Gaslighting can be a very destructive component of a toxic relationship. It basically refers to any form of ‘reality twisting’ or ‘crazy making’ that aims to confuse or manipulate the victim. Gaslighting is used to gain power and control in the relationship, by making the victim question their reality.
The phenomenon is typically found in romantic relationships, but it can occur in all kinds of social relationships, including friendships, in the workplace and with neighbors. Sometimes it is done in an obvious way, right under the victim’s nose, but mostly it is done under the radar and you don’t always know who is gaslighting you, or even that you are being gaslighted.
Commonly adopted by psychopathic, sociopathic and narcissistic types of people, Gaslighting tends to eat away at you slowly until you realize that you’re a shell of the former person you were ~ Aletheia Luna
It is a psychological term that comes from a 1938 stage play Gas Light, and its film adaptations released in 1940 and 1944. The plot depicts a husband’s attempts to systematically drive his wife crazy by repeatedly dimming the gas lights in their home, only to deny that it ever happened, whenever the wife asks him if he had also noticed it. In time he manipulates his wife to the point where she believes she is really imagining things and losing her mind.
Gaslighting is a common manipulation technique used by political dictators, con artists, abusers, sociopaths, narcissists, and cult leaders. It is done in such a way that the victim seldom realizes how much they’ve actually been brainwashed.
Initially the victim may have a notion that they aren’t just imagining things, but that someone else is doing this to them. They may even have an intuition about who that person is. Yet, the aim of gaslighting is to make victims doubt those rational thoughts and completely replace it with the belief that something is wrong with themselves, either mentally, spiritually, emotionally or physically. The worst part, I believe, is that it makes one doubt your own intuition.
For example, a woman may find a note written from another woman to her boyfriend, in which she writes how much she enjoyed their weekend together. She then recalls that her boyfriend was actually out of town on that weekend. But when confronted, he says that she has her dates totally wrong, because he was actually at home that weekend. The note was also not addressed to him, but to his best friend, who had accidentally left it in his car on their boys’ night out. He also can’t believe that his girlfriend doesn’t trust him! Maybe it is because she is the one cheating. This is a typical example of gaslighting.
When an employer critiques your work, even though the criticism is something she is guilty of herself, and she suddenly denies having approved of it in the past, and continues to nitpick you daily, to wear you down, you might also be victim of gaslighting. Or when a neighbor you’ve had issues with in the past, tells you they saw your son flatten your tires, when in fact the neighbor did it himself, that is gaslighting.
When, police interrogate someone, and lie to them, telling them their DNA and fingerprints are all over the crime scene, and they are not, that is also a form of gaslighting. There have been cases of people who, after days of interrogation, admitted to a crime they did not commit for just this reason. They eventually reach the conclusion… if the police say they were there, then they must have been, and maybe they did do it? The police may actually convince them that they committed the crime and now simply can’t remember.
Gaslighting abuse tends to start off very slowly and it inveigles its way into a person’s psyche before they know it ~ Janey Davies
In romantic relationships, gaslighting is often done very slowly over a long period of time. At first the gaslighter lures the victim in with compliments and kind words. Then slowly, the victim is being made to believe she is fat, ugly, lazy, sloppy, or stupid – the opposite of all of the things the victim was told to lure her in and make her trust the abuser. In the beginning, the gaslighter tells the victim she is the best thing that ever happened to him, only to tell her later that he can do better without her. They might talk about how attractive past loves were and make unflattering comparisons.
Here are some more examples of gas lighting, that I have heard of in my work with clients.
Telling a woman with long hair that she has beautiful hair. Then months later telling her hair looks damaged because she is brushing it all wrong, even though the partner himself is bald and clearly cannot know how to brush long hair correctly. Telling a partner that he is unable to perform as well as others sexually. Telling the partner she has a beautiful body, and then later that she is badly overweight or doesn’t have the kind of body the abuser is attracted to.
Many clients have told me that their abuser, after telling them they were perfect physically, later told them that they had put on weight, even thought the scale tells them they have not. A few clients have said their partners told them they were really funny and laughed at their jokes all of the time in the beginning of the relationship, then later refused to crack a smile, no matter what.
These things are not only abusive, but they are designed to cause a victim to question their own feelings, instincts and sanity, while giving the abusive partner power and control, and making them feel superior. The best way to avoid gaslighting, is to trust your own intuition, no matter what others are saying. If your gut feeling tells you something is wrong, or that you are being manipulated, or that the other person is lying, you are probably right.
| PsychicAccess.com.Satya lives in Northern California and is a natural Clairvoyant, Empath, Conduit, teacher, author, animal lover, healer, Reiki Master and an advanced yoga instructor. She has provided valuable psychic assistance to Hollywood stars, athletes, and everyone else in-between. A multi-layered Intuitive, with many unique gifts at her disposal, she can give you a doorway into the past as well as a gateway to a happier future. With her long distance energy work, she provides healing for people and animals too! She instantly spots karmic connections from past lives that directly affect current situations, helping clients to move through them quickly. For accurate solutions on just about any pressing problem, you can find Satya at |
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