Why Is Everyone Talking About 'Gaslighting'? Here's What It Means and How to Spot It - Deepstash
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Gaslighting is a form of abuse. It is using manipulation, deceit, and coercion to get another person to question their own feelings, perception of reality, or intelligence.

A person may use gaslighting to persuade someone to stay in an unhealthy relationship, where one party is dependent on another, such as a romantic partner, a relative, a boss or coworker, or an acquaintance.


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Gaslighting is a learned behaviour

Gaslighting is a way to make yourself feel better by directing the conversation away from you and onto the other person's character, skills, or reality.

At first, gaslighting in a relationship can cause you to feel isolated, with injured self-esteem, insecure attachment and doubt about your ability to think clearly. But the effects of gaslighting can become worse if it becomes regular.


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How to recognise gaslighting

Gaslighting comes in three stages:

  • Disbelief: You question how the other person can say such unbelievable things.
  • Defence: You are always defending yourself, thinking about what you said and who is right or wrong.
  • Depression: When you've been gaslighted over a long time, you feel more isolated and don't want to talk about your relationship or anything that might start gaslighting.


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Signs of possible gaslighting

  • You regularly second-guess yourself.
  • You keep on asking if you're too sensitive.
  • You often feel confused at work.
  • You're always apologising.
  • You can't understand why you're not happier.
  • You make excuses for your partner's behaviour.
  • You keep information from friends and family so that you don't have to explain your partner's behaviour.
  • You know something is wrong, even if you can't express it.
  • You have trouble making simple decisions.
  • You feel you can't do anything right.
  • You feel hopeless.


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How to stop the gaslighting

At first, try to get an outside opinion. If gaslighting becomes regular, you should seek professional help.

You can also address your partner's gaslighting with them if you're ready to demand change or walk away from the relationship. For example, you may say that you've noticed a destructive pattern that you're no longer willing to be a part of. Mention that you need to figure out a way together to break the unhealthy behaviour or seek professional help.


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