The term “gaslighting” is one that has been heard more often when it comes to our relationships, but do we really know what it means and its dangers?
What is gaslighting?
Gaslighting is considered a form of manipulation connected to abusive relationships. The term “gaslighting” comes from an old play and movie with similar themes about manipulation.
Gaslighting is considered a secret or covert type of emotional abuse, which usually takes place in romantic relationships but can be seen in our relationships with family and friends.
How Gaslighting Works
When gaslighting occurs, the abuser or bully in the relationship misleads their target with false narratives, leading the target to question reality and their own judgment.
The target, or victim, begins to feel they are losing touch with their sanity and becomes unsure about their perceptions of the world.
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Examples of gaslighting include, but are not limited to:
- You second-guess yourself because your significant other left you wondering if something is wrong with you.
- A controlling friend who makes you question your memories or recent events, causing you to feel guilty or dazed about said memories and events.
- A sibling blaming you for something that occurred, making you question your actions and perceptions.
To many of us, these examples may sound familiar; maybe we have been in the position of being the abuser or bully.
Whatever role we have played in such scenarios, we may still question if these situations are serious.
Gaslighting is serious because of the confusion and effect it has on one’s overall mental health and self-worth. Gaslighting can lead one to