Gaslighting is when you are Emotionally Manipulated to doubt one's feelings, perceptions, and memories.
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What is Gaslighting?
Gaslighting is a form of emotional manipulations [abuse] in which a person manipulates another person by making them doubt their own perception of reality.
This can occur in many different types of relationships, such as romantic relationships, friendships, or even in workplace environments. It can have a profound impact on the victim, causing them to feel confused, anxious, and unsure of themselves.
Examples of this manipulative behavior might include denying that an event happened, accusing the victim of being overly sensitive or paranoid, or deliberately misrepresenting the facts of a situation. Ultimately, gaslighting is an insidious form of psychological abuse that can have serious and long-lasting consequences.
Recall, the recently concluded presidential election in Nigeria, the Obidient movement was continuously gaslighted by the other parties; they were singled out and labelled as rude, abusive and cyber bullies.
Sadly, every other party was guilty of the same out. Hence, the Obident were made to constantly validate themselves as not being guilty as accused; this was really distracting them from their campaigns. Time was spent defending the accusations rather than campaigning on issues. This is typical of psychological manipulations which gaslighting and guilt tripping represents.
Types of Gaslighting
Gaslighting is a type of psychological manipulation that aims to make someone doubt their own perceptions, memories, and sanity. There are several types of gaslighting, including:
Withholding information: The gaslighter may withhold information that could help the victim make an informed decision or solve a problem, making the victim doubt their ability to think clearly.
Countering: The gaslighter may repeatedly question or challenge the victim's memory or perception of events, making the victim feel confused and uncertain.
Trivializing: The gaslighter may dismiss the victim's emotions or experiences as unimportant or trivial, making the victim feel like their feelings don't matter.
Denial: The gaslighter may deny that they said or did something, making the victim question their own memory and perception of reality.
Diverting: The gaslighter may change the subject or divert attention away from the victim's concerns, making the victim feel like their problems aren't important.
Minimizing: The gaslighter may downplay the victim's experiences or feelings, making the victim feel like they're overreacting or being unreasonable.
Blaming: The gaslighter may blame the victim for their own behavior or problems, making the victim feel guilty or responsible for something they didn't do.
False-Positive: This is a less common type of gaslighting where the abuser may give positive feedback to the victim to create a sense of dependency, but then use this as leverage to manipulate them later.
Gaslighting by proxy: This type of gaslighting involves manipulating others to undermine the victim's perceptions or experiences, making the victim feel isolated and alone.
Overall, gaslighting can take many forms, and it's important to be aware of the signs and seek support if you suspect you're being gaslit.
How to Identify Gaslighting
It can be difficult to identify gaslighting because the abuser often uses subtle and gradual tactics to make the victim doubt their own memory, perception, and sanity. Here are some signs to look out for that can help you identify gaslighting:
- The abuser denies or minimizes their actions or behavior, even when presented with evidence.
- The abuser uses contradictory statements or actions, which make it hard for the victim to know what is true.
- The abuser blames the victim for the abuse or for their own feelings, making the victim feel guilty or responsible.
- The abuser creates confusion by changing the subject, providing incomplete or irrelevant information, or using circular arguments.
- The abuser creates confusion or chaos in your life in order to make you feel overwhelmed and uncertain.
- The abuser uses isolation tactics, such as cutting the victim off from friends and family or withholding information.
- The abuser uses gaslighting as a tool to gain power and control over the victim.
If you suspect that you are a victim of gaslighting, it's important to talk to a trusted friend, family member, or mental health professional can help you gain clarity and support. It's also important to remember that you are not alone and that the abuse is not your fault. The following are common gaslighting phrases.
30 Common Gaslighting Phrases
Gaslighting is a manipulative tactic used by some people to make someone question their own thoughts, feelings, and perceptions. Here are 30 common gaslighting phrases to look out for, the list is unending:
- “You're overreacting.”
- “You're being too sensitive.”
- “You're crazy.”
- “You're imagining things.”
- “I never said that”
- “You're remembering it wrong.”
- “You're making a big deal out of nothing.”
- “You're too emotional.”
- “That never happened.”
- “You're being paranoid.”
- “You're too insecure.”
- “I was just joking.”
- “You're always looking for drama.”
- “You're being irrational.”
- “You're the problem, not me.”
- “You're being selfish.”
- “I don't know what you're talking about.”
- “You're just being difficult.”
- “You're being unreasonable.”
- “You're too needy.”
- “You're just trying to start an argument.”
- “You're being manipulative.”
- “I didn't mean it that way.”
- “You're just being negative.”
- “You're being too dramatic.”
- “You're always bringing up the past.”
- “You're just being jealous.”
- “You're imagining things again.”
- “You're too controlling.”
- “You're just being overly sensitive.”
It's important to recognize these phrases and the harmful effect they can have on someone's mental health and well-being.
Common Response Phrases to Overcome Gaslighting
It can be challenging to recognize gaslighting because it often happens gradually and subtly. If you're experiencing gaslighting, here are some common phrases that can help you overcome it:
“I trust my own judgment”: This statement can help you assert your confidence in your own thoughts, feelings, and observations.
“I know what I experienced”: Use this phrase to validate your own experiences, even if someone else is trying to convince you that they didn't happen or that you're remembering them incorrectly.
“That's not what you said/did before”: This phrase can be helpful when someone is trying to change their story or rewrite history. It reminds them that you're paying attention and won't be gaslit.
“I don't appreciate being lied to”: Use this phrase to confront someone who is lying to you or trying to deceive you. It puts them on notice that you won't tolerate gaslighting behavior.
“I need some space/time to think”: Sometimes, the best response to gaslighting is to take a step back and assess the situation. Use this phrase to create a boundary and give yourself time to process your thoughts and feelings.
“I refuse to argue with you about this”: This statement can help you disengage from someone who is trying to gaslight you. It sets a boundary that you won't engage in their manipulative behavior.
Remember, if you're experiencing gaslighting, it's important to seek support from trusted friends, family, or a therapist. You deserve to be treated with respect and have your feelings and experiences validated.
Strategies to overcome Gaslighting.
Overcoming gaslighting can be a difficult and identifying it is a complicated process, but here are some strategies that may help,
Recognize the behavior: The first step to overcoming gaslighting is to recognize that it is happening. It is essential to identify the abusive behavior and the tactics the abuser is using to manipulate you.
Seek support: It is important to seek support from trusted friends, family, or a therapist. Talking to someone about it can help you regain your sense of reality and validate your experiences.
Keep a journal/record: Keeping a journal can help you document incidents and provide evidence to support your memories and experiences. It can also help you identify patterns and behaviors that the abuser uses.
Set boundaries: Establishing clear boundaries can help you regain control of the situation. It is important to communicate your boundaries to the abuser and stick to them.
Practice self-care: Gaslighting can take a toll on your mental health. Practicing self-care, such as exercise, meditation, and spending time with positive people, can help you stay mentally and emotionally strong.
Consider leaving the relationship: If the this is occurring in a relationship, it may be necessary to consider ending the relationship. No one deserves to be in an abusive situation, and it is important to prioritize your safety and well-being.
Remember that overcoming it is a process, and it may take time. Be patient and kind to yourself and know that there is support available to help you.
In Conclusion, Gaslighting is a tactic what makes a victim question everything about their reality. You might be thinking that maybe it just happens to people experiencing a rough patch in their lives and have lower self-esteem, or those that are vulnerable, but gaslighting can affect anyone—everyone's susceptible.
Throughout history, the technique has been used by some of the most prominent people in society, such as dictators and cult leaders, but is also used by everyday people you might meet (and may not realize)—narcissists and abusers.
The goodness is that you have been equipped with knowledge and the strategies to identify and overcome gaslighting as they arise in your relationships in every facet of your engagements and life.
On my next muse, I will be sharing 27 Common Gaslighting Phrases with Examples that will help you spot gaslighters.