5 Warning Signs of ‘Gaslighting’, be manipulated in a relationship

‘Is it all in your head?’

‘You are the reason why it happened’

‘I did it out of care’

‘Why are you yelling about it? It doesn’t matter at all’

Try counting how many times you have heard of these sentences or other sentences with similar meaning. If this happens a lot and you are always guilty, it could be a warning sign that this relationship is starting to get unhealthy.

This time, ACU Pay will introduce ‘Gaslighting’, manipulation, or deception in a relationship that many people or ourselves may be doing.

Get to know ‘Gaslighting’

Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation by cultivating or influencing people’s thoughts into ‘feelings guilty’ that leads to self-questioning, “We are the ones who are wrong, right?” This can happen in any relationship whether lovers, family, boss- subordinates, or friends.

The term Gaslight, which means a lamp, is used to compare the state of being drawn from others by confusing their memories or perceptions. The term is derived from the movie ‘Gaslight’ (1944), which is a story about a husband who wants to take his wife’s treasure by misleading his wife into thinking that she is crazy.

The incident that shows Gaslighting in this movie is the scene where a husband is squinting a lamp, but his wife asks her husband why the lamp light goes dark. The husband accused her of being insane. This made the wife think she was really crazy because the husband kept saying this to her, even though he was actually the one who created the situation that confused his wife and made her keep relying on him.

What are the warning signs of Gaslighting?

  • Lie with a straight face

We know that the other party is lying, but they still lie with a straight face. The reason why they would dare to do this is because as they keep lying to us in earnest, we begin to doubt which is the truth. Why do we feel insecure or unstable about that idea?

  • Feel like everything you did is wrong

Every problem becomes our responsibility to apologize all the time, even if we’re not guilty, we still feel guilty. The longer the day passed by, the more we got caught in the trap. It seems like we were finding excuses for them, for we had always been told that we were guilty solely.

  • Distort the truth like ‘I’ve never said’ even if we have proof

We know and remember what each party said but they always deny that they have never said or done that, which often makes us question ourselves about what the truth is. If this happens a lot, we’ll admit that we’re wrong and always understand what they said is right.

  • Insult and emphasize our weakness

If we have flaws, the other side often insults us about the inferiority again and again until we lose our balance or they keep repeating it until we feel worthless. This will make us believe that we are like what they said till we are not confident to decide or think and it will make us live on our own harder.

  • Feeling lonely and have no one

If we don’t have anyone, the other side controls us more easily. They will start by slandering the people we love, the people who are good to us, accusing them of being unfaithful, jealous, or bad to us and they are the only ones who are always good to us. As a result, we start to disconnect from people around us, have no friends, and no connection, and start to be paranoid about not trusting anyone but them.

How to deal with Gaslighting

Elizabeth Lombardo, a Psychologist, explains that it is common for us to face a variety of emotions when we experience Gaslighting such as anger, anxiety, grief, fear, and so on. Feeling these emotions is normal but the thing to be very careful about is ‘Don’t let them control us.’

To break free from this toxic relationship is to stay calm and sober so that we can focus on the truth that’s happening and not be swayed by what the other person is persuading us to believe.

Moreover, when we are Gaslighting, we should not surrender for fear of retaliation, a good way to fight is to have the courage to answer with a disclaimer, such as:

“I don’t agree”

“I will not take responsibility for the things that i didn’t do”

“That’s only your opinion”

Or make it clear to them that what they said was their opinion, not the truth, and then step away from the person who made us feel worthless, or collect the evidence that they had ever done to clear his doubts about it.

To deal with Gaslighting requires both physical and emotional energy. It is better to walk out of a very toxic relationship than to remain silent. However, if you think it’s too difficult to handle, consult an expert. Moreover, encouragement from friends and family is also important to get you out of there.

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