Signs of Gaslighting, In abusive relationships, gaslighting is a kind of emotional abuse. It’s the process of persuading someone to examine their own ideas, recollections, and the events going on around them. Gaslighting may push a victim to the point of questioning their own sanity.
The word “gaslighting” derives from the play “Gaslight,” which was adapted into a film.
In the film, Charles Boyer plays a cunning husband who manipulates and torments his wife, portrayed by Ingrid Bergman, into believing she is going insane.
Gaslighting is a kind of manipulation, whether deliberate or not. Gaslighting may occur in a variety of situations, including interactions with bosses, friends, and parents.
However, one of the most damaging kinds of gaslighting is when it occurs in a couple’s relationship.
Signs of Gaslighting
Signs that you are a victim of gaslighting, according to Robin Stern, PhD, author of “The Gaslight Effect: How to Spot and Survive the Hidden Manipulation Others Use to Control Your Life,” include:
- You’re not the same person you used to be
- being more worried and insecure than you used to be, constantly questioning if you’re being overly sensitive, feeling as if everything you do is wrong, and continually blaming yourself when things go wrong
- apologising frequently having the feeling that something isn’t quite right but being unable to pinpoint what it is frequently doubting if your answer to your partner is acceptable
- avoiding revealing information to friends or family members to prevent confrontation regarding your relationship feeling alienated from friends and relatives
- Signs of Gaslighting, Finding it difficult to make judgments, feeling hopeless, and getting little or no enjoyment from activities you used to love
Examples of gaslighting
People that gaslight you become experts at pressing your buttons, and they are well aware of your sensitivities and vulnerabilities, which they exploit. They cause you to question your own judgement, memory, and even sanity. Here are several examples:
- Putting your feelings on the back burner: “Oh yes, now you’re going to feel very terrible for yourself.”
- “Don’t you know? People are gossiping behind your back,” they say. Everyone in the family is talking about you. They believe you’re losing your mind.”
- Saying things to you that they subsequently deny saying: “I didn’t say I’d go to the bank with the deposit.” What exactly are you referring to? Thank you so much for the inadequate funds we’ll be charged.”
- Hide items from you and then claim ignorance of the situation: “You honestly can’t locate your sunglasses again?” That’s concerning.”
- “You’re insane. You’re claiming you were or weren’t at a specific location when it’s not true.” You never accompanied me to the performance. I should be aware.”
Narcissism and gaslighting
Narcissistic personality disorder is a psychiatric illness in which people gaslight other people in their lives.
Narcissistic personality disorder causes people to feel that they are immensely important and that the world revolves around them. They’re self-absorbed, and they don’t care about others unless it serves a purpose for them.
They lack empathy and neither the ability nor the desire to comprehend what another person is feeling or going through.
Narcissists are demanding and seek attention and praise. They have lofty expectations of themselves, their lives, and their futures, and they frequently manipulate others to achieve their personal objectives.
If you have narcissistic personality disorder, you might:
exaggerate your feeling of self-importance
Exaggerate their accomplishments, react angrily to criticism, and use others for personal benefit. Expect special regard or treatment.
be harsh with others and rapidly get envious and jealous
Recognize that you are a victim in your relationship as the first step in seeking help. Consultation with a psychiatrist, psychologist, or therapist is the next step. They can assist you in sorting through your worries and uncertainties and understanding the facts of what you’ve gone through. You’ll learn how to deal with uncertainties and worry, as well as build coping mechanisms.
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Read also: Gaslighting in the Workplace