You hear the term gaslighting more so in the news these days then in the past, as it relates to narcissistic and sociopathic behavior. I’ve read the clinician definition, and often times still struggle with understanding its meaning.
When I Google it, one definition that comes up is: Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation that seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or in members of a targeted group, making them question their own memory, perception, and sanity. Using persistent denial, misdirection, contradiction, and lying, it attempts to destabilize the victim and delegitimize the victim’s belief.
I understand the definition but, it’s complicated. It wasn’t until I thought about things people have said to me in my life that I could really grasp what gaslighting truly means.
Simply put: A gaslighter denies your reality and when you are gaslite, you literally doubt your own reality, and are left thinking you are crazy.
This has happened to me way to many times in my life, and now that I better understand this concept, I am ready to call the next gaslighter out.
Here are some statements taken from my life that reek with gaslighting, and here are my future comebacks:
- “I never said that.” – Yes you did. Do I need to start recording all our conversations cause I will if that’s what it takes.
- “We’ll meet up for coffee next week, like you said.” – No I never said that. Don’t make s**t up!
- “I feel really sad that you said that to me, and you have no right to make me feel that way.” – You make yourself feel sad, not me, so deal.
- “I didn’t write that.” – Yes you did. Here’s the text right here!
- “You said you’d help me.” – Correction, I said I would try to help you. Don’t try to manipulate me. Pay attention to my words cause you’re not going to mess with my mind.
- “Don’t act crazy.” – Don’t tell me how to feel, act, or be.
- “You’re too sensitive.” – Telling someone that they are too sensitive is like telling them they have too many freckles.
- “Didn’t you get my text?” – Nope. Pull out your phone and show me.
- “Are you getting my messages?” – Nope. Here, check my phone. There are zero voicemails from you!
When dealing with a gaslighter you are at high risk of losing your reality, and end up feeling like you’re insane. You’re not. Don’t let them win. It’s all about shutting them down. Quick, swift, raw, real!