What does Gaslight Mean? Know the Signs and Ways to Tackle

woman in purple sweater covering her face with her hand

By Anjali Pandey

“Oh! c’mon it’s your fault”

 “Why are you so sensitive?”

You might have heard these lines or the other sometimes under this sun. Although everyone uses these words, if you are constantly hearing this from someone then stop, there is some sign for you. You might be the victim of Gaslighting.

What does Gaslight Mean?

If someone manipulates or abuses you emotionally, then there is a term for that – “Gaslighting”. The gaslighters make you doubt your own reality or sanity. It is the most powerful shield of a narcissist or a psychopath. They make you believe that whatever you think is not real and always try to establish their point of view.

The gaslighters want to keep you in their own mean world. They brainwash the victim by controlling them and making them question their own world. 

It is hard to recognize the gaslighters even if you are between them. This is very confusing because they are the ones whom you care about. Sometimes they are so nice to their victim that you will never understand their real motive. Therefore, they take that as an advantage to control you. Slowly, they will entangle you in the labyrinth of self-doubt, memories, and your own thoughts. You can find them anywhere among your friends, family, or in your offices also.

How to Identify the Gaslighters?

So, how you will recognize that you are the victim of gaslighting? If you see these repeated patterns of the underneath listed phrases, you might be facing gaslighting.

  • “I never said that.”- By saying so the gaslighters make you question your memory. Yes, they are the ones who constantly lie, no matter if it’s a small or big one. Gaslighters mold the situation in a way that never happened.
  • “Just forget about it.”- They always try to deviate from the topic when their power or sanity is at stake. Here, they simply want to make the victim shut up and twist the facts. However, the reality is no one forgets!
  • “You are too sensitive.”- When you share your feelings they will criticize you for being overly sensitive. They say – you have no right to be like this, and always try to question your thoughts. They pretend not to understand your perspective.
  • “It’s your fault” – They are the ones who never apologize. The gaslighter never accepts their mistakes and transfers blame to the victim. Rather they make you apologize every time to satisfy their inner ego.
  • “No! Actually I didn’t mean this, you are mistaken”. – Their favorite thing is to confuse you in some way or the other. You will always find yourself flummoxed and unstable. They completely act differently with their words and action. 

So, you might have understood that anyone can be susceptible to gaslighting. If you trust someone it is quite difficult to interpret that you are being gaslit.

Ways to Tackle the Issue

Gaslighting is very dangerous for your mental health. As it can corrupt your mental peace leaving you depressed. However, you can neutralize their power by simply recognizing them. These are some of the ways to handle this complex situation:

  • The best and easiest way to deal with this is to stay away from them. In order to keep yourself mentally fit and sound you need to distance yourself from them.
  • Never doubt yourself and your abilities. Be confident about your feelings and perception. Gaslighters feel happy after letting you down. So, by no means let them win. Challenge their point of view and behavior. 
  • Talk to them. Although, sometimes it is difficult to make them understand that you are being hurt. Speak up for that, don’t be the frozen victim, and don’t accept whatever is coming to you.
  • Interact with other people as well. Gaslighter likes to make you feel lonely and vulnerable. They don’t prefer when you meet with other people. So share your feeling and problem with your close ones. However, gaslighters will make you wrong in front of other people as well. But stay confident!
  • Consult a therapist if needed. It’s always a good step one can take. Because sometimes gaslighting can turn out to be dangerous in relationships. Even if it is not then there is no harm in visiting a therapist. 

Don’t feel isolated and vulnerable, gaslighters have self-doubt about their capability. Hence, in order to please their self-ego, they choose to be a gaslighter. Always remember your mental peace is of utmost importance in your life. Anyone playing with your emotion is not accepted, you have all right to stay happy.

So know people around and speak up your mind!

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1 Comment

  1. Very true. I have to share this with my best friend.

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