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Gaslighting

Gaslighting is a newly popular concept (since 2015). It is a type of manipulation in which one party inflicts psychological violence on the other in bilateral relations. Here, the bully manipulates the victim in a way that makes him question his own reality and sanity. As a result, if the victim is an emotionally weak person, he/she begins to live in the other person's reality rather than his/her own reality.



Where does "Gashlighting" name is coming from?

So what does gaslight have to do with it? The term comes from the 1944 movie Gaslight. The film itself is a remake of the 1940 British film of the same name, but the film that introduced the concept to the language is the 1944 version.


The film is the story of a woman who is slowly manipulated by her husband into believing that he is crazy. The husband's concern is to get his wife declared insane and thus seize the valuable assets he owns as her guardian. In the story, the husband dims the light of the oil lamp little by little, and when his wife notices this, he scolds her by saying "the lamp light has not changed". Over time, the woman thinks that the light of the lamp is not dimmed and that there is something wrong with her. Let's also add that the woman played by Ingrad Bergman in the film has experienced a great trauma in the past and therefore already has certain psychological weaknesses. This is where the name of the movie comes from, which then gives the name to the manipulation we will discuss today.


This concept has been around since then, but has become more widely used since 2015. I think the reason is the increase in gaslighting manipulations. So why is gaslighting on the rise? Now, thanks to social media and online applications, we meet and fall in love with people who have nothing to do with our environment. Social media isolates people more in real life. Isolation creates emotional desert, and we can become dependent on the people who fill it. All of these make people open to manipulation, away from the control of their immediate social environment.


Gaslighting is a word generally used in the context of romantic relationships, but it is also possible to see examples around family, work and friends. This is a sneaky and very malicious form of manipulation where toxic people manipulate the other person to gain power over them.


Gaslighting is a manipulation that makes a person question his own reality and whose aim is to give up on his own reality and come under the influence of the other person.



The Lie !

People who gaslight are incorrigible, pathological liars. Even if you catch these people lying with proof, they will deny that they lied. This is how you can tell the difference between a normal person and someone who is gaslighting. A normal person feels ashamed, apologizes, or perhaps gets angry when his lie is revealed, but he does not deny his lie.


The sick manipulator insistently denies that he is lying. They say, "You are making this up, there is no such thing."


Defame - Discredit !

One of the methods of gaslighting is for the bully to secretly spread rumors about you. By telling others that they are worried about you, the person secretly spreads the idea that you are mentally unstable. Unfortunately, these people can sometimes be very clever and thus turn everyone against you.


On the contrary, the bully, under the mask of being worried about you and being on your side, claims that others think or say bad things about you and turns you against other people.




Distraction!

When you ask someone with a gaslight habit or hold them accountable for something they did, they try to change the subject by asking questions or accounting for you. This is something people do sometimes in relationships, but in the form of gaslighting, the victim eventually becomes unable to open up about what happened because they begin to think they are to blame.


Contempt for your thoughts and feelings!

The gaslight manipulator tries to gain power over you by belittling your thoughts and feelings. He/She often uses words such as "You're so touchy", "You're overreacting", "Don't raise your voice" (even if you don't raise your voice). He/she despises your thoughts and feelings and does not listen to you when you express them or accuses you of different things. The purpose here is to make you doubt your own feelings and thoughts.


Blaming You!

  • Every time you argue with someone, do you end up being the one to blame, even though you're sure you're not guilty?

  • Even when you discuss how the things he does affect you, do you end up causing those behaviors?

  • Over time, have you started to believe that if you behave correctly in some way, the other person will treat you better, and that your relationship will continue without any problems when you find those unpredictable behavior patterns?

  • Or are you starting to think that no matter what he/she does, the real problem is with you?

Congratulations. You are probably with a gaslighting manipulator.


For example, the manipulator may constantly make subtle fun of his victim, but he constantly denies it. Accuses the person of being "touchy". If the victim cowers in the face of these accusations, the ridicule gradually increases over time and turns into insults. There comes a time when the victim begins to think that it is his fault that he feels bad, even if he is severely insulted.


Denial !

Manipulators are notorious for not admitting any mistakes. They don't want to take responsibility for their own bad choices. Once they find the right victim, they begin to do whatever they want to that victim but deny them completely, and over time the victim begins to feel unimportant.


The victim who allows this type of manipulation will not be able to recover for a long time, even if he or she later gets rid of the manipulator by abandoning or being let go.


Rewriting the History!

The manipulator constantly changes past events to their advantage. He/She changes what he/she says or what you say, and when you disagree with them on this issue, they accuse you of lying, not remembering, or even having dementia.


How do you know if you're being gaslighted?


If you are with someone who is gaslighting, it is important to detect this quickly and remove the person from your life. Because once you enter the gaslighting spiral, you may fall into a bottomless pit without realizing what is happening. The other person gaslights you because he wants to use you. People who try to hide their true personality with an inferiority complex such as narcissism, sociopaths, and people with extreme fear of abandonment such as borderline personality disorder, follow a relationship management strategy by trying to weaken the other person in their relationships. The goal of these people is to get you addicted to it so that you won't be able to leave it even if you understand what it is. But of course he can leave you if he wants.





Symptoms of gaslighting:

Do you constantly have to apologize?

The person you are in a relationship with is clearly treating you badly, but do you believe that this will be fixed with miraculous actions that you need to do but you don't know what they are? Do you constantly question whether you are a good enough person, a good lover, a good friend? Do you feel like no matter what you do, it's not good enough, or that you're always doing it badly?


Are you starting to get lonely?

Have you become disconnected from your family, friends, and social circle along with your relationship? And do you feel that the other person is doing this specifically?


Are you to blame for every argument?

Can't you open your mouth, no matter what is done to you, so that you won't be quarreled or blamed? Do you ever lie to save the situation or find momentary peace? Do you ever keep silent to avoid anger, and can't even find the strength to defend your truth and fight?

While you had no doubt that you were a normal person before the relationship, have you become someone who questions himself, is depressed, confused, cannot look to the future with hope, and is disappointed in what he is?

Have you become an introvert who cannot make decisions during the relationship, although you were not like this before the relationship?


Some examples of gaslighting:


Even though you have repeatedly explained that you were hurt by a certain event or statement, your lover says, "You are exaggerating too much, you are too dramatic" after upsetting and hurting you.


After your partner insults you, he/she says, "You always make me angry and make me like this."


Even though he/she has a lot to blame, he says, "You always blame me, as if you are innocent."


He/she makes you sad, cry and hurt and says, "You are hysterical, if others saw this, they would feel sorry for me and think you were crazy."


Even though it is very important to you, he/she says "I will never listen to this nonsense again" and tries to convince you that what you say or believe is nonsense.


He/she says "no, you are remembering wrong" about a memory you are sure of.


He/she tries to make you doubt your beliefs, feelings and ideas by saying "You are always negative", "You are so pessimistic", "I have had girlfriends/boyfriends before, none of them are like you".


He/she constantly makes fun of you and then accuses her of being too touchy. As this action is repeated over and over again, you begin to accept the humiliation, and when you feel bad, you begin to say, "He's/she's just joking, I shouldn't take it seriously."





How to deal with gaslighting?


Such manipulators cannot get everyone into their network. For such manipulation to occur, the victim must be open to it. However, before you blame yourself, you need to remove this manipulator from your life.


If you have been subjected to this type of manipulation for a long time, this is very difficult for you. Because manipulation is already done to make you addicted to it, and if you are exposed to it for a long time, you think you are addicted to it.


But if you are starting to become addicted to him/her and you suspect that this is the result of gaslighting, you need to leave this person immediately. In fact, if you have become a weaker person in a relationship than you were before the relationship, you need to leave that relationship.


Love bombing!


These types of psychopaths love bombard their lovers at the beginning of the relationship in order to keep their victims. You've never been loved like this. Sex is incredible. Even if you've been in relationships before, it's never happened like this. You live in a paradise that lasts for months.


Then… Boom! That heaven turns into hell, but you are the one to blame and you cannot break away from the relationship because there is always a hope of returning to that heaven inside you. Unfortunately, just like the idea that you are responsible for returning from that heaven to hell, the hope of being able to return to that heaven has been placed in your mind by the manipulator.


And again, unfortunately, all that love bombing is a series of manipulations by the manipulator to make you dependent on him.


My advice to you is to seek the opinion of unbiased third parties. If you have become estranged from your family or friends, or are ashamed to share this with them, go to a psychologist, or if you do not have money, write here or on other forums and ask for advice.




Disclaimer : Always Consult a doctor before following my advices.


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