If you are going through one of those phases in life when you feel like no aspect of it is working out for you, and you are constantly engaged in the act of second guessing your choices in life and doubting yourself, you may feel like going crazy.
And that my friends, is called gaslighting. This term was coined when the film Gas Light came about in which a husband manipulates his wife into thinking that she is crazy.
Gaslighting makes you feel like you are changing into a paranoid, overly sensitive person which may cause self doubt. This is mostly a common behavior pattern adapted by narcissistic type of people.
For example, in a family scenario, the son may grow to be a bitter person because of his dads name calling habit and when confronting his father about it, he might be taunted for being too sensitive.
Gaslighting is a lot like bullying. In order to identify a person who might be gaslighting you, see if you feel threatened or apologetic every time you are around them. You will constantly feel like you are letting yourself down, and start being afraid of speaking up for the reason that when you do, people might find you being overly sensitive about the matter. In these situations, you may choose to remain silent.
Gaslighters use multiple techniques to belittle you and give your personality the impression of a disturbed, weak person. They will often discredit you, be overly confident about themselves around you to make you feel inferior, they will change the subject when you confront them about it or deny the accusation altogether, making you the bad guy.
It is a tough situation to handle because, recognizing that you are being manipulated takes a lot of time, and twice that time to explain to another that situation so they can help you out. Therefore, you are left with only yourself to get out of this scenario.
Remember your old self, be confident that the negative vibes you get off the manipulator are not invalid and take action. When you are around them, try to keep yourself calm and divert your attention from them when they are trying to victimize you. If it is a relationship not worth keeping, then move on.
Another technique of gaslighting is hoovering. This is employed usually by narcissists in a relationship. In this, they try to regain control over you by emotional blackmail.
You should also read:10 Signs You’re A Victim of the Most Dangerous Forms of Mental Manipulation
People like these have a fear of being left alone, which may lead them to feeling insignificant or unlovable; therefore, they need attention all the time.
If you are in a relationship, your partner may keep telling you how much they care about you and express their undying love only to hurt you the next chance they get. And when you try to cut off contact from such a person, they might pretend like nothing has changed and that no wrong was done. They will try to win you back by sending gifts and constantly apologizing or faking vulnerability.
When you try confronting such people, they will bait you down with endless drama. They will send you long melodramatic messages with no logical reasoning, based on pure emotional blackmail. They will often do things to provoke a negative reaction from you so they can easily shift the blame from themselves and make you the bad guy.
Dealing with these people can be quite tricky; therefore, you must remain attentive when you are around them so as to not fall in any sort of trap devised by them.
If you work on the advice given above, you must be able to deal with a gaslighter in your life and gain emotional clarity. And always listen to that inner voice.
If you feel like you have done nothing wrong and you are being treated like a terrible person, recognize the injustice and give voice to it. In no time you will be able to recover from their mind games and manipulation and regain self confidence. If the problem persists and you are unable to solve it on your own, involve a mutual friend.