Gaslighters are capable of convincing you whatever they want you to believe in.
The most experienced ones can easily play with your memory and make you question your whole reality.
Stephanie Sarkis, Ph.D., psychotherapist, and author of the book ‘Gaslighting: Recognize Manipulative and Emotionally Abusive People—and Break Free,’ says:
“Often the only way to stop the gaslighting is to walk away from the relationship.”
But how can you save yourself time and avoid becoming a gaslighter’s victim in the first place?
Here are 10 common phrases every gaslighter would use to manipulate you:
1. “I never said that.”
A gaslighter would always try to play with your memory. They would make you doubt your own memories and experiences. Eventually, they would replace those memories of yours with the projection they have fabricated to be sure that they have full control of your mind.
2. “You are too sensitive.”
Whenever you cry or you get upset over something, which is completely normal, a gaslighter would act as if you were overreacting. They would tell you that you’re being too sensitive and would try to convince you that your reaction is over the top. This way, they would shift your attention from their unacceptable behavior by making things look like you are the one doing something wrong.
3. “Your friends are morons.”
Gaslighters often try their best to isolate their victim from their friends and family or anyone who might stand in the way of their manipulative games. By doing so, they make sure that there is no one else who might influence your thoughts and perceptions and help you see their cruel intentions.
4. “I’m not angry, everything is fine.”
The silent treatment is amongst gaslighters’ favorite strategies to get under your skin. However, when you get suspicious and ask them why they are behaving that way, they act as if everything is okay when it clearly is not. This attitude of theirs will leave you confused and questioning what did you do wrong. You may even apologize for them feeling down, even if you had nothing to do with the reason for their disturbing silence.
5. “If you really loved me, you would…”
Using love as a pretext and an excuse for their mind games is another strategy gaslighters often practice. Once they are sure of your feelings for them, they would not hesitate to use your genuine emotions for their nasty manipulations.
6. “You made me cheat.”
A gaslighter, similar to a narcissist, would make you feel guilty for the things they have done. This act of blame-shifting is characterized by the manipulator projecting their own feelings and wrongdoings on you so that you believe it was you who pushed them into hurting you.
7. “No one else would love you.”
Many of us fear being left alone and unloved. Gaslighters use that fear against their victims. When you try to confront them and escape from their deceiving trap, they threaten you that no one else would love you if you leave them.
8. “I’m sure you said that.”
This is yet another way that gaslighters use to play with your memory. They try to convince you that you agreed on something or said you would do something, and when you claim you don’t remember doing so, they blame you for not paying enough attention. They can be so persuasive that you may actually believe you said or did something you definitely did not.
9. “This is why no one likes you.”
Completely destroying your self-esteem is amongst gaslighters’ main goals. Constantly pointing out your insecurities and telling you that others talk badly behind your back is their way of verifying that you won’t try to run from them.
10. “You are gaslighting me!”
By accusing you of trying to deceive them, gaslighters buy themselves valuable time, in which you would be explaining yourself for something you didn’t do. This is another, more extreme form of blame-shifting, where the accuser is the one who pulls the strings and makes you feel bad for things you never said or did. Simultaneously, they make you emotionally distraught and use the situation to figure out a way to convince you that they are the victim.
Hopefully, now that you know some of the gaslighters’ most-used phrases, you would be able to easily recognize them and avoid being turned into yet another victim.
Have you experienced a gaslighter’s manipulation first-hand? What helped you to escape their toxic influence? Let us know in the comment section!