Signs you may be a victim of Gaslighting.
"Gaslighting is a subtle form of emotional manipulation that often results in the recipient doubting their perception of reality and their sanity. In addition, gaslighting is a method of manipulation by toxic people to gain power over you. The worst part about gaslighting is that it undermines your self-worth to the point where you’re second-guessing everything.”__ Dana Arcuri
When you see or hear the word GASLIGHTING, what comes to your mind? The usual gas you're familiar with? Or lighting as in lighting?
Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you say a word and it ends up being misinterpreted and twisted to the extent that no matter how you try to let the intention of the word known, you end up looking like an insane person?
This is a word only a few people may understand and some may be experiencing. The funny part is that most people who are being gaslighted do not know that they are being gaslit probably because of a lack of knowledge about what gaslighting means and this is how harmful this psychological abuse which is called GASLIGHTING can be. Most times, making it o difficult for victims to escape from the abuse.
Gaslight makes a victim question their sanity, it makes them anxious and confused in such a way that something happened that you experienced but you are unable to trust your version of the event.
When you are gaslighted, you question your reality and lose confidence in yourself and it makes the level of your self-esteem drop.
This psychological event as harmless as it may seem from the surface is a very serious psychological abuse that if left unexamined can have a long-lasting damaging effect on the victim. The action of a gaslighter may initially feel harmless but over time, their behavior will cause the victim to be anxious and depressed.
You always feel like you're the one at fault and feel the need to apologize all the time.
Your feelings are always dismissed. The abuser tells you how you're supposed to feel.
You are always double-guessing yourself.
Your reality version of the event is questioned even though there is proof.
You walk on an eggshell around them.
You just don't feel like yourself anymore
You feel isolated from your former life.
Gaslighting is often practiced by a narcissist. A narcissist is someone who blames others for their wrongdoing, instead of taking responsibility for their actions.
I read a story about a lady who thought she had found the dream guy for herself. It started with a chat on tinder, and they were enjoying each other's company. During the periods they had conversed, the guy would always tell her things about his old marriage because he was divorced. He continued like so that it seemed like he was being very transparent to her. One of the things he said was that while he was still with his wife, he had cheated on her but it was only because his parents forced him to get married at a young age because of their religious beliefs. Normally, anyone who hears this would understand the situation he was in.
Unfortunately, this dream guy of hers turned out to be a serial cheat, she suspected it but couldn't conclude because she had no proof of the affair.
A few years into the relationship, it got bad that he'd openly flirt with other women in her presence and give some fake information and excuses about it. As soon as she'd voice out to express how she felt about all that was happening, he would convince her that she is not mentally well, he would make her feel like she doesn't know what she was saying, also making her feel like she's just being jealous and illogical. The way he made her feel like she was just feeling insecure, was so convincing to her that she had to go see a therapist to help rebuild her. She felt she had self-esteem issues, she felt she was the problem, and she felt like she was the crazy one and the one who needed help.
Fortunately, she was finally able to confront him and break off the relationship when a close friend of hers showed her proof of his cheating.
There are several situations like that which I've experienced, I never knew I had been gaslit. My instinct would always make me feel that something wasn't right. There were times I got a brain fog while trying to recollect some of what had happened.
Almost anyone can be gaslit and it can happen in any form and thus making the signs hard to recognize.
Do Gaslighters know that they are lying?
According to my research, some gaslighters do not know that they are gaslighters and this makes it hard for them to realize how their actions are affecting the other person.
While some other gaslighters are well aware that they are gaslighting and do it with no remorse.
In a relationship, Gaslighting is something a gaslighter can always work on but it isn't up to their partner to help them address this. When gaslighting is very serious in a relationship, it is ideal for the partner to leave instead of trying to reform the gaslighter. The most important thing is for the victims to recover from it by practicing self-care, focusing on themselves, learning to trust their instinct again, and reclaiming their identity.
First Published here.