10 Clear Signs You Are Being Gaslighted Abused In Your Relationship

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Ten Clear Signs You Are Being Gaslighted In Your Relationship

Are you being gaslighted or emotionally abused by your partner? Gaslighting in a relationship can be difficult to identify and painful to deal with! 

Gaslighted. Are you?

Gaslighting in relationships. Gaslighting emotional abuse and manipulation. Is this happening to you?

Gaslighting Emotional Abuse

If you’ve ever been gaslighted you’ll know the feeling. You think you’re going crazy, right?

Your gut is screaming at you. You know what you’ve seen and heard.

The narcissist in your life – a partner, colleague, even a friend – is denying it. It didn’t happen. You’re imagining it. Made it up. You’re too sensitive. You’re exaggerating. That’s gaslighting.

They’re lying to you. Bald-faced lies that you can even prove are false. Yet they tell you it’s you who is telling untruths.

They’re having an affair, but accuse you of being the unfaithful one. That’s gaslighting too.

You can’t understand it. It’s so obvious to you, but it’s like rationalizing with someone incapable of seeing sense.

You express your concerns with them about any of the above. The conversation gets twisted. The problem lies with you. Your sensitivity, your insecurity, your paranoia.

You walk on eggshells around them as you’re always to blame. It’s your perception that’s wrong, not the perpetrator’s abusive behavior.

It didn’t happen at first. When they were seducing you with their charismatic, charming side.

Then, out of the blue, they reveal a little of the darker side hidden within.

A quick flash of anger, perhaps. Then it’s gone. You’re shocked. You think:

Did that really just happen?

Related: 9 Behavioral Traits That’re Common Amongst Survivors of Narcissistic Abuse

It’s easy to doubt yourself, especially when they’re all charming again. They’re convincing you whatever it was they did wasn’t as bad as you thought.

You start to think you must have caused it and you change your behavior instead. You keep adapting your behavior, in the hope the emotional abuse will stop.

Despite the fact your gut instincts were telling you the truth all along, you begin to mistrust them.

Maybe I am wrong?

You feel the need to prove you’re worthy of them and that you’re not who they say you are. They begin to have control over you.

Gaslighting, what is it?

Gaslighting behavior

Gaslighting is an insidious form of psychological manipulation. It’s designed to confuse you and question your sense of reality.

It plants seeds of doubt in you that make you question your memory, and perception of events. Even your sanity.

But like a frog in boiling water, you’ll not notice they’re brainwashing you until it’s too late. This form of coercive control happens little by little, over time.

Gaslighting can happen to anyone. It’s used by cult leaders and dictators, along with narcissists. It’s an effective tool.

The word originated from a 1930s play Gas Light. In it, a husband denies he is turning on the gas lamps in their attic. This leads the others in the house to dim and flicker. He tries to convince his wife who notices it she is imagining it and going crazy.

Over time a gaslighter’s manipulation becomes more complex. It wears down a victim’s sense of identity and self-esteem. Their aim is to gain control over you and it works.

Knowledge is power.

Signs of Gaslighting In A Relationship

Emotional gaslighting. Gaslighting abuse

Here are 10 signs you’re experiencing gaslighting:

1) Your gut instincts are at odds with what they are telling you

You’re certain of what you’ve seen them do. You’re sure of the words they’ve said. Yet they deny it and them.

Your gut is screaming at you that their behavior is wrong. Perhaps abusive. Yet, when you bring it up they deny it and throw it back onto you.

You’re too sensitive. Exaggerating. Your perception of events is wrong. You’re lying.

You feel on edge when you’re around them. Uneasy. You walk on eggshells, never sure of what will happen next.

What they say to you is the polar opposite of what they do. Their abusive actions do not match their loving words or promise to change.

Your head is telling you they’re no good for you and will only hurt you. Yet, they somehow convince your heart to stay.

2) They lie to you

Even when you can prove they are doing so, they lie. They do it with such confidence and to your face. You start to doubt your version of events. That’s what they want.

In the case of a narcissist the old adage – if you lie often enough it becomes the truth – is what they believe.

Their lies are to keep you off-balanced and confused.

3) They flat-out deny what they’ve said or done

They tell you:

I didn’t do that. You’re making it up

Then they’ll likely get angry and point out all your flaws.

4) They accuse you of doing exactly the things they’re doing.

Projecting onto you their own actions and behavior.

For example, they might accuse you of having an affair, which you’re not. All the while they’re the ones being unfaithful.

Or they’ll lie and accuse you of lying.

Related: How My Journey Through Abuse Transformed My Life For The Better

5) They lie to you about others

Convince you your family is not looking out for your best interests. Your closest friend is jealous of you and is out to get you.

They want you to mistrust others. To break down your safety net. Those who could confirm to you their behavior is abusive and not good for you.

Ultimately, to isolate you. All the better to control you.

6) They drag you into crazy, confusing conversations

It starts with you questioning their actions or words. Then descends into a vortex of confusion. A conversation that has nothing to do with the initial subject, but ends as a personal attack on you.

You’ll wonder where this argument began at all.

How the hell did you go from a simple question about their behavior to this attack on your childhood? Them questioning your friends and family and anything you’ve ever believed in.

Related: Elder Abuse and Neglect: Guide to Identifying and Preventing It

7) They make blanket statements about you

Instead of accounting for their actions or behavior, they’ll accuse you. You’re impossible to please. Too sensitive.

They’ll say things like:

So you’re the perfect one now are you?

Sweeping generalizations that act as a smokescreen to cover their abusive behavior. To deflect away from them and shift the blame onto you.

8) They’ll bring someone else into the equation.

Sometimes a narcissist will bring another person into the equation. To put you off balance.

An ally who can side with them and gang up against you, who’ll back them up and give their opinion about something you’ve said or done.

This is so the narcissist can say to you:

You see, X agrees with me and thinks you’re crazy too.

Or, hints there’s someone they might have an affair with. This type of gaslighting in relationships is to instill fear in you they may leave you.

9) They wage a smear campaign against you

Especially, if they sense they’re losing control over you or over how you see yourself.

They’ll get others on their side. Use sob stories to convince them they’re the victim of your abusive behavior. Not the other way around.

10) They tell you anything to get you back or weaken you again when you feel strong

After any sign of abuse, a narcissist will suck you back in, especially if you try to leave them.

When they sense you are strong, they’ll manipulate you with all their might. Suck you back in with their remorse, presents, and promises to change.

You’ll get their nice, charismatic side back again. They’ll tell you:

I love you and need you to help me change.

They know exactly what you want to hear.

It’s so convincing, as you also get that beautiful, loving side of them again. It’s difficult to remain angry, so you forgive them.

Most likely you’ll believe them. You love their good side, you just hate the bad. So, you’ll try to rescue them again. Believe that:

If I do X or Y, then they’ll change. I’ll get their nice side and the abuse will stop.

But this is a lie. Their promises are manipulations.

There are no two sides to narcissists. They are Mr (or Ms) Hyde conning you by wearing a Dr Jekyll mask. Telling you what they know you want to hear, for their own gain.

Their goal is to pull that rug back out from under you. Sow seeds of self-doubt in you once more. Throw you off balance so they can control you again.

Related: 12 Red Flags You Are Being Psychologically Manipulated

Gaslighting in relationships

Are you that frog in boiling water? Unsure if a narcissist is gaslighting and manipulating you. Believing their lives, excuses, and accusations you’re to blame?

Denying the reality your gut is telling you is the truth?

The longer a narcissist subjects you to their coercive control the harder it is to leave.

Gaslighting is brainwashing. A means to convince you-you are worthless. Make you dependent on the narcissist. Control you.

If you recognize any of the signs above, I’d urge you to get help and support to leave.

You can’t change a narcissist. Nothing you try will work. Only they can change themselves.

Stop trying to rescue them and save yourself instead.

Do you recognize someone is gaslighting you? In what way are they manipulating you? Let me know in the comments below.

Originally appeared on Unbeatable.com
Written by Vivian Mc Grath
Published with permission from author

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