Do you ever get into fights with someone, such as a family member or a significant other, and you legitimately start thinking you’re becoming crazy? It appears you’re being gaslighted.
Gaslighting is defined as: to manipulate (someone) by psychological means into questioning their own sanity.
Unfortunately it’s part of mental and emotional abuse, and it’s becoming very common in today’s society. Surprisingly this isn’t a term that’s being thrown around often even though it should be, because this is so common! It’s important to become informed on this type of abuse because it can be tricky to identify.
The abuser achieves this by twisting the victim’s words and lies about things said within the conversation. Slowly you’ll start to question yourself, your self esteem will drop and your confidence will be diminished as well as the value of your self worth. The crazy part is that these changes are so subtle and out of nowhere that one day you’ll feel you completely lost yourself.
Signs to look out for during arguments include:
- You feel something is off but can’t exactly pinpoint what it is or why let alone how
- Feelings of confusion become a lot more frequent, and it will cause you to overthink
- You’ll slowly realize the abuser’s actions and words don’t match but they always provide good evidence when you bring it up, or they will deny it effortlessly
- They call you crazy, tell you you are over sensitive and create false stories to alter your self esteem
- They take your greatest values and use them against you negatively
- They blame everyone and everything but themselves
Signs to look out for within yourself include:
- You second guess and over analyze everything
- You don’t trust your judgement or recollection of previous events
- You doubt your decision making skills
- You apologize for what you did or who you are (followed by a lot of mental breakdowns about the way you feel about yourself)
- You lose the skill to speak up or defend yourself
- You feel like nothing you do is good enough to please them
Please note some people may become scared of their abuser!
It is normal to feel all of these things when you are being gaslighted. The hardest part is identifying the issues at hand early on to prevent further damage. By constantly asking yourself questions about the warning signs you can save yourself or others from emotional harm. It’s easy to be manipulated by others, especially when they continuously do it to others and gain experience on exactly how to emotionally alter the situation to fit their needs.
It’s natural to feel hopeless and helpless in the situation and are afraid of where you can go to for clarification and safety. If you or someone you know are struggling with an emotionally abusive relationship please visit this website or contact local victims centre for more information, or the police. No one should have to endure mental harm alone.