Maybe you are being gaslighted by someone close to you. Gaslighting is common in intimate relationships, workplace and even in society at large.
To avoid experiences of gaslighting in relationships, it is important to overview signs of gaslighting and understand the psychology behind gaslighting in relationships.
Gaslighting typically happens gradually in any relationship, and things may seem apparently harmless at first. In fact, the abused partner may remain completely oblivious to the signs of gaslighting at first.
In this article, we will discuss signs of gaslighting, to help you come out of the gaslighting abuse, and to reestablish your lost self-belief.
What is gaslighting?
Gaslighting basically refers to a technique in which a person makes a victim continuously question their reality to gain increasing power.
Often, it is practiced by entities as well. Plus, it is quite an effective technique.
Anyone can become a victim of gaslighting and it is commonly used by cult leaders, narcissists, dictators, and abusers.
However, since it is done quite gradually, the victim hardly realizes that they have been brainwashed.
You can, however, spot it with a few evident signs of gaslighting that will help you spot and shut out gaslighting.
Some of these signs of gaslighting in a relationship include:
1. Lies, lies, and lies
The person taking part in gaslighting often only tells blatant lies and you’re aware that whatever they’re spewing out of their mouth is a blatant lie.
Yet, they continue to lie to you while keeping a straight face.
However, this is their technique of gaslighting in relationships.
They’re basically setting up a precedent so once they lie to you, you’ll have your doubts.
You won’t be sure if whatever they say is true or not. Their primary goal of gaslighting in marriage or a relationship is to keep you unsteady and doubtful.
2. They deny they said something despite proof
There will be cases where you are sure they said they would do something. Still, they outright deny saying anything at all.
As a result, you start to question everything.
You think, what if they never said such a thing?
And the more frequently this occurs, the more you start to question your version of reality and become susceptible to accepting their version.
3. They always use ammunition
People partaking in gaslighting use things or people that are near you and then use it as ammunition.
For instance, they are aware of the importance of your identity and kids.
So, they’ll start off by attacking those. That’s one of the key signs of gaslighting in close relationships.
If you have children, they might tell you that it was a bad idea to have them. Essentially, they start attacking the foundation of your very being.
4. Being around them is excessively tiring
The most dangerous thing about gaslighting is that it is done over time very gradually.
There will be a snide comment often or a lie occasionally. That is one of the prominent symptoms of gaslighting.
With time, it starts to pile up and even the most self-aware people are sucked into it. This only proves its effectiveness.
5. What they say and what they do are polar opposites
One most key signs of a person that gaslights, is that their actions and words differ.
So, to stay away from such entities, you should look at their actions instead of their words.
Whatever they say doesn’t mean anything and should be ignored. It is their actions that should be given more attention.
6. They try to confuse you
Entities that gaslight will sometimes give out positive reinforcement just to leave you highly confused.
So, how to recognize gaslighting? The same entity that attacked your morals and foundations will praise you for something.
This only increases your sense of uneasiness and makes you believe that they aren’t too bad.
However, this is the worst of techniques.
Throwing in positive reinforcement only throws you off the radar and again, makes you question your reality.
Plus, whatever they praised you for is also important to note. It might just serve the gaslighter.
7. They use confusion as people’s weakness
Entities and people that use gaslighting techniques are aware that people love having their sense of normalcy and stability.
For this reason, their primary goal is to uproot the state of normalcy and question everything continuously.
It is in human nature to look up to the person that helps you feel stable and that person happens to be the gaslighter.
How to deal with gaslighting?
Keep yourself aware of the techniques that gaslighters use.
The more awareness you have, the quicker you can recognize them and avoid falling in their trap.
Also, it is important to not second guess yourself because of their opinions.
It is crucial to seek timely intervention in the form of therapy or counseling from a qualified therapist.
They will view the situation from an unbiased lens and offer the required help.
They will help you spot the signs of gaslighting, equip you with coping skills, negotiate differences, get you out of the destructive gaslighting abuse and help you start afresh and never look back.
Also, watch this video on gaslighting in relationships:
Remember, you are not crazy.
Gaslighting in relationships is one of the most excruciating experiences which can shackle your self-belief and sanity.
If the article resonates with you, and you feel you are a target of persistent manipulation and brainwashing by a loved one or an entity at work or society, it is time to take this bull by horns and break free.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Rachael Pace is a noted relationship writer associated with Marriage.com. She provides inspiration, support, and empowerment in the form of motivational articles and essays. Rachael enjoys studying the evolution of loving partnerships and is passionate about writing on them. She believes that everyone should make room for love in their lives and encourages couples to work on overcoming their challenges together.