You've probably heard of the term "gaslighting" by now. It was even named one of the most popular words by the Oxford Dictionary.
Gaslighting is the act that undermines another person's reality by denying facts, the environment around them, or their feelings. It's a way of manipulation. Here are some of the most common ways it comes across.
"I Don't See How I've Done Anything Wrong"
Saying this makes it seem like it's your own beliefs and standards that are at fault. This happens even when you try to explain the issue, and they claim that they don't see it.
This is a way of justifying their bad behavior. It's a tactic that claims that their beliefs guided them to it.
"I Never Said That"
One of the main tactics of gaslighting is to make you doubt your own memories. Gaslighters will make you believe that your memory is faulty.
Then they will give you a new fabricated version of the events to try and replace your memories and make you doubt yourself altogether.
"Let's Wipe The Slate Clean"
Gaslighters will try to convince you to let things go so that their behavior can be left in the past and washed away. They put the responsibility on you to be the bigger person.
Then, they get mad at you when you simply haven't healed from their behavior and use the fact that you won't let go against them. This is just their way of avoiding responsibility.
"Stop Being So Insecure"
Gaslighters will blame any issue you bring up on your insecurities. They want to target your feelings so that they don't have to evaluate their own.
By calling you insecure enough times, they eventually will plant the seed. Then you'll feel like you're the problem, and lose the confidence to stand up for your needs.
"All You Want To Do Is Argue"
"Anytime I tried to have a productive conversation about something he referred to it as an 'argument'/'starting an argument'/'all you want to do is argue'" - whathappenedthrow123
Gaslighters leave no room for communication as it's either their way or the highway. They don't like their power dynamic to be distributed and prefer to avoid issues at all costs.
"You Take Things Too Seriously"
As we said, a gaslighter will do anything to avoid responsibility. Instead, they'll shift the blame off of themselves and on to you.
Suddenly the problem becomes more about how you can't take a joke and that you're sensitive rather than what they said being offensive. They deny you the right to feel the way you feel.
"You Should Lose Weight"
Gaslighters thrive on control, including your appearance. It's just another way to make you feel bad about yourself.
The more they can break your confidence, the more they can manipulate you. This also keeps you dependent on their validation.
"I Won't Stand For Lies"
One way that gaslighters get away with their deceit is by getting ahead of it. If they keep convincing you beforehand that they value honesty and don't tolerate lies, then you'll be less likely to accuse them of it.
The reality is that this is just one of many lies in their complex web, and even a form of projecting.
"I Know I'm Hard, But I Like Who I Am And Don’t See Why I Should Change"
"In the moment, I always thought 'who says things like this?' and 'that’s not at all what I was trying to imply' and it was really confusing."
"I’d have to try and figure out how to get us back somewhere more neutral, which usually involved me apologizing and begging her not to be mad at me for causing conflict about yet another thing. I thought I was a monster." - running4z / Reddit
"You're The Only One Who Thinks That"
Singling you out makes it seem like you're the one with the issue. This will make you feel like something is wrong with you as they convince you that you're outside the norm.
Making you out to be an outcast will isolate you and even make you question your own identity, needs, and core values.
"You Have Terrible Friends"
It's very common for gaslighters to try and isolate you from your loved ones. That's because usually friends and family are the first to notice the signs of gaslighting.
Gaslighters prefer to be the only substantial relationship in your life so that they don't risk any outside influence on you.
"I Have No Idea What You're Talking About"
The gaslighter will always play the victim and do it effectively. They will claim that they have no knowledge of the issue you brought up and no idea why you're upset.
Cue in the "you need to calm down" that makes you feel dramatic and leave you questioning your own sanity.
"You Are Just Being Paranoid"
Even when you have hard facts to back up what you're saying, a gaslighter will somehow find a way to convince you that it's all in your head.
They will deny it even when they get caught. They completely refuse to give any thought to the evidence you present.
"You're Being Emotional"
Even when they finally agree to any form of confrontation, they will find a way to cut it short.
"I always get caught with either 'you're yelling, I can't talk to you when you're like this' if I am emotional at all, or 'you're talking to me like a child' if I have a calm demeanor. They're petty effective shutdowns." - IronHaydon / Reddit
"I'm Not Angry. Why Would You Think That"
They often will act passive-aggressively or give you the silent treatment so you're left feeling confused and walking on eggshells. Yet when you ask them about it, they tell you that you're just seeing things.
Sometimes they'll even then get ] mad at you for questioning them and starting a fight out of "nothing".
"If You Really Loved Me, You'd..."
A gaslighter will you use your love for them against you. They will take advantage of it to earn your forgiveness and get away with their bad behavior.
If you refuse them something, they'll guilt you into changing your mind with phrases like " do you even love me?" to get you to beg and prove your love constantly.