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Gaslighting is a kind of manipulation that takes place in the relationships which makes it excessively difficult to keep the relationship healthy. It can take any form be it in-person or online. Gaslighting can be done through manipulation in messages, faking to be someone else, sharing false information, making other person doubtful of their own perceptions, blame-shifting, etc. Gaslighting can cause a lot of damage to mental health of the person who is getting gas lighted in the relationship. Recognizing and accepting that you are getting gas lighted is necessary so, let’s understand about gaslighting in detail.
What is Gaslighting?
Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation in which someone makes another person doubt their own thoughts, feelings, or reality. It involves the perpetrator denying, distorting, or trivializing the victim’s experiences or emotions, causing the victim to question their sanity or perception of reality. Gaslighting can occur in various relationships, such as in personal, professional, or romantic settings. It is considered a form of emotional abuse in some relationships because of the extremity of damage it causes to the person who is getting gas lighted.
How Gaslighting looks like in relationships?
Gaslighting in relationships can take various forms and may include the following behaviours:
1. Denying the Truth
The gas lighter consistently denies that events or conversations happened as the victim remembers them, even when evidence suggests otherwise. This can make the person doubt themselves and at the end they blame themselves for everything terrible in the relationship.
Gas lighters disparage the victim’s feelings, concerns, or experiences, making them feel insignificant or overly sensitive in the relationship.
3. Withholding information
Gas lighters avoid sharing important information or details, leaving the victim in the dark confusion which makes the victim overthink all the time and ruin one’s mental health.
4. Projecting negativity on others
Gas lighters in the relationship project their own negative qualities or behaviours onto the victim and make them feel like they are the one at fault.
5. Shifting blame
Gas lighters often deflect responsibility for their actions and mistakes and always blame the victim instead. This leaves the victim doubting themselves and their self-esteem declines overtime.
Gas lighters are known to make the victim completely dependent on them, then isolate the victim from friends and family and make it harder for them to seek any support or validation outside of the relationship.
7. Emotional Manipulation
Gas lighters use emotional manipulation tactics such as guilt-tripping or playing the victim themselves and to control the victim’s behaviour. This leaves the victim completely confused and become toxic as well in the relationship.
Ways to overcome Gaslighting in the relationship
Gaslighting can be subtle and insidious which makes it challenging for the victim to recognize and escape from the manipulation. It can have severe emotional and psychological effects on the person being gas lit, leading to self-doubt, anxiety, and a distorted sense of reality. Overcoming gaslighting in relationships can be challenging but it is possible with determination and support from experts. Here are some steps to help you overcome gaslighting:
1. Recognize the Gaslighting
The first step is to acknowledge that you are getting gas lighted in your relationship. It is important to trust your instincts and recognize the manipulation tactics being used with you. Try to remember it is not your fault and addressing it leads to healthy relationships and high self-confidence.
2. Seek Support from others
Talking to a trusted friend, family member, or therapist about your experiences will really help you recognizing and overcoming gaslighting in the relationship. They all can provide emotional support, offer an outside perspective, and help you regain confidence in your reality. All this can help the victim to increase self-esteem and deal with all the guilt and blames being placed by the gas lighter.
3. Set Boundaries in the relationship
It is necessary while overcoming gaslighting to establish clear boundaries with the gas lighter. It is like a line which shows when to stop and let go of certain things. Healthy boundaries make sure that one doesn’t over step into someone’s life more than it is required and thus provide care and love while being within boundaries. Let them know what behaviour is unacceptable and communicate if you feel like those boundaries are getting crossed.
4. Keep track of everything
Keeping a track of the instances of gaslighting, including dates, times, and specific details will help you to notice the patterns and address the bad things in the relationships. This can allow the victim to be aware of everything and deal with it on time. If it’s safe to do so, consider cutting off contact with the gas lighter. This may be necessary for your emotional and psychological well-being.
It is necessary to prioritize self-care and self-esteem building in the relationship. One should engage in activities that boost your confidence and self-worth. Take time out for yourself and don’t become totally dependent on the partner. And if you feel like you are getting treated badly then you should attempt to correct it or get out of the relationship.
6. Practice Assertiveness
Develop assertiveness skills to express your thoughts, feelings, and needs clearly and confidently to your partner. This can help you resist manipulation tactics that is being played on you. Understand your needs and values and express it calmly and regularly to your partner so that there is no scope for manipulation. Consistently communicating honestly can help to strengthen the relationship.
Visit OnlineCounselling4U to seek psychological support
Gaslighting has the ability to completely damage one’s mental health which makes it important for them to seek psychological support and counselling from psychologists or counsellors. Always remember that overcoming gaslighting can be a gradual process, and it’s essential to prioritize your well-being and safety. If you ever feel threatened or unsafe in your relationship, then don’t feel afraid to reach out to psychologists or counsellors for immediate assistance. You can quickly book your counselling session with the psychological experts at our website and get needed help.
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