If you know someone who is constantly making you question your thoughts, words, and actions, you’ve got to be extra watchful of them.
They may be the toxic person you would never want to be around. Precisely, such people are called Gaslighters.
In this article, we shall discuss 10 signs of gaslighting. However, before delving into the details, we’d like to help you understand what gaslighting exactly means.
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What Is Gaslighting?
Gaslighting is a manipulative tactic wherein the gaslighter makes you feel unsure about your words and actions.
When they do it constantly through the series of events, they lead you to an unstable state of mind and make you question your reality, which ends up causing you deep emotional trauma.
The gaslighters make sure to drop grains of uncertainty in your mind to the extent that it piles into an unbearable heap of self-doubt and anxiety.
10 Signs Of Gaslighting You Must Be Weary Of
Gaslighting can be tricky to identify, especially when it comes from a person who is close to you. But here are 10 signs of gaslighting that can make it simpler for you to spot any unusual behavioral patterns from the abuser’s end.
Pushes You into the Vicious Cycle of Uncertainty
Remember, unlike your confidante, a gaslighter will always push you into self-doubt. This means they’ll make you wonder and eventually feel perplexed over things you say, hear, or do.
So, if you say that you heard them saying that their private car was punctured last night and hence they had to take a cab, chances are they will absolutely deny saying anything of the sort.
And the worst part is they will accuse you of mishearing or showing distrust.
Moreover, they may end up using the distortion drill, which involves linking the event (you’re questioning) to something in the past, thus leaving you so much more irresolute or dithering about the whole scenario.
Reinforces Positive Beliefs About Them
It is one of the most common indicators of the 10 signs of gaslighting. Gaslighters are sheer manipulators. They know when they are under your scanner, and thereafter, they will spare no chance of proving you otherwise.
For instance, if they know that now you are suspicious about them lying about the car last night, they will do everything they can to put you in the spot where you reconsider your (suspicious) thoughts about them.
They’ll do it to such an extent that you finally start doubting yourself and eventually feel guilty about all the “wrong” notions you’ve been having about them.
Breaks Your Confidence
A gaslighter will actively try to break your confidence and keep you mentally weak. They intend to keep you unsound, so they can continue with their malicious actions without your knowledge.
Victims often tend to approach someone they are close and comfortable with to gather a sense of reassurance and feel more put-together.
Engages in Destructive Criticism
Your genuine friend or associate will not make you feel regretful about being or feeling a certain way.
In other words, they don’t think twice before criticizing you. Here are a few of the most common remarks they would make –
- You are too sensitive
- This dress is nice, but didn’t you find something better?
- Your income is too low to be considered
- Try to be seen as a little more sophisticated
- You think far more than required
They will pass such remarks in a subtle yet sharp way, trying to belittle you and make you feel that you are not good enough.
Somehow, they fail to acknowledge your feelings and empathize with you, both in private and in public.
Puts You Through a Deep Mental Exhaustion
Another common pointer from the 10 signs of gaslighting is the way the abuser puts you through deep mental stress. Given how the person controls your thoughts and constantly keeps your mind running, you will reach a saturation point.
You may end up feeling exhausted and may also eventually suffer from depression.
This is a result of countless negative thoughts and experiences that they feed your mind with.
So, when you feel that the hurt, stress, allegations, underestimation, and manipulation have crossed all the boundaries, you certainly need to take a call.
Lacks Sync Between Actions and Words
If you closely observe, you will notice that their actions contradict their words. In other words, they do not truly mean the genuine words they spill from time to time.
For example, they will say that they care immensely for you but leave you alone when you’re down with a fever and need help.
A genuine person, on the other hand, will not boast of how much they care for you. Instead, they will do things that speak of the same.
Changing Your Environment
It is perhaps one of the worst signs or, rather, ways of gaslighting. They start tampering with your valuable items.
These may not necessarily be pricey items but the ones that you’re emotionally connected to.
It could be that favorite wallet of yours, the adorable photo frame, or your precious wristwatch. You may experience that these items are misplaced out of the blue, leaving you heavily restless.
And when you’re traumatized, trying to find them out, you suddenly see them right there in place.
Again, the process makes you question your sanity. But please know, it’s not you. It’s them.
Serious and False Allegations
A gaslighter will place false allegations against you for the wrongs that they have done, making it one of the most prominent signs of the 10 signs of gaslighting.
It could be about substance abuse, violence, sexual assault, stealth, deceit, or just anything. You may be put in a situation where you need to prove your innocence, thus digressing from the actual culprit – them.
Puts You Through a Wave of Extreme Emotions Quickly and Frequently
A gaslighter will try to turn your mind into a puppet and will hold the strings more roughly than you can imagine.
They will put you through a wave of extreme emotions – happy, anxious, nervous, sad, scared, and so much more.
Probably, you may not even get time to think. Sadly, this abusive pattern becomes a reality for the victim, putting them through severe trauma.
Makes You Dependent
This is the last but noteworthy indication of the most common indicators from the 10 signs of gaslighting.
A gaslighter will make sure you are dependent on them, especially on an emotional level.
They will do everything to win your confidence over others. You will also find them dragging other people’s names in conversations when you least expect it.
They portray things in such a way that they come out clean, whereas everyone else in the picture is put under a question mark. And, all that’ll be left is – you wondering about what exactly they meant.
Gaslighting has a toxic and long-lasting impact on the victim’s mental and, eventually, physical health. It is a form of mental and emotional abuse and can thrust you into severe and sometimes irreversible trauma.
Therefore, you must prioritize your well-being over anyone else and take steps towards drifting from such unhealthy people or relationships.
The moment you acknowledge your mental health, the glass walls built of lies and manipulation will fall down, and you will see yourself freed from those lethal shackles.
Hence, we suggest you look out for these 10 signs of gaslighting and part your ways for a better, brighter, and blissful life ahead.
Also read: How To Deal With Rude People