Are you familiar with the term “Gaslighting?”
It’s a term to used to describe a specific form of manipulation that is used often by people that want someone else (or a group of people) to question what they know to be true. People that are good at gaslighting others can have people question everything from their own memories and perceptions to reality itself.
Gaslighting is a serious red flag that can become a serious problem if you ignore it. It took me a long time and a lot of heartache to learn this.
Gaslighting should never be ignored, accepted, or even tolerated. I certainly don’t tolerate it at this stage of my life. I’ll give grace, but there has to be acknowledgment, accountability, and repenting, or you’re just giving the gaslighter permission to abuse you or others some more. Don’t give people permission to be abusive. Mind your boundaries and enforce them. The right people won’t cross those boundaries often and they’ll never do it intentionally.
Gaslighting can make people feel very confused, hurt, or perhaps even a little crazy. Most of us have some kind of confidence or security issues and gaslighters know how to indentify them and use them to their advantage.
Gaslighting can make you feel
- you’re being silly
- you’re over emotional.
- there is no one you can trust.
- like you did something wrong.
- you need to apologize for something.
- servere anxiety or depression.
What does gaslighting sound like?
- “Are you just having a bad day”
- “You’re so dramatic”
- “Are you sure?”
- “You seem emotional.”
- “You know you sound crazy, right?”
- “You always overreact.”
- “You’re making it a bigger deal than it is.”
- “Nothing you’re saying makes sense.”
- “You’re overreacting”
- “I was joking!”
- “You’re not thinking clearly”
- “You’re being paranoid”
- “Do you even hear yourself?”
- “I’m the victim”
- “Don’t be crazy.”
Do you notice a theme? Does this remind you of someone? Many gaslighting statements and leading questions sound very similar. That is because people that gaslight other people are skilled at selling their version of events. They know how to pick at insecurities. They also know how to make people sound or look crazy. This is why it maybe best to cut people out of your life when you discover they gaslight people.
A person that gaslights other people will have a problem admitting faults, taking ownership, or apologizing for being manipulative. They’ll hardly ever acknowledge or take responsibility for the things that they do or the way they make people feel.
If I could go back in time and tell myself one thing, it would be to learn what gaslighting is early in life and make sure to put the brakes on whenever it happens.
I have been through a lot of theraphy for many different reasons. I’m a fan of theraphy and learning about what makes people tick, because knowing truly is half the battle.
If you are feeling like someone is gaslighting you, call them on it. Ask them why they say the things that they say. Good people that truly care about you will acknowledge it or at least listen to what you have to say. If you don’t feel like you can call the gaslighter out directly for any reason, ask someone you trust for advice. The more honest you are about the situation the better your help and advice will be. If you feel like you have to make excuses or tone it down to protect the person you think may be gaslighting you, there is a serious issue.
At this point in my life, I have no room for people that mistreat other people. I certainly don’t have time for people that mistreat me. You shouldn’t either.