Gaslighting is when someone wants you to think that they’re telling the truth, but they’re not. They manipulate you into thinking that what you see and feel isn’t really happening, or that it’s something else. Gaslighting can be emotionally and psychologically damaging, and it’s important to know how to spot it. This blog post is about 12 warning signs of gaslighting and ways to protect yourself from it.
What is Gaslighting?
Gaslighting is when someone makes you feel like what you remember or think is wrong. They can make things that happened not happen, but they do it in a way that makes you think it didn’t happen. This can be incredibly damaging to the victim’s mental health and can lead to feelings of self-doubt, confusion, and isolation.
The goal of gaslighting is to gain control over the victim’s mind, emotions, and behavior. If you’re experiencing any of these warning signs in your relationship, please seek help from a qualified professional. There are many resources available to victims of emotional abuse, including hotlines, support groups, and even books.
If you feel like your partner is gaslighting you, it can be difficult to stand up for yourself in a healthy way. The victim must learn how to set appropriate boundaries with their abuser if they want things to change.
Causes Of Gaslighting
Believe it or not, gaslighting isn’t always intentional.
- Abusers who exhibit this type of behavior often do so because they were treated the same way in childhood.
- They might have seen their parents twist the truth or do other things to get what they want. And so they might do it too.
- Other abusers grew up with a mommy and daddy who would change their moods a lot. Sometimes they were kind, but then other times they would disappear without warning.
The important thing is that you’re aware of these red flags if your partner exhibits any of them; then keep yourself safe until you can get help. If you’ve been accused of being abusive toward someone else, please seek help immediately.
12 Warning Signs of Gaslighting
If you’re experiencing any combination of the following 12 warning signs, you may be a victim of gaslighting. Remember, not all victims will experience every sign, and many abusers will only possess some or even one characteristic mentioned here. That being said, if your relationship includes more than one or two characteristics on this list, there is likely cause for concern in regards to emotional abuse.
Your partner often denies things they have said or done
Abusers will often try to convince you that you did or said something wrong, even when it’s them. They may twist facts and make false accusations against your character to get their way.
You feel confused a lot of the time
Gaslighting makes victims second-guess themselves because they’re not sure if what they remember is accurate anymore. You might find yourself beginning to believe that things are just all in your head or that maybe other people see it differently than you do. The victim starts believing their abuser’s version of reality over their own due to feelings of confusion and self-doubt brought on by gaslighting tactics.
Your partner plays the victim a lot
This emotional abuse tactic can be used to make you feel guilty for challenging your abuser or trying to hold them accountable. They may tell you that they’re the one who is always hurting, rather than admitting it’s their abusive behavior making everyone around them unhappy.
Your partner makes up stories about other people
Gaslighters will often twist facts and manufacture half-truths to put themselves in a better light when talking with others. When discussing someone else, they’ll try to pass the blame onto another person while taking credit for anything positive that happened. This tactic can also be used against friends and family members of an abuse victim through name-calling or character assassination by pointing out only negative things said by the victim’s loved ones so as not to look bad themselves.
It seems like nothing is ever their fault
A hallmark sign of an abuser is their refusal to take any responsibility for their actions. They will always find a way to twist things around so that the blame falls on someone else, and they’ll never apologize or make amends.
They are constantly demanding attention from other people
Abusers often need constant validation and attention from the people around them. They can be very demanding, expecting their partner to drop everything to cater to their needs. If you don’t comply, they may use gaslighting tactics as punishment.
Your partner regularly checks up on you or texts/calls constantly
An abuser will often exhibit possessive and controlling behavior by constantly checking in on their partner. They may also call or text excessively, not giving you any time to yourself. This can be incredibly suffocating and lead to a feeling of being smothered.
They make it difficult for you to see your family and friends
An abuser will often try to isolate their partner from the people they care about. They may do this by making up false stories about those people, telling you that they don’t like or support you, or even threatening violence against them. This tactic is used to make you feel dependent on your abuser and cut off from the rest of the world.
They isolate you from activities or social events
If you used to enjoy spending time with friends or family members, but your partner makes it so uncomfortable for you that you eventually stop doing those things, this is a sign of emotional abuse. Your abuser may try to convince you that everyone else in the world is bad and make it seem like they’re all against you by pointing out only negative interactions between yourself and other people. They’ll also put down anyone who tries to help them realize how much they are hurting their loved ones by making excuses as to why they can’t spend more time together or going on social outings.
You feel like you’re walking on eggshells all the time
Living in an abusive relationship can be incredibly tense and stressful. You may feel like you’re constantly walking on eggshells, never knowing when your partner will lash out at you over something minor or explode in a fit of rage for no reason. This is because abusers thrive off of making their partners feel insecure and unstable, so they can control them more easily.
Your partner constantly puts you down
An abuser will often use verbal attacks as a way to wear down their victim’s self-esteem over time. They’ll make constant criticisms about everything from the way you dress to the things you say, always finding fault with what you do. This can leave victims feeling unworthy and deeply unsupported.
You have unexplained bruises or marks
If you notice bruises or other signs of physical abuse that can’t be explained, this is a major red flag. Also, if your partner is physically abusing you, they will likely try to hide it from friends and family members. If you’re seeing any of the warning signs listed above, please reach out for help. You don’t have to suffer in silence. Some people can help.
Remember, many abusers are highly manipulative individuals who have spent years perfecting their techniques for causing harm. If someone exhibits any combination of these signs towards yourself or others, please seek help from a professional or law enforcement agency right away if necessary. It may be difficult at first to explain what is happening to you, but it is crucial to get the support that you need to escape this type of abusive relationship.
Dealing With The Warning Signs Of Gaslighting
If you’re in a relationship with someone who is displaying any of the warning signs of gaslighting, it can be difficult to know what to do. You may feel like you’re walking on eggshells all the time, never knowing when your partner will blow up or start putting you down. The important thing is that you reach out for help if you need it. Many people can support you during this difficult time, including friends and family members, as well as professionals such as therapists or counselors.
It’s also crucial to remember that you are not alone. Many people find themselves in relationships with abusers, and it’s not your fault. Abusers are highly manipulative individuals who have years perfecting their techniques for causing harm. If you’re seeing any of the warning signs listed above, please reach out for help. You don’t have to suffer in silence.
Helping Someone Who Is Being Gaslit
If you know someone who is going through the warning signs of gaslighting by their partner, it can be difficult to know what to do. It’s important to remember that the person being abused is not responsible for the abuse and that they need your support. Reach out to them and offer your support, whether that means listening or providing a safe place for them to stay.
You can also offer practical help, such as helping them contact a therapist or counseling service, or arranging transportation to and from appointments. If you’re feeling especially brave, you could even reach out to the abuser on behalf of the person you’re trying to help to get them some help too. However, please keep in that this should only be done if you feel safe and comfortable doing so.
It’s important to remember that it is not the responsibility of the victim person to fix the situation. They need your support, not your advice or attempts to fix things yourself. Let them know that you’re there for them, and offer as much help as you can. With time and patience, they may be able to rebuild their life free from abuse.
The gaslighting person will always deny that they are the one doing anything wrong. They blame any issues on another person or thing, and try to get you to agree with them by using phrases like “you’re being unreasonable” or “it’s not a big deal.” If someone is constantly telling you what your thoughts or feelings should be, it could be an indication of gaslighting. Make sure to keep these warning signs in mind so that if you find yourself feeling manipulated by someone who claims they have only your best interests at heart, there may still be hope for getting out of this relationship unscathed.
A Word From Mantra Care
Your mental health — your psychological, emotional, and social well-being — has an impact on every aspect of your life. Positive mental health essentially allows you to effectively deal with life’s everyday challenges.
At Mantra Care, we have a team of therapists who provide affordable online therapy to assist you with issues such as depression, anxiety, stress, relationship, OCD, LGBTQ, and PTSD. You can take our mental health test. You can also book a free therapy or download our free Android or iOS app.