Gaslighting is a strategy of emotional abuse which triggers others to question their thinking, emotions, and sanity.
People who gaslight will often try to convince the other side of their own perception and tell them theirs is wrong. They gaslight others to make the mistrust their own thoughts and instincts.
Gaslighters will try to make others believe their memories aren’t correct or that they overreact to situations or that it’s only in their head. They will try to make you think that their version of the events is true and that yours is false.
Whether it’s a romantic or professional relationship, gaslighting is present everywhere where there’s a need of gaining power or control.
How to Recognize a Gaslighter?
An abuser and person who gaslights will have several ways of keeping control over the target. They want that person to second-guess everything they do. Here’s how to recognize a gaslighter easier:
Gaslighters often divert-this is done by changing the subject to make the other person talk about a different topic.
They may also try to twist things and accuse the other side of getting absurd ideas from others like family members or friends.
Gaslighters often trivialize others’ thoughts and emotions. The goal is to make them feel unimportant.
They will tell you that you overreact to everything or that you tend to be very sensitive.
If people aren’t aware of being gaslighted, they may start to believe that their emotions are really inadequate or that they’re too much.
Gaslighters often deny that they said or did something no matter how certain the other side is.
They may also blame the other side that they’re gaslighting them. This is done to discredit others and make them question your thoughts, actions, and feelings.
Gaslighters use this method to question your version of events and your memory.
They will convince you that things didn’t happen as you claim they did and will even make up things just to perfect their story.
One example of a gaslighting sentence is “You’re wrong. You never remember things correctly.”
Gaslighters often lie and they do it outright. They will do it even when you present the facts and you tell them that you know they’re lying.
These people tend to lie because they want others to question themselves and to accept their version of the events just so they feel powerful and in control.
How to Deal with a Gaslighter in Your Life?
If you recognize someone with this behavior, it’s pivotal to address it.
Try to imagine the situation from an outsider’s point of view to be more certain if their attitude is really gaslighting.
Remind yourself about what healthy professional and personal relationships should look like. They need to be based on trust, communication, and honesty.
Your family, friends, or romantic partners are people who respect and support you. If you notice that they gaslight you or they’re missing out on these qualities, it’s time to change things.