“Gaslighting? What on Earth is gaslighting?”
Definition: Psychological manipulation, intentional or otherwise, to make the victim doubt their own sanity.
Now that you know what gaslighting is? How can you tell if it happening to you? We have no less than five signs to determine whether or not it is. Without further ado, let us give these signs to you.
What Is Gaslighting?
Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation that is used to create doubt and confusion in the mind of the victim. It involves the abuser making the victim doubt their own perceptions, memories, and sanity, often leading to the victim becoming increasingly dependent on the abuser for validation and support. Gaslighting can happen in a variety of settings, including romantic relationships, workplaces, and families, and can cause significant emotional harm to the victim.
The term “gaslighting” comes from a 1938 play called “Gas Light,” in which a man manipulates his wife into believing that she is losing her mind by causing the gas lights in their home to flicker. The term has since been used to describe any form of psychological manipulation that causes a person to doubt their own perceptions and memories.
There are several reasons why someone might engage in gaslighting. In some cases, it may be a deliberate tactic used by abusers to gain power and control over their victims. By causing the victim to doubt their own perceptions and memories, the abuser can create a sense of dependency and reliance on them for validation and support.
Gaslighting can also be the result of unconscious patterns of behavior that have developed over time. For example, a person who has been raised in an environment where their feelings and perceptions were not taken seriously may struggle to validate the feelings and perceptions of others. This can lead to gaslighting behavior, even if it is not intentionally malicious.
The Consequences of This Mental Abuse Can Be Profound
Gaslighting can have serious negative impacts on the victim’s mental and emotional well-being. When a person is made to doubt their own perceptions and memories, it can lead to feelings of confusion, anxiety, and self-doubt. Over time, this can erode a person’s sense of self, making them more vulnerable to further manipulation and abuse.
If you suspect that you or someone you know may be experiencing gaslighting, it is important to seek help. But first, you must know the signs of this malicious and manipulative behavior.
5 Signs Your Partner Is “Gaslighting” You
Be on the lookout for these telltale behaviors of a gaslighter.
1. A gaslighting partner makes you apologize for everything
The victim will be dropping many an S-bomb for something they perceive as doing wrong, even if they did nothing wrong at all. What does this mean? The victim takes full responsibility for what goes on between themselves and the perpetrator.
The victims are the ones who “like to keep the peace” so that their perceived unacceptable behavior is kept in check by themselves. Annoying or upsetting the perpetrator (read perpe-TRAITOR) is completely out of the question. Another party bag goodie here is the perpetual walking on eggshells, which is the direct result of “keeping the peace”. As time draws on, the victim turns this behavior into a habit, which itself turns into a vicious circle. Sorry if perpetrators’ bubbles were burst (not sorry).
Do not be sorry for wanting what is best for you.
2. Decision-making is impossible
Such is the hold over the victim by the perpetrator, the poor victim cannot seem to be able to make a decision because of their need to keep the peace and walk on eggshells. One guess who is left to make all of the decisions? With decision-making abilities all in Perpetratorville, all the power and control inevitably follow.
Prince Ea has come out with a video explaining the meaning of the children’s nursery rhyme: “Row, row, row your boat…”. He says “your boat” is your body and by “row”, he says that the nursery rhyme means you are the captain of your own ship. Translation: you have to take control of your own life and not be swayed by someone else. Prince Ea adds that other people can guide you or tell you how to paddle, but this has to come from you.
Decide to take control of your own life.
3. Confusion reigns supreme in gaslighting
The realm of the victim’s mind has a foreign king/queen, and one of the ways to remain as ruler is to keep the oppressed confused. The options are given to the victim leave them confused because in their mind there is only one choice – the option which is suitable to King/Queen Perpetrator.
Instincts tell the victim that something is wrong but the ruler comes down hard on its subject, declaring that said instinct is wrong. Of course, the victim obeys but feels uneasy about it and has a hard time comprehending it all. This confusion spreads into everything the victim does, says, even questioning their own feelings. Desires are banished from the land and hope is thrown in the dungeon.
It is time to revolt against tyranny and oppression. Bring back your desires from exile and set your hope free.
4. Changing as a person
Before the “relationship”, the victim was probably an outgoing person with a bubblier personality than champagne. As the process continues within the constraints of the union, the victim loses their fizz in life. That personality starts to gradually become flat, with the perpetrator merrily chipping away at the champagne bottle making cracks.
As this is only happening little by little, the victim initially does not notice any difference. After months, years, or even decades of the same, they wonder what is happening to them and see that they are no longer the same person they once were. They have lost their sparkle.
That champagne campaign is waiting for you again, with an invitation to hangover-free happiness.
5. Withdrawal symptoms of a different kind
Forgive the bluntness of the next statement, but it is a case of being cruel to be kind. The victim turns into a hermit and withdraws completely from the social scene, as they are so overwhelmed and bogged down by what is happening to them.
People start asking questions regarding the victim’s absence. Naturally, as the victim, with an immense lack of self-esteem to boot, does not understand what is going on themselves, thus rendering themselves unable to answer.
Get out there into the not so big, bad world; you never know what will happen when you start smiling.
We leave you with some helpful acronyms. Make of them and do with them what you will:
Life = Leave Injury For Enjoyment.
Peace = Please Enjoy A Chosen Energy.
Joy = Just Overtly You.
Light = Let It Grow High There.
Sadness = Sending Aggravation Down Nearly Experiencing Such Serenity.
Winner = When Intensely Negating Noxiousness Ends Right.
Final Thoughts on Identifying the First Signs of Gaslighting
Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation that is can create doubt and confusion in the mind of the victim. It can happen in any type of relationship and can cause significant emotional harm to the victim. Whether intentional or unconscious, gaslighting is a serious form of abuse that can erode a person’s sense of self and make them more vulnerable to further manipulation and abuse. By being aware of the signs of gaslighting and seeking help when necessary, it is possible to break free from this cycle of abuse and regain control over one’s own thoughts and feelings.