Gaslighting is a real thing!


I have been subjected to gaslighting by my loved ones, unknowingly. I don’t think a lot people realize when they are gaslighting others. Maybe the victims also do not know. I wouldn’t have known about this if I didn’t have this habit of reading up on new things. Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse. It is an act of manipulating a person by forcing them to question their thoughts, memories and basically all the events that occur around them. When taken to extreme, the victim can end up questioning their own sanity. This can occur in any form of relationships, whether they are friends, couples, siblings, parents etc. The most common form of gaslighting is actually known to be found between couples. Partners can gaslight each other thinking it is love and without knowing that it is actually a manipulation. Some of the common signs that can show that you are facing this form of emotional abuse are

  • If you feel a lot more anxious and way less confident than you used to be
  • If you do not enjoy the activities you earlier used to
  • If you think everything you do is wrong
  • If you say sorry a lot
  • If you constantly make excuses for someone else’s behavior
  • If you lie or deny topics to avoid confrontation
  • Doubting everything you do
  • Always feeling that something is wrong

The most common one I have done from this is made excuse for someone else’s behavior. We should never have to justify someone’s basic incapacity. If someone you love (not just your partner, anyone) cannot do basic things and in exchanges makes you feel guilty for expecting them then that is wrong. It is a form of gaslighting if it becomes a constant behavior. We often make excuses, whether to others or to ourself, and justify their behavior to make the relationship work. That is not right. The long term effects of this can be damaging for the victim. It has been observed that people who knowingly gaslight are narcissists. They cannot think about anything and anyone beyond themselves and also have no empathy.

The way out of this abuse, just like any other abuse, is to first realize that it is happening and then moving away from the person. We must choose ourself, keep our happiness at top. Loving someone should not have to coincide with hurting your ownself. Self love is a key to battling abuse as when you love yourself only then can you objectively see if someone else is abusing you, in anyway.

14 thoughts on “Gaslighting is a real thing!

  1. I’ve reading a lot of posts about this topic lately! A lot of people talking about it. And, it’s good because I’d never heard of it before.

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  2. this is a tough issue… that’s gaining popular attention and whilst it’s central to many novels those with direct experience are increasingly speaking about their own encounter of/with narcissism. It may help to consider other facets as well as gaslighting, such as, minimising behaviour, co-depenancy and control drama’s all of which have been covered in depth over the last 40 years or so. I have found that looking at the same relationship dynamics using transactional analysis also helpful. But a word of caution is required too, Narcissism or Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a pretty damming diagnosis and often accompanied with, what’s called differential diagnosis – a cluster of identifiable behaviour that are problematic, depression, substance misuse and so on. Some also point to the statistical probability that a person who has a Narcissistic Personality Disorder, is statistically, likely to be in a relationship with, again statistically, someone who may have a Borderline Personality Disorder or Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It’s a complex area with a complex aetiology. How one learns to language the experience of abusive relationships isn’t new, indeed most fiction is based on the invocation of these archetypes, advertising and most modern selling techniques (including politics) requires the deliberate use of minimising behaviour to create the conditions of vulnerability and anchor one in it, subconsciously as well as consciously. This happens all the time, everyday to everybody. The extent of, the nature and degree of the use and misuse of power is, I believe, then the central issue.

    Wower… 52/100 such a thought and feeling provocating post.

    disclaimer: I am a former forensic social worker with a strong background in the high secure psychiatric estate and after 30yrs would say that those with more experience than me would never call themselves experts in this area. the use of experts and expert opinion is usually concerned with how to ‘dispose’ (a legal term used for a social problem that requires a medical definition) my heuristic judgement (gut feeling with some statistical probability of being true) is that if you are left feeling like a ‘used dish cloth’ then there is a problem,, if so get professional help from a Trauma and Compassion trained person …for an understanding of the scale of the problem see Gabor Mate ….

    Well, I have gone on abit …sorry peeps …Great Post!

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    • Wow. This is such a insightful write up..thank you so much for sharing this as you have been able to advise on this in much more depth with help of your experience 🙂 we all need professional help before taking any steps to resolve these grave issues!

      Liked by 1 person

      • it’s one of the toughest ie ill-defined area’s I’ve ever experienced, as we speak there’s a shift in who’s defining the subject matter. And, a remote as this may seem the relationship with country and world trade agreements does have a bearing on how one languages the experience. From what I see, which is far from complete the US and not the World Health Organisation has the edge. The former uses the Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM) the latter the International Classification of Disease (ICD)… it’s huge business. Across the world there are what are called Systems Archetypes that are studied (a bit like the weather) and these include ‘Limits to Success’ ‘Fixes that Fail’ ‘Shifting the Burden’ and ‘Out of Control’….fascinating stuff… some are going further and looking at the ancient wisdoms for insight. I hope you don’t mind my saying so much…big trigger lol lol… keep well my friend and trust your body to tell you what’s comfortable. This is called proprioception!


  3. This is an enlightening post for me, albeit about a dark side of the mind. I wasn’t aware of this term, or what it meant, and it feels really sad to know that it’s not uncommon, and that you were subjected to it too.
    Thank you for raising awareness on this.

    Liked by 1 person

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