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What Is Gaslighting? The Warning Signs To Know

What Is Gaslighting? The Warning Signs To Know

6. Denying Wrongdoing

Bullies and abusers are notorious for denying that they did anything wrong. They do this to avoid taking responsibility for their poor choices.

This denial can leave the victim of gaslighting feeling unseen, unheard, and as though the impact on them is of no importance. This tactic also makes it very hard for the victim to move on or to heal from the bullying or abusiveness.

7. Using Compassionate Words as Weapons

Sometimes when called out or questioned, a gaslighter will use kind and loving words to try to smooth over the situation. They might say something like, “You know how much I love you. I would never hurt you on purpose.”

These words may be what you want to hear, but they are inauthentic, especially if the same behavior is repeated. That said, they may be just enough to convince you to let them off the hook, which is their only goal.

8. Rewriting History

A gaslighter may constantly retell stories in ways that are in their favor. For instance, if your partner shoved you against the wall and you are discussing it later, they may twist the story and say you stumbled and they tried to steady you, which is what caused you to fall into the wall.

You may begin to doubt your memory of what happened. This confusion or second-guessing on your part is exactly the intention.

Why People Do It

People often gaslight because being right allows them to validate themselves. When gaslighters feel threatened, they need you to believe and support their version of events in order to maintain their sense of power and control.

Gaslighting can also happen when someone believes their narrative is more valid than someone else’s. Persuading someone else to question their own reality, then, can leave them with a sense of superiority.

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