Beginners Guide: Gaslighting
Gaslighting is psychological manipulation. It makes people question their own sanity, memory, and perception of reality. This is emotional and psychological ABUSE.
This can come in many ways and is usually unnoticed by the victim. Until they either have it pointed out or they learn about it from another source. It is insidious, painful, and causes its own trauma. It makes us vulnerable to other manipulation tactics. We question what we believe and think so we start to trust our partner over our perception. This is exactly what they want as they are looking for ways to control what we see hear and think.
They deny saying something even when you know for sure they DID say it. They will blantlany lie to you and try to convince you that you must have misheard them or you made it up. They will say you must have thought it instead. Or they will question why they would be saying they didn’t if they did in a way that makes you question who is correct. This is something they will do often. You will start to believe that you are hearing things or making it up.
They accuse you of making things up. They point to your past abuse, ex husband, bad parents for why you act this way. If you don’t straighten up they will give up on you.
They say things like no one will love you like I do. (we hope so right?) When we hear it often enough we start to wonder if that is true. With all the issues they point out about us, maybe they are right. Could we be as unlovable as they say? In reality this is absolute junk but we begin to think about it.
Training Us to React
They use the carrot and stick method to TRAIN us to react how they want. They will praise us to make us feel like they aren’t so bad while also saying something hurtful to keep us in our place. Out of nowhere, they will say something that makes you feel good about something you did for them. Usually on the heels of that there will be another qualifier. If you had been faster, they would REALLY be proud. There is never a time where there is any true positive reinforcement unless it benefits them.
They will say deliberate things to start fights. Then blame you for being overly sensitive. It’s never what they said, it’s how you took it that is the problem. And if you accept that they will use it against you. If you point out how what they said is offencive it will then become about what you said last week. That suddenly hurt them so bad and they cant stop thinking about it. Somehow the conversation is completely turned around to make you the bad guy. If you try to turn it back to what was being talked about you don’t care about their feelings. By the time you finish making them feel better you have no energy to talk about what you needed to.
Facts are Just Opinions?
There will be times they change the facts to suit their wants and needs or to cover misdeeds. This has many uses as it makes us very confused on how things got to where they are. They will say they are going to work, leave come back in 3 hours with their car covered in mud. When you ask why they will say they told you they were going mudding with friends. Now id this is something you also enjoy, they will act like you said you had something to do. Or they will apologise saying they thought you were too busy. No matter what they will not say they lied in the first place to go out without you.
Watch What they DO
You can not look at what they say but ALWAYS what they are doing. Their words mean nothing. If they are telling you they won’t cheat while still continuing to hurting you, they are manipulating you. There will be so many times you will see them say something and then do EXACTLY what they say they wouldn’t do . This is one of the FIRST ways to counter the gaslighting, being AWARE of what they are doing.
Gaslighting Checklist Coming Soon
There are so many forms of gaslighting that I can cover them all. I will make you a checklist to see if you are in a gaslighting situation. If you would like a copy of the checklist join my email list to be notified of when it comes out.
Types of Gaslighting:
Trivializing- What you’re talking about or how you feel is never that important, “oh it’s not that bad”
Countering- change the facts to suit them, “that’s not what happened, you always misremember everything”
Diverting- Changes the subject, changes fighting to point at you. “Well you did this last week so I did that”
Denial- No matter what you say or how you can prove something they say it didn’t happen. They will stick to their story no matter what. “What are you even talking about?”
“11 Warning Signs of Gaslighting | Psychology Today.” https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/here-there-and-everywhere/201701/11-warning-signs-gaslighting. Accessed 2 Aug. 2018.
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