Gaslighting is a form of mental manipulation that causes gaslightees to question their own memory, perception, and sanity. It can happen in any relationship but it can be especially damaging when it happens in a romantic partnership. Gaslighting is the perfect storm for the gaslightee to develop trust issues, anxiety, or depression because gaslighters are often charming individuals who exploit those vulnerabilities. In this blog post, we will discuss three things that you need to know about gaslighting as well as how you can recognize gaslighting and what you should do if someone tries to gaslight you.
Gaslighting can happen in many different places:
- In romantic relationships;
- In family relations;
- In the workplace;
- In school and so on.
First of all, gaslighters are experts in knowing how to make you doubt yourself. They will say something over and over until it has sunk into your brain. If the gaslightee tries to argue about their memory or perception the gaslighter will insist that they are mistaken, confused, or just plain crazy. These mental games are what gaslighting is based on so if someone tells you that you don’t know what’s going on then ask them why do they think this way? What makes them certain when clearly there was evidence against their argument? This can be a tricky situation but with time gaslightees learn how to stop being vulnerable in front of these manipulators by asking questions instead of believing everything without thinking.
What Gaslighting Means for Your Mental Health
The gaslightee will often feel a great amount of confusion and guilt when in a gaslighting relationship because they can’t understand why their partner would treat them this way or how to make it stop. It’s important that the gaslightees don’t try harder to please gaslighters by changing who they are, doing what he/she wants or trying even harder to prove that they aren’t crazy. This is exactly what gaslighters want from gaslightees so if you recognize yourself as being in such a situation here’s three things you should do:
- Stop letting the manipulator take advantage of your kindness and good nature. Gaslighters use these traits against you without thinking about how they are hurting you. Be assertive and don’t let gaslighters use your strengths against you!
- Don’t argue with gaslighters because it will only make them want to argue more or control your emotional state further by making their gaslightee feel bad about themselves. Instead, keep silent until the gaslighting stops (which can take a long time) but if necessary end the conversation immediately without giving explanations for why this is happening.
- Make sure that gaslightees remember what’s really important in life; friends/family who love them unconditionally no matter what people say, good health rather than material things which won’t be there forever anyway, and having fun instead of trying to meet other people’s needs all the time. A gaslightee will often lose themselves in gaslighting relationships and forget about these things. If you find yourself doing this more than usual then it’s time to make a change!
What Gaslightees Need
Gaslightees often find themselves trapped in gaslighting relationships because of societal expectations and pressures which tell them that being a good partner means putting up with everything from your spouse even if it’s wrong or hurtful. This is not how healthy relationships work so gaslightees must start standing for what they believe in, accepting who they are instead of trying to change all the time, and having fun more while investing less into gaslighters who only want something from you until there’s nothing left!
How to Escape Gaslighting
A person engaging in gaslighting behaviors often wants to misdirect you and make you question yourself to further make it more probable that you will go along with everything they ask of you. Here are some ways how to escape gaslighting behaviors.
Learn to Emotionalize
It’s one of the most important things you can learn if you want to stop narcissistic gaslighting. The concept is simple: when you understand your own emotional responses, try to figure out how you react to similar situations and people in the same manner. This not only improves your self-care but can also make you more attentive to how you interact with others. The next time you find yourself gaslighting, think about how you are responding and you’ll be able to avoid or handle the problem better.
Know Your Vocal Style
Another strategy on how to escape gaslighting when you’re in an abusive personality relationship is to know your own vocal style. Usually, victims of abusive personality behaviors feel like they can’t express their opinions and needs because they are afraid to do so. Sometimes they even fear talking at all because of how they’ll be judged or how others will reply to them. However, by being aware of your own reactions and vocal styles, you can learn how to better deal with similar situations and people.
Be Clear and Constructive
Narcissistic abusers often use confusing gaslighting tactics that are meant to confuse their victims into feeling confused or as if they don’t really have a choice in the matter. Remember that confusion is an emotional response that can be used against you. You are the one who is making you feel confused, not the other way around. Therefore, if you respond to confusing tactics in a defensive or hesitant way, you’re likely to complicate matters rather than get rid of the issue.
Focus on Self-Care
One of the best ways how to escape gaslighting tactics is by getting more sleep, exercising more, practicing relaxation techniques, and filling your day with self-care activities. Self-care is vital to clearing your head of emotional and physical problems. If you neglect your own needs, you may become overly stressed, angry, or depressed. Getting plenty of sleep, exercising, meditating, and taking care of yourself is a great way how to escape the cycle of emotional abuse.
Stay Calm and Cool Another
Narcissistic abusers usually have a lot of rage bottled up inside so when they start acting out it is usually because they are frustrated or annoyed. If you consistently express your frustrations or anger towards your partner, it will only make you feel worse and more confused. In order to effectively deal with this type of scenario, it’s important to stay calm and cool when things get heated. Even when things seem like they’re going your way, staying cool and collected will prevent emotional drama from worsening.
With these tips and information, we hope that both gaslighters and gaslightees can learn how to break gaslighting patterns and move on with their lives.