The term “gaslighting”– as in, the mental control, not the 19th century occupation– has actually been thrown around a lot over the previous years or so. And while it can be both overused and misused, the awareness of the concept in basic has actually been helpful for many people who experienced this kind of habits from a partner, colleague, member of the family or buddy, but didn’t have a word for it.
There are a lot of short articles out there breaking down gaslighting, its origins, and what it involves, but in short, it involves a person getting another individual to question– and doubt– their own memory of something, so that it benefits them in some way. In a post for mindbodygreen, therapist Alyssa Mancao breaks down a few of the signs that you’re being gaslit, as well as what to state to the person behind the manipulative behavior.
How to understand if you are being gaslit
First, Mancao says that it is very important to recognize the signs of gaslighting, which she explains here:
When a person is being constantly gaslit, they start to show indications of lowered self-confidence and psychological reliance on the abuser. During a conflict where someone is gaslighting you, you may experience a range of feelings from confusion and anger to frustration and finding yourself entering argumentative circles both aloud and in your mind. This kind of back-and-forth is stressful and can impact your self-trust.
Some of the most common gaslighting phrases consist of:
” You’re making things up.”
” That never ever occurred.”
” You’re being significant.”
” You’re blowing things out of proportion.”
That’s simpler said than done when you’re up versus somebody who is constantly attempting to belittle and manipulate you, however Mancao states that it is very important that you think yourself– even if your gaslighter is attempting to distort your own realities, memories and understandings of past events. It can help to write things down as a record of how you’re feeling while things are taking place.
What to state to someone who is gaslighting you
If you have actually been in this circumstance yourself, then you understand how difficult it can be. As Mancao points out, some of the primary methods of gaslighting include blatantly lying, shifting the story and attempting to minimize your feelings and experiences. “Going into the conversation understanding your purpose will help you stay centered on a path versus being drifted in the various instructions that a gaslighting person may take you,” she writes.
Likewise, don’t be afraid to merely end the conversation and leave– that’s a choice, too. “The objective of the person who is gaslighting is to have you question your understanding, so walking away prior to the gaslighting gets extreme is a way to keep your understanding of events,” Mancao discusses.
If having some particular phrases in your pocket helps, Mancao suggests these:
” My sensations and truth are valid. I do not value you telling me that I am being too sensitive.”
” Do not inform me how to feel; this is how I feel.”
” I am allowed to explore these topics and conversations with you. Do not tell me I am being dramatic.”
” I know what I saw.”
” I will not continue this conversation if you continue to minimize what I am feeling.” (Then, execute the boundary.).
Ultimately, try to be kind to yourself– including if that implies leaving.