Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse where one person makes another person doubt their own memory, perception, and sanity. It most commonly happens in romantic relationships, but it may rear its ugly head in other types of relationships, too. Such as those with friends, co-workers, or even parents.
Many people, at least initially, find it difficult to spot this kind of behavior in their relationships. Here are 7 common things every gaslighter says to their victims.
1) “That never happened.”
One of the most frequent tactics a gaslighter will employ is to claim that their victim didn’t perceive or hear something correctly, even though they actually did. It’s done in a manner that if you ask them about it again, they’ll tell you that what occurred was the exact opposite of what you witnessed or heard. This is a denial technique , and it’s often used to instill doubt and confusion in their victim. Later, the perpetrator may offer an apology for something else entirely, and claim that you’re being “overly sensitive” if you point out that they denied what happened earlier.
2) “You’re crazy.”
This is like the previous situation, but it incorporates an additional component. This form of abuse is prevalent in romantic relationships, where the person being gaslighted is made to feel insecure and defective. You’re told you are mistaken about what you saw or heard, after which they tell you to calm down or that it’s not worth getting so worked up over. Having an emotional response is natural after being told that you’re crazy, but don’t let them make you feel like your reaction is unfounded.
3) “You just think that because… (insert reason here).”
A gaslighter will discover what motivates you and use it against you. They’ll claim that your beliefs are only based on irrelevant things, such as your political leanings or how you were raised. Another variation is to not directly call you out on your beliefs but make you consider them more (e.g., “I never said that — why are you trying to start an argument?”). This is a tactic used to get you thinking about what they want you to, and it makes you doubt yourself.
4) “You’re so sensitive.”
This can happen in response to any outburst of emotion on your part. A gaslighter will tell you that the things triggering for you aren’t actually a big deal, even when they are. It’s a way of making you feel guilty for feeling how you do-that it somehow makes you a “bad person,” or not as capable as them.
5) “It’s your fault.”
In cases of gaslighting, it’s never your fault. This relates to how the gaslighter will challenge your perception and memory — anything they don’t like or isn’t beneficial to them is laid at your feet. This can range from a little thing (for example, you are informed you spend too much time in front of the mirror) to something large (they accuse you of cheating).
At its most extreme, a gaslighter will turn the tables on you. For example, by saying that something they did actually caused a problem you’re having. When you question yourself and believing what they have to say to where you end up apologizing for things that aren’t your fault, it’s gaslighting.
6) “I never said that.”
A gaslighter will often flat out deny ever saying what you’ve heard them say. This can cause a lot more confusion than simply changing the context of what they said; after all, there is no way for you to prove that they didn’t say something unless you caught it on video or tape recorded them.
But know this, a gaslighter almost always knows what they said and most times, intentionally says something outrageous to push your buttons. Then they later deny it, knowing what they said will cause you to get upset.
7) “Are you forgetting again?”
When confronted with someone who recognizes their act for what it is, a gaslighter will use every ounce of power they have to break down their target. They’ll try to make you feel guilty for challenging them and calling into question their reality. A gaslighter will try everything they have to make sure that nobody can hold them accountable for the things they door say. Even to the point of making you think you’re forgetting things.
Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse in which the gaslighter manipulates, confuses, and otherwise controls their victim. The signs can be difficult to spot because they often involve denial or contradicting what they said earlier. It’s important that you know how it feels when someone denies something you’re sure happened — it could help identify an abuser early on before things get worse.
And if any of this sounds too familiar in your current relationships, then it’s time to distance yourself from your abuser. If possible, go your separate ways.
This post was previously published on Hello, Love.
You might also like these from The Good Men Project:
|.. In Modern Relationships, We Cheat Every Single Day||Compliments Men Would Love to Hear More Often||.10 Things Good Men Should Never Do in a Relationship||It’s Not Just Sex That He is Longing For. It’s This|
Join The Good Men Project as a Premium Member today.
All Premium Members get to view The Good Men Project with NO ADS.
A $50 annual membership gives you an all access pass. You can be a part of every call, group, class and community.
A $25 annual membership gives you access to one class, one Social Interest group and our online communities.
A $12 annual membership gives you access to our Friday calls with the publisher, our online community.
Register New Account
Need more info? A complete list of benefits is here.
Photo credit: Shutterstock