What Is Gaslighting? 7 Warning Signs To You Must Look To Detect Gaslighting
Gaslighting is a term used to describe a person’s manipulative behavior who in turn tries to make a relationship abusive. It can also be described as bullying where the person objects to the ideas of their partner and emotionally abuses them. This gaslighting could put a victim in a strained mental state with stress, depression and other mental disorders hovering.
As the process of gaslighting takes place slowly, the victim doesn’t realize that he or she is going through the manipulation but sooner or later they discover themselves as ‘crazy’ and begin to question their own existence. Such behavior is most common in intimate relationships.
Where Does The Term Gaslighting Originate?
A play named ‘Gas Light’ was introduced in 1938 which revolved around the story of a couple, where a husband tries to manipulate his wife and convinces her that she is not sane. He interferes in her personal space so much that she cut herself from her family and friends. All this is done to get in control of her inheritance.
After this play, psychologists started portraying the term ‘Gaslighting’ as the manipulative behavior in which the person is confused with their own judgement.
7 Warning Signs To You Must Look To Detect Gaslighting
Psychologists around the world equally believe that gaslighting is abusive behavior and lets people question their own mental state. However, it is not an official mental health problem yet considered as a real problem. This is why one must be aware of the warning signs of gaslighting and make sure that these red flags are noticed before putting yourself in danger.
1. Blatant Lying
Those who gaslight are known as habitual liars and never accept the fact that they have lied even after the truth has been found out. They can also be very convincing with their lies. When the same behavior goes on for a long period of time, you tend to second guess about everything they have said.
2. Wearing Down Your Image
Gaslighters could be someone who puts you under the bad light by spreading rumors or gossip to others. For example, they could be telling you that they care about you but they are spreading bad rumors to others and highlighting you as a crazy person.
3. Blaming You
Although we know that blame game could wear down a person’s confidence really low, this is what gaslighters also try to do. They make sure that every discussion takes a course which ultimately blames you, whether related to you or not. Moreover, gaslighters also try manipulating the situation in such a way that the victim believes it was all his or her fault at the end.
4. Denying Own Actions
Gaslighters or bullies never agree on the actions that they have taken and completely deny their wrongdoing. This makes the victim confused, frustrated and they throw themselves in the web of overthinking. Moreover, gaslighters will never acknowledge or accept the fact that they have hurt the feelings of others by doing so.
5. Positive Talks To Confuse You
As and when they see that situation is running out of control, they simply try calming it down by using compassionate and positive words. Such words bring the victim into a state of relaxation and they feel that everything is good as ever. Things like ‘I am doing this for you because I love you’ or ‘Why would I ever hurt you’ could change the situation for sometime.
6. Suppress Your Feelings & Thoughts
As gaslighters try their best to gain power over you, they always suppress your thoughts and expressions. Even when you try to show your emotions, they tell you to calm down or tell you to not to overreact. It is obvious that the victim begins to question themself while not able to communicate their thoughts.
7. Their Behavior & Actions Go In Different Directions
Although gaslighters are telling you that they love you and support you but their regressive actions and rumors could simply confuse the belief of the victim easily. Ultimately, whatever they say and do seems meaningless and this is why one should not ignore such warning signs of gaslighting.
Feelings When You’re Being Gaslighted
After finding out what gaslighting is, what it means and the warning signs, it’s time to understand your own feelings to acknowledge the reality.
- If you are doubting whether your feelings are real or not and believing that they are treating you is just fine.
- When you feel insecure around the other person and fall short of your own confidence.
- You feel trapped or isolated from the world because your partner has done some bad mouth publicity.
- You find yourself apologizing to the other people all the time.
- You feel like something bad will definitely happen if you stay around the person for a long time. The urge to avoid your abuser is too much.
- The belief that others will only be disappointed in you continues to prevail.
- Your decisions don’t hold a value for yourself because of the self-trust issues.
What To Do When You Find Your Are Being Gaslighted?
Give yourself a break and consider your thoughts and feelings once again. A short separation can help you in realizing the reality. Talk to someone whom you trust and explain all the factors that are making you feel low. Or else, the best is to consult a therapist by sending us a message on firstname.lastname@example.org. Believe us, expert’s guidance can help you pierce the negativities and walk into a better life.
Do not hesitate thinking it’s a small issue even after learning what gaslighting means. We care for your mental health and so should you! Yes, you are not alone. We are here for any help you need.