What the Heck…What the Heck is Gaslighting?

Let’s continue with our series “What The Heck Is?” Today we are going to focus on gaslighting.  

I had heard the term gaslighting, but I did not become curious about this term until my husband left me. Since then, I have researched the term and found it is pretty standard among narcissists and can be found in just about any type of relationship. One relationship where you may discover narcissistic gaslighting is in a marriage.

First, let’s look at the definition of gaslighting according to Newport Institute...

“Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation in which the abuser attempts to sow self-doubt and confusion in their victim’s mind. Typically, gaslighters are seeking to gain power and control over the other person by distorting reality and forcing them to question their own judgment and intuition.”

One article on NBC News talks about gaslighting and how you know it is happening to you. The article mentions a few techniques that a gaslighter may use…

*Withholding (meaning he or she refuses to listen or says they don’t understand)
*Countering (when the abuser questions the gaslighter’s memory of an event)
*Blocking/diverting (when the abuser changes the subject or questions the victim’s thinking)
*Trivializing (making the victim’s needs or feelings seem unimportant)
*Forgetting/denial (when the manipulator pretends to have forgotten what actually happened or denies something he or she had previously agreed to)

Very Well Mind tells us what the effects of gaslighting can have on a person…

Gaslighting is usually performed over an extended period of time that causes the victim to question the validity of their own thoughts, perception of reality, or memories. This can lead to confusion, loss of confidence and self-esteem, and uncertainty of one’s mental stability. A common result of this is a dependency on the perpetrator.

An authority I have learned a lot from is on YouTube, and her name is Dr. Ramani.  She shares her extensive knowledge of all things related to narcissism.  She is a wealth of information.  Below is one of her many videos…

Being gaslighted can make you feel like you are losing your mind.  Knowledge can help you protect yourself from its devastating effects, as can counseling.  If you think you are in this situation, do your research and ask for help if you feel you need it.

God Bless You On Your Journey