Are They Gaslighting You? Here’s How to Tell!

california psychics

Manipulation and Control

“Gaslighting” is a term most-associated with the 1944 film-noir “Gaslight.” The film portrays the story of a husband who manipulates and controls his wife to the point where she doubts her own judgement. Before houses were electric, lights ran on gas. In the movie, the wife notices that a lot of strange things are happening at home—especially the gas lights which dim without being touched. Her husband tries to convince her that she is going mad; he is “gaslighting” her.

Do you feel disrespected by your partner? Get a love reading and find out when someone better will come along!

Gaslighting Defined
By definition, gaslighting is a slow and subtle, but very effective way to gain control over someone, and it’s more common than you might guess. This type of manipulation doesn’t just happen to women by their male partners; women can manipulate men in this way, as can partners, family members and friends. Sometimes the gaslighter convinces the other that they are right as well, thus compounding the problem.

In a Psychology Today article, Robin Stern, Ph.D. explains the two things that make gaslighting such a powerful force:

  1. The gaslighter’s assertiveness in taking power.
  2. The victim’s eventual doubt of their own critical thinking that results in their willingness to give their power over to the gaslighter.

Gaslighting in Action
Mr. Smith becomes annoyed with Mrs. Smith. He continually tells her that she is not good at handing the family finances. At first, she ignores his comments. But then he continues to find fault with her money management, so she outwardly disagrees with him and shows him examples of her financial savvy. But he persists in his criticism, telling her she spends too much money and she misses payments. He tells her that her thinking process is wrong and abnormal. Mrs. Smith is browbeaten, exhausted and starts to believe that Mr. Smith is right. Now she can’t trust her own judgement around money—even though she was a successful bank manager before she met Mr. Smith. The transfer of giving over her power to him has begun and soon he will be in control of their finances. Mrs. Smith will have to ask him for money when she needs to pay for something.

How to Know When You’re Being Gaslighted
If Mr. and Mrs. Smith’s story sounds familiar, then there’s a good chance you are familiar with a relationship like theirs—it may even be your own. Here are just a few of the many signs that will help you determine if you or someone you know is being gaslighted:

  1. You feel like you’ve changed. Not so long ago, you were a happier person.
  2. You go places alone and make excuses for your partner who “couldn’t” make it. Sometimes you just shrug your shoulders because it’s easier, less painful and less tiresome than making excuses.
  3. You have a hard time being happy for your friends.
  4. You feel like you can’t do anything right anymore.
  5. You doubt yourself more often than not.
  6. You feel lackluster and uninspired and you don’t know why.

What You Can Do if You’re Being Gaslighted
If you suspect gaslighting, trust that suspicion. However, you should avoid confrontation and defensiveness, and refuse to engage in a debate until you’ve figured things out. If you’ve been gaslighted for a while, you may not trust your own judgement, so turn to a friend for their opinion and insight. Once you confirm that gaslighting is occurring, take the steps necessary to learn to recognize your own self-worth, start to take your power back and regain control of your life.

8 thoughts on “Are They Gaslighting You? Here’s How to Tell!

  1. LJ

    Shelly: God has not abandoned you! You still attend church, so you can’t possibly believe that. Have you spoken to your pastor/priest and asked for help? It worries me that you so readily stated you wanted to slash your throat. What would that accomplish? Nothing. Besides, you don’t have that luxury – people depend on you being around, like your kids – but most of all your life is precious, no matter how crappy it feels at the moment. Nothing ever stays the same forever, so you have to believe this situation will change if you want it to. You should talk to someone right away. Don’t feel like you have disappointed anyone. And if they tell you that you have, tell them that you’re sorry but you are not responsible for their happiness. Everyone has to be responsible for their own happiness. In addition to outside help from counselors, clergy, etc., I urge you to speak to your guides, your angels and you deceased loved ones – all of whom are around you just waiting to help you – you have to be specific in what you want them to do, but they will listen. You are not alone. I wish you all the best.
    ~LJ

    Reply
    1. LJ

      Hi Chrissi: Sorry to hear it, but if you suspect it’s true make sure you go back and read the last paragraph in my article – there’s important info in there. Aside from that beginner info, you need to take the necessary steps to relieve yourself of this situation. Living with a manipulator doesn’t get better; it just gets worse. However, every situation is different, so you’ll have to decide the next best move for you. Try talking to someone who can advise you if you’re confused and/or alone. I wish you the best.
      ~LJ

  2. Stacy

    Thank you for the article on Gaslighting. I just call it manipulating and controlling. Purely sick for one to do to another.
    Sadly some people are much better at this then what one would think. Escaping from this mental and emotional trauma is much harder than you would think. Especially when they have gained all control of everything you do except using the bathroom and bathing.
    I believe with all I have been through in life this may very well be the worst abuse one can go through. There doesn’t seem to be a way out. No light at the end of the tunnel.
    Thank you for putting it out there. It is so true to such a horrible degree.

    Reply
    1. LJ

      Hi Stacy: YW for the article. My BFFs agree with you – it’s common, it’s out there and it needs to be focused on more closely so you and others know you’re not alone. However, I don’t buy into that “misery loves company” mentality – I’m definitely the proactive type of girl. I don’t like hearing, “I can’t,” “I’m trapped,” or “there’s no way out.” There’s always a way out. Even if you have to wait until they’re in the shower and you get your pre-packed bag of necessities and hit the road on foot. Go straight to the police and ask them for a connection to a group that can help you. Nothing is hopeless. Believe in possibilities. Starting over is scary, but it’s also a way to feel like you’ve got wings to fly – to freedom. Best of luck.
      ~LJ

  3. Shelly

    I need some guideance with my future I am sick of being put down by my husband of 28 years and judged for my many past poor decision I just want to live forever young and be successful for the years I have let on this earth with my husband and children I have failed everyone including my number one idol my father for not becoming s successful person , I want to die but o can’t bc my husband is working his ass off to try to provide a great future for his family, we pray go to church give and feel that we have sown what we have reaped but how much longer can we Endur?? Please help us I am 49 my hubby is 44 we have 3 kids and one that is choicing all the wrong choices I need the lord or budda to help bc I / we give up. We do and try to choose our lives choices and well I am about ready to slash my throat everything I do is never good enough if there is s true God I feel he had abounded me my husband and my two youngest children
    With a humble heart I reach out with a sincere heart for strength and blessings please help us!!

    Reply

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