Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse that causes a victim to question their judgment, reality, intuition, and even their own sanity. The abuser is seeking to gain power and control, as well as to create a false narrative in a situation.
When speaking with the person who is doing the gaslighting, the victim may walk away feeling confused, as if there is something wrong with them. They may feel like they are at fault or that they are too sensitive.
Gaslighting takes place in romantic, family, and workplace relationships.
Here are some gaslighting tactics:
Lying, including outright lies and hiding things or information.
Telling a victim they are overreacting or too sensitive and dramatic.
Questioning a victim's memory or version of events. Also, telling a victim they have a bad memory.
Blaming a victim for the abuser's behavior (I got drunk and yelled at you because you didn't clean the house).
Using kind, loving words to reduce conflict but not following up with actions.
Minimizing behavior by saying "it was only a joke".
Changing the subject or refusing to listen when confronted.
Accusing the victim of getting their ideas from someone else, as if the victim's version of the story cannot be correct.
Twisting a story to create a less condemning narrative for the abuser.
Telling a victim they are crazy or their version of the story is crazy.
Gaslighting can be hard to detect as it causes a person to be confused and question themselves. If you think you are being gaslit, talking to a therapist or trusted friend can be helpful.
If you think you may be the victim of abuse, please seek help from a Domestic Violence Advocate. If you are local (Fremont of Custer Counties) call us at 719-275-2429. Or you can call your local Crisis Center or the National Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.