Gaslighting Is a form of manipulation that aims to make the victim feel as though they are to blame for negative behavior and question their own reality and beliefs. This allows the gaslighter to maintain control of a situation and manipulate the people around them.
Are You Being Gaslighted?
Have you ever been in an argument with someone that ended with you questioning yourself or your opinion?
If you have heard phrases such as:
“You always overreact.”
“That never happened.”
“I did not say that! You can’t remember anything these days.”
You might be getting gaslighted by another person.
What is Gaslighting?
Gaslighting Is a form of manipulation that aims to make the victim feel as though they are to blame for negative behavior and question their own reality and beliefs. This tactic allows the gaslighter to maintain control of a situation and manipulate the people around them. Gaslighting is generally used to assert power in a relationship, which can be dangerous when it involves someone you love and want to trust.
The term gaslighting comes from a play and movie called ‘Gaslight,’ where a spouse is deceived and manipulated, giving a detailed portrait of this emotionally abusive behavior.
What Does Gaslighting Look Like?
There are many signs of gaslighting, and while not all of them apply in every scenario, it is important to recognize some common tactics. According to licensed family counselor Christine Hammond, the process of grooming someone into believing they are no longer capable of making decisions can take many forms. Some of the most common forms include the following techniques.
A gaslighter will manipulate a scenario so that the victim questions their own needs or emotions. The victim will begin to downplay and question the importance of what they are feeling.
You may start to think that you are too sensitive as the gaslighter downplays the reasons you are upset. They may also make it seem as though you are a neglectful or irresponsible parent.
Some victims find that the gaslighter will make statements such as “You are forgetful” or “You are always angry” even when the victim feels they are neither. They will use examples, such as misplaced keys or a specific tone of voice to create the argument that the victim is acting a particular way.
Victims of gaslighting often find themselves apologizing in every conversation they have. From simple details to taking the fault for big arguments, the gaslighter always finds a way to convince the victim that it is their fault.
A gaslighter will poke holes in what you say and find ways to make you think that you are irrational to make you question your own thoughts and opinions. This act of discrediting may extend to sharing false information about you to others, such as spreading rumors or lying to other people in your life.
A gaslighter will likely not acknowledge your feelings or thoughts, and some may even try to convince you that you were dreaming or lying. The gaslighter will try to deny your reality, making you question yourself or doubt your memory. This act may be subtle, but it is persistent, and eventually, it will lead to you questioning yourself.
Am I a Victim of Gaslighting?
If you frequently find that you are questioning yourself or finding it impossible to make decisions. If you feel as though you are always apologizing for things that you are not sure occurred or find yourself having arguments about something entirely different from what the conversation was first about, you may be a victim of gaslighting.
Consider a recent disagreement with a friend or a partner where you think you may have been a victim of gaslighting. Break down the objective facts and events leading up to the argument and consider how the other person spoke to you. Did they convince you that something happened that you know with absolute certainty, never actually happened? Did they downplay your emotions or needs?
What to Do
If you recognize some or all these toxic behaviors that you have experienced, you may be wondering what to do next. Simply recognizing this form of emotional abuse, and identifying that someone is detrimental to your overall well-being is a huge step. If the person in question is an ex-partner, that you have also made the decision to distance yourself from them.
If you have children with the person in question, you may still be a victim of this behavior. The first step if this is the case is to consider your safety and the safety of your children. Speak to someone you trust and talk to them about what is going on.
The next steps are to seek the help of a professional that you trust to help you build your confidence and create techniques that you can use to avoid this situation from happening again. Re-building your friendships and relationships will help you to reinforce the positive influences in your life as well.
One of the benefits of using TalkingParents is the access you have to the Messaging, Calling, and Calendar Records. At any point in time, users can order a copy of their Record as an online pdf or a certified printed copy. These Records will show the unedited details of every interaction that takes place between co-parents.
TalkingParents users have shared that these Records have helped them gain an understanding of the toxic behavior of their ex and the records have helped them prove this behavior in court. You can sign up for TalkingParents for free or use the paid mobile app.