Gaslighting is a common form of manipulation.
Perhaps, it’s the most dangerous one. Oftentimes, victims of gaslighters get to the point where they question every single thing around them, including their own thoughts and perceptions. They feel lost, confused, worn down, unable to make decisions on their own. Eventually, they become co-dependent on their emotional abusers.
Unfortunately, recognizing the warning signs of such a toxic behavior is an extremely difficult task. Gaslighters are incredibly skilled at covering their traces and making you believe it’s all in your head. They can even convince you that you are the one gaslighting them. That’s how experienced at manipulating they are.
If you want to avoid becoming a gaslighter’s victim, you must be aware of the signs.
Here are 10 things gaslighters do to manipulate you.
1. They always attack you personally.
It’s easy for the person closest to you to use your weaknesses against you. Since you had no idea about their cruel intentions, you most probably thought you could trust them with your deepest secrets and insecurities. But instead of keeping your secrets, they started using them to attack you on a personal level. This way, they make you feel vulnerable, which helps them gain control over your fragile mind.
2. They deliberately confuse you.
Gaslighting is also known as ‘crazy-making.’ That’s because most gaslighters have mastered the evil art of confusion. They are capable of making you question everything around you, including your own thoughts. To achieve that, they make sure you are in a constant state of uncertainty. By doing so, they also ensure that you need them to guide you, which makes manipulating you a piece of cake.
3. They blame you for everything.
In your relationship, are you always ending up the one apologizing? Are you always the one to blame for all of your problems? Does your partner blame you for everything wrong between you two? If your significant other is constantly making you feel guilty, even for things you have no control over, they might be gaslighting you. And the worst part is that they are most probably doing it intentionally.
4. They make you forget who you are.
If spending time with a certain person makes you feel as if you don’t know who you are anymore, chances are they are a gaslighter. When you don’t feel like yourself, you can’t really make sane decisions and defend your vulnerable soul. That’s exactly what gaslighters aim for. They want to confuse you, make you forget what you deserve, and use you until your presence serves them. The moment they can no longer take from you, they toss you aside as if you never mattered to them.
5. Their actions never match their words.
Gaslighters often fail to follow through with what they have pledged to do. The words they say are full of shallow promises and unrealistic expectations they never live up to. For instance, they might be repeatedly trying to convince you that they will change. But they never do, do they? Unfortunately, many of them are incredibly experienced manipulators, and even after all the lies, you may still fall for their empty vows.
6. They are pathological liars.
Lying, cheating, and deceiving are only some of the mischievous things gaslighters do to manipulate their victims. They stop at nothing when they are aiming to drag you down and take advantage of you. Even when you sense the lies are piling up, they come up with more lies to fool you into falling into their emotionally damaging trap.
7. They refuse to take responsibility.
Even when everything points out at them, gaslighters deny doing anything ill-fitted, while blaming it all on you. They have a vicious way of escaping from taking responsibility, and they are willing to do the impossible to convince you that they did nothing wrong. “It’s all in your head,” “You’re too sensitive,” and “If it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t do it” are only a few of the hundreds of excuses they use to dumbfound you and distract you from the real problem.
8. They isolate you from your friends and family.
Anyone who might keep you sane must go. That’s what a gaslighter would think while turning you into their next victim. They would deliberately alienate you from every single person that may mess up with their plan. That’s because they want to make sure they can control you without having someone else trying to stop them. The more distanced you are from other people, the easier you become to manipulate.
9. They make you walk on eggshells around them.
Whenever you are around this person, you feel on the edge. You have to be careful with every word you say, every move you make, and every step you take, because you never know how they are going to react. They usually lash out at you for the most insignificant things, so you fear saying or doing anything that might upset them.
10. They drain your energy till the very last drop.
Gaslighters typically wear their victims down to be able to control them without any resistance. Eventually, you stop seeing their actions as red flags and overlook their unacceptable behavior. That’s when they completely change their tactic and start pulling your strings, making you do whatever they want.
Do you recognize someone’s behavior in these signs? Have you been a victim of a gaslighter? Are you one now? Share your experience with us in the comment section!