Gaslighting is a traumatic experience in a relationship. Find out if you are a victim of gaslighting and how to deal with it
A common kind of manipulation in abusive relationships is gaslighting. It is a covert form of emotional abuse in which the bully or abuser deceives the victim by fabricating a story and leading them to doubt their perceptions of reality. They deliberately persuade you to doubt your emotions or the truth of what happened. In the end, the gaslighted victim begins to doubt their understanding of reality and may even begin to question their sanity.
Most common examples of gaslighting are:
- When your partner repeatedly says, “it’s not necessary to be overly sensitive.”
- “Why are you crying over such little things?”
- “Why do you always overstate or exaggerate your feelings or circumstances?”
- They try to deceive you into believing that you are wrong.
- In some extreme cases, they can hide certain things like your cell phone, or car keys and later convince you that you forgot them somewhere else.
- Alternatively if you find yourself (as a victim of gaslighting) constantly apologising, feeling ignored or abandoned, beginning to doubt yourself, or feeling guilty for expressing your emotions. These are the telltale signs of gaslighting.
If you’re unsure about how to deal with gaslighting, here are some suggestions to help you out.
Tips to deal with Gaslighting
1. Gain some distance:
Gaslighting can cause strong feelings, therefore it may be beneficial to step back from them. However, you might also try employing some relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing or grounding exercises. Physically leaving the environment can be helpful.
2. Save the evidence:
Focus on keeping a record of your encounters because gaslighting might drive you to doubt your own judgement. Keep a journal, preserve text messages, or save emails so you may review them later and be reminded not to doubt or second-guess yourself.
3. Establish boundaries:
Boundaries communicate to others your level of tolerance in a relationship. Make it obvious that you won’t tolerate behaviour like trivialising or denying what you have to say from the other person.
4. Get a third person perspective:
Talk to a friend or member of your family about your situation to get their opinion. You may be able to better understand the problem after hearing someone else’s point of view. You can also seek help through live chat at thehotline.org.
5. Invest time in self care:
What you need is self-care to enhance your mental well-being and enable you to see the issue more clearly. You can try using constructive self-talk, uplifting affirmations, and emotion-sorting techniques. Additionally, you can get in touch with others to exchange ideas on how to combat gaslighting.
6. Cut off the ties:
The most effective strategy to stop the abuse is frequently to leave the relationship with the person who continually gaslights you, even though it can be challenging.