‘What is wrong with me?’ If this question torments your mind and sanity then keep on reading the article below, maybe you will find your answer.
Mental illnesses are very real and very peril. However, there are times when you are not actually ill but are made to believe so. At times you would find people trying to diminish your self-worth. They would manipulate you in to doubting yourself and would do their best to shake your confidence. And sometimes, they actually succeed.
That manipulation of psychology is called ‘Gas lighting’.
It is a mental disorder where you are a victim, your perception of reality is altered. Like all kinds of abuse, it is based on the need to establish absolute power and control over one’s victim.
Gas lighting in romantic relationships
Though every relationship can suffer from gas lighters or gas lighting; however, it is far easier to recognize this behavior in a romantic relationship, as the goal of the abuser is often crystal clear to friends and family – which is maintaining control over the life of the significant other.
Romantic relationships suffer a lot if such a scenario takes place. People can recover pretty easily from financial troubles, work troubles, or even at times trouble in the friend circle. However, getting your heart, broken by someone you love and, perhaps, had vowed to spend your life with is a bit harder to get over.
Most common strategies used by gas lighters
1.Constantly reminding of your flaws
No one is perfect. And gas lighters make it their duty to remind you of your teeny tiny flaws in the largest manner possible. They would exaggerate things and would make you feel insignificant or at the wrong 24/7.
This time they would take small instances and put them under microscope for you to analyze and criticize, and sadly, like every other tactic of theirs, it works!
2.Disrepute you in front of others
This is a no-brainer, really. People in love tend to be blind to the world. They disregard any query that they would have for their loved one and do not bat an eye. But same does not remain the case with the significant other.
They would showcase to be the person who is worried about your emotional stability but indirectly they will be the ones spreading rumors about you. Sadly, this does work ninety-nine percent of the time.
The crowd in general sides with the abuser which ultimately makes the victim believe in all the lies.
Although the abuser will be very careful of not saying any bad or unethical thing about you directly. However, they will manipulate the situation to be so.
3.Trivializing your thoughts or feelings.
They will never, ever acknowledge you openly. Every thought and feeling of yours will be discredited or trivialized.
Nothing that you could say or do will ever be able to make the cut. And if you will question them on the regard, be ready to hear questions like, ‘Why are you overreacting?’, ‘What is wrong with you?’, ‘Why are you so sensitive?’, and the ever famous statement, ‘Calm down’.
Diminishing your opinion or ideas is like diminishing your voice, identity, or value. They psychologically try to tell you that you are not important enough to have an opinion.
Gas lighters tend to deny any and all of their vicious acts. They do not take responsibility of the actions that they know are in the wrong. This leaves the victims very confused and distraught. As they find no sympathy and no one to provide a shoulder to them at the time of need.
There is no one to acknowledge their sufferings or pain and loss. No one is there to tell them that you have exhausted all efforts, it is time to take a break. No one is there to take their side.
Gas lighters are notorious for their deflective methods. They would do anything, go to any means to avoid confrontation or to hide their wrong doings from the world.
If you will attempt to call them out on something, they will pull out another tactic and will try their best to discredit you. They will turn deaf ear to anything that will put a black spot on their personality.
6.The blame game
Something that happens a lot in daily life. People tend to twist and turn to present their version of the story where they were the good guys. They are master manipulators, and they will twist the story in such a convincing manner that you, yourself, will start to doubt your story.
They will subtly change the scenario, your behavior, the words, and voila! A new story is born.