Have you ever felt bad because someone said something that made you question your sanity?
Has it ever happened 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 the victim of gaslighting.
What exactly is gaslighting?
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 themselves, 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 transforming any woman who was thinking with her own head into a puppet whom he controls.
The abuser uses slick, sneaky methods that the victim is oblivious to that slowly but surely cause the victim to start losing touch with reality and being paranoid about what is or isn’t real anymore.
Gaslighting commonly occurs when the victim has the utmost trust in the perpetrator and due to their supposed closeness, they would never expect to be used so maliciously.
It is extremely unfortunate to realize that you have this type of person in your life but sadly, this is the harsh reality of majority of victims out there. It’s always those you appear closest to who know the best ways to get to you.
Gaslighting is shockingly difficult to unmask because the abuser is more often than not very smooth with words and has a charming personality that he uses to disarm his victims.
He uses his ability to talk a person into anything to get you to fully trust him and give him almost all of the power over you and once he feels he’s really got you hooked, he’s going to dig in and feed himself on your emotional vulnerability.
The abuser might even make you feel guilty or ashamed for even thinking about doubting him or questioning his motives. He makes you start ignoring your gut feeling and turns you into a victim of his mind games.
The abuser’s goal is for you to start having second thoughts about anything you felt was the case up until that moment and to put all of your faith and decision-making into his hands.
Gaslighting happens in romantic relationships as well, so always be on the lookout!
Just because you call this person your boyfriend does not mean he won’t try to manipulate you and turn you into his victim. Overly controlling partners are the best gaslighting examples in relationships.
The most important thing that you have to know is how to spot all the red flag signs that someone might be a gaslighter, be that a friend or a romantic partner.
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.
Gaslighting: 7 examples of this secret form of mind abuse
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.
The gaslighter will lie with such ease that it would never cross your mind that you are being fed manipulated lies with the goal to weaken you from the inside out.
This is his second nature and there is no one better at making you believe their lies than this abuser. This is why you should never feel badly about yourself if you didn’t catch it in time.
Almost nobody ever does!
The most favorite game of every gaslighter is to control his victim. He does that with 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 are on the list of all those nasty things that a man can do to a woman if he has this kind of mental disorder.
There is no telling what this type of man will resort to but rest assured, he will try anything in his power to make you bound to him.
He will either guilt-trip you into being his puppet or he will use harsher methods that you won’t feel give you any other choice but to obey him and let him control you.
When a 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 thing 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.
You know what he said and he knows it too. But he is going to push it and push you into proving what you’re saying, knowing that you have nothing substantial to prove it with anything other than your memory.
He knows exactly what he said but he is not going to let up until he sees that you are wavering and actually second-guessing your own mind and memory, until you actually start believing he might be right.
And that’s how the gaslighter gets you. All it takes is one time. One time to doubt yourself and question your sanity and he knows he’s got you.
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 some time to follow her own dreams.
He wants to satisfy his needs only, not taking care of his partner at all.
You will feel like you’re not entitled to your emotions and like everything you wish for is too much. Whenever you feel sad, he’s going to make you feel silly about it and whenever you want to discuss a problem, he’s going to minimize it completely.
All that matters is his shit, his opinions and his decisions. And whatever you say, he will make it seem small and insignificant.
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.
No matter what the victim does or how successfully she does it, the gaslighter is always going to make them feel inadequate. He is incapable of making a kind remark so if he sees his victim thriving in any way, he’s going to destroy it, especially when the victim is good at something. This is when his power rises and he does everything he can to diminish the effort and hard work that has been put into something for the sole purpose of re-establishing his sociopathic regimen.
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 herself if she really did something like that because it would break her heart if she thought she had 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.
7. Making you believe the people around you are against you
This is the sneakiest tactic of them all. The abuser wants to be the only one whose approval you seek so he is going to make you believe that those around you, those closest to you, are all liars and secretly have a problem with you.
He will make you believe that he is the only bright spot in your life and that you have nobody else to turn to but him.
The gaslighter needs you to turn to him for everything as that is the only way for him to continue with the abuse. He will blur your idea of right and wrong and make you question everything and everyone around you.
Once he accomplishes that, he knows that he is the only person in your life left who has any power over you and that is the only thing he needs to feel like his work with you is done.
You are the only one in control of your life, remember that.
If you feel like your romantic partner is doing this to you, then you have every reason and right to run as far away from him as possible. Don’t let the fear overcome you and instead fight for your life.
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 them manipulate you and make you feel this worthless. You are better and stronger than that!
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.