Is someone trying to gaslight you? The phrase came from a play made back in 1938 by Patrick Hamilton. The theme of this thriller was that a man tried to make his wife doubt her sanity so that she could be placed in an asylum.
Once his wife was safely locked away, he could get away with murder. See, he murdered a woman earlier, and he took her beloved jewels. He wanted to find and keep these precious gemstones, but he needed his wife out of his way to get his hands on this wealth.
During the time of the movie, the 19th century, gaslights were used to illuminate both buildings and streets. So, these people didn’t just flip a switch to turn on the lights. The male character made his wife doubt her sanity, and he was able to weaken her view of herself and the world around her by playing cruel tricks.
He falsely portrays the victim of her insanity, and eventually, the lady can no longer trust her judgment. The play got its name for the event that happened each night as part of his master plan. When the lady would go into her bedroom, the light in her room would grow dim.
This phenomenon happened with the old-style lights when someone else turned on another light in the house. Though she thought there was another presence with her, or she was going mad; secretly, it was her husband and his tricks.
Either he or a house staff member would manipulate the lights to make her think she was losing her mind. The deceptions caused by her husband are quite manipulative, but in the end, she is saved by a kind stranger who realized what is happening.
So, while gaslighting has recently become a common psychological catchphrase, it’s a problem that’s been around for a long time. Indeed, men and women have used such manipulative tactics to further their agenda, which is commonly seen in the narcissistic personality.
Fifteen Signs You’re Being Gaslighted
Times have certainly changed since this play hit the theaters in the 1940s. Now, there are no asylums, and people have become savvier to manipulative relationships. Since the famous play, the medical community has dubbed the term gaslight syndrome.
Still, some individuals are attracted to abusive relationships more than others. Here are some signs that you might be a victim of gaslighting.
1. You Feel Stressed or Threatened
A relationship should make you feel better and at ease. If you think that you’re being stressed out just being in this person’s presence, or they make you feel threatened, then something isn’t right.
2. You Feel Confused
When you’re with your partner, you often feel confused and can’t recall things correctly. They may continuously have to correct you and set you straight on details that you’ve supposedly forgotten.
3. You Apologize When It Isn’t Your Fault
Do you find yourself always apologizing to your partner? Guilt is one of the most powerful forms of control, and if you feel the need to say you’re sorry often, then it’s a sign that something is off.
4. You’re Second-Guessing Your Sanity
Do you have moments when you think you’re going mad? Did these feelings start shortly after you started dating your current partner? While it may not be jewels that your significant other is after, they could be using you for a part of their master plot.
5. You Must Constantly Defend Yourself Against Ridiculous Accusations
Have you ever heard the saying that when you point the finger at someone else that four more are pointing back at you? When someone is eager to blame you for stuff, it’s usually because they have something to hide.
A classic case is a man that is having an affair will often accuse his girlfriend/wife of cheating, and this is a way for him to ease his guilt by making the other person appear as the guilty party.
6. You Begin Lying Because You Live in Fear
Do you feel fearful and feel that you need to lie to protect yourself or your relationship? Are people telling you stuff about your partner that you find hard to comprehend? If you must lie to or about your relationship or events, you should run the other way.
7. You’ve Lost All Self-Confidence
One sign that gaslighting is occurring is that a person will begin to lose the self-confidence they once had. If you had a personality that you could tackle the world and now you find yourself isolating and crying a lot, then you need to reevaluate your life. Something has significantly changed, and it could have everything to do with your toxic relationship.
Do you have a gut feeling that something isn’t right, but you just can’t put your finger on it? You were born with an intuitive side that helps to keep you from danger. Trust this instinct because it may be what saves your life.
9. You Second Guess Your Memories
Are your memories becoming hard to remember? Is your partner continually correcting you about times, places, dates, and events? It could be a sign that someone with ulterior motives is manipulating you.
If you never had an issue recall events before, it’s a sign that something is off. Now, granted, you could be under a great deal of stress or have something medically wrong that could cause this occurrence. However, if all medical tests are clear, then it’s a sign that you need to look a little deeper into your relationship.
10. You’re Told That You’re Too Sensitive or Jealous
One way that a manipulator will try to control you is by making you think that you’re the problem. If you’re always being told that you’re a jealous person or that you’re too sensitive, then there’s reason to second guess that accusation. If you are generally not sensitive or jealous, then why would you start being all of the sudden?
11. You Are Told You’re Too Demanding
Are you made to feel that any request or things you want out of the relationship are out of the question? Another tactic to invalidate your feelings or needs is to say that you are demanding too much. A relationship is 50/50, and it requires both parties to put 100 percent into it.
12. You Constantly Feel Sad, Isolated, Powerless, Hopeless, Misread
Has your whole mood changed since you started dating this new person? Do you find yourself feeling depressed, sad, and crying a lot, and even powerless in many situations in your life? If these feelings seemed to come on suddenly, you need to question the circumstances in your life.
Depression can be circumstantial rather than from a chemical imbalance, so you need to make sure that it’s not your current relationship that has you down.
13. You Don’t Trust Your Judgment Anymore
Maybe you’ve always had impeccable taste and could make good decisions. However, through a series of events, it seems that you don’t trust your judgment anymore. You feel like your all thumbs, and everything you touch turns to rubbish. Is there a mastermind behind the scenes working to make you doubt yourself?
14. You Don’t Know Who You Are Anymore
When some people are under severe manipulation, they may lose a sense of themselves. They may look in the mirror and not even know who they’re anymore. A relationship should change you for the better and not the worse. If you feel a loss of self, then it’s something you need to evaluate.
15. You’re Always Being Blamed for Everything That Happens
Lastly, one significant sign that you are in a manipulative relationship is you’re always the fall guy. No matter what happens in life, you’re always to blame. If the dog has an accident in the house, it’s somehow going to be turned around and made your fault.
You walk around with the weight of the world on your shoulders because you feel like you don’t do anything right. You can’t cook right, you don’t dress well enough, and your life has become one big cluster of disappointments.
While the term came from an old movie set in the 1930s, manipulative partners have been a problem since the world began. While men tend to be the ones who are often thought of as selfish and controlling, women can gaslight too.
Someone who has the power to manipulate you into questioning your memory, perception, and sanity has too much control over your life. Will a kind stranger save you from this toxic relationship like in the movie, or will you have the power to send them packing?
There are too many men and women who want to have good, healthy relationships, and they will be with you for all the right reasons. You don’t need to waste your time on someone who uses you to further their agenda and does everything in their power to destroy who you are as a person. Love yourself enough to say goodbye.