Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse using psychological manipulation.
It causes the victim to question their own judgement and in severe cases, doubt their own sanity.
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In a relationship your partner may frequently try to convince you that you are wrong (even if you are right), dismiss your point of view and purposely provide you with false information. Sometimes this behaviour can become extreme to the point where it wears you down leading to issues with self-esteem.
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Often this behaviour is built up gradually over a long period of time and you may not notice it in the early stages. In time your partner will have become aware of your weaknesses or vulnerabilities and may use these against you.
Behaviours to look out for in a partner are:
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- Not telling the truth
- Denying they said something that you can recall
- Using the things that are most important to you as ammunition against you
- Making you think that you are crazy or convincing others that you are
- Complimenting you occasionally in order to manipulate you into believing that they are not all bad
- Trying to convince you that everyone else you speak to isn’t trustworthy
- Trying to distance you from your friends and family.
I stopped asking “why” and it released me from the clutches of the narcissist
Gaslighting can make you feel like you are crazy. It is literally like your partner is putting a match to gas and you flare up… and then, the perpetrator blames you for being mad.“I escaped” – Member of The Group Hug Community
Signs that you are a victim:
- You just don’t feel like yourself anymore
- You’ve become more anxious over time
- You have lost confidence
- You constantly question yourself and your behaviour
- Frequently apologising for your actions
- You’ve started to believe that you are always in the wrong
- You may begin to feel isolated from your loved ones and you may hide any issues that you have from them
- You make excuses to others for your partner’s behaviour
- You’ve trouble in making decisions
Find out more about gaslighting and reactive abuse
These represent only some of the signs and feelings that you may experience.
If you believe that you may be a victim of gaslighting, or you are worried about a loved one, there are support networks available including Victim Support, Refuge and IDAS.
There are also options available to you in the form of Injunctions and Non-Molestation Orders which we can help you with.