Gaslighting: What It Is and How to Recognise It In Your Relationship
Gaslighting is a term that has become increasingly popular in recent years, thanks in part to the rise of awareness about emotional abuse. Essentially, it refers to a situation where one person in a relationship (romantic, work-related, or otherwise) manipulates the other in order to gain power and control over them. This is done by creating a false narrative that undermines the other person's emotions and feelings, causing them to question their reality.
If you suspect that you might be a victim of gaslighting, it can be hard to know for sure. After all, the manipulation is often so subtle and insidious that it's difficult to recognise it for what it is.
However, there are some signs that can help you determine whether or not you're being gaslit.
One of the most common signs is that you start to question your own thoughts and experiences. You might wonder if you really saw what you thought you saw, or if you're just imagining things. This can be incredibly confusing, and it can leave you feeling like you're going crazy.
Another sign is that your emotions and opinions are constantly being questioned. You might start to feel like you can't trust your own feelings, and you might even stop expressing them altogether in order to avoid conflict. This can be incredibly isolating and can make you feel like you're walking on eggshells all the time.
Gaslighters will also often blatantly lie, even about things that you know to be true. They might deny that something happened or claim that you've forgotten what actually happened. This can make you feel like you're losing your grip on reality, and it can be incredibly disorienting.
You might also find that you're constantly apologising for yourself or feeling like you're not good enough. Gaslighters will often exaggerate your insecurities in order to undermine your confidence and make you more dependent on them.
If any of these signs sound familiar to you, it's important to seek help from someone outside of the relationship. This could be a friend, family member, or work colleague. You should also start keeping evidence of your experiences, such as notes and text conversations, so that you can look back at them objectively.
It's also important to give yourself permission to feel your feelings. Your emotions, memories, and feelings are not up for dispute, and a healthy relationship should never make you question your reality. Trust your gut instincts and remember that you deserve to be treated with respect.
Additionally, it can be helpful to focus on the relationships in your life that make you feel good. Surround yourself with people who care about you and who support you. And finally, consider seeking help from a professional, such as a therapist or counsellor. They can help you see past the manipulation and set healthy boundaries for yourself in future relationships.
Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse that can have a devastating impact on our emotional, psychological, and physical well-being. However, by recognizing the signs and seeking help, it is possible to break free from the manipulation and regain control over our lives.