Gaslight – Manipulate (someone) by psychological means into doubting their own sanity. -Oxford English
In the movie Gaslight (1944) a man manipulates his wife to the point where she is losing her mind.
Anyone is susceptable to gaslightling and it is a common technique of narcissists, abusers, cult leaders and dictators. This is usually drip fed slowly so the victim is unaware of the fact that they are being brainwashed.
Lies – After the first blatant lie, delivered with a straight authorative face, you become unsure if anything they say is true. This keeps you unsteady and uncertain of the truth.
Denial – Even when you have proof they out and out deny it. This makes you start to question your own reality – unsure of if you really heard what you think you did. They attack you as a person and will give you a list of your negative traits. This undermines not only your identity but you as a person.
They attack what and who is dear to you knowing how important kids, family, job and identity are to you. \if you have kids they say you should not have had them.
They wear you down over time. As the process of gaslighting is done gradually over time, starting as an odd lie or single snide comment here and there, then they up the anti. Gaslighting can suck in even the intelligent and self aware people.
What they do does not match what they say. – Be aware of their actions, not what they are telling you. Words are free actions take effort and energy.
They can be nice and show kindness, although they have a total lack of empathy. Beware! – as when you are feeling low they can boost your moral and praise you for something you have done. All of this uncertain behaviour just adds to your sense of unease. Don’t be drawn back into thinking perhaps they aren’t so bad after all. Usually the praise is aimed at something that you did for them.
Confusion and weakness go together. They uproot your stability and sense of normality so you start questioning every aspect of your life. They become the only stability in your life.
Charm – They use their charm to break down your support network and to isolate you. Friends and family find it hard to believe that you are not the problem. They are masters at manipulation and finding the people who will fight in their corner. As a constant liar they tell you that others doubt your sanity, or think you are useless. Remember, what they say is rarely the truth. They also tell others that you are the crazy one. It’s a master technique.
Everyone else lies. – Their persona is such that you actually start to believe all of their lies. This is a clever manipulation technique.
Wake up and smell the roses. If any of you are in a gaslighting relationship and need to find out the Real You, regain your self-confidence and empower yourself whilst reclaiming your dignity on the way please contact me. Your initial 20 minute consultation is FREE, this will enable you to see if I am the right therapist for you. It also give me the opportunity see see if I feel able to assist you in regaining your life.