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Are You a Victim of Gaslighting? Here Are 15 Signs You Might Be

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Many people fall prey to gaslighting without even knowing it. You, at one point or another, may have experienced this subtle but very harmful kind of manipulation, too.

What’s gaslighting, you may ask? Read on and find out:

Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse that uses sophisticated manipulation techniques and disrupts someone’s sense of reality.

Source: Ruben Chase

This behavior is often adopted by psychopathic, sociopathic, and narcissistic people. The term “gaslighting” was inspired by the 1940s films Gaslight, wherein a man systematically manipulates his wife to make her question her sanity.

Victims of gaslighting normally experience invalidation of their feelings. They feel neurotic and often second-guess themselves, their memories, and their emotions. This leads them to feel like they’re going crazy.

A gaslighter’s strategy includes spinning negative words and actions in their favor, pointing fingers, changing the subject, showing fake compassion, trivializing your feelings, and simply denying the facts. Gaslighters also often use words like “paranoid,” “overly dramatic,” “silly,” or “overreacting” to describe their victims.

Victims of gaslighting are unaware that they’re being abused.

A sample scenario would look like this: A daughter is always uneasy around her mother. She’s often afraid she might anger her mother, who is always verbally abusing her. When the daughter finally decides to confront her mother about her abusive behavior, the mother simply brushes it off and calls her daughter “overly dramatic.” This invalidates the daughter’s feelings and makes her think she’s just “too sensitive.”

Do the above descriptions sound familiar to you? Do you think you might be a victim of gaslighting? We say heed these warning signs:

  1. Something doesn’t feel right about your partner/friend/coworker/family member, but you can’t figure out what.
  2. You often second-guess your memories, which causes you a lot of frustration.
  3. You often feel confused, disoriented, and lost.
  4. You have become wary of expressing your feelings, so you prefer to stay silent.
  5. You feel bad for not being as happy as you once were.
  6. Gaslighting can cause depression.

  7. You see your present self as weaker.
  8. You cannot make decisions because you can’t trust yourself.
  9. You often feel uneasy and threatened when around a certain person, and you can’t explain why.
  10. You always apologize for what you do or who you are.
  11. You are often scared, feeling like “something is terribly wrong,” but you can’t explain why or what it is.
  12. A victim of gaslighting can also feel alienated.

  13. You never feel good enough and you always try to please others, even those who are abusing you.
  14. You always feel there’s something wrong with you, like you’re going crazy or you’re “losing it.”
  15. You don’t trust your own judgment, so you’d rather rely on the judgment of your abuser.
  16. You feel depressed, alienated, misunderstood, and hopeless.
  17. You start to believe that you are just “too sensitive.”
  18. Seeking professional help is essential to recovery.

    Source: jchapiewsky

Gaslighting can have serious effects on your mental health.

If you feel like you may be a victim of this harmful manipulation technique, it’s best you seek help.

If you have conquered gaslighting, what tips can you share to help others? Leave a comment below and tell us about it.

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