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Gaslighting: 8 Examples To Help You Recognize & Deal With it

Recognizing and Dealing with Gaslighting: 8 Signs and How to Respond

Gaslighting is a dangerous form of emotional abuse that can make you doubt your own reality. It is far more prevalent than we will admit to. Gaslighting even creeps into our entertainment. When it comes to self-defence it is not often discussed. Yet it is a significant risk that is unfortunately far too easy to fall for. For that matter, it is far too easy to fall into doing.

My wife and I watch a lot of whodunits on TV and if you are aware of the gaslighting principles you can often pick the bad guy very early on in the show.

Young people are particularly susceptible to gaslighting. In fact, most of us have heard it used and not even recognised it. It usually starts with "If you loved me you would...". You can even find this sort of manipulation in the bible when Delilah is trying to find out the secret of Samson's strength in Judges chapter 16.

The following, in conjunction with the video below, will help you learn to recognize the signs that are crucial in protecting yourself from manipulative individuals:

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  • Attacking Your Sanity
  • Gaslighters often attack your sanity, making you feel paranoid or that you're imagining things. Be wary of phrases like "you're making this all up."

  • Rewriting the Past
  • Gaslighters attempt to rewrite history, leaving you questioning your own memories. Phrases like "I never said that" or "you're misremembering" are red flags.

  • Minimizing Bad Behavior
  • Some gaslighters avoid denial and instead minimize their actions. They downplay their behaviour, making it essential to assert your version of reality.

  • Normalizing Bad Behavior
  • Gaslighters may normalize harmful actions, justifying them as typical in relationships. Don't let vague statements dismiss unacceptable behaviour.

  • Empathy Hijacking
  • Gaslighters may use empathy hijacking to justify their hurtful actions. Remember, being unhappy doesn't excuse mistreatment.

  • Deflecting Blame
  • Gaslighters regularly deflect blame onto you, making you doubt your actions. Watch out for patterns of shifting blame and defend your version of reality.

  • Projection
  • Gaslighters may project their negative qualities onto you, accusing you of the behaviour they exhibit. Don't fall for their manipulation.

  • Making Your Emotions the Problem
  • Gaslighters may make your emotional reactions the issue. Seek outside perspectives and consider distancing yourself from the gaslighter.

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If you suspect you're dealing with a gaslighter, follow these steps:

  • Speak up and share your perspective calmly, addressing how you feel
  • Take space and seek outside perspectives from trusted individuals
  • Consider ending the relationship if the gaslighting continues
  • Focus on rebuilding self-esteem, and seeking support for recovery

Remember, you are not at fault for falling victim to emotional abuse. Recognizing gaslighting takes strength and courage, and seeking help is a crucial step towards healing and regaining your sense of self.

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