top of page

Shining a Light on Gaslighting

Updated: Mar 28

a stressed man sitting on a brown leather chair

Introduction: In the realm of psychological behaviors, few are as insidious and destructive as gaslighting. This term, originating from the 1938 stage play "Gas Light" and its subsequent film adaptations, describes a form of emotional abuse where the perpetrator seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a person or group, making them question their own memory, perception, or sanity. This blog post aims to shed light on the nature of gaslighting, its signs, and strategies for overcoming its harmful effects.

Understanding Gaslighting: Gaslighting is a manipulative tactic employed by individuals to gain power over someone, often unfolding gradually and without detection. It can occur in various settings, including personal relationships, workplaces, and even on a societal level. The goal is always the same: to destabilize the victim and assert dominance.

Recognizing the Signs of Gaslighting: Identifying gaslighting can be challenging, as it often begins subtly. However, certain signs can indicate you or someone you know might be experiencing gaslighting:

  1. Constant Second-Guessing: The victim frequently doubts their memory or perceptions.

  2. Feeling Disoriented and Confused: Difficulty making decisions or feeling like you're always wrong.

  3. Withdrawing from Friends and Family: Isolation either because the victim's confidence is eroded or the gaslighter isolates them as a control tactic.

  4. Sensitivity to Criticism: The constant undermining leads to a heightened sensitivity to criticism, no matter how constructive.

  5. Believing They Are Not Good Enough: The victim's self-esteem is so eroded they believe they are unworthy of respect or love.

  6. Apologizing Often: Feeling the need to apologize even when they haven't done anything wrong, as a result of the constant criticism.

  7. Feeling Like Something Is Wrong but Can't Identify What: The manipulation creates a sense of unease that something is off, but the victim can't pinpoint exactly what.

Strategies for Overcoming Gaslighting: If you recognize the signs of gaslighting in your life, it's crucial to take steps to protect your mental health and regain your autonomy.

  1. Acknowledge the Problem: Recognizing that you are experiencing gaslighting is the first step towards healing.

  2. Seek Support: Confide in trusted friends, family members, or professionals who can offer support and validation.

  3. Document Your Experiences: Keeping a journal of your interactions can help you maintain a record of reality, which is invaluable for both personal validation and potential legal actions.

  4. Set Boundaries: Establish clear boundaries with the gaslighter. If necessary, limit your interactions or remove yourself from the relationship.

  5. Focus on Self-Care: Engaging in activities that bolster your self-esteem and well-being can help counteract the effects of gaslighting.

  6. Consider Professional Help: Therapy can be a safe space to heal from the emotional trauma of gaslighting, helping you rebuild your sense of self.

11 views0 comments


bottom of page