What are the signs of Gaslighting? –Is a tactic in which a person or entity, to gain more power, causes the victim to question their reality. It works much better than you may think. Anyone is susceptible to gaslighting, and it is a common technique of abusers, dictators, narcissists, and cult leaders. It was done slowly, so the victim did not realize how much they had been brainwashed. For example, in the movie Gaslight (1944), a man manipulates his wife so much that she thinks she is insane.
Gaslight people often use the following techniques:
1. The Gaslighter lie blatantly.
You know it’s an outright lie. Yet they are telling you this lie with a straight face. Why are they so blatant? Because they’re setting up a precedent. Once they tell you a huge lie, you’re not sure if anything they say is true. Keeping you unsteady and off-kilter is the goal.
2. Gaslighter denies they ever said something, although you have proof.
You know they said they would do something; you know you heard it. But they out and out deny it. It makes you start questioning your reality—maybe they never said that thing. And the more they do this, the more you question your reality and start accepting theirs.
3. The gaslighter use is near and dear to you as ammunition
They know how important your kids are to you, and they know how important your identity is to you. So those may be one of the first things they attack. If you have kids, they tell you that you should not have had those children. They will tell you’d be a worthy person if only you didn’t have a long list of negative traits. They attack the foundation of your being.
4. Gaslighter makes you tired over time.
This is one of the insidious things about gaslighting—it is done gradually, over time. A lie here, a lie there, a snide comment every so often…and then it starts ramping up. Even the brightest, most self-aware people can be sucked into gaslighting—it is that effective. It’s the “frog in the frying pan” analogy: The heat is turned up slowly, so the frog never realizes what’s happening to it.
5. The actions of gaslighter do not match their words.
When dealing with a person or entity that gaslights, look at what they are doing rather than what they are saying. What they are saying means nothing; it is just talk. What they are doing is the issue.
6. Ther gaslighter throws in positive reinforcement to confuse you.
This person or entity that is cutting you down, telling you that you don’t have value, is now praising you for something you did. This adds an additional sense of uneasiness. You think, “Well maybe they aren’t so bad.” Yes, they are. This is a calculated attempt to keep you off-kilter—and again, to question your reality. Also look at what you were praised for; it is probably something that served the gaslighting person.
7. The person with signs of gaslighting know confusion weakens people
Gaslighting person know that people like having a sense of stability and normalcy. Their goal is to uproot this and make you constantly question everything. And humans’ natural tendency is to look to the person or entity that will help you feel more stable—and that happens to be a person with the signs of gaslighting.
8. The person with signs of gaslighting project.
They are a drug user or a cheater, yet they are constantly accusing you of that. This is done so often that you start trying to defend yourself, and are distracted from the gaslighter’s own behavior.
9. The person with signs of gaslighting try to align people against you.
Gaslighting person are masters at manipulating and finding the people they know will stand by them no matter what—and they use these people against you. They will make comments such as, “This person knows that you’re not right,” or “This person knows you’re useless too.” Keep in mind it does not mean that these people actually said these things. A gaslighter is a constant liar. When the gaslighter uses this tactic it makes you feel like you don’t know who to trust or turn to—and that leads you right back to the gaslighter. And that’s exactly what they want: Isolation gives them more control.
10. The person with signs of gaslighting tell you or others that you are crazy.
This is one of the most effective tools of the gaslighter, because it’s dismissive. The person who hase signs of gaslighting knows if they question your sanity, people will not believe you when you tell them the gaslighter is abusive or out-of-control. It’s a master technique.
11. And they tell you everyone else is a liar.
By telling you that everyone else (your family, the media) is a liar, it again makes you question your reality. You’ve never known someone with the audacity to do this, so they must be telling the truth, right? No. It’s a manipulation technique. It makes people turn to the gaslighter or having signs of gaslighting for the “correct” information—which isn’t correct information at all.
The more you are aware of these techniques, the quicker you can identify them and avoid falling into the gaslighter’s trap.