The definition of gaslighting is to manipulate someone using psychological methods into questioning their own sanity or powers of reasoning. When there is a gaslighter in a relationship, there is also a victim. In this case being a victim means that you are receiving emotional damage from the actions or words of another person. If you are being gaslighted by a friend, significant other, or family member you might be feeling as though you are going crazy. This blog will help you identify 3 red flags you can identiy in a person who is gaslighting you.
Red Flag #1: They question your reality
A gaslighter will make you think that what you recall about a situation or conversation never happened. They will do this by persistently fighting against what you know is true until you somehow feel that you have recalled the situation wrong. There are many different ways someone can do this, but two examples come to mind.
One is triangulation. Triangulation is when a gaslighter tells you something to tell someone else. When you relay the message to them the gaslighter then denies ever saying that.
The second is by denial. They will deny any bad or offensive acts that they have done. For example, say you are dating someone and when they were in the bathroom you saw a notification from a dating app pop up on their phone. A gaslighter will deny and manipulate you into thinking that what you saw was wrong or was never there.
Red Flag #2: Hurting your reputation in front of others
Another common behavior that gaslighters will use is the act of reputation dragging. They will do this by calling you out or telling embarrassing stories in front of other people. There are a couple reasons that a gaslighter might do this to you, but the main one is so that they can isolate you from other people. By doing this they gain more power and control over you.
Red Flag #3: They minimize your feelings
A common tactic used by gaslighters is the act of dismissing your feelings. They will try to make your emotions feel unacceptable, insignificant, or inaccurate. By doing this you will start to feel that you are in the wrong and put the blame on yourself.
If your feelings are being minimized, you might start to catch yourself:
- Apologizing repeatedly
- Avoiding friends and loved ones
- Wondering if you are too sensitive
- Unable to be yourself
- Constantly overthinking and confused
- Walking on eggshells
If after reading this blog you have realized you are a victim of gaslighting, we can help you. At New Vision Counseling and Consulting, we have trained therapists who can walk with you as you navigate the painful consequences of gaslighting. You CAN escape the abuse and start to feel more like yourself again. However, most people need help setting boundaries, making sense of reality and breaking free of their control. If this is something you are looking for and are ready to be valued and accepted, the best next step is to contact us at (405) 921-7776 to learn more about how we help you.