Signs Of Gaslighting and How to Avoid Being A Victim Of It?

With more young people discussing openly mental health in recent years, gaslighting has become a more prevalent topic among this age group. Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse that makes someone doubt their own feelings, ideas, and sanity. Gaslighting is used to convince you that you can't trust your own ideas or intuition.

Gaslighting is a word derived from the 1938 play and 1944 film Gaslight, in which a husband tricks his wife into believing she has a mental condition by lowering their gas-powered lights and telling her she is hallucinating.

Pexels

Signs of that you are being gaslighted

1. Lying or denying something and refusing to confess it, even when evidence is presented

2. Insisting that an incident or conduct you saw did not occur and that you are misremembering it

3. Keeping you away from friends and relatives who could notice signs of gaslighting abuse.

4. Spreading stories and gossip about you, or informing you that others are doing so.

5. When challenged about a lie or other gaslighting conduct, changing the subject or refusing to listen

6. When you call them out, they tell you that you're overreacting.

7. In relationships, blame-shifting is claiming that if you acted differently, they wouldn't treat you this way, hence it's all your fault.

8. To justify their abusive actions, they fabricate a tale.

9. Saying things like "It was only a joke" or "You're much too sensitive" to minimize their damaging actions or remarks.


Types of gaslighting

1. Romantic relationship

In an abusive relationship, your partner may accuse you of being illogical or insane in order to isolate you, destroy your confidence, and make you easier to control.

2. Child-guardian relationship

Gaslighting can be used by abusive caregivers to shame or manipulate children. They may accuse them of being too sensitive to dismiss their sentiments or of misremembering incidents from their childhood.

3. Medical gaslighting

Medical gaslighting happens when a doctor or other medical practitioner ignores or trivializes a patient's health problems on the basis that they are mentally ill.

4. Political gaslighting

When a political individual or organization utilizes falsehoods, denials, or information manipulation to dominate others, this is known as political gaslighting.

5. Racial gaslighting

When someone uses gaslighting tactics on a group of people based on race or ethnicity, this is referred to as racial gaslighting.


How to deal with gaslighting?

Gaslighting has a massive effect on mental health, thus it is critical for those who have been gaslighted to take care of theirs. Collecting evidence can help remind a person that they are not hallucinating. This proof may also be beneficial later on if the victim decides to take legal action against the abusive person.

1. Keeping a hidden journal helps a person to keep track of occurrences, including the date, time, and specifics of what occurred.

2. Talking to a trusted family member, friend, or counselor: This may assist someone in gaining an outside viewpoint on the incident and creating an external, extra record of information.

3. Taking photos: This might also assist someone in "fact checking" their recollections and reminding them that they are not hallucinating.

4. Using a mobile phone or other gadgets to narrate happenings is a simple way for someone to capture something that just happened in their own words. Before using recordings in court, always verify your state's laws.

5. Set boundaries. This can stop someone from gaslighting you and provide you with some physical and emotional space.

6. Gaslighting frequently results in a loss of personal identity. You may begin to feel as if you've altered beyond recognition over time, or you may become numb and hollow. As a result, you may find it simpler to navigate and question attempts to gaslight you.


When should you ask for help?

Acts of emotional abuse, such as gaslighting, frequently occur with other kinds of violence in intimate relationships.

Gaslighting can progress to physical violence over time. Anyone who suspects they are being abused by a spouse or a family member should seek help.

Domestic violence groups can provide guidance and assistance in developing a safety plan. For the mental health effects of gaslighting, a person may find it beneficial to speak confidentially with a therapist who has expertise working with people who are in abusive relationships.