Gaslighting: 7 Signs You Are Being Subtly Abused

Have you ever felt manipulated by someone to the point of believing you have lost your mind? Gaslighting is a form of abuse that works subtly. Find out how it affects you.

What is gaslighting and how can it affect you?

On many occasions we think that we have made a mistake or that we make more mistakes than normal. When we refer to the gaslighting We are pointing out a form of psychological abuse where people try to manipulate others to make them see that they are wrong about everything.

What is gaslighting?

He Gaslighting It is a form of manipulation in which a person makes you believe that your judgment is false, that what you think happened never happened or that what you said or what the other person said is a lie. There comes a point when you start to believe that you are crazy, that you are raving and that you no longer know what is part of your memory and what is the fruit of your imagination. It is a manipulation of your perception, memory and judgment to the point of doubting your mental health.

The Gaslighting word It originates from the movie “Gaslight”, in which a man makes his wife believe that she is crazy in order to rob her. He slowly manipulates her into believing that she has done things that he has not actually done, and even regulates the gaslight (hence the name of the film) and makes her believe that the flame has the same intensity.

When we talk about gaslighting It is one of the psychological expressions we refer to when someone wants to manipulate you through their words. In these cases, you may have ever found yourself in a discussion in which the past is mentioned. You remember or think you remember what happened in the scene in question but they doubt it and you end up questioning the veracity of your judgment or your memory. The phrases they usually use are: “I didn’t say that, you don’t remember it well”, “that’s not what happened”, “you’re making it up”, “what a bad memory you have”, “that wasn’t done with that intention”. , you take everything very seriously, you are exaggerated”, “you are crazy, you believe your own lies”.

A few months ago I saw a boy in consultation gaslighting victim There was more than evident evidence that his wife was unfaithful to him. He had acted out of jealousy and looked at his partner’s cell phone. On that cell phone he found compromising messages, photos in underwear and even sexual videos. Her wife reproached him for not trusting her, explaining that it was all part of the affection they had for each other as her friends and that he was compulsively jealous who broke her privacy by looking at her cell phone. This boy came for consultation because of his insecurity, his low self-esteem, and his “pathological jealousy.” Consequences of gaslighting

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What the person achieves with this type of abuse is that you distrust yourself, it sows the seeds of insecurity and you end up depending on the opinions of others. Anxiety, confusion appear and you do not trust your judgment or perception. This reduces your self-esteem, you distrust even your senses and you need external confirmation of your resources. The areas in which this usually occurs type of manipulation It is in the family environment (at the level of a couple, between siblings or between parents and children) or between close friends but it can also occur between a boss and an employee.

How to detect if you suffer from gaslighting?

How to detect that I am a victim of gaslighting?

The detection of gaslighting It is crucial to stop this form of psychological abuse. Therefore, if you feel identified with many of these ‘symptoms’ it is important to consult with a professional psychologist.

  1. Unsafety: You constantly doubt your judgment and opinion. You need others to confirm if what you say is true.
  2. Doubts about your memory: You begin to doubt your memory when before you considered yourself a person with good retention. These doubts appear because someone tells you that you have a bad memory and reminds you how something “really” happened.
  3. You are always the culprit: You always feel guilty about everything, and even if you think you are not, someone ends up convincing you that you are. This is why you are always apologizing for everything.
  4. They make you seem very sensitive: You consider that you are excessively sensitive because someone tells you that you take everything too personally or that you are trying to pull the wool over your eyes. In this way, he is always pointing out to you that you are a crazy person with emotions on the surface.
  5. Difficulty making decisions: You have difficulties making decisions, no matter how small, and this didn’t happen to you before.
  6. You feel less: You underestimate yourself, you feel that you do everything wrong and that you don’t deserve to be loved. You notice that you cannot trust yourself and prefer to stay away from others so as not to hurt them (family and friends).
  7. You spend a lot of time apologizing: When someone starts to harass you make ‘gaslight’ It may constantly happen to you that you feel the constant need to apologize all the time both for what you do and for who you are.
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Examples of ‘gaslight’

On many occasions, people who attack through gaslighting They usually do this gradually, which makes their victims have difficulty detecting this form of behavior.

  • Counterattack: It occurs when one person questions the memories of another. In these cases make ‘gaslight’ is equivalent to phrases like ‘Are you sure? You tend to have a bad memory’
  • Retention: When someone makes you a gaslight You point out this action to him, he usually denies it or pretends that he does not understand what you are telling him.
  • Trivialization: This happens when a person puts you down or ignores the feelings you have. In fact, those who carry out this type of gaslighting They often accuse others of being too sensitive.
  • Denial: Denial involves those people who pretend to forget about events as they occurred. So much so that they can deny having said or done something or accuse someone of making things up.
  • Detour: With this technique a person changes the focus of an argument and instead questions the credibility of the person who is receiving the ‘gaslight’

How to react to a gaslighting situation?

When you are in a relationship where does the gaslighting It is a very difficult situation to manage. So much so that as soon as you try to remedy the situation, it is very possible that the person who gaslights you will end up making you believe otherwise.

  • Question its veracity: Question the veracity of what that person tells you: If only someone in particular questions your judgment, why does it have to be you who is wrong?
  • Believe in yourself: If your intuition worked for you before, why will it be different now? Don’t trust things that don’t quite add up. You know what you feel and no one else can see or notice what you feel. Trust it.
  • Stop wanting to please or please others: Think about your beliefs and opinions. Don’t let anyone make you doubt them. It’s not that you are inflexible, but your core ideas don’t have to change. Instead of saying, “You’re right,” say, “We don’t agree, it doesn’t matter,” or “This is how I experienced it, even if you experienced it differently.”
  • Trust your resources and values: Don’t change everything that is fundamental to you, it is part of your essence. Think about your personality traits and values, and what you don’t want to change, don’t let them modify it. Likewise, set the limits that you consider necessary. If you think someone is overstepping them, let them know.
  • Try to see things in perspective: If a friend told you what you were experiencing, what would you advise them? What would you think if you saw it in a movie? He tries to see the situation from the outside.
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If you suffer or have suffered a loss of self-confidence, remember this phrase: “of course I talk to myself, sometimes I need an expert’s opinion.” So now you know, talk to your expert self.

The consequences of gaslighting

Consequences of gaslighting

What the person achieves with this type of abuse is that you distrust yourself, it sows the seeds of insecurity and you end up depending on the opinions of others. Anxiety, confusion appear and you do not trust your judgment or perception. This reduces your self-esteem, you distrust even your senses and you need external confirmation of your resources.

The areas in which this type of manipulation usually occurs is in the family environment (at the level of a couple, between siblings or between parents and children) or between close friends, but it can also occur between a boss and an employee. These relationships end up making the person who suffers from gaslight ends up harming the victim in question in all aspects. Among the most present consequences there are some that stand out above the others.

  • Loss of self-esteem: When a person next to you keeps telling you negative things about yourself, gaslighting ends up making you believe these arguments. Your self-esteem can be diminished because of these speeches and because someone does not stop make gaslight or gaslight with you.
  • Deteriorate your relationships: One of the most seen effects when someone makes gas light As abuse it is precisely the deterioration of the relationships of the person who suffers it. In this way, when victims try to break away from their abusers, it is even more difficult for them to escape their manipulations.
  • Stress: By constantly seeing themselves making mistakes, people who suffer from gaslishting They end up suffering very high levels of stress. So much so that even this sensation can be seen chronically.

As we can see gaslighting or gaslight It’s not any joke. The consequences can affect a person in many ways. For this reason, it is crucial to try to go to a psychology professional before this abuse has a detrimental effect on your health.