Gaslighting is a dangerous pattern of manipulation that occurs in all abusive relationships. It is often a covert form of mental abuse that causes the abuser's target of blame to question their own reality and judgment. Toxic people use this type of emotional abuse to exert power over others in order to manipulate and avoid responsibility.
Gaslighting leaves you confused and doubting your mental capacities. There are a variety of different ways you can be manipulated through gaslighting. During my relationship with a diagnosed sociopath, I had no idea how methodically and systemically I had been gaslighted on a daily basis.
Due to the cunning design of gaslighting itself, articulating what is happening to you can be extremely difficult and often impossible…unless you have been on your healing journey for a while.
What are the tactics a person that is gaslighting you might use?
Lying to you is one of the most common forms of gaslighting. A narcissist or sociopath will look you right in the eye and lie with ease. Even if you have evidence to prove they are lying they will stand firm in their falsehood and never admit the truth.
You know without a shadow of a doubt they are lying and they cannot refute it, yet they will not back down or change their story no matter how much you beg and cry.
Their blatant denial causes you to doubt your inner guidance system…your intuition.
I remember the anguished feeling in my gut when he refused to admit to cheating on me despite eyewitnesses. None of them had a motivation to lie and were all telling the same story about when and where they saw him with other women. When confronted he stone-cold lied and denied it all.
It was always everyone else that was the liar and never him.
He would gaslight me with accusing statements like “You believe strangers over me?”
He would get angry and indignant when I kept questioning him and act disgusted. There were moments when I actually did feel guilty for listening to the people warning me about what he was doing.