Gaslighting is a form of psychological abuse in which the abuser repeatedly manipulates the situation to alert the victim to his memory and perception. Gaslighting is a potential form of abuse. This has caused the victim to question his instincts throughout his life and make them uncertain about anything. Gaslighting may convince the victim what the abuser told them, regardless of their own experience with the situation. Gaslighting is usually preceded by other types of psychological and physical abuse, as victims are also more likely to continue to be in other situations of violence.
The term “gaslighting” comes from the 1938 British work “Gas Light”, in which the husband tried to drive his wife crazy by using various techniques that made him question his perception and mental health. “Gas Light” became a film in 1940 and 1944.
Gaslighting techniques and examples
There are many gaslighting manipulation techniques that make gaslighting more difficult to identify. Gaslighting techniques are used to hide the fact that the abuser does not want the victim to be aware of it. The abuse of gas lamps may be female or male.
“Withholding” is a gaslighting technique that abusers claim to lack understanding and refuse to listen and share their emotions. Here are some examples:
- “I won’t hear that kind of shit again tonight.”
- “You just want to make me confused.”
Another technique for gaslighting is “countering” in which the aggressor strongly interrogates the victim’s memory even if the victim remembers the matter correctly.
- “Consider what you remembered the last time.”
- “You thought about it last time, you are wrong.”
These techniques make the victim the desired object and ask him to question his motivations and opinions, not the object of discussion.
It is at this point that the abuser will begin to question his experiences, thoughts, and opinions in a more global way through angry statements:
- “You look at everything in the most negative way.”
- “Well, you obviously don’t believe me.”
- “Your imagination is too active.”
“Blocking” and “diverting” are gaslighting techniques in which the abuser again changes the dialogue of the subject to ask the victim’s thoughts and control the conversation. E.g:
- “I won’t see this again.”
- “Where did you get such a crazy idea?”
- “Don’t complain.”
- “You deliberately hurt me.”
“Trivializing” is another way to ignite natural gas. It does not matter to make the victim believe in his or her thoughts or needs, such as:
- “Do you want us to separate?”
Insulting “forgetting” and “denial” may also be the form of gaslighting. In this technique, the attacker intends to forget what actually happened. The abuser can also deny things such as important promises to the victim. The abuser may say:
- “what are you saying?”
- “I don’t have to accept this.”
- “You are inviting that.”
Then, some gas fires were teased by the victims’ “mistakes” and “misunderstandings.”
Gaslighting techniques are used together to try to make the victim doubt his thoughts, memories, and behavior. Soon, the victim was afraid to ask questions because of mistakes or incorrectly remembering the situation.
The worst gaslighters will even create situations to use gaslighting techniques. An example of this is to hide the victim’s key and hint to the victim that he has lost the key. Then “help” the victim’s “poor memory” to find the key.
Are you a victim of emotional abuse by gaslighting?
According to Dr. Robin Stern, author and psychoanalyst, signs of emotional abuse of victims of gaslighting include:
- You constantly doubt yourself.
- You want to know, “Am I too sensitive?” Ten times a day
- You are usually confused or even feel crazy.
- You always apologize to your mother, father, boyfriend, and boss since you feel like you are never right.
- You can’t understand why there are so many beautiful things in life that make you unhappy.
- You usually use any excuse to explain your partner’s behavior towards your friends and family.
- You can hide information from friends and family, so there is no need to explain or apologize.
- You know that something is completely wrong, but you cannot express it, even to yourself.
- You start to lie to avoid the humiliation and spin of reality.
- It’s hard to make a simple decision.
- You feel that you used to be a very different person – more confident, more fun, calmer.
- You feel desperate, no joy.
- You feel that you can’t do anything right.
- You don’t think you are a “good enough” friend/wife/employee/person