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.
So, are you a victim of gaslighting manipulation? The following are tell-tale signs of gaslighting behavior:
- Blatant lying
First, people who gaslight tell obvious lies. You know that they are lying. The issue is how they are lying with such ease. The gaslighter is setting up an abusive pattern. You begin to question everything and become uncertain of the simplest matters. This self-doubt is exactly what the gaslighter wants.
- Deny, Deny, Deny
Again, you know they said what they said. However, they completely deny ever saying it. The gaslighter may push the point and ask you to ‘prove it,’ knowing that you only have your memory of the conversation that they are denying happened. It starts to make you question your memory and your reality. You begin to wonder if the gaslighter is right, maybe they didn’t really ever say what you remember. Consequently, more and more often, you question your reality and accept theirs.
- Using what you love against you
Additionally, people who gaslight use what is closest to you against you. If you love your job, they will find issues with it. If you have children, the gaslighter may force you to believe you should never have had them. This abusive manipulation tactic causes the victim to question the foundation of themselves as well as what they hold close.
- The slow death of self
One of the terrifying parts of gaslighting is the methodical timeline that the abuser uses. The manipulation happens gradually and over time the victim morphs into someone entirely different. The most confident human being can become a shell of a person without being aware of it in the process. The victim’s individual reality diminishes and becomes that of the abuser.
- Words vs. Actions
Notably, a person who gaslights talks and talks. However, their words mean nothing. Therefore, it is important to look at what they are doing. The issues lie in their abusive actions towards the victim.
- Love and flattery
A common technique of a person who gaslights is to tear you down and then build you back up, only to tear you down again. However, the uneasiness comes from the love and flattery. Whether you realize it or not, you are becoming used to being torn down. However, the praise may lead you to think that the abuser isn’t all that bad.
Without a doubt, people crave stability, and the gaslighter knows this. The constant confusion that the abuser has instilled leads the victim to become desperate for clarity. More often than not, the victim searches for this clarity in the abuser, thus continuing the cycle and increasing the power that the abuser has.
If the gaslighter is a liar and a cheater, they are now accusing you of being a liar and a cheater. You constantly feel like you need to defend yourself for things you haven’t done.
- “You’re crazy”
The gaslighter knows you are already questioning your sanity. The gaslighter also knows that you search for clarity in the person who is purposefully causing the confusion. Therefore, when they call you crazy, you believe it.
- Everyone else is a liar
The abuser may also tell you that everyone else is against you and that they are all liars. Again, believing that everyone else is lying to you forces your sense of reality to be further blurred. People who gaslight want their victims to turn to them for everything so that they can continue the abuse.
Ultimately, the quicker you can pick up on these gaslighting techniques, the better luck you will have to avoid a gaslighter’s abuse and maintain the distinct reality of your circumstances.
It’s important to realize, any relationship can be a victim of gaslighting.
Gaslighting in a romantic relationship may be easier to notice, and the end goal of the abuser is often apparent to others. More often than not, in romantic relationships, the motive of gaslighting is to gain control.
If you need family law advice and/or are looking to leave your relationship, Wiltshire Family Law can help. We offer a free initial consultation and have a highly trained, caring and compassionate team of family lawyers ready to assist you. Contact us confidentially on 13 20 30.