What is Gaslighting? Is it Happening to You?

In this world, there are a number of people, who are suffering from mental issues. Some of them are in the deep impact of their negative mental health, but still, neglect the fact of being mentally disturbed. One of the most disturbing emotional abuses is “Gaslighting” in which a person manipulates situations for another person in order to distrust his or her own memory and perceptions and gain more power over him/her. It is a kind of manipulation over friends, family members, and sometimes even co-workers. People think that gaslighting is the right technique of deception are highly toxic to people close to them.

Where did “Gaslighting” come from?

Gaslight is a movie directed by George Cukor. It was released in 1944, starring Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer. There, the female character (Bergman) starts to believe that she is losing her mind as disturbing things continue to happen to her. Ultimately, Boyer’s attitude is behind all of them. He forces her to doubt herself to psychologically drive her crazy.

What is Gaslighting?

Today Gaslighting is used to describe the manipulative and abusive behaviour of an individual. It is a way in which an abuser manipulates information in such a way that the victim starts doubting himself/herself. The gaslighter has the only goal to isolate the victim and make him/her completely dependent. You often imagine yourself, memories and perceptions when someone is gaslighting you. Most of the times after you have been in contact with the person who has been throwing your light, you are left in a state of blindness and confusion and wondering what is wrong with you.

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Common Signs of Gaslighting

1.  They start telling lies

People who are involved in gaslighting are habitual liars. They have the ability to blatantly lie on your face and make you believe their false stories. Gaslighters have the ability to convince you with their lies. They can even tell you a big lie that they won’t even remember. Such people will always tell you a lie and when you’ll ask for the proof, they will start telling you fake stories that don’t even exist. Lying is one of the most destructive human behaviors.

2.  They spread rumours

The gaslighters are expert in spreading rumours and gossips about people whom they are generally jealous of. They have the ability to pretend to be worried about you, but they are subtly telling others what they are telling you about others. They are unstable and emotionally crazy personalities that love to spread rumours about people being mentally disturbed. Keep in mind that gaslighters are not your real friends, but will behave like your friend and pretend to trust and care about you. Spreading rumours about your disturbed mental condition is a gaslighting example.

3.  They trivialize your thoughts and feelings

The only aim of a gaslighter is to gain power over you. In the beginning, they might give you unwanted statements like “calm down”, “Stop overreacting”, “why being so sensitive?”. All these statements will make you question yourself about your behaviour. You’ll think twice before communicating and thinking after getting in touch with a gaslighter. One of the major Signs of Gaslighting is trivializing of your thoughts and feelings.

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4. They Shift blame to you

Have you ever met a person, who shifts the blame of their mistakes to others? Shifting blames to others is what turns us into gaslighters? A gaslighter will never leave a chance to blame you for something mistakenly occurred. When you start talking about their strange behaviour to themselves, they will start twisting the conversation and start blaming you for no reason. They will manipulate a situation in such a way that you’ll end up believing that you are the cause behind every mistake that has happened. You can find such people in your office, school, public places and your home. Even in intimate relationships, it’s common to face mental abuse and manipulation.

5. They take credit for right deeds

If you’ve been surrounded by a gaslighter, you can easily spot them with their negative behaviour. They have the habit of taking credit for every right deed. They will make you doubt your abilities by taking credit for your work. If you are working with a gaslighter, they’re surely not going to give you the credit of anything. In fact, they won’t even take your name anywhere in the work. But it is wrongdoing; they will surely give you the credit. They won’t take the credit of their poor work and choices. If you want to know how to deal with gaslighting,  we’ll answer, “just stay away from such a negative person.”

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6. They have abusive behaviour

People who do gaslight are major Bullies and abusers. They make the victim confused and frustrated with their talks. Their abusive behaviour makes it tough for the victim to overcome, move on or heal from abusiveness. Gaslighters will make your life hell and you later you’ll start depending on them. You’ll lose your confidence and self-esteem after being caught in the strings of a gaslighter. Bullying and abusive gaslighting at work have become common these days. So, it’s recommended to be cautious.

7. They use their words as weapons

Have you ever talked to a person who made you question on your abilities? Such a person can be a gaslighter. She/he will use a kind word to make the situation smooth. They have the ability to use their hard words very softly and make you believe in them. They will use the words of apology, love and care just to bait you, but they are not authentic. Such type of gaslighting in relationships has become very common. So, while dealing with gaslighters, you have to pay very close attention to their behaviour, words and actions.

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Are you a victim of gaslighting?

Sometimes people become a victim of gaslighting without being known about it. Gaslighting is harmful and can badly impact your mental health. It can cause anxiety, stress, lack of confidence, lack of self-esteem and depression to the victim. Victims of Gaslighting may also face panic attacks, anxiety attacks, nervous breakdown and what not. If you want to determine whether you are a victim of gaslighting or not, try answering the following questions.

  •          Have you started doubting yourself?
  •          Are you losing your confidence and self-esteem?
  •          Do you often doubt your judgments and choices?
  •          Do you often feel vulnerable and insecure?
  •          Have you ever get the feeling of being stupid and crazy?
  •          Are you disappointed with yourself?
  •          Do you feel confused, alone and powerless?
  •          Do you spend a lot of time apologizing people?
  •          Are you too sensitive?
  •          Are you dependent?
  •          Do you struggle to make decisions?

If the answer of the major number of questions is yes, then you need to get rid of the person who is making you question on your abilities. Whenever you interact with a person that shows the Signs of Gaslighting, try ignoring them.

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We hope that we’ve described the word “gaslighting” in the right way to you. If you are also developing the signs of gaslighting, consult a psychologist and get rid of your condition.