8 Powerful Phrases To Shut Down Gaslighting With Confidence


Powerful Phrases To Shut Down Gaslighting With Confidence

Have you ever had a conversation with someone where you felt like everything you are saying or feeling is being dismissed and invalidated, even though you know you’re right? If you answered yes, then you were subjected to gaslighting. If you have experienced this, then remember these 8 phrases to shut down gaslighting like a boss.

When someone makes you question your reality, it can feel extremely frustrating and depressing. We’ve all been there at some point. These little digs can make you feel like you’re on thin ice, be it from a friend, family member or that one co-worker.

But hey, you’ve come to the right place, because I have some really cool gaslighting comebacks that will help you knock it out like a pro! Explore 8 of the most powerful phrases to shut down gaslighting, and turn the tables while staying calm and making light of things.

But before we learn the art of responding to the gaslighting phrases, let’s first talk about the different types of gaslighting.

Related: Gaslighting in Relationships: 7 Questions To Tell If You’re Being Manipulated

4 Types Of Gaslighting You Must Beware Of

1. Romantic Gaslighting

Gaslighting comebacks are made for this sort of gaslighting.

Romantic gaslighting is one of the most painful kinds of gaslighting to experience. Your partner shamelessly denies things that have actually happened, tries to invalidate your emotions, and forces you to question your memory and self-worth.

It is a classic weapon for controlling and isolating you so that you grow even more dependent on them.

For example, in case you bring up a hurtful comment they made, they instantly go into denial mode. They will say things like “I never said that, you are just making things up”, or “you are crazy!”.

What is gaslighting and phrases to shut down gaslighting

2. Medical Gaslighting

Here, the exam room turns into a courtroom where your symptoms are on trial, and too often, the verdict is “It’s all in your head.” It’s particularly prevalent with conditions that are complex or not well-understood, like chronic pain or autoimmune diseases. Women and minorities often get the gavel slammed on them the hardest.

Picture telling your doctor about severe pain, only to be told it’s just anxiety, but months later, a specialist diagnoses you with a chronic condition.

3. Workplace Gaslighting

Imagine working in a company where all your ideas are rejected, your contributions dismissed, your achievements mocked at and your sense of reality questioned. Workplace gaslighting erodes your self-confidence and makes you feel like you are worthless and stupid.

For instance, you get your work done, but then your boss says that it is filled with mistakes without any evidence presented at all; or you may be accused of never coming up with ideas in meetings whereas you do, but someone always interrupts you.

4. Parental Gaslighting

This sort of gaslighting is heartbreaking, to say the least, and traumatic even. When a parent manipulates their child into believing lies and makes them question their reality, it can really mess with their minds.

A child may lose their sense of identity and gradually lose trust in their own judgment as well.

For instance, imagine you are a small girl who has just confided to your mother how it feels like being left out or bullied, but all she tells you is, “That’s not a big deal, you are way too sensitive,” or, “Be strong.”

Now that we know the types of gaslighting, let’s explore some of the best and most powerful gaslighting comebacks or phrases to shut down gaslighting.

Related: 5 Things That Someone Who Is Gaslighting You Will Say

8 Perfect Phrases To Shut Down Gaslighting

1. “Perhaps I’m not being overly emotional, maybe you are being extremely insensitive.”

A common gaslighting tactic involves making others appear to be sensitive or even over-sensitive. Gaslighters may say things like “Why are you so sensitive?” or “You really need to lighten up”, to make you feel like you’re overreacting.

They also try to defend their words and actions by implying that you are the one who is emotionally and mentally weak.

One of the best gaslighting comebacks, this reverses the scenario so as to let them know that their emotions and approach to this situation are out of balance and not yours. It also gives off the message that you won’t fall for their manipulative tactics, and you know what’s actually going on.

Phrases to shut down gaslighting

2. “I think it’s really concerning that you actually believe that.”

One of the main motives of gaslighting someone is to try and convince them that the gaslighter’s lies and manipulation are actually the truth. The whole idea is to twist reality so much until it makes you question what’s real in your own head.

Rather than getting caught up in it all, this powerful phrase has the power to make them stop in their tracks.

By saying this, it shows them two things: first, they cannot sway you with their lies, and secondly, they need help more than ever because if they still believe their own lies and made-up stories, then they must really be messed up beyond all hope of redemption.

3. “I remember things differently, and that’s okay. We can agree to disagree.”

One of the best phrases to shut down gaslighting with confidence, this is in a way similar to giving someone a firm but polite handshake, saying “Look, I respect your point of view but I’ve got mine too.”

They are entitled to their opinion, and so are you. Letting them know that with confidence will make them think twice before trying to manipulate you the next time.

4. “Let’s stick to the facts and address the issue at hand.”

When things start getting too convoluted in a conversation, make sure you say this to hold onto your power and confidence. It is like having a compass guiding you back home. You are saying, “Hold on a minute, let’s not get lost in the maze of distractions.”

This applies when someone tries to switch topics because they want to distract you from what’s actually happening. So when you shut them down then and there, and choose to focus on the real issue at hand, you reclaim your power.

One of the most powerful phrases to shut down gaslighting, for sure!

Related: How A Narcissist Can Derail You? 8 Important Questions To Ask

5. “I’m open to discussion, but not to being discredited.”

This one’s your boundary marker. It shows you’re all for healthy debate but draw the line at having your perceptions, opinions, and feelings invalidated. It’s like saying, “I’m here for a tennis match, not a boxing match.”

It signals that you’re engaged but not at the expense of your self-respect. It’s like you’re setting the rules for a duel where only words are the weapons, and personal attacks are off-limits.

You are all for discussing the issue at hand, but only when it’s going to be done with mutual respect, dignity, and honesty.

6. “Yeah, I can take a joke, but only when it’s funny.”

When you’re responding to the gaslighting phrases, remember this one.

A lot of inappropriate behavior flies under the radar by masquerading as humor. When someone says “just kidding,” they think they can say all sorts of offensive and inappropriate things under the guise of “being funny”.

If someone ever tells you “you really don’t know how to take a joke” then this comeback makes it clear that what they have said isn’t amusing to you. You could also try saying something like – “was that supposed to be funny?” or “your jokes are not funny, they’re insulting”.

Phrases to shut down gaslighting

7. “I trust my feelings and my experience just as much as you trust yours.”

In situations like this, always remember that your response is your defense. It’s as if you’re telling them, “Look, what I see counts too, pal.” The point isn’t to beat someone in a debate; it’s to stand up for your point of view.

You’re firmly saying “no” to letting someone else dominate what’s really your story. Imagine both of you are looking at the same film but seeing it with different eyes. All you’re doing is making it clear that your take should be heard as well, and your point of view should not be discredited or invalidated.

8. “Name-calling isn’t going to change the way I feel.”

One of the best gaslighting comebacks and phrases to shut down gaslighting in my opinion is this.

One of the major characteristics of a gaslighter is that they will always try to make you feel like you are crazy and whatever you are saying or thinking is bulls***. They love saying things like “You need help”, “You’re such a drama queen”, “You’re nuts”, and the best one? “You are absolutely crazy!”

Long story short, they will hurl insults at you with the intention of making you question your own reality and self-worth.

Pointing out how insensitive and unhelpful this is will help you shut it down then and there. It will show that you are calm and your head is in the right place, and nothing they say or do can make you question yourself.

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


Navigating the rough waves of gaslighting can be tough, but with these powerful gaslighting comebacks in your back pocket, you’re more than equipped to take them down. Remember that it’s all about validating your own reality, establishing boundaries, and focusing on having polite conversations.

Which of these phrases to shut down gaslighting do you think is the most effective? Are there any more gaslighting comebacks that should be added to the list? Let us know your thoughts in the comments down below!

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