5 Signs That You Are In A “Gaslighting” Relationship
“Gaslighting” is the manipulation of someone, by psychological means, into questioning their own sanity. The term, “Gaslighting” is taken from a 1938 play that later became a movie in 1944.
In the story, a husband tries to convince his wife and their acquaintances that she is insane by making very small, subtle changes to their environment.
When the wife would point out the changes, the husband convinced her that she was wrong about the changes and that she was crazy.
Slowly but surely, the wife starts to give in to the self-doubt created by those subtle changes.
Below are some signs that you may be in a Gaslighting relationship.
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1. You Are Constantly Apologizing
A victim of gaslighting will constantly be apologizing for doing things wrong, even if they have done nothing wrong.
Feeling sorry for everything means that the accountability and responsibility for all perceived wrong-doings has been claimed by one person—the victim.
This ensures the perpetrator remains innocent and the victim is continuously guilty.
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2. You Are Not Able To Make Decisions
The victim will find decision making increasingly difficult, as they will feel that whatever they choose will be the wrong choice.
Everything they do or say is wrong, so they feel that they are no longer capable of making decisions about anything.
This results in the abuser making all of the decisions, thereby giving the abuser even more power and control.
3. You Always Feel Confused
Victims of gaslighting will often be in a constant state of confusion. They find it very difficult to trust their own mind, and constantly doubt their thought process.
Their instinct fails to kick in because whenever it does, it is very quickly told that it is wrong.
The victim will know that there is something seriously wrong, but they will find it extremely difficult to work out what.
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4. You Begin To Change
Change is not always easy to notice, since most change happens bit by bit, so the process can feel very natural in some ways.
However, if the victim thinks back to who they were before the relationship and who they are now, they will probably see significant differences.
5. You Are Becoming Withdrawn
The victim of gaslighting will become withdrawn and often reclusive as they feel so low and beaten down that they have little confidence to socialize with anyone.
The victim will feel safer spending time alone than with other people, as when those around them question what is wrong or what is happening within their relationship, the victim just will not have the answers to justify what is going on.
Unfortunately, there is a good chance that we have all been gaslighted by someone at some point in our lives, even if it was just on a small scale by someone we barely know.
Gaslighting is one of the most extreme, dangerous and effective forms of emotional and psychological abuse and is mostly carried out intentionally.
Gaslighting is often used by narcissists and sociopaths as a way of controlling, confusing and debilitating someone. Please seek help if you or anyone you love is being gaslighted.
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Higher Perspectives Author is one of the authors writing for Higher Perspectives