To gaslight someone means to manipulate a person into questioning their own sanity. This is seen in abusive relationships and even after the relationship ends, the effects of gaslighting can still progress. This is why it is important to identify such a relationship as soon as possible and get rid of gaslighters from your life, and keep them away from contact for at least a year if not permanently. It is a form of emotional abuse that gives the abuser power by making the victim question their own mentalities.
Your Fears Are Used Against You
Abusive people are often charming people in order to extract information from you and use it against you later on. They take note of your vulnerabilities especially for this reason. The abuser will want to feel better than you and make sure you feel that way too. If you have weight insecurities, the abuser will poke fun of your weight and constantly point out people who are skinner than you.
Who is “You”?
Many abusers think and act as if they know everything about you, right down to your thoughts. If you try to claim the latter, they will assume you are lying (whether they are vocal about it or not). They might even try to convince you that you are lying to yourself.
The Meaning of “Normal” Changes
This is one of the most obvious signs of gaslighting. If someone tries to tell you something is normal when you think it is wrong, you need to get out of that relationship. This is like if a person does not want to take the next step in a relationship and is called a prude rather than accepting their comfort levels. Keep in mind abusers are not only in romantic relationships but even professional relationships.
Abuser Questions Your Sanity
A person is abusing another being and yet you are the one insane?! That’s basically how it goes in the mind of an abuser. When an abuser does not get their way via their typical manipulative ways, they may crank up their intensity by questioning your sanity. You are likely to be called paranoid, hormonal, or ultra sensitive.
When someone says something enough, you are bound to eventually believe it. From frequent exposure to such comments, you will find yourself questioning your judgement and may eventually give up completely and let the other person think for you.
An abuser tends to have “selective memory” where the abuser may deny ever saying anything that upset you if you try to confront the person about it. This might come in the form of a promise that is never fulfilled and then claim the promise was never made.
Lying for Serenity
You may not usually lie but this person makes you lie through your teeth at times to avoid any verbal and/or physical abuse to come. This lying would be motivated by the stress caused by angering or upsetting the abuser.
No Yearn to be Heard
Humans’ yearn to share experiences is innate but being with an abuser may redirect that nature. It could make you stop or avoid talking with the abusers and even make you stop talking about yourself and your experiences to everyone in general based off habit and trauma with the abuser.
Questioning Your Sanity
Manipulative tactics can change the way people think drastically. When you are constantly trying to end an argument with an abuser, it may become easy to just go along with whatever the person is saying, but this changes the way you will think as well. Problem is, this will make you believe the abuser when the person says you are in the wrong and should apologize.
Being worn down by an abuser can easily make anyone depressed. Being pushed to question yourself and your sanity will get tiring over time and eventually lead to a feeling of hopelessness. Worst of all, because you think you have paranoia issues and memory loss, you are likely to search for treatment for the depression rather than the issue itself: the abuser.