In today’s social climate, being a gaslighter is as easy as a,b,c. Whether it’s platonic or romantic, we find ourselves hurting people we claim to love and respect. Although this is undoubtedly a part of the human experience, it’s super tricky.
What is gaslighting
In simple terms, being a gaslighter involves emotional abuse and manipulation. It’s basically making a person feel guilty for another person’s actions by invalidating what they feel. Mean right? Well yes, it is but believe it or not, there are reasons why people choose to do this or just end up doing it…ever seen Malcolm & Marie?
Even more damaging, coming in contact with a gaslighter affects your level of self-esteem and confidence. So if you’re not trying to be one, keep reading this.
How Gaslighting Works…
For a better understanding of what a gaslighter does, we’ve created a list of ways they operate:
1. Creating a False Sense of Reality
A gaslighter insists that you’ve said or done something you didn’t. Essentially, they counter your statements and make you think you have a bad memory.
2. Trivializing & Denial
Similarly avoiding accountability, a gaslighter will deny their faults and belittle what you feel by scoffing or shutting down your points in a conversation.
3. Distraction & Name Calling
In the process of denying accusations, a gaslighter will focus on questioning a person’s credibility. And then worst of all, they begin to use words like “crazy” or “too sensitive” to divert the attention from themselves and what they have done wrong.
4. Shifting Blame
This is a golden tool in a gaslighter’s playbook. You will find them turning things around to favour them by making you “the bad guy”. They insist that you’re the cause of their toxic behaviour to make themselves feel better. In other words, they make it seem as if you needed to have acted differently to get a different reaction and you end up apologizing.
In addition to their tactics, individuals that gaslight blame factors like gender, age, ethnicity or sexuality for your responses. They create negative narratives within anyone they choose for manipulation.
6. Discrediting You
Finally, a gaslighter will twist your reality when they retell it to people. Most of them are partially pathological liars, and this is something they do quite easily. In fact, they effectively do this and seldom paint the bullied as the bully.
Do you fall into any of the above categories? If you do, a change of perspectives and self-awareness is needed.