7 Ways to Deal with Gaslighting- from a Therapist

7 Ways to Deal with Gaslighting- from a Therapist

The term “gaslighting” has been circulating as a psychological term for a while. The attention that this term has received has helped people in identifying and naming specific dysfunctions that are occurring in their relationships, and it has empowered many to stand firm in their individual truths. Despite being aware of the phrase and comprehending what it means, many people still find it challenging to manage situations when they are the ones being gaslit. So let’s discuss how to avoid gaslighting and maintain your integrity:

1. Be able to spot gaslighting when it occurs.
Typical gaslighting expressions:

“You’re making up stuff,”
“That never happened.”
“You’re being over the top.”
“You’re exaggerating the situation.”
When someone is gaslit on a regular basis, they begin to exhibit symptoms of poor self-esteem and emotional dependency on the abuser. You could feel a variety of feelings during a disagreement with someone who is gaslighting you, including confusion, anger, and frustration. You might also find yourself arguing aloud and in your head. This constant back and forth is draining and might undermine your confidence.
You can begin to end the loop once you can accurately identify gaslighting when it occurs in the present.

2. Remain firm in the truth.
Gaslighting aims to cause the recipient to question their own reality. The person who is gaslighting you can be attempting to dodge responsibility while progressively creating emotional dependence within you. This leads to a great deal of internal confusion, which diminishes your confidence in your memories and self.

Hold strong to your truth and own your perspective! Don’t allow them to tell you how you feel. It sounds like saying “I know what I saw.”

3. Put things in writing.
It can be beneficial to write things out as they happen to help you ground yourself in the truth. Write in a journal about your experiences, and make it a practice to read back over some of your entries daily. A journal is a fantastic tool for keeping track of events throughout time. This will increase your confidence in what you already know to be true.

4. Keep the discussion brief.

When you start the conversation, be aware of your objectives. What do you hope to achieve? Resolve? What are the things you want to make clear? Someone who is gaslighting will lie openly, change the story, and downplay how you feel. Knowing your purpose before you start the conversation will prevent you from becoming sidetracked in any of the ways that a gaslighter might take you.

5. Be prepared to end the conversation.

Additionally, the gaslighter may devise strategies like minimizing and deflection. Practice self-validation in these situations, and pay attention to when the conversation becomes unfair and repetitive. When you begin to notice that your reality is being dismissed, give yourself permission to exit the conversation.

To keep your perception of events, move away before the gaslighting becomes severe. Keep in mind that the gaslighter’s purpose is to make you doubt your reality.

6. Resist the urge to try and “outsmart” the gaslighter.
Disengaging is the best course of action when facing a gaslighter. A gaslighting person will still find a way to deflect, minimize, or dismiss even if you come prepared with a ton of proof, including photos, videos, and more. It is essential to walk away with your unaltered reality.

7. Lean on your circle of supporters and tell the truth.
If the person gaslighting you has narcissistic personality disorder, they may want to isolate you psychologically and make you emotionally dependent. We further absorb our truth when we communicate with our support system about our reality, what is happening, what we know, and what we have seen, witnessed, and experienced.

Final Thoughts

When someone is gaslighting you, it can be incredibly disorienting to talk to them. They make every effort to throw you off balance and shift the issue at hand so that you are now being blamed for “blowing things out of proportion, misunderstanding, being selfish..” when you are just sharing your feelings and making an effort to solve the problem.

It’s perfectly acceptable and often necessary to leave the conversation. You may find great help to stand in the truth by leaning on your support system and reading books and listening to podcasts on the issues you are facing with a gaslighter daily. Finally, learn to give yourself grace for what you are going through in the relationship and choose and get the help you need so you can live in reality and make healthy decisions for your future.

If you have found this to be helpful but need someone who can who cares and is specifically trained to help then there is hope. New Vision Counseling is here for you. We are a team of highly trained therapists who care and will meet you where you are and help you heal and move forward. We will be in your corner supporting and connecting you to the healing and freedom you long for. The next natural step can be to reach out by calling (405) 921-7776

3 Red Flags Found in Gaslighting

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

Next Step

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.

What to Say to Someone Who is Gaslighting You

What is Gaslighting?

Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation in which a person attempts to invalidate your reality and make you question your own feelings so that they can control you. Narcissists keep this trick in their back pockets and often use it to get what they want and assert power over others. Controlling individuals who inflict emotional abuse on their partners are often guilty of this. If you’re in a relationship with someone who gaslights you, you likely experience extreme self-doubt or even question your identity. Gaslighting is often a tactic used to control one person in a relationship but is not exclusive to romance. A manipulative person can be a boss, friend, or family member. Nevertheless, the closer you are to the person who gaslights, the harder it is to stand your ground.

How do I Know if I’m Being Gaslighted?

When you have a relationship with someone who is gaslighting you, after reading this blgo you may begin to notice an imbalance of power. It can seem like this person does no wrong and always has the upper hand despite evidence to the contrary. A partner who is gaslighting you may twist your sense of reality and cause you to question yourself. They often do harmful or dismissive things and then refuse to take responsibility for their actions. They refuse to validate your hurt feelings and can dismiss their way out of anything.Shifting the blame onto others comes second nature in those who gaslight others. Afterall, you’re just imagining things right? Keep in mind that the deeper their hooks sink in, the more you question your sanity. Manipulative people will leave you feeling alone, inadequate, and unstable. What’s worse, when you finally work up the courage to confront them, they have an explanation for everything.

Common Phrases Used in Gaslighting

  • You’re overreacting
  • You’re just paranoid
  • You made me act like this
  • Why do you keep bringing that up?
  • You are blowing this way out of proportion
  • You can’t take a joke
  • You’re way too sensitive
  • It wasn’t that big of a deal
  • This is just your own insecurity
  • That never happened

How to Break Free from Gaslighting

The first step to breaking free from manipulation is to set boundaries. Acknowledge the feelings of the person gaslighting you but inform them that you have your own truth. You have a right to your own feelings and your experience is valid. Keep a journal of conversations and events to help you stand firm in the truth of what happened and not the gaslighter’s manipulative spin. This can help you feel more sane and progressively gain your self-confidence back. Once you begin doing this, you will be able to see through their lies. Below are some phrases you can use to defuse the power they hold over you. Most people who gaslight will still try to power through any boundaries you set so be prepared to enforce them. There are times when you would set a boundary verbally and times when you would simply exit the situation depending on the intensity of the gaslighting. These are just a few things to consider or say.
I feel like I am not being heard, I need to take a break from this conversation.
I know how I feel, you do not have to agree with me.
I am allowed to have my own feelings and I am going to go if you continue telling me that my feelings are wrong or that I don’t understand.
My experiences and opinions are valid
I hear you, but my experience was different and I am going to hang up if you continue talking to me this way.
Until you are ready to consider my views, I am done with this conversation.

Not sure what to do? We can help!

If you need help gaining your confidence back, we are here for you. Knowing you’re being mentally abused and breaking free from it are two different things. We know how intimidating it can be to challenge someone who has been manipulating you through gaslighting. This is where we equip you with the tools you need internally and externally with the other person to set healthy boundaries. A person who uses gaslighting to get what they want may never respect your views, but they don’t have to. Asking for space, or informing them that you will talk when they can be reasonable and respectful is one way to start breaking free from their control over you.

At New Vision Counseling and Consulting, we will equip you with the confidence to remove yourself from situations that no longer serve you (aka gaslighting). We are excited for the opportunity to guide you on your journey and empower you to move beyond just surviving to creating a life you are excited to live. We look forward to hearing from you and are excited to personalize your therapy experience to exactly what you need! You can get started today by calling (405) 921-7776 for more information.