You've probably heard the term "gaslighting" before and know it's a major red flag in a relationship. Maybe you think you would know if someone was treating you that way and wouldn't tolerate it. But it can actually be really hard to recognize when someone is gaslighting you. Gaslighting is extremely manipulative and creates an environment in which the victim does not trust their own judgement.
Beyond that, the signs that someone is gaslighting you may be subtle and start slowly. So, what can you do to make sure that you're not being gaslighted and manipulated? Avoid being in a toxic relationship and learn the red flags of gaslighting.
Here are 6 subtle signs that someone is gaslighting you:
1. They belittle your achievements.
They don't get excited for your achievements or accomplishments. They act unimpressed and make you feel bad about being excited.
Maybe you get a promotion at work or a raise and come home excited to share the news only to be met with negativity and disgust. They might say things like, "Oh, I thought you would've been in that position years ago," or "It's about time you got a raise, maybe you can start carrying your weight a little more around here."
When you're proud of something, they flip the situation to try and make you feel bad for it.
If this is happening to you, please channel your inner Alpha woman and move on from the relationship.
2. They're always right.
They're always right, and you're always wrong. Period.
It doesn't matter if you're washing dishes the "wrong" way or remembering details from an argument, you'll never be right around them (even if you are).
They try to make you feel bad about wrong, like you're less of a person than them for doing things differently. And if you argue with them about being right? They'll guilt you for it and act like you're being mean and a "monster."
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3. They don't support your happiness.
When you're in a good mood, they do something or say something to bring you down. They create an environment that fosters negativity, sadness, loneliness, and self-doubt. You may feel happy when you're away from that, but as soon as you get back to them, your mood drops.
Being with someone like this is like the opposite of being with your soulmate. Don't let them steal your happiness any longer.
4. They attack your decisions.
They second-guess every decision you make and make you feel stupid about it. They may angle it in a way that's seemingly from a place of positive intent. They may even act like they're second-guessing you for your best interest.
They want you to rely on them and not trust yourself at all. If you spend too much time with someone like this, you may start to second-guess your own decisions and question everything that you do.
5. They judge everything you do.
Everything you do and say is met with judgement and negativity. After all, you can't do anything right in their eyes and they're constantly judging you for it.
6. They think they can validate you.
They work hard to get you to a place where you feel like you need them to validate you. You don't trust yourself and may feel like you can't do anything right. Your own partner doesn't trust you to do anything right, why should you trust yourself?
Since they're always correcting you and questioning your every move, you start to take your decisions and thoughts directly to them. Instead of checking in with yourself and validating yourself, you check in with them and seek their approval and validation.
They make sure the control is in their hands.
Breaking free from gaslighting.
Your self-esteem may take a huge hit if you're in a partnership with someone who's gaslighting you for too long. This relationship dynamic can cause a lot of emotional scarring and trauma.
The best thing to do if you're in a relationship and being gaslighted is to gracefully remove yourself from that situation. Recognizing the unhealthy patterns is the first step to breaking free from gaslighting.
Don't be afraid to reach out to friends or family for support. While you may be conditioned to go through your partner for everything, it's important to get a 3rd party involved to support you so your partner can't manipulate you as easily as you exit the relationship.
It can be hard to break free, but it's so much better to be single than in a relationship with the wrong person.
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