How do you know if you are a victim of Gaslighting? If you have ever heard the term before, it means that you are being manipulated by someone psychologically. The name came from an old 1944 movie named “Gaslight”, where the husband in the film manipulates the wife into thinking that she is crazy. As a form of mental abuse, narcissists are known to use gaslighting to manipulate and control you. These are 10 signs that show you are a victim:
- False Promises – They make so many promises to you that you actually believe at first. You know they said it to you and then all of a sudden they deny ever making that promise or promises. You start to question your own reality, thinking maybe I misunderstood him.
- Lies Lies Lies – They lie straight to your face and make it so believable that you question yourself. Yet you know that they must be lying because it doesn’t make sense or your gut is telling you it is. They do this to keep you guessing, knowing that you will believe them.
- Deny Deny Deny – When you catch them in a lie and you even have proof, they will twist it around and distort the truth to make you believe that they are being truthful. Then you question yourself and think maybe you are confused and they are right. They never admit to anything, the more they deny the more convincible they are. Plus you want to believe them because you love and care for them.
- Verbally Cuts You Down – They tell you how worthless you are and list all your negative traits. This makes you feel bad about yourself, and you actually start to believe his accusations too. These attacks wear you down and make you feel inferior to him.
- Projection – They project their own bad and sneaky behaviors onto you. Example if they are cheating on you, then they will accuse you of cheating on them. In reality, they are the ones cheating and you are working so hard to convince them that you would never do that to him. This is a ploy to distract you from their own activities, making you believe they would not do that to you either.
- Walking on Eggshells – You are constantly on edge around him and feel like you need to tiptoe around him as to not set him off into one of his tirades. You work so hard to try to please him and make him happy. But deep down you know he is a walking time bomb and something little can easily make him snap on you.
- Isolation – He controls who you are friends with and who you talk to. He is also overly critical of anyone you befriend, making you question if you should remain friends with them. This is a tactic to isolate you from friends or family that truly care about you.
- Manipulation – Whenever you do confront them, they will turn everything around to make you look like the one that created the problem. They easily shift the blame on you and away from themselves making you feel like a bad person.
- Minimizing – Undermining every one of your thoughts or emotions. He will tell you that you are way too sensitive or too emotional. Yelling at you to stop crying or shaming you for feeling angry or upset.
- Smear Campaign – They will set out to turn people against you to further justify how crazy you are. Making up stories about you to people to prove how crazy, unstable or horrible you are to make themselves look good. They twist the real truth to portray you as the awful person in the relationship.
Gaslighting is serious and can cause you to lose focus on reality. Your total perception is off balance due to the Narcissists manipulations. It is a horrible roller coaster ride! If you notice or can relate to these signs, then you know that you have been a victim of gaslighting. Knowledge and awareness are the first steps in the healing process. If you ever have a gut feeling that something isn’t right with your relationship, you need to listen to it.
I hope these signs have helped you clarify what you have lived through.