If you’re like most people, at some point in your life you’ve probably had the, ahem…pleasure of dealing with a crappy relationship.
Maybe you were cheated on, verbally abused, or just taken for granted. Whatever the case, it downright feels horrible.
But there are other more cunning, psychological challenges that you might have suffered through. Or, worse, that you’re suffering through now. One such experience is called gaslighting and it’s commonly wielded by narcissists as a means of deception.
Gaslighting is dangerous and can be very damaging. If you think your partner could be gaslighting you, it’s important to identify the truth of the situation and start seeing through their deception– sooner than later.
“ It is not okay for someone you like to treat you poorly and then
pretend it didn’t happen, making you question your own grasp on reality.
– Shannon Weber ”
What is gaslighting?
The term gaslighting was first coined from the 1938 play, Gas Light, in which an abusive husband manipulates his wife into questioning her reality so thoroughly that he drives her to the edge of insanity. That play was then adapted into a film of the same name, Gaslight, starring Charles Boyer and Ingrid Bergman. And, most recently, it was chronicled perfectly in the best-seller-turned-film The Girl on the Train starring Emily Blunt and Justin Theroux.
But what exactly is gaslighting?
Have you ever lied about something (for whatever reason) and later found it difficult to remember what the truth really was? That you began to forget what was false and what was reality?
Gaslighting creates a similar effect but it involves your partner intentionally lying to you in order to gain control over the relationship. An example would be an abusive partner telling you that you’re stupid or have a horrible memory repeatedly to the point that you begin to question your own reality and believe what they’re saying.
But why on Earth would you believe whatever your partner tells you, even if you know it’s a lie? It turns out, there’s a strong psychological basis for it.