Gaslighting Alert: 5 Warning Signs You’re Being Gaslighted & Effective Self-Protection Strategies
Understanding and Overcoming Gaslighting: Recognizing the Signs and Protecting Yourself
Have you ever confronted a person about an issue and ended up questioning your perception of events instead? Does it happen often? Gaslighting is a covert type of emotional manipulation in which the abuser creates false narratives to mislead you and make you question what’s true and what’s not. In this blog, we will tell you what Gaslighting is, 5 warning signs to detect your Gaslighter, and how you can protect yourself against such people.
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What is Gaslighting?
Gaslighting happens when a person denies reality and creates his own version of events. A Gaslighter will constantly try to shift the blame on you by contradicting things and altering reality. As a result, you will start questioning your sanity. In fact, it is so disorienting that victims of Gaslighting don’t even realize that it’s happening to them –not until they are stuck way too deep in it.
However, Gaslighting can harm your self-esteem and mental health. You will constantly question your reality and ability to do things. Fortunately, there are warning signs that can help you detect a Gaslighter and ways to protect yourself against it.
What Does Gaslighting Look Like?
People who Gaslight you do it subtly. It can be a casual comment like, “Of course, you misplaced the keys! You are the most careless and unorganized person I have ever seen”
They will deny things that are right in front of your eyes by saying, “That never happened” or “I never gave her my phone number, what are you talking about?”
In most cases, the abuser also complains about you to people whom you are close to, “can you please talk to her, I don’t know why she is being so aggressive these days”
All these subtle comments will make you believe that you are the one at fault. Gaslighters are usually people close to you. They can be your friends, family members, or romantic partners. In friendship, Gaslighting can arise from jealousy and comparison. They might joke about something and say, “Chill, I was just kidding” or “I should get it, clothes like these never look good on you, it’s just not your style”
5 Gaslighting Warning Signs
It is important to understand these subtle comments and the intention behind them. Trust us, once you start paying attention to it, you will learn a lot about how a person feels about you.
Here are 5 warning signs that will help you detect your Gaslighter:
1. They Deny Your Version of the Story
Gaslighters are also habitual and pathological liars. They will constantly reject your side of the story even if you provide them with proof. They will never back away from their version of the event, and will probably say things like, I never did that, you are wrong, or You’re crazy
2. They Discredit You
People who gaslight you will also try to turn you against people you love. They will complain about you to those people. On the other hand, they will also talk to you about things people have said about you. For instance, “I don’t like your friend, I feel like she is jealous of you”
In addition to this, they will try to discredit you in front of people. Subtly calling you out and blaming you for things so that people start believing this false narrative instead of what’s real.
3. They Distract You & Minimize the Issue
Another sign of a Gaslighter is that whenever you try to talk to them about your feelings, they will either shut you down or distract you.
They will say things like, why are you so emotional? Or you are just being dramatic, it’s not that serious. They will simply downplay the significance of the issue and make you feel like you are creating a scene for no reason.
Another way a Gaslighter avoids confrontation is by distracting you. Instead of responding to your question, they will remind you of your past mistakes and ask you more questions in return. This will over-complicate the situation and distract you from your feelings.
4. They Love Bomb You
Love bombing is another warning sign that you are being Gaslighted. Whenever a Gaslighter makes a mistake, he or she will try to do damage control by using compassionate words as a weapon. For instance, “You know how much I love you, I would never do that”
They will try to control your life decisions and justify it by saying that they care about you. When you ask them why they won’t let you talk or handle things, they will say “I just want to help you, I’ll stop if you don’t like it”
Simply put, instead of addressing your feelings and comforting you, they will shove their feelings in your face. To top it up, Gaslighters will try to make you feel guilty by projecting that you don’t love them. And before you know it, you will find yourself saying sorry and validating their feelings instead of the other way around.
5. They Blame You for Things
People who emotionally manipulate you try to shift the blame on you for everything. They don’t only blame you for their mistakes, but they make you feel like it is your fault whenever something goes south. They will blame you for small mishaps like forgetting the keys and not booking the table at a restaurant.
How to Protect Yourself Against Gaslighting?
The only way you can protect yourself against Gaslighting is by being aware of yourself and your surroundings. Pay attention to their behavior and patterns, and remember things that you have said to them.
If you feel like you are forgetting things, you can also keep a daily journal. Trust their actions more than their words. Gaslighters will love-bomb you to shift the blame, however, you need to pay attention to their actions to know if they love you or not.
Lastly, remember that you are not alone in this. If you feel like you are being emotionally manipulated by someone, ask for help. Talk to people whom you trust and seek professional help before it starts damaging your mental health.