There are some sneaky gaslighting techniques dark personalities use to make their victims feel crazy. It is, therefore, important to recognize the signs of gaslighting before it’s too late.
Have you ever been in a relationship with someone and their words and actions have made you feel like you are going crazy? They could be using gaslighting techniques on you.
We all get frustrated with our partners or family members sometimes when we cannot seem to put our point of view across. We also tend to recall events in a different way from our own unique perspectives. But when someone is consistently making you doubt yourself, where the main objective is to have you seriously question your own sanity, this is called gaslighting.
Gaslighting is where a person will present a different view of an event and insist it is the truth, in order to make you question yourself.
Examples of gaslighting include:
- You agreed to meet your partner on a certain day, but they insist you said a different one.
- You suggest a Chinese restaurant because your partner said a few weeks ago that they like Chinese food, but when you bring it up, they say they hate Chinese.
- They blame you for causing them to be late when in fact, it was their fault.
- They accuse you of doing something you definitely didn’t do.
- The gaslighter said they were excited about an event you are both attending, but when you mention it, they tell you they never wanted to go.
As you can see, gaslighting can take place in many different situations and using a variety of methods. So how do you spot a gaslighter before they have complete control over you?
Here are five gaslighting techniques used by manipulators:
1: They lie to you
Lying is the main weapon in a gaslighter’s armoury, without it, they cannot confuse you. They will typically start off with small little lies and once you have been taken in by these, then they’ll progress onto blatant ones. They will deny everything, even if you have indisputable proof.
It usually starts off with a simple lie, like disagreeing about the date of an event, then anything goes. You’ll believe the sky is black by the time they’ve finished with you.
2: They isolate you
If you have people around you that love and support you, it is very difficult for a manipulator to get their claws into you. So they need to get you on your own and isolate you from all your family members and friends.
Then the only person you have as a reference point is them. At that point, they can tell you anything to manipulate you. They will start to isolate you by telling you lies about your friends so you turn against them.
Eventually, you’ll believe that the manipulator is the only one you can trust.
3: They drop hints and tell you secrets
What better way to get you on their side than by letting you into little secrets that only they know? Or by dropping hints about certain people that they want to isolate you from?
This is an insidious way to get inside your head and takes cunning and intelligence. And unfortunately, this is something the master manipulator has tons of. No need to say that this is one of the sneakiest gaslighting techniques.
Your manipulator will start with small hints to make you think, such as – ‘Is your husband really working late tonight?’ They will soon move onto outright lies like – ‘I saw your husband book into a seedy hotel.’
4: They are nice to you
There are tons of studies that show a victim of gaslighting abuse will still crave affection from their abuser. And, if the abuser is nice to them, they will become even more loyal and believe what they say.
Typically, an abuser will start off being nice to you and then slowly withdraw this affection. At some point, they will start to treat you really badly but for no reason. You become confused and do not know what to do to get this affection back.
The truth is, there is no way to get it back because it was never genuine in the first place.
5: They project their feelings onto you
Gaslighters often project the things that are wrong with them onto the person they are manipulating. This is because they know a great deal about the subject. Whether it be addiction or being unfaithful, they will accuse you of doing the very things they are.
This is a perfect distraction technique which makes you get you off their case and start worrying about yourself instead.
6: They tell you that you are mad or imagining things
This is one of the most common gaslighting techniques that a manipulator will use. They will say that you are mad or crazy.
This usually comes towards the end of their campaign against you. By this time, they have told greater and greater lies and you’ve believed them. You are now isolated away from your family and friends, and you are completely under the manipulator’s spell.
This is their end game, to have you under their control. You will feel that they are the only person you can trust. However, you are now so confused about yourself that your mental health begins to suffer.
Now that you are under the manipulator’s spell, what do they want with you? Basically, they want someone who will do their bidding and will not question anything they say. As you no longer trust yourself, the essence of what makes you will fade away. You are now conditioned by the manipulator and will do anything they ask.
It doesn’t have to be like this, however, as a strong-minded person who has good self-esteem will always triumph over a gaslighter.
If you believe someone is using gaslighting techniques on you, take a look at the signs. Also, confide in a person you really trust, someone away from the gaslighter. Once you see things from a different perspective, you’ll be able to regain control over your own life.