Have you ever had someone in your life who says something over and over in a way that leads you to believe that what they said must be true? They might even convince you to believe their lie without them saying the words out loud. You believe it so much, and yet when you check with others, you're told you're crazy or imagining things. This is a classic pattern of gaslighting. They get your trust through kindness then do the opposite of what they said.
Gaslighting is a kind of emotional violence used to gain control of someone by misleading and unsettling them. It is insidious and sometimes covert; the abuser makes the victim question their sanity, judgments, and reality.
Anyone can be a victim, but we mostly observe gaslighting in relationships. It is a common technique used by abusers, dictators, narcissists, and cult leaders. Though gaslighting is mostly seen in relationships, we can witness it among friendships, family members, or even co-workers as well.
What makes a person think it is ok to confuse and manipulate someone so close to them and take control over them when you see inside. The answer is so simple the natural personality underlying an individual is the main reason for gaslighting in relationships.
A gaslighter personality is someone who exhibits strong, charismatic traits, charming and hard to read kind of feel. They are highly manipulative individuals; Gaslighters often exhibit what many refer to as an authoritarian personality. People with this personality type typically have high self-esteem and see no faults in themselves but find it much easier to point out others' faults or weaknesses. Also, they don't care about other people's emotions. They can't take criticism easily; they either overreact or blame the other person for that.
Even when you are close to them, you cannot find out the signs of gaslighting until you wake up from their manipulations or someone fires the doubt within you. It is widespread for a gaslighting personality to have a clinical personality disorder. That may be Sociaopathy, where they lack empathy for others, or a Narcissistic personality disorder. A narcissist is a person who gives extreme self-importance and has a high need for excessive attention and admiration. A narcissistic person thinks that he is so special when compared to others and superior among his peers. Give Narcissistic Personality Disorder Test a try.
There are certain actions the partner exhibits that show you the signs of gaslighting that you may be unknowingly a victim of it.
#1. It all starts with lies
Your partner will start saying white lies; though it seems blatant, they won't accept it. They make you believe what they are saying now is the reality and induce you to doubt your own memory. But because they're so persuasive, you start to believe it.
#2. You will miss the real "YOU."
At a certain point in time, you no longer feel like the person you used to be. Your gaslighter partner abruptly changes all your likes and beliefs. This is the major sign of gaslighting in a relationship; they slowly change everything you believe. You will start losing your own identity.
#3. They claim you're crazy
You often wonder you are overreacting to small things or you are too emotional towards everything. This thought will affect you over and over again. But clearly, it the gaslighters' strategy to confuse your mind. The gaslighter partner will create situations around you that make you encompass with a doubt of your own sanity.
#4. Take you down over time
Each and everything you come across in a gaslighters abuse is not done in a single day; they take time to start from small things and builds slowly. Little lies can hook even the most intelligent people without realizing that they're getting out of control. Because it's done so slowly, the victim's sense of reality eventually changes over time.
#5. Reflect their mistakes on you
This is one of the gaslighting tactics in a relationship. A gaslighter personality always hides their mistake from the partner. To do them, they will start blaming bluntly on the partner with unrealistic issues. If a gaslighter husband is involved in a relationship with another woman, they blame their wife for cheating on them. This is the technique they used to make the victim busy proving them and get unnoticed by the abuser's activities. They easily find fault in everything you do.
#6. Manipulate your feeling towards people
A gaslighter may try to change the emotion you have about the things or people that you love. By doing this, they will eliminate the other source of love like a friend, a family member from you; by this way, you become more dependent only on them and their love. They make use of this situation to take control of you.
#7. The false promises
As a part of gaslighting, the abuser makes a lot of false promises to the victim. But these guarantees are typically just another way to keep the victims of gaslighting around, so they'll let their defenses down when coping with more violations.
So now you are sure what is gaslighting is? And what are the signs you need to look into your relationship if it is gaslighting? Now you need to hold yourself strong to come over this abusive relationship, or else you need to find a way to prove to your partner that you woke up from the weirdest dream of your life and now ready to face reality.
Getting out of an abusive relationship is sometimes more difficult than we think. Still, the gaslighter tactics and manipulative behavior make you more depressed and feel low about yourself. Don't rush over the situation; take baby steps towards the solution. Staying strong and maintaining your inner balance will help you get through any tough situation, but remember never to let anyone affect your inner peace, even if it is some you love the most.