When you find your partner constantly trying to undermine you and your feelings, and it feels like they are trying to shape and overwrite your reality according to theirs, know that they are gaslighting you.
Gaslighting: it’s real, and it happens more than we even realize.
What does gaslighting in relationships mean?
The term, which comes from the 1944 movie Gaslight, is defined as “a form of psychological manipulation that seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or in members of a targeted group, making them question their own memory, perception, and sanity. Using persistent denial, misdirection, contradiction, and lying, it attempts to destabilize the victim and delegitimize the victim’s belief.”
Gaslighting is a slow, torturous form of manipulation, victim blaming and emotional abuse.
It’s gradually being fed a poison through words that creep into our minds and gnaw away at any semblance of self-worth and happiness inside our heart. The worst part is, you don’t even realize it’s happening until it’s too late and the damage has already been done.
Often, the lover who holds us, hostage, through this tactical method is a cunning, charming type. We are blind to the writing on the wall because we’ve been conditioned to see our abuser as wonderful; our heart is already ensnared within their clutches as the first signs that something is wrong, starts to wash over us.
But what does gaslighting really look like in a toxic relationship? What does it cause us to believe as reality?
The harsh reality is, well, it can really look like anything and convince us of infinite fallacies.
The thing is, though, they really all can intertwine and start to sound the same, but here are a few examples of lies that you’ll start to hold onto as truth in an abusive relationship if someone is gaslighting you.
Here Are 8 Lies That Show Your Partner Is Gaslighting You
1. “You’re lucky to have anyone at all because who else would want you.”
How do you keep someone caged? You trick them into believing that the cage is the best place for them.
The same is true for a master manipulator; they hold you close by blinding you to the possibility that things could or should ever be different. They’ll sow the seeds of trickery that blossom into a belief that they are your salvation, that, without them, you’d quickly perish from loneliness.
Sometimes simple phrases like, “What would you do without me?” or “You need me to take care of you,” can become a blindfold or rose-colored glasses that never allow us to see others around us who may also care.
2. “It’s all in your head!”
Ah, yes, the mind games to convince us we are crazy… they are all too common in these types of situations.
Truly gifted gaslighters will create an illusion that even your five senses can’t be trusted, that your eyes and ears are failing you completely. There’s no danger; you imagined those times they slammed doors or shattered glasses.
The reality, though, couldn’t be farther from what we begin to believe at the hands of our hurtful lover.