“You’re making things up,” “you’re imagining things,” “you’re winding yourself up” – do you often encounter these comments from people close to you about what really bothers you? Chances are you are a victim of gaslighting, a little-known but very destructive form of abuse.
What it is
Gaslighting is a form of mental violence that causes the victim to question how objectively he or she perceives reality. Gaslighting is most often used by individuals with narcissistic and sociopathic tendencies to make their partner doubt and subjugate him or her.
The exploitation of the victim’s fears.
Fears are often used by salespeople and advertisers – to convince you of the usefulness of a product. More often than not, they do this without malice, just to add credibility. But how can fears be used to their detriment?
Usually men use fear to convince a woman that the world is full of dangerous people and only her partner can protect her. Therefore, she needs protection and, the worst thing that can happen to her is to be left alone.
2. The phrase “I know you and I know that you…”
Usually these words go something like, “Hey, I know you, and you’re just a mixture of depression and guilt. You need someone who understands you and can protect you.” Thus, the person gets into a relationship where they really start to believe those words. Plus, it starts out with fairly innocent definitions, but the further they go, the more serious and humiliating they become.
3. The phrase, “It’s normal, you’re supposed to feel this way!”
Gaslighting will always try to influence a victim’s negative or discomfort by convincing them that their feelings are normal. For example, with phrases such as “It’s normal, you must be in pain when you have sex with me” or “It’s normal, all women give their boyfriends money for drugs.”
4. Asking “Are you even normal?” when he can’t get the behavior he wants.
Usually sociopaths or psychopaths use this tactic. They demand certain actions, and when the request is not fulfilled, they get angry and blame their partner. They often use characteristics such as “crazy” or “abnormal.”
5. Making them doubt themselves.
Gazlighters want their victim to lack self-confidence because otherwise they will no longer be needed. Excessive criticism of the person and revealing flaws prevents the victim from believing in themselves and completely destroys their self-esteem.
6. The phrase “I never said that!”
Abusers who use gaslighting will deny what they said to maintain control. This may happen from time to time, but if it happens all the time and has become the norm, you should be wary. Avoiding responsibility gives gaslighters a sense of security and control.