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"Gaslighting": mental manipulation that perpetrators perform to make their victims feel insane

Mar 21, 2019 by apost team

One way abusers can stay in control is to convince yourself and others that you are insane. If you've ever felt this way, it was they who tried to discredit your own feelings, your mind, and your self-worth.

The tactic is called gaslighting. The name comes from a 1950s film in which a man tries to get a woman to think she is going crazy. He changes the gloom of a lamp but fools her into believing he didn't, making her feel like she is wrong.

Gaslighting is a terrible form of mind manipulation. More people need to know about it. If you've questioned yourself and your relationship, read on.

istockphotocom / fizkes

Gaslighting is emotional abuse. It makes you wonder what is really going on, how you are feeling, and whether you should be angry about what your partner did.

There are a few ways that gaslighting can be done.

One of the most common ways is to deny that something happened. Seems silly, right, but it works. You know this action took place, but still, you start to doubt yourself because of your emotional connection with the person. For example, he or she may say that you didn't argue about a particular topic when you actually did. They will interrupt you and keep repeating that the two of you didn't have an argument.

Another way offenders practice gaslighting is to change things or take things away. They want you to question your own memory and become disoriented.

Eventually, they will make you wonder what is going on and what is right. If there is an opportunity to quote and include religion, then that works perfectly in their favor. Additionally, you are quoting philosophers and excuses out of nowhere while trying to push you in a different direction.

You can be accused of being irrational and they can turn the tables and say that you are the one abusing them. They will then tell you that if you knew what your place is, you would be a lot happier.

istockphotocom / asiseeit

Gaslighting can extend its ugly influence to family members as well. The perpetrator may try to isolate you from friends and family. The perpetrator will tell them that you are crazy.

The perpetrator can try to portray himself as the hero trying to save you from yourself. Some abusers have even gone so far as to tell people that their partner is suicidal after trying to leave them.

When arguing, the perpetrator will say that the argument is due to the victim. They try to wear them down by constant arguments. It becomes a game of trying to tire the victim as best you can.

Perpetrators do not start with very direct gas lighting. It starts subtly with testing boundaries. An insult here and there and an apology coupled with an answer to how the victim is emotional. Soon the victim is labeled as too emotional.

Fake doctoring: The perpetrator can begin to diagnose the victim as depressed. They will insist that the abused need help and seek professional help. The victim is just trying to work or to be left alone for a moment, but the perpetrator will continue to pressure.

Gaslighting use distracts victims and blames them for the problems, making gaslighting difficult to identify. The victim feels light-headed and confused about what they might be arguing about. Many victims remember happier times and most often cannot remember why they are so upset.

People who fall victim to this will tend to question and doubt themselves. You are trained to feel that way. They feel like they always lose any quarrel and begin to hate their partners. They don't want to argue, but they are forced to - more training so that the perpetrator can prevail.

The end phase of gaslighting is that the victim is unable to make decisions on their own. They no longer know what is normal. They think that they are crazy and cannot remember anything.

The perpetrator can then decide for them. In other words, the victim is so stressed out that it cannot function.

The gaslighter wants control at all costs. What the victim feels doesn't matter because he wants it all at any cost.

The ego boost and the emotional elation are high on the list for the perpetrator. Narcissists, sociopaths, and people with antisocial disorders make use of this way of manipulating.

If this description reminded you of you, it is time to leave your relationship. Let go and go! Domestic violence experts say the best way to get out of this situation is to keep yourself away from the gaslighter. There is no need to argue or continue a conversation.

If it's not too late, let your friends and family know what the perpetrator is doing. If you can't, then disappear to your friends and family and let the surprising breakup be their wake-up call. Don't go back to the culprit. If you do, the abuse will only escalate.

And remember it is not your fault.

It could happen to anyone. The most important thing to escape from such people is to give up the relationship and move on. Forward this article to someone in need of a wake up call.

Our content has been created to the best of our knowledge, but is of a general nature and in no way replaces an individual consultation with your doctor. Your health is important to us!