Gaslighting is a manipulative tactic that works to distort and erode your sense of reality. It a form of emotional and psychological abuse. It eats away at your ability to trust yourself. It is a common technique of abusers, dictators, narcissists, and cult leaders.
If you hear phrases like these ones, you might be in a gaslighting relationship:
- “You never remember things correctly,”
- “You’re going to get angry on a small thing like that?”
- “You’re just making things up,”
- “You’re too sensitive,”
- “Who gave you that crazy idea?”
- “That didn’t happened. You must have imagined it,”
- “I don’t know what you’re talking about,”
- “Are you crazy?”
Anyone is susceptible to gaslighting since it happens so gradually. It forces you to second guess yourself. “Is this person right or can I trust what I experienced?”
A manipulative person will convince you that the former is an inevitable truth while the latter is a sign of dysfunction on your end.
Eventually, you start believing that you start feeling like you can’t do anything right. That you are indeed going crazy. You’ll start constantly apologising for everything.
Some tips, if you suspect that someone is gaslighting you:
- Write things down as they happened,
- Tell a friend or reiterating your experience
If any of these signs ring true for you, give the National Domestic Violence Hotline a call at 1-800-799-7233 or chat with them online from 7 a.m.-2 a.m. CT. Their advocates are here to support and listen to you.