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Gaslighting is a form of manipulation in a relationship that makes the victim always feel guilty and doubt himself. This condition can have serious physical and psychological impacts on the victim. Come on, recognize the signs of gaslighting so you don't get caught in this toxic relationship
The term gaslighting comes from the 1938 film Gaslight. The film tells the story of a husband who often manipulates and tortures and convinces his wife that she has lost her mind or is insane.
Almost similar to breadcrumbing, this manipulation makes the perpetrator able to control and control the victim, both emotionally and in action. As a result, the victim will always question himself and always feel guilty.
Gaslighting, which is almost similar to love bombing, is a form of toxic relationship that can occur in a relationship. Although it is more common in marital relationships, this condition can also occur in friendships, family circles, or in the work environment.
Signs of Gaslighting
There are several forms of gaslighting that are common in a relationship, including:
- Ignoring the victim's emotions and accusing her of overreacting
- Rejecting the victim's invitation to discuss
- deny all things alleged by the victim
- Convincing others that the victim is a person who is easily confused, likes to make things up, and has difficulty remembering things
- Divert the conversation when the victim raises a sensitive topic
This gaslighting behavior can also be detected from several sentences that are often said by the perpetrator, such as:
- “You don't know what you're talking about.”
- “You must be crazy. That's not really what happened.”
- “Just kidding. Don't be too sensitive, okay?"
- “You are making it up too much.”
When the gaslighting actor utters these few sentences, the victim may feel confused and wonder what is wrong with him. Not only that, the victim can also show how many signs are out of the ordinary, such as:
- Apologies often
- Feeling anxious and lacking confidence
- Feel that something is wrong, but can't identify the error
- Feeling himself too sensitive
- Become a different person from before
- Feeling isolated from the closest people, such as friends and family
- Feeling more and more difficult to make decisions
- Doesn't want to share information about his partner with family members and close friends
- Defending the partner who is the perpetrator of gaslighting
From the signs above, the gaslighter seems to have complete control over the behavior and feelings of the victim. This condition makes the victim unable to determine what to do and depends on the perpetrator.
How to Handle Gaslighting
There is no need to blame yourself when someone gaslights you, because the culprit is indeed doing manipulation with the aim of making you feel guilty.
If you become a victim of gaslighting, there are several ways you can deal with it, namely:
1. Recognize this behavior as gaslighting
For some people, manipulation by perpetrators is often not realized as a form of gaslighting. Therefore, you should be wary if someone consistently manipulates you and makes you doubt yourself and even has a negative impact on your self-esteem.
2. Collect evidence of interaction with perpetrator
To help you keep track of what really happened, try to document all interactions with the perpetrator. When he starts to deny the conversation or events that have taken place, you can point out the truth.
3. Create boundaries
Create clear boundaries between you and the perpetrator. This can be done by limiting the conversation or walking away when the abuser starts to make you feel doubtful and anxious.
4. Don't be afraid to speak
Gaslighting perpetrators often use lies, negative criticism, and insults to manipulate their victims. Therefore, if the perpetrator starts acting up, don't be afraid to speak up or come clean. This will make him feel cornered and eventually leave you.
5. Avoid arguing
Gaslighting perpetrators will always try to make their victims feel guilty. If you're constantly trying to prove that you're right and he's wrong, this can be very frustrating. Therefore, as much as possible avoid arguments and stay away from gaslighters.
6. Love yourself
Gaslighting can take a toll on you both physically and mentally. In fact, research shows that gaslighting can have a negative impact on the he alth of the body and increase the victim's risk of developing PTSD.
Therefore, reduce the stress of gaslighting by loving yourself. For example, by doing activities or hobbies that you like, such as gardening, traveling, or doing body care.
Despite it all, always remember that you are not at fault in any way in the gaslighting relationship. You are also not responsible for changing anything the gaslighter has done.
Don't feel alone, because you can tell those closest to you about the problems you are facing. On the other hand, if you know someone close to you is a victim of gaslighting, try to embrace them and be a good listener.
If the gaslighting you are experiencing has a negative impact on your emotional he alth and reduces your daily productivity, immediately consult a psychologist or psychiatrist to get the right treatment.