Are you in a relationship with someone? Do you usually feel crushed and smothered? Are you usually second-guessing yourself, your perceptions and your memories? Do they often make you wonder if you are going crazy and oversensitive?
Oh well, I am here to tell you that you are not going crazy sweetheart. No, you are not. I was once in your shoes. There was a time my boyfriend usually made me feel like I am going crazy; that my emotions were not valid. Anytime I told him something he did or is not doing and how I am not comfortable with it, his reply would always be, “Ah! Ann abeg stop being overly dramatic. You are making all these up”. And it made me trace my steps back into my shell. I stopped telling him about my feelings and you know what happens when you are in a relationship but you are not expressing your feelings – you feel as though you are suffocating. That was how I felt. I questioned my feelings a whole lot of times. I know I should have broken up with him but part of me could not do it; part of me blamed myself – “Maybe, I am being too sensitive and there is some stuff I should let go”.
So, believe me when I say that I have been in your shoes and I know how you feel now. When someone keeps undermining your feelings and makes you uncertain about how you feel, you are not crazy, they are simply gaslighting you.
But the question remains, though: How do you know that you are being gaslighted? Well, take a look at the list below. If any part of the list resonates with you, you may be involved in a gaslighting relationship and need to look further or probably break up with them because you cannot be going through this kind of emotional abuse – that’s actually the worst kind of abuse.
Anyway, here are some common phrases you might hear from your gaslighter:
- You’re so sensitive!
- You know that’s just because you are so insecure.
- Stop acting crazy. Or: You sound crazy, you know that, don’t you?
- You are just paranoid.
- You just love trying to throw me off track.
- You’re imagining things.
- You’re overreacting.
- You are always so dramatic.
- Don’t get so worked up.
- That never happened.
- You know you don’t remember things clearly.
- There’s no pattern. Or: You are seeing a pattern that is not there.
- You’re hysterical.
- There you go again, you are so ungrateful.
Aside from that, there are also the top five signs of people that gaslight-
- They tell obvious lies;
These people would tell obvious lies. They would see black and still call it white. Like you are looking at it and know it is black but they will say it is white. You know that they are lying. The issue is how they are lying with such ease. You begin to question everything and become uncertain of the simplest matters. This self-doubt is exactly what the gaslighter wants.
- They talk a lot without any action;
A person who gaslights talks and talks. However, deep down in your heart, you know that their words mean nothing. Therefore, it is important to look at what they are doing.
- They deny a lot
Again, you know they said what they said. However, they completely deny ever saying it. The gaslighter may push the point and ask you to ‘prove it,’ knowing that you only have your memory of the conversation that they are denying happened. It starts to make you question your memory and your reality. You begin to wonder if the gaslighter is right, maybe they didn’t really ever say what you remember. Consequently, more and more often, you question your reality and accept theirs.
- Love and flattery
A common technique of a person who gaslights is to tear you down and then build you back up, only to tear you down again. However, the uneasiness comes from love and flattery. Whether you realize it or not, you are becoming used to being torn down. However, the praise may lead you to think that the abuser isn’t all that bad.
- They call you crazy and you believe it
The gaslighter knows you are already questioning your sanity. The gaslighter also knows that you search for clarity in the person who is purposefully causing the confusion. Therefore, when they call you crazy, you believe it.
Honestly, the quicker you can pick up on these gaslighting techniques, the better luck you will have to avoid a gaslighter’s abuse and maintain the distinct reality of your circumstances. Good Luck!