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How to Tell if You Partner Is Gaslighting You

 Gaslighting is a term which is used by psychiatric professionals to refer to an unfortunately common manipulation tactic used in abusive relationships. Gaslighters use their powers of manipulation to gradually make their victims end up questioning their own sanity, ultimately submitting to their will. If you suspect that you or someone you know is a victim of gaslighting, here are 10 signs that you should watch out for:

1. They Can't Stop the Lies

Gaslighters lie with intent and conviction, in a very confident manner. They can lie with a straight face as they tell you something that you both know is not true. Such lies serve to set a precedent since once told they know that you will be unsure if anything they say is true, which will throw you off kilter and gradually chip away at your guard and judgment.

2. They Accuse Others of Being Liars

Anyone that disagrees with a gaslighter is automatically deemed by them to be a liar. What can’t be rationalized is instead explained as people simply being jealous or wanting to break up your relationship. This is to tear you away from the competing ideas of others and those who may possibly be able to help you. When you’ve let go of competing relationships, the abuser is then free to abuse you uninterrupted.


3. They Deny Everything

Denying things ever happened is one of the things that gaslighters do best. They’ll say or do something and then turn around and explicitly deny it ever took place. Even when faced with proof, they’ll find a fallacy to fall back on or a way to discredit the evidence. Eventually, the person’s word you once knew was so wrong end up turning into a replacement for reality, as you start to believe what they say as the truth.

4. Their Actions and Words Don't Match

When your partner is a gaslighter, their words and actions will never correlate, leaving you to constantly question their motives and behaviors. Unfortunately, the more you try to understand them, the more complex it becomes, as they will always keep you guessing with professions of love that are absolutely contrary to the actions they take that hurt you so much.


5. They Attack What Defines You as You

Gaslighters attack your job, parenting role, family, talents, personality, goals and anything else that gives you meaning and purpose. Bit by bit, they’ll wear you down until you feel utterly worthless and unworthy of anything good or decent.

6. They Suck the Energy Out of You

Gaslighting sucks all your energy away. It’s the degrading comment here, the lie there, the chip to your confidence today, and the crack in your perception tomorrow that all add up to you becoming too tired to fight back. You'll soon end up questioning who you even are any more, and sure enough, your abuser will be there to supply you with all the answers.


7. They Act Like an Anti-villain

Gaslighters aren’t going to be the evil villain all the time since this would foil their plans. In fact, it is necessary for them to throw you a bone of kindness every so often in order for you to have a number of fond memories to look back on in times of doubt. This may end up leading you to gradually lose all faith in yourself, giving your abuser all the power he could ever wish for.

8. They Thrive in Your Confusion

For a gaslighter, confusion is the perfect weapon. After making you hurt or confused, the gaslighter leaves you vulnerable and exposed. Of course, that is the perfect opportunity for them to come and offer you a fake dose of warmth and affection, which is an attempt to lure you in, before dealing you yet another blow before too much time has elapsed. It's an endless cycle, that only gets worse as time goes on. This is why leaving and cutting all contact with such an abuser is one of the most effective methods of finally getting free, since they will have no way of trying to lure you back in.


9. They Project Like Crazy

It's always your fault and never theirs. For every objection that you ever bring up against them, they will always have a million excuses as to why it's actually your fault instead. This results in you being so busy defending yourself that you don’t have time or energy to investigate what they’re actually up to.

10. They Publicly Destroy Your Character

As you remain silent, your gaslighter is working hard to erase your credibility and tarnish your image. You’ll be presented as a person who is incapable of making sane decisions. Your abuser will appear fresh as a daisy should you ever decide to expose their gaslighting. Nobody will believe you, and your abuser will be your only source of comfort.


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