What the Heck is Gaslighting? (Bonus Free Course)

Well, being in any relationship puts you at risk of being a victim of gaslighting. Our very own President uses it quite often. At one point, I had not even heard of the term but once I did, I was truly shocked at how much in my relationship with my ex-husband that it occurred. After educating myself on what gaslighting is, I vowed to educate others. If you would like to learn more, please take my free course to educate yourself! You just may pull the veil off that someone has so strategically put on over your eyes unknowingly to you!

Sounds pretty complex, does it not? No matter how difficult it may sound, trust me I will help you recognize the signs in this course. As I said before, Our very own POTUS, Mr. Trump uses gaslighting very often so trust and believe you have experienced it at some point in your life just unknowingly so. You know “fake news”! The hapless act of gaslighting happens every day in personal relationships, in the workplace, and used by politicians and public figures. It is sadly apart of our reality. I mean it can lead you to question your own sanity.

“Don’t Let It Get To Your Head”

Psychologists use the term “Gaslighting” to refer to a specific type of manipulation tactic where the manipulator is trying to get someone else (or a group of people) to question their own reality, memory, or perceptions. At first the incidents and/or offenses may seem minor but over time things began to build and snowball into you doubting yourself in your everyday life. People have been driven to a full mental breakdown due to the deliberate and malicious acts of another person. The term actually comes from the 1944 movie “Gaslight,” starring Ingrid Bergman, who, in a spooky “everything is connected” moment, won a Golden Globe for her role. In “Gaslight,” Bergman plays a wife, Paula, whose reality is slowly being undermined by her supposedly devoted husband Gregory. His nefarious goal is to have her institutionalized so he can gain access to her fortune.

The title comes from Gregory’s habit of secretly digging through the attic for her hidden jewels. When he creeps upstairs and turns on the lights in the attic, the rest of the lights in the house dim accordingly, making Paula suspicious. But when she asks him about the dimming lights, he acts like she’s crazy. She must be imagining things; they’re just as bright as always. “Why don’t you rest a while,” Gregory suggests. “You know you haven’t been well.”

In some ways, the movie is dead on. The mind games Gregory plays are diabolical: He tells her friends she’s unstable. He isolates her from her family. He disguises cutting invalidation as statements of concern. He hides her belongings, then questions her sanity when she can’t find them. In short, he messes not only with her, but with the people and objects around her to alter her reality and make her think she’s losing it. 

Abuse-related gaslighting
Not every instance of gaslighting is as blatant as hiding items or directly denying someone’s perceptions. Most abuse includes an element of gaslighting. Abusers rarely say out loud, “I’m choosing to abuse you.”

  • A physically abusive spouse says, “I’m doing this for your own good. You shouldn’t provoke me.” In truth, victims are not to blame.
  • A sexually abusive parent says, “This isn’t happening. I love you. You like it. It doesn’t hurt.” In truth, abuse is not loving behavior. Children do not ask for assault. The pain is real.
  • A ritually abusive group stages abuse so bizarrely and extreme that victims do not believe their own memories. Real bloodshed and torture are combined with drugs and misdirection, adding to the sense of unreality.

Everyday gaslighting
Gaslighting occurs in more subtle ways as well, any time someone responds as if your reality does not exist.

  • An adult says to a crying child, “There’s no reason to be sad. Give us a nice smile.”
  • A partner says, “That’s too hard for you. I’ll do it.”
  • A friend snaps, “I’m not angry! Why are you starting a fight?”
  • A narcissist reacts with so much contempt when you assert any needs that you feel like the selfish one.
  • After being called on a racist or sexist comment, the speaker says, “Just kidding!” or “You’re too sensitive!” or “You’re looking for reasons to be offended.”

Although the harm is aimed at you, I do not believe that all people who exhibit this behavior, are out to hurt anyone. No, it’s more of a selfish act to me. It’s not hurting anyone it is about their own needs being met more than anything. 

I have taken the time to research and learn all that I can on Gaslighting and many other topics that are intended to help people maneuver through life and their problems. I’ve created Love Your First Academy and am offering my first course for free! Please Check it out Here!