How To Deal With Gaslighting? A 5-Step Gaslighting Safety Plan


, ,
How To Deal With Gaslighting? Step Gaslighting Safety Plan

Have you ever been on the other side of gaslighting? If yes, then you have come to the right place! This post is going to talk about how to deal with gaslighting, how to handle gaslighters, and how to protect yourself from gaslighting.


  • To protect oneself, it is important to understand what gaslighting is and what it is not.
  • Gaslighting can sabotage a person’s self-esteem and cause them to lose faith in their sense of reality.
  • Gathering evidence, finding support, and engaging in self-care are crucial when dealing with a gaslighter.

If you have ever experienced gaslighting, you know that it can be difficult to detect because the very nature of gaslighting is to cause confusion. Uncertainty about what gaslighting is and what it is not, as well as the best way to handle it, are common questions.

Each instance of gaslighting differs, and it may not always be possible to follow every step. Rest assured that anything you do is better than doing nothing, as the most effective way to stop gaslighting is with a clear and decisive response to it.

Related: Identifying Gaslighting Tactics: Types Of Gaslighting, Phases, And Common Phrases Of Gaslighting

What Gaslighting Is and Is Not

Gaslighting is a form of emotional manipulation intended to break down a person’s trust in themselves, causing self-doubt and confusion about personal opinions, self-awareness, and reality. Gaslighting can occur in any relationship (romantic, family, friends, co-workers) or within a group or organization (work, school, government, medicine) in which one person or entity has potential power over another individual or group.

Gaslighting is not always obvious and often manifests in ways that are covert and difficult to detect. Understanding the effects and the typical dynamics involved can help you remain connected with your sense of self-worth, making it less likely someone can use gaslighting as a form of manipulation or emotional abuse against you. Gaslighting is most effective when it goes undetected, so awareness is key.

Although popular psychology provides readily available opportunities to learn self-care techniques as well as explore your mind and emotions, it can also lead to the misuse of certain psychological or sociological terms, such as gaslighting. To strengthen the messaging around gaslighting and encourage those who experience it to stand up for themselves, we need to be clear about what gaslighting is not.

Gaslighting is not…

  • Someone disagreeing with you or having a different opinion.
  • Someone viewing a situation differently than you, especially due to their past experiences influencing their perception.
  • Someone telling you that you hurt their feelings or offended them, even though you did not realize you had done so or disagree with them.
  • Someone forgetting they told you something or having a poor memory due to things like stress, ADHD, sleep deprivation, post-partum hormones, or mental health issues.

As humans, conflict is natural, and not all conflicts are easy to navigate. Gaslighting, however, is not a form of conflict; rather, it is a set of techniques used to control or manipulate another.

How to deal with gaslighting
Protect Yourself From Gaslighting

How To Deal With Gaslighting? What to Do if You Believe You Have Experienced Gaslighting

At times when you do believe you have been gaslit, it helps to have an action-oriented plan to protect yourself, especially in complicated situations, such as a family relationship in which the abuser is unavoidable. Doing so makes it less likely someone can succeed at trying to control you with manipulative tactics.

1. Identify the Gaslighting

The first and most crucial step is recognizing what is happening. Pay attention to any common phrases and tactics being used and notice if the situation causes:

  • Self-doubt, confusion, and/or uncertainty
  • Over-apologizing
  • Insecurity about the validity of your feelings
  • Difficulty with decision-making
  • Feeling a loss of control

2. Create Space

If you live with a gaslighter, try spending less time at home. Get involved with your community, such as signing up for after-school or after-work activities; leave home for exercise; like a walk or run; or spend time with other friends or family.

If this is not possible, create space in your body with breathwork, grounding exercises, and other self-care skills.

Related: 5 Types Of Psychological Manipulation And How To Deal With Them

3. Gather Evidence

Documentation can help ground your sense of reality and aid future decision-making about the relationship. If necessary, collect photos, texts, emails, and so forth. The documentation is not intended to change the gaslighter, as they could likely weaponize the evidence.

Instead, it is a way to connect with your sense of reality and to remind you of your own thoughts and feelings that are separate from the gaslighter.

4. Involve a Support Person

Sharing your experience with others may feel scary, but it can also save you from harm. Finding someone you can trust outside of the relationship to process your emotions about the gaslighter can help you regain your sense of reality. When appropriate, create a plan to either confront the gaslighting or remove yourself from it.

If you experienced societal or medical gaslighting, you may want to share the evidence you gathered with a human resources department (or other governing agency) so the gaslighter receives consequences if possible.

How to deal with gaslighting
How To Protect Yourself From Gaslighting

5. Focus on Self-Care

Regularly engaging in self-care helps maintain and rebuild self-esteem crucial for healing from gaslighting. While the effects of gaslighting may make you feel undeserving of self-care, it is important to maintain these positive practices to improve your wellness despite a gaslighter’s efforts to hurt you.

Related: 10 Signs Of Romantic Manipulation

Quality time with yourself, taking care of your body, compassionate self-talk, journaling, tapping into the power of your breath, remembering hobbies you love and doing them, connecting with gratitude, and finding meaning in your work are all self-care techniques that help counteract the effects of gaslighting and keep you connected with a sense of self-love, and your ability to trust in others.

Portions of this post were adapted from my book Gaslighting Recovery for Women: The Complete Guide to Recognizing Manipulation and Achieving Freedom from Emotional Abuse.

Check out Amelia’s Instagram and website, if you are interested to learn more about gaslighting, trauma and the likes. Also, don’t forget to check out her new book, Gaslighting Recovery for Women: The Complete Guide to Recognizing Manipulation and Achieving Freedom from Emotional Abuse.

Written By Amelia Kelley Ph.D.
Originally Appeared On Psychology Today
how to protect yourself from gaslighting
How To Deal With Gaslighting? A 5-Step Gaslighting Safety Plan

— Share —

— About the Author —

Leave a Reply

Up Next

Flying Monkeys: The Narcissist’s Secret Weapons

Flying Monkeys: The Narcissist’s Secret Weapons

Have you ever heard of the term “flying monkeys” or “flying monkeys of the narcissist”? Who are they and what do they do exactly? This article is going to explore everything about who flying monkeys are and what role they play in narcissistic abuse.

‘Flying Monkey’ is the term given to those agents and allies that collude with an abusive person. Their role is to continue carrying out tormenting the victim on their behalf.

If it’s during the relationship, the abuser gets to abuse by proxy as it’s other people that are getting their hands dirty.

If it’s after the relationship has ended or you’ve left that job or left that area, it’s a way of perpetuating the abuse. Again though, the abusers hands are clean as others are doing the work for them.


Up Next

4 Warning Signs Of A Toxic Leader

Warning Signs Of A Toxic Leader

Have you ever worked with a toxic boss or toxic leader? If you have, then you know how horrible and malicious they really are, and if you haven’t, then read on to know the signs of a toxic leader so that it’s easier for you to understand what you are dealing with.


Poor, toxic leaders demand unquestioning loyalty and service to the leader.

Bad leaders rule by a sense of fear, both of outsiders and of the leader’s wrath.

Good leadership empowers followers, shows concern for them, and benefits the collective.

All too often, people fall prey to self-serving

Up Next

Eggshell Parenting Meaning: 5 Signs You’re Making These Mistakes!

Eggshell Parenting: Signs You're Making These Mistakes!

Parenting is one of the most sincere tasks in every individual’s life that should be done with utmost care and coherence. However, the relationship between parents and their children is often tampered by the mental, and behavioral issues of the parents.

Thus, mood disorders and the violent nature of parents can affect the child’s life. Eggshell parenting is one such consequence. In this blog, we will guide you to understand eggshell parenting and show you the risky spots you should avoid.

What is Eggshell Parenting?  

Up Next

Top 6 Most Notorious Serial Killers In History and Their Psychology Unleashed

Top Most Notorious Serial Killers In History

Some of the most horrifying and notorious murder cases in criminal history are those in which the most notorious serial killers caused irreversible harm to society by their horrific deeds. Motivated by an intricate network of psychological, social, and frequently pathological elements, these infamous persons have perpetrated atrocities that persistently enthral and appal the public.

Every instance sheds light on the dark psychology of serial killers, from Ed Gein’s horrific acts to Ted Bundy’s deliberate and planned killings. Investigating these sinister tales reveals not only the specifics of their heinous deeds but also the patterns and reasons behind them, providing insights into one of the most ghastly aspects of human nature.

6 Most Notorious Serial Killers In History

Up Next

The Role of Childhood Trauma in Serial Killers: A Deep Dive Into 5 Serial Killers and Their Upbringing

Role of Childhood Trauma in Serial Killers: Case Examples

The public’s fascination with the mystery surrounding serial killers has long sparked conjecture regarding the motivations behind people’s horrific behavior. The role of childhood trauma in serial killers has received a lot of attention, despite the fact that the reasons underlying their actions are complex.

In this blog, we explore the childhood experiences in serial killers to gain insight into their terrifying world. We aim to uncover the intricate relationship between pathology and upbringing by delving into the trauma in serial killers and unfavorable conditions that shaped these individuals’ early years.

This will illuminate the shadowy pasts of some of the most infamous murderers in history. Come along with us as we venture into the darkest recesses of the human brain, where the roots of violence are planted.

Up Next

Man vs Bear Debate: What is the Right Choice for Women?

Man vs Bear Debate: Is It Safe To Choose a Bear Over Man?

Even though Leonardo Di Caprio has proven that men can beat a bear in strength and intelligence, let’s not get carried away and remember that a bear can be more powerful than men. You can guess that we are here to discuss why women chose bear in the man vs bear debate.

The real question is, what threatens women more? Getting mauled by a bear and meeting a horrific death or getting violated by a man??

Women are inclined to the second option in the viral Man vs Bear debate.

Up Next

Brain Fog After Narcissistic Abuse? 8 Ways Narcissists Can Muddle Your Brain

Brain Fog After Narcissistic Abuse? Reasons Why It Happens

Have you ever heard of the term “brain fog”? Brain fog is like a maddening haze that seems to muddle your thoughts, makes you forget what you were saying, and has you searching for your clothes in the trash bin? Well, today we are going to talk about a specific sort of brain fog – brain fog after narcissistic abuse.

Imagine that you have just escaped from a toxic and abusive relationship with a narcissist. You are slowly picking up the pieces and trying to get your life back in order, but somehow you feel like your head is not in the right place. Everything still feels very odd and you still feel very lost.

Even though you are free from the clutches of your narcissistic ex, this bizarre mental fog just won’t lift. Let’s explore how narcissists cause brain fog, and the link between brain fog and narcissistic abuse.