15 Signs You’re Dealing With a Gaslighter

When it comes to relationships, there are a multitude of actions that can be construed as red flags. One red flag has been gaining particular notoriety in recent times – gaslighting. While the term has been around for decades, it has suddenly seen a sharp rise in popularity and, according to some, is frequently misused and mischaracterized.

This article aims to break down the exact meaning of gaslighting, how it started, and 15 ways you can spot a gaslighter from a mile away.

What is Gaslighting?

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To put it plainly, gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation – one that leaves individuals questioning their reality and perceptions. Gaslighting occurs when a person actively seeks to make someone doubt their own perceptions, memories, or sanity. This is frequently done by denying facts, changing the narrative, or questioning their feelings and experiences.

Where Did Gaslighting Start?

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The term “gaslighting” can be traced back to a 1930s British play that was later adapted into a film. Titled “Gas Light,” the story revolves around a husband who employs psychological and emotional manipulation to convince his wife of her own insanity, which is achieved by altering the brightness of the gas lamps in their residence.

The Importance of Recognizing Gaslighting

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Recognizing the signs of gaslighting is essential to protecting yourself from the psychological toll of manipulation. In doing so, you’ll be able to navigate relationships with a heightened sense of awareness and foster healthier connections.

Here are 15 signs to look out for that indicate you are being gaslit.

Constant Denial

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Gaslighters frequently deny their actions or statements, even when confronted with evidence. They may say, “I never said that,” or “You’re making things up.”

Minimizing

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Gaslighters downplay the significance of your feelings or experiences, making you question whether your concerns are valid.

Blame-Shifting

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Gaslighters deflect responsibility for their actions by blaming others. They may accuse you of being overly sensitive or claim that you cause their behavior.

Contradictory Statements

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They tend to make contradictory statements, leaving you confused and unsure of what is true. They may even change their stance just to create confusion and cause you to doubt yourself.

Withholding Information

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A gaslighter may withhold information to control the narrative. This can leave you uninformed and dependent on them for the “truth,” or at least, their version of reality.

Projection

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Gaslighters project their own negative qualities onto others. They accuse you of behaviors or motives that are characteristic of themselves.

Isolation

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By isolating you from friends and family, they make it easier for themselves to manipulate and control your perception of reality.

Constant Criticism

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They might criticize your abilities, appearance, or intelligence, slowly gnawing at your self-esteem. The constant criticism serves to make you more susceptible to their manipulation.

Undermining Confidence

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Gaslighters seek to undermine your confidence and self-worth, making you doubt your judgment and decisions.

Gaslighting Jokes

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Gaslighters may make dismissive or belittling comments disguised as jokes, creating an atmosphere where you feel uncomfortable expressing your concerns.

Selective Amnesia

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This selective amnesia is a tactic to make the other person doubt their memory. Gaslighters may claim not to remember events or conversations that you distinctly recall.

Deflection Through Pity

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Mostly, they may play the victim to deflect attention away from their behavior. They may garner sympathy to manipulate your perception of the situation.

Intentional Confusion

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These people intentionally create confusion by providing conflicting information or mixing truths with lies. This makes it challenging for you to discern reality.

Twisting the Truth

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They manipulate facts and twist the truth to suit their narrative. They may revise history or reinterpret events to make you question your memory.

Conditional Approval

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Gaslighters may condition their approval or affection on your compliance with their version of reality.

Ultimately, this creates a dependency on their validation, making it harder for you to challenge their gaslighting tactics.

Time to show them the door!

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