Gaslighting is hard for some people to recognize, most of all when we are in it. I am natorious for not being about to tell when I am being gaslite or emoitonally matnipulated until I’m out of the situation. Then it becomes clear as day. It is like this for most people who are empathic by nature, people pleasers, women (Yes we were socialized that way for the most part) and a variety of other enviromental factors.
There are clear signs that you are being gaslight though and while some of them are unintensional, it doesn’t make them any less damaging or less manipulative. I once heard something and for the life of me I can’t remember where, but it stuck with me and its this.
Your intensions only matter to a certain extent. If I step on your foot, I might have not intended to hurt you, but it doesn’t make you foot hurt any less.
I find this extrememly important because Gaslighting has become such a big part of relationships of all sorts from parenting to lovers, it is important for us to remember that good intension doesn’t mean its healthy.
So what is Gaslighting? Gaslighting is a form of abuse and manipulation that centers around making someone doubt themselves and their own reality. I went thought his with my ex husband in the most obvious way. The way that he would tell me I was crazy, when could he possibly have time to have an affair?! That I was manipulating him with even asking. He had a nine month long affair by the way. It made ME feel guilty for even thinking it, for doubting and hurting him.
That’s one of the most obvious of incidents when gaslighting occurs. There are obviously more subtle ones and many of them are associated with Narcissism which you can check out in my post here. If you feel like you are dealing with these, I do suggest you try and talk about it. If they wont even listen or try to turn it on you, then that is a form of gaslighting. It can sometimes take an outside source, like a councilor or therapist to really start trusting yourself again.
- They tell you that you are the crazy one
- They turn others away from you to illuminate your support system
- You are never the one that is right
- You are not allowed to have your own feelings
- They make you feel guilty for having your own needs
- You always feel confused if you are on good terms
- You start doubting your own intuition
- You constantly feel like you have to def end your reality
- You start collecting proof, not just for others but to assure yourself
- They accuse you of things they know that they’ve done themselves
- They deny they have done something even when you have proof
As always please please please feel free to leave any thoughts or other forms of gaslighting in the comments. Gaslighting often thrives in secret and the more you talk about it to others the easier it is to get through and identify.