Sometimes it can be happening to you without you even knowing it.
Gaslighting is problematic behavior that counts as psychological abuse; when a partner/friend/or acquaintance gaslights, they are making you question your own reality or sanity, leaving you feeling confused, anxious, and feeling at fault most of the time.
The way this happens is very subtle, which makes it difficult for people to pinpoint when exactly it occurs. If you need some help identifying the signs, we’ve got them for you.
They lie to you
It’s not uncommon for gaslighters to be pathological liars. when you confront them, they lie, withhold information, or bend the truth to confuse you and make you doubt yourself. You end up second-guessing yourself, which is the end goal of the person manipulating you.
They deny wrongdoings
They will do something wrong to you or hurt your feelings, and deny the fact even when you have proof. In this way, you as the victim are more prone to feeling unheard and unseen, which can make it hard for you to acknowledge the abuse and address it. It’s one of the many ways gaslighters can deflect blame and keep you under their hand.
They distort the reality around you
This person is a master manipulator of you and the people around you. You may hear them tell others that you’re “crazy” and “acting out” to twist the story into something that paints them in a better light. Once others believe their words, it becomes harder for you to differentiate between truth and lie.
They make you feel small
If the other person has said things like “You’re overreacting” or “You’re so sensitive,” it’s their attempt to invalidate your feelings and make you feel smaller than you are. They control your feelings to make sure that they keep their power over you. They want you to know that, whatever happened in the situation, you’re wrong.
They use compassion against you
After a particularly bad argument or fight, you’ll notice that this person will suddenly become kind and loving towards you. They do this on purpose to downplay the negative thing that they did or said, and to guide you into letting them off the hook. You’ll see that this is repeated behavior, not a one-time thing.
It can be hard to come to terms with gaslighting, whether it’s happening to you or someone you know. If you feel that you or a loved one is suffering from such treatment, don’t be afraid to seek help.