what is gaslighting

First, lets define what gaslighting is: Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse that can occur in relationships, friendships, and even workplaces. The person who is being gaslit will question their own sanity. The gaslighter is often doing this as a means of power and control, especially in relationships. If someone is  unaware of the signs, it can be hard for them to even recognize gaslighting is happening and therefore making it harder for them to leave a unhealthy relationship. 

Gaslighting examples in relationships

  1. That never happened”
    • These types of gaslighting statements aim to have the person doubt themselves, their actions, and their experiences. The individual using gaslighting will do or say something and then deny it ever happening. It leaves the other person then questioning “did I make it up? Did it happen that way? Maybe it was a dream”
  2. You’re crazy!
    • Statements such as these will make people doubt their own sanity. In some situations the gaslighter may even make someone’s family or friends doubt the persons sanity as well. Why? Because this will discredit anything that the person says. 
  3. “I’m sorry you think that…but……”
    • These types of statements may seem like an apology….but is it really? NO. There is no accountability being taken with these types of statements and places the blame on the other person. It leaves someone questioning their perception and wondering if they really did overreact. “ it really wasn’t that big of deal”
  4. I mean, do you really think I’d make something like that up?
    • Another type of statement that will leave someone questioning their perception of events & their reality. It aims to make someone feel guilty for not trusting their partner. 
    • Again, a statement leaving someone questioning their own reality and sanity. 
  5. “You are not making any sense”
    • Again, a statement leaving someone questioning their own reality and sanity. 
  6. “You know I’d never hurt you on purpose”
    • This again is a statement where someone is not taking accountability and is manipulating someone’s trust. It leaves the other person questioning where they really have the right to be upset with their partner. 
  7. I am so happy you got a promotion, but your job is so easy and its not that much. Money 
    • Used when the partner is feeling jealous of intimidated 
  8. I never said that, you misheard me again
    • Making you question what you really heard and your perception of things. 
  9. It isn’t a big deal 
    • A way to minimize how you are feeling or what you’re thinking 
  10. Your just insecure 
    • Invalidating our concerns and making you question your perception 

How to start setting boundaries

examples of Statements to help 
  1. My feelings are valid. I would appreciate you not telling me I am being_______
  2. Please do not tell me how to feel 
  3. I will not continue this conversation if you keep telling me how I am feeling. 
  4. I know what I saw/heard 
  5. We remember things differently 
  6. I will not debate what happened with you 

How to get help

  1. Education- learn what gaslighting is. Also, learn to identify how and when it is happening 
  2. Collect evidence – help keep track of whats really happening in real time. Take screen shots of texts or emails, photos, note dates and times of conversations
  3. Involve others- talk it out 
  4. Seek professional help 
  5. Stick with your truth and try not to deviate. Believe in yourself, feelings, etc. 
  6. Be willing to leave a conversation- walking away before things get worse is a way to maintion your truth of events. 

Blog Disclaimer – These posts are not meant to treat, diagnose, or serve as a replacement for therapy. If you are experiencing a mental health emergency, please contact your local crisis center or dial 911. Here are more immediate resources as well.