You probably recognize the actions related to gaslighting, but you might not be familiar with the term or the definition.
Gaslighting is a power play in a relationship to gain control over a person’s thoughts, actions, and behaviors.
It’s often done out of manipulation and deceit and the “victim” usually doesn’t realize this is happening until it’s too late and the relationship has fallen apart, or the person feels trapped in their own relationship.
Here are 11 signs of gaslighting that are important to be aware of.
1) Gaslighters Tell Deliberate Lies
Gaslighters will go out of their way to tell you false information to make you upset or position themselves in a positive light. They’ll also tell you others are lying to you when they are not.
2) They Deny Having Made Certain Remarks
Even if you have proof that they said or did something, gaslighters can make you think you are wrong. They have a sly way of turning the truth around, or changing the subject to make you question what you think you know.
3) They’ll Turn Things You Love Against You
People who are gaslighters will tell you that your work is no good or that you shouldn’t have done something, like have children. They’ll tell you that your efforts are not worthy.
4) They’ll Wear You Down
Gaslighting often happens slowly over time. People are less likely to notice someone who is full of crap if they bring it on in layers, instead of laying it on thick all at once.
5) They Don’t Do What They Say They Would Do
No matter how many times they tell you they are going to be true to you, they break your heart. They’ll tell you they will change and they don’t. Gaslighters are toxic people, but they can make you feel bad for wanting them to change.
6) They Confuse You With Positive Comments
They’ll make you stay with them by telling you how sorry they are for their actions and words, or they tell you that you are doing a good job only to criticize you in the next breathe. It’s confusing and hard for people to recognize and understand.
7) They Know Confused People are Weak
Lying and manipulation cause people to question what they think they know, and this gives a gaslighter the upper hand.
They know that people who are confused hang around and question things. This buys them more time to continue to take advantage of you and the situation.
8) They Distract You So You Can’t See Their Evil
People who are gaslighters will point out all the things you are doing wrong, or others are doing wrong so you don’t see how terrible they are. This is a form of manipulation and deceit.
9) They Turn People Against You
If they are whispering in your ear about how terrible Susan is in accounting, you better believe they are whispering in Susan’s ear about how terrible you are at your job.
If you are in a relationship with someone who a gaslighter, they’ll inject themselves between you and your family and turn them against you as a way to keep control over you. If you don’t have your family, you need them more.
10) They’ll Make You Think You are Crazy
No matter how many times you decide this relationship is not for you, gaslighters will make you feel bad about it and find a way to make you think it’s all in your head.
They are experts at twisting the truth for their own gain. When people tell you something enough times you start to believe it. Don’t fall for a trick like this.
11) They’ll Tell Others You are Crazy
You might start to think you are crazy when you see how gaslighters are spreading the word that you are crazy.
When someone who is close to you questions your stability or your motives in your relationship, you might start to think the gaslighter is right.
Whether you think the gaslighter doesn’t mean to do these things or not isn’t the issue, the issue is the way you are being treated. If you find yourself the victim of a gaslighter, consider finding yourself another relationship. This isn’t a healthy way to interact with other human beings.