Gaslighting is a tactic in which a person, in order to manipulate a victim, makes them question their own sanity.
And this sneaky method of control works much better than you may believe. Anyone can fall victim to a gaslighter, and it is commonly used by narcissists, abusers, dictators, and cult leaders. It is a slow process in which the victim does not realize the extent to which they’ve been brainwashed. For instance, in the 1944 Hollywood film Gaslight, a husband manipulates his wife to the point where she starts believing she has gone insane.
Below, we have listed 7 things you need to look out for in order to shield yourself and your loved ones from gaslighters.
1. Blatant lies
Gaslighters are pathological liars. They will blatantly tell you untruths and never admit to their deceit or change their stories, even when you show them evidence to prove the contrary. Lying is one of their biggest weapons and even when you know that they’re not telling the truth, they can seem very convincing. At some point, you may even start to second-guess your evidence.
When you ask such a person a question or expose them for who they truly are, they may change the subject by asking an unrelated question rather than responding to the problem at hand. They will deflect blame by saying things like: “That never happened. You’re making this up.”
3. They tell you or others that you’ve gone mad
This is one of the gaslighter’s most powerful tools, because of its dismissiveness. The abuser knows that if they question your sanity, many people will not listen to you when you tell them the gaslighter is abusing you because they think you might not be well in your head.
4. They tell you everyone else is a liar
The gaslighter tells you that everyone else, including your family, is a liar, and thus makes you question what’s true and what’s not. You never met someone who would do something like this, so you think they must be telling the truth. Do not be fooled, this is all part of their game!
5. Their actions are conflicting with their words
When dealing with a gaslighter, you must look at what they’re doing rather than believing their words blindly. Their words mean nothing. Their actions are at the core of all problems.
6. They drain you over time
This is one of the ugliest things about gaslighting – it is done slowly, over time. A hurtful comment here, a lie there… and before you know it, trouble has piled up. Even the smartest and most awake people can fall victims to gaslighting.
7. They project
They are cheating on you or abusing alcohol or drugs, yet, they keep accusing you of doing exactly that. This is done with such precision that at one point you start defending yourself while getting distracted from the abuser’s own actions.
We hope this article was helpful to you. Let us know your thoughts on the topic of gaslighting by joining the conversation in the comments, and please share if you’ve enjoyed the read.