What Does Gaslighting Look Like
Gaslighting can look like several different things. I’ll try and break down some examples of how gaslighting may be taking place in your relationships.
They try and change the story.
The first scenario is whenever someone tries to change the story to something that favors them. If your friend shares something that your partner does and it’s very inappropriate. Then, you confront your partner and ask them what took place. Your partner will reframe the entire situation and even explain that you shouldn’t trust your friend. They change the story, so that way, you question your reality, and you question what’s happening.
They tell you not to trust your friends and family.
The person will also say that your friends or family are not trustworthy. That way, you break your relationships with close friends who are positive guides. So, the person engaging with gaslighting will have an easier time manipulating the situation. Often, they will make your friends and family look like the wrong people in a situation. When you start to question the people that you trust most, it leaves room for the person gaslighting you to shape your thoughts without other people interfering.
They deny the situation.
The person gaslighting will deny it over and over. The denial of something over and over is a strong gaslighting strategy. When someone refuses something so much, it will make you question your reality. Plus, the person gaslighting will have more control over the situation when they deny it. Even when you think you have proof, the person gaslighting can deny it. You start to think to yourself, “why would they deny it so many times?” It’s an effective strategy for people to take control of a situation.
They make you question your reality.
Questioning your reality is at the core of gaslighting. Before you went to your partner, you had mental clarity. However, when gaslighting is taking place with your relationship, you will start to question your thoughts and question your reality. Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse. If you can’t even trust your own perspective on your reality, then the person gaslighting has full control over you. Most of the time, you don’t even know that it’s happening.
It’s time to seek help.
Overall, gaslighting might not happen right away in a relationship. It could happen gradually over time. If you have been experiencing gaslighting, it may show up in a few different ways. You could feel isolated, anxious, and confused. Your friends and family might not completely understand what’s happening to you, and that’s on purpose by the person who is doing the gaslighting. What is helpful for people who experience these issues is talking to a therapist. They can help you put your reality and perspective back together.
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