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How to spot gaslighting in your relationship

Article written by Ncumisa Lerato Kunana

Recently, the word “gaslighting” has been used frequently on social media. Do you know what it means, how to spot it, and how to spot a gaslighter?

According to the Cambridge dictionary, psychological control and emotional abuse are both present in gaslighting. It happens when someone (the manipulator) causes someone else (the victim) to mistrust and question their own judgment, memory, and even experiences.

In this article, we will outline signs of being gaslit courtesy of Healthline. 

Signs you are being gaslit

1. Make you question your own reality

The primary indication that you are being gaslighted is when the manipulator questions your reality and memory of the events. This might leave the victim feeling disoriented and uncertain, which is quite harmful. “If you’re not sure, are you sure?,” the manipulator may ask. “You’re forgetting things” or “You’re imagining things.” By manipulating your words to give you the impression that you’re crazy, they will fundamentally deny, question, and cast doubt on the events you claim to have taken place.


2. Trivialising your emotions

A gaslighter will keep in control by downplaying your emotions. You can hear comments like “You’re being too sensitive,” “Do you know how weird it sounds,” or “You’re overreacting” when you hear this. The victim may become hesitant to express their emotions again if they feel their spouse, friend, family member, or other loved one’s sentiments were invalidated. By giving the gaslighter more power, the victim is increasingly marginalised.


3. Lies and confusion

Lying is a typical gaslighting technique! Even when there is evidence that they are lying, manipulators will continue to tell you clear lies. By creating uncertainty in your mind via deception and confusion, they will persuade you that there isn’t an issue. If the victim tries to confront the manipulator, they might hear comments like “Can you hear yourself” or “No one would believe you.”


This story first appeared on Bona