trust your gut…
It usually starts with unicorns and rainbows, since gaslighters are extraordinary manipulators. The whole idea is to seduce and destroy; you shouldn't bother to understand it since it's not what we consider normal behavior.
After the honeymoon period, the victim faces a subtle change of dynamics and power in a relationship. Then the destructive floodgates start opening faster, and you are lost between reality and what the gaslighter wants you to believe.
Here are seven important signs you should never overlook:
Your flaws are on display
It can happen in a workplace or a romantic connection. The victim is constantly reminded of their shortcomings.
Furthermore, the victim gets accused of things they never did or that never happened in the first place.
Once your gaslighter starts, you, as the innocent victim, will begin feeling unsure and anxious all the time.
Not all gaslighters know what they're doing. But there shouldn't be excuses for anyone undermining your qualities and putting you in a bad place, over their demons.
The criticism progresses
The gaslighter is frequently on the attack, and the gaslightee is continuously on the defensive.
They are flawless, and the victim has to admit that the gaslighter knows best. They are getting away with their behavior because the victim is slowly losing self-esteem, self-awareness, and feels unloved.
You're always apologizing
When your self-worth is low, you start apologizing for everything. From bad weather to the way you folded the laundry.
For an outsider, it's easy to see the disbalance in the relationship. But there are no outsiders; the gaslighter removed them from your life already.
You are desperate for approval
The gaslighter is playing a game: two negatives, for one positive. The victim is treated poorly, but occasionally, the abuser will do something rewarding.
In this way, a codependent relationship is formed. The gaslightee is depending on their abuser. The vicious circle is further destroying their sense of reality, self, and any need for growth.
You feel isolated
The victim feels isolated because that was the gaslighter's goal. Shame, guilt, thinking "I deserve this" and giving them excuses like "he's under a lot of stress now" are typical.
You can't face your friends because you know you're not doing good. You can't escape since you're no longer trusting your judgment.
Nothing about this relationship is certain. The gaslighter is playing mind games, creating confusion, and trying to wear you down.
You know something isn't right, but the moment you speak up, you get the response that you're the one acting crazy, or you're playing the victim.
Their superficial charm, and faux interest in your work or personality are similar to what spiders do. From the guilt trips to emotional blackmail, gaslighters will do anything to keep you by their side and get you into the web.
Escaping unhealthy relationships is hard, but in the end, you only have one life, and you're stronger than your abuser!