Do you feel like you’re crazy? Are there little things that make you doubt yourself or your sanity? Has a loved one told you that you are imagining things? These are signs that your partner might be gaslighting you.
What is gaslighting?
Gaslighting is when your partner manipulates your thoughts, feelings, and memories in order to order to benefit themselves. They might tell you that you’re being over-sensitive, moody, irrational, crazy, or that you’re making something up that never happened. Gaslighting is a form of manipulation that can trick you into doubting your sanity or even believing that you are the problem.
Gaslighting can take different forms; it ranges from the subtle to extreme and is often difficult to recognize since, especially in the heat of the moment where couples might be flooded with emotions.
9 Red Flags to Help Identify Gaslighting
- Your partner often says, “It’s all in your head,” or “It’s no big deal.”
- When confronted with evidence, your partner says things like “you’re too sensitive” or “stop overreacting.”
- Your partner puts you down by comparing you to others who are “better” than you.
- Your partner uses your weaknesses and limitations against you to maintain control and also doing it in a way so it appears as if they are helping you or being generous.
- Your partner makes you feel guilty for things that aren’t your fault or makes you feel bad about yourself in general. They’re good at using your past failures as a weapon against you to make you depend on them.
- Your partner accuses or blames YOU for whatever went wrong instead of taking responsibility for their actions.
- You’re doubting reality and starting to question yourself.
- Your partner often makes you feel like they’re the only person who sees it the way you do. They might tell you that others see it too.
- It seems like that facts often get distorted or twisted.
Essentially, the gaslighter gradually makes you distrust your own judgment until you’re no longer certain about what’s really true. This makes you dependent on them for validation and causes you to question whether other people are trustworthy or not. This makes you more likely to go along with things that aren’t good for you.
What to do if your partner is gaslighting you
- The best first step is to learn about gaslighting and be aware of when, or it, it’s happening to you.
- Take space to gather your thoughts and ask yourself what feels true to you.
- Remember that it’s ok if your partner doesn’t agree with you. If it hurts, it hurts. If it’s your perspective, it’s your perspective. You get to see it differently than they do.
- When your partner’s trying to manipulate you, no need to come up with anything fancy to say, just repeat yourself over and over. You can say things like, “you get think I’m overreacting. That doesn’t change that it still hurt.”
- Get help. Gaslighting is a form or emotional abuse. Seek out help from a professional counselor to help you gain confidence and set boundaries that will stay strong.
If you’re in an emotionally abusive relationship, Knot Counseling can help you (1) learn the truth (2) build upon your strengths (3) implement boundaries that’ll keep you safe and protected. Call us today for a free consultation.