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Gaslighting is a term used to deny someone’s reality.

We are all guilty of unintentional gaslighting every now and then.

And this can sometimes be in the form of positive reinforcement to distract a loved one from their suffering.

Most often, unintentional gaslighting is done with good intentions.

Although, sometimes we cannot see that our unintentional gaslighting may harm the other person.

But when gaslighting is done constantly, and is intentional,

purely to break down someone’s confidence, then it is emotional and psychological abuse.

This form of gaslighting is done with malicious intent, and narcissists do this purposely to gain control of their victims.

It is done only for their benefit.

And the narcissist has no empathy for the destruction this causes in another individual’s life.

What is Gaslighting?

Gaslighting is a form of emotional and psychological manipulation,

where the abuser makes their victims question everything that they feel, hear, believe or think.

Image by Polina Zimmerman

The narcissist wants you to doubt yourself and to ultimately question your reality.

They invalidate your emotions and want you to think that you are going crazy.

Narcissists want to gain control of your perceptions, which in turn allows them to influence how you act.

And they do this by first getting you to question your memory and or perception of your reality.  

Gaslighting can be hidden under persistent lying, denial of facts and evidence,

contradicting information, ignoring or changing the subject in conversations and withholding information.

It can also come in the form of minimizing your feelings, minimizing the narcissist’s own actions,

or it may include a third-party who sides with the narcissist’s lies.

By continuously saying one thing and doing another then denying the facts over and over,

in time, this eventually confuses and slowly breaks down the victim’s confidence over time.

It leaves us in a mental space of confusion and self-doubt where we are more susceptible and open to being even more manipulated.

Narcissists will also try to isolate their victims from others.

Image by cottonbro

When you no longer have support from people in the outside world validating your reality,

it makes it easier for the gaslighting lies to be perceived as actual reality.

If you find yourself constantly confused or feeling like a detective in your relationship, it is a sign that you may be being gaslighted.

It is the narcissist’s way of shifting blame, avoiding accountability, validating their false narrative,

and exploiting and control others.

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Awareness is power.