What is Gaslighting and How Do You Spot it and Survive it?
This form of abuse is influential in many ways and often, it can go unnoticed until it can almost feel like it is too late. As with most forms of abuse, once you become a victim of gaslighting you are in its grip and it can be difficult to get away from it but identifying the signs can help you to make right decision to help you deal with the situation. Gaslighiting someone involves taking control, manipulating them psychologically and making them feel as though the reality is no longer a thing that means anything to them. This is the gaslight effect at work but understanding gaslighting behaviour can be the first step towards surviving it.
How to Spot and Survive Gaslighting
People who gaslight will tell lies and although you know it, you will begin to question whether anything they say is true. This leaves you feeling unsteady and a little out of touch with reality.
The deny what they have said
Even if you can prove what they said, they will deny it. Once again, this leaves you questioning your sanity and whether they actually said it in the first place. Over time, they will continue to do this to the point where you begin to accept it.
They understand what is important to you
They might start to tell you that you shouldn’t have had your children or they might tell you that you are not worthy of being a parent. What they try to do is attack who you really are and what matters to you.
It is gradual
Their goal is to wear you down as time goes on. They tell a lie here and there and make an odd comment occasionally before they start to increase how regular they do it. They do it gradually, to the point where you may not realise it is happening until it feels like it is too late.
What they are doing matters
While gaslighters may say certain things, it can often be about what they are doing because they are both totally different things. They say one thing and do another and that is what can cause problems.
They praise you
After working away at you for so long, they may offer you praise for something that you did and that can make you feel uneasy yet increase your trust in them making you think that they are not as bad as you once thought, when in fact, they are actually playing with your mind and trying to keep you off-kilter.
They cause confusion
A gaslight will know that stability and normality is what makes people feel comfortable. However, they will try to de-stabilize you by making your question all that you do when all you want to do is turn to them for support.
They attempt to turn people against you
Gaslighters are manipulators and so, they look for people who will stand by them so that they can use them against you. They will make it known that certain people know you are not right or that certain people know you are not very useful. A gaslighter will lie and this tactic will make you feel like you don’t know who to trust and that means you turn back into their arms.
Surviving a Gaslighter
Think about walking away
When it comes to it, you feel like walking away is a cowardly act and that you are leaving love behind. You might feel as though you have hurt the other person who was there when you needed them. However, letting go will help you to realize what is real and that you can actually take control over your life in ways you may not have experienced for some time.
You couldn’t have made things better
If you have waved goodbye to your relationship, you will more than likely feel guilty and maybe even embarrassed. However, it is now time to cast those feelings aside in order to give yourself a chance to heal and move on. Once you get through it, you will soon realize that you are in a better place but for now, you might feel that you could have made a difference.
Love doesn’t last forever
Many relationships last longer than they should, even when both know that the end has come. However, their attempts to make it work can actually make things worse and lead to both parties behaving differently and often, this is where gaslighting can begin.
As opposed to seeing your relationship as a fairy-tale it is important to understand that some relationships go full circle and simply will not last forever. So, by choosing to accept that things will come to an end will help you to find that happy place once you have survived gaslighting.
Your gaslighter will never admit what they were doing
To survive gaslighting, you have to remove the feeling of justice. You need to remove yourself from the feeling that someday, you will sort it all out with them and put things right. Gaslighters actually have problems of their own, problems that they will not address and so, they will not admit that it was abuse. They might come across as reasonable but they abide by their own rules and so, they tailor their feelings and thoughts to suit their purposes. Don’t wait for them to apologize, remove yourself from the mess they have made and set yourself free.
Gaslighting can be Defeated
Gaslighters are manipulative individuals who care nothing about themselves and what they want. They pretend to have feelings and do all they can to make their partner feel low on confident while questioning their own judgment and idea of reality. This in itself can give gaslighters what they want because although they are the one manipulating, they are the ones who are there as the support – or so it seems. As someone who is suffering at the hands of a gaslighter, identifying the signs and working out how to survive it is key to ensuring that you are still able to have a healthy and trusting relationship with someone who does actually love you.
Author: Sandra Baker
Sandra Baker – relationships writer, reader, and cookie lover. She is into everything related to love, beauty and health. Music Enthusiast. Book Worm.