What is gaslighting?
Whether it is gaslighting parents or gaslighting in general, the devious act is extremely damaging.
Have you ever felt that you were right about something, but even with facts right in front of your face you slowly begin to doubt the obvious?
You are usually pretty confident in your opinions, but suddenly you are doubting everything around you that used to make sense. You just aren’t feeling the same anymore.
Are you going crazy? It’s possible.
Or you are a victim of gaslighting.
Thrivetalk gives the following definition:
Gaslighting is a manipulative tactic in which a person, to gain power and control, plants seeds of uncertainty in the victim. The self-doubt and constant skepticism slowly and meticulously cause the individual to question their reality.
- A narcissistic personality is common with a gaslighter, playing the victim but being the actual abuser with no sweat.
- The true victim will believe this for a long period of time and will diminish your mental health over time until there is literally no strength to even think for yourself.
- The strongest minds can be destroyed until they figure out that they are being abused. However, it is very hard to convince somebody about it while they are in this mindset.
Why do people Gaslight?
- Power and control are common reasons for somebody to gaslight. A Narcissistic Sociopath has a constant need for power, and gaslighting is an easy task for them to gain this mind control.
- A friend could use it in a less harmful way as well just for fun, like moving something you had just put down to somewhere else. However, consistently doing this for their own pleasure is a red flag.
- Despite constant negativity and lack of positive comments, the actual victim will look for validation and acceptance from the gaslighter especially to avoid a raging temper tantrum.
What are the examples and techniques of Gaslighting?
Consistently saying, “I’m sorry” to avoid hostility, even though you know yourself you are the one being mistreated. However, over a period of time, the emotional abuse will eventually make you think you are the actual abuser.
There are terms for individual techniques that are used:
Refusing to listen or share their emotions
- “Don’t start that conversation again”
- “Why are you always trying to throw me off?”
Throwing the victim off the actual subject
- “Think about when you didn’t remember things correctly last time.”
- “You thought that last time and you were wrong.”
Blocking and Diverting
Another form of throwing victims off the subject when the gaslighter sees they are beginning to lose
- “Quit bitching.”
- “You’re hurting me on purpose.”
Making the victim believe that their thoughts are not important
- “That’s more important than us?”
- “What are you talking about?”
- “I don’t have to take this.”
- “You’re making that up.”
Getting help for gaslighting abuse
It’s not easy dealing with the abuse, nor is it easy to watch. Get help as soon as possible.
If it is you or somebody you know, there is help available. You don’t even have to leave your couch!
I recommend Online Therapy, it is the most confidential and safest way to get back to who you were.