Have you ever felt bad because someone said something that made you question your sanity? Did it happen to you that you felt disoriented because you started believing the people around you more than yourself? If you recognize yourself in these lines, I am sorry to inform you that you were gaslighted. Gaslighting has become one of the most common forms of emotional abuse, where an abuser uses any means necessary to control and manipulate his victim.

In this case, a victim totally loses themself, losing their self-confidence, questioning their common sense and feeling that everything they believed in so far was just a product of their imagination.
When a victim starts to feel this way, the abuser will finally be happy because he achieved his goal: He made a person not sure of anything anymore and into one who totally depends on him. Using his sick tactics and mind games, he mastered to transform any woman who was thinking with her own head into a puppet who he controls.

The most important thing that you have to know is how to spot all the red flag signs that someone might be a gaslighter. Here are some of the most common examples that happen every time an abuser tries to control his victim. I suggest you read all of them and learn how to react to situations like these.

1. Lies

When a gaslighter wants to control his victim, he will lie about her being incapable of doing something. In that way, he is showing her that without him she wouldn’t be able to reach her goals or have a successful life. This happens a lot in romantic relationships where one partner is jealous of the other one and when he does everything to make her life too hard to live. He exaggerates when he says that he is more clever and better than her, just so she would feel bad about it. But in most cases, that kind of story will work because a victim will start questioning her ability to do things right and her common sense.

2. Controlling

The most favorite game of every gaslighter is to control his victim. He does that by different methods, all the way from denying he ever said something to confusing and attacking you with a bunch of questions that you don’t have time to answer. He will do all these things because he knows that by doing so he will have total control over his victim and that if he convinces her that she is not good enough, she will always stay with him. Also, humiliation and name-calling is on the list of all those nasty things that a man can do to a woman if he has this kind of a mental disorder.

3. Withholding

When the gaslighter sees that his victim is clever enough to realize that he is playing with her, he will start pretending that he doesn’t understand what she says and he will deny that he did any bad things in the past. To every question that she asks him, he will answer with another question, asking her why she mentions things like that at that time because he doesn’t find them important. The catch is that he is using any tactics to end the discussion and to convince his victim that she was wrong and that he was right.

4. Trivializing

Sentences like: “Don’t be so sensitive!”, “You are overreacting!” or “Don’t make a fuss over small things like that!” are classic examples of gaslighting in relationships. By doing this, the gaslighter is deliberately doing everything in his power to convince the victim that her needs are not as important as his and that she should wait for some time to follow her own dreams. He wants to satisfy his needs only, not taking care of his partner at all.

5. Bombarding the victim with questions

When I say questions, I’m not referring to normal questions but to those that indirectly tell her that she isn’t capable of doing anything right. A gaslighter will bombard his victim with questions asking her if she is sure about something or if she thinks something she did was handled in a good way. In this way, every victim will feel bad about herself, she will doubt her own sanity and she will ask herself whether everything that she did so far was right or not.

6. Using your loved ones against you

For example, if you have kids, a gaslighter will probably tell you that you are an awful mom for dedicating yourself to your career more than to your kids and that he should probably take them away from you. That would make any woman doubt if she really did something like that because it would break her heart if she neglected her kids because of her job. If you have been in a situation like this, don’t think that you did anything wrong because you didn’t. You were just a victim of a sick man who couldn’t stand that his partner was more successful than he was.

After the victim becomes aware of all the red flag signs, the abuser will find another way to try and win her over. He will probably play the cards of love and affection and he will tell her that he missed her so much and that’s why he treated her like that. Once this is said, a victim will feel disoriented because she won’t know what the real truth is and she will always ask herself if she should go back to him and give him another shot.

Whatever you decide, please bear in mind that gaslighting is a malicious act. It can only bring you emotional and mental damage and that is certainly not the way any woman should be treated in a relationship. Hopefully these examples will help you to see all those threatening gaslighting signs and that once you recognize them, you will get away as far as you can from your abuser.

And remember that no matter how much you love someone, you can’t let him manipulate and control you in this way!

Christine Keller

I started writing just as a hobby, but in the end, I decided that it is something that fulfills me. I find inspiration in life’s everyday problems and every article that I write tells something about my past. In this way, I want to tell women all around the world that even though we are miles away, our pain makes us close. My articles were written to comfort those who need it the most and to tell them that they are not alone. I am a full-time mom, and I like spending time with my son, good people, sunny days and beer.