The term originates from an old 1940s film in which a husband wants his wife to feel as though she’s losing her sanity.
If you’re unfamiliar with the term “gaslighting” you’re definitely not alone. While it’s a technique used by sociopaths and narcissists everywhere, not many people know about it, even if it’s been practiced on them before. What is gaslighting? The term originates from an old 1940s film in which a husband wants his wife to feel as though she’s losing her sanity, so he starts manipulating subtle details of her reality until her mental state begins to break down.
Gaslighting isn’t always obvious at first and it’s not always practiced by a partner or significant other, so it’s good to be aware of how it starts and what it looks like.
Here are five signs that you or a loved one are being gaslighted by a toxic person in your life.
If a person in your life is constantly making decisions for you and trying to dictate the emotions that you’re feeling, there’s a good chance that they’ve been gaslighting you for a long time. You don’t need someone to speak for you when it comes to how you feel and what you want out of life.
When you’re being gaslighted, your natural instincts typically raise a flag that something is wrong. Gaslighters who regularly put you down, make you feel insecure and try to break your spirit. These aren’t exactly the type of people you want to talk about with people who actually care about you.
If you’re ever hiding details of the relationship from others because you know that it’s bad, that’s a sign something is wrong. Not to mention, this is exactly what gaslighters want--to isolate you from the people who care about you so that you come to fully depend on them.
Gaslighters lie, manipulate, deny and falsify every little detail of your world. They’re never responsible for anything that upsets you and never admit to any wrongdoing on their part. They will flat out deny things ever happened and will lie and manipulate to make you feel as though you’re the one in the wrong, not them. Eventually, you start to question whether or not the reality you’re perceiving is actually real.
At a certain point, you realize that everything you say is ultimately used against you, so you start to think that you’re better off just staying quiet. Feeling suffocated and uncomfortable in your own space is a good sign that you’re being gaslighted.
When the last thing you want is to be berated and belittled, it’s easy to just tell lies. If you have even the smallest hunch that the truth will set the gaslighter off on some negative rant, why not just tell them what they want to hear? You shouldn’t need to lie all the time in order to make a relationship work.