“You’re crazy, how could I do that to you?”, “If I do that it’s your fault, you force me to be like that”, “You’re imagining all of that, you’re determined to put the brown on me ”, “do not make a drama out of this, you are too exaggerated”. Have you ever been told something like that and, on top of that, you have questioned whether it was real even though you were convinced otherwise? You may be sufferingGaslighting” or emotional abuse.
There are people who will try to play with your insecurity to take you where they want and thus obtain benefits.
Do you want to know if you are one of the victims of emotional abuse? Keep reading.
What is the “Gaslighting” or emotional abuse?
The “Gaslightling” is a type of emotional abuse that occurs, especially in couples, although it can be extrapolated to any relationship of any kind, for example, friendships, work, family,…
It is a manipulation by one of the parties that makes the other doubt their criteria through tricks, ending the second feeling very confused.
The person who commits this type of emotional abuse can make the other person doubt their own perception, their way of thinking or acting, and may even end up doubting their own sanity. He will play with the confidence and insecurity of the other person, causing reality to become distorted.
Where does this term come from without translation into Spanish? From the name of a 1938 play (later a 1944 film) called “Gaslight” (“Gas light”) in which a man tries to make his wife believe that she is going crazy by moving objects or making them disappear, modifying memories and dimming the light (gas at that time) making her believe that it continues to shine with the same intensity as always. All this to keep the fortune that she has hidden.
For this reason, we will talk aboutgaslighting” when, in a relationship of any kind, one of the parties tries to manipulate the other by distorting reality.
And yes, obviously we could be talking about psychological abuse (but there is no physical abuse in this type of abuse).
There are 3 stages that this emotional abuse goes through: idealization, devaluation and discarding.
- The idealization: at this stage the “gaslighter” is very accommodating, attentive and fills his victim with flattery, making you seem like the perfect person for him/her. That is to say, it would be about cajoling the other person so that he falls in love with her (obviously faked) charms.
- The devaluation: once the victim is hooked, goes from being adored to devalued, to the point of undermining their self-esteem. He never does anything right, only disasters, he is to blame for everything and he should be giving thanks that despite all of it, he/she “gaslighter” stay by his side, so the victim is desperate to please him so that he does not leave him.
- The discard: at this stage, the “gaslighter” leaves his victim and moves on to the nextstarting a new cycle.
How is the person who uses emotional abuse?
Let’s talk about how a / a acts “gaslighter” in their emotional abuse in order to detect it.
He is a person who at first she was lovely and showed you how special it was for him/her and now it devalues you.
lie constantly making you question everything you say, think and do; and she will deny anything you say to her, it’s morewill tell you in such a forceful way that, even if you know you are right, you will believe him. In addition, he will brand you as exaggerated or that you invent things.
Life with this person will be bittersweetas soon as it crushes you all day as it tries to compensate with some show of reinforcement, like telling you that he’s going to give you another chance or that things might get better.
Will look for ways to make you feel inferior to him/her to protect themselves and thus be able to get what they want from you, wearing you down and playing with your tiredness in their favor so that you always agree with them and/or doubt yourself.
Also, knows how to manipulate you, knows your weak points and will not hesitate to use them. It will also try to manipulate and lie to the people around you to make you see them in a negative way and/or try to turn you against your loved ones to isolate you.
Regarding what he/she is like, facing the gallery is wonderful and endears itself to people. What’s more, many will tell you that “you will never find someone like him/her”.
In his quest to get what he wants, will be controlling with your life and everything related to your environment.
You can also go from the threat (always verbal) to the plea adopting the role of victim so that you feel compassion for him/her.
After reading this, I invite you to rewatch the scene from the movie that I left you above and observe many of these behaviors in his attitude.
I’m suffering “Gaslighting”? Signs of emotional abuse.
If after reading the above, you suspect that you may be a victim of this emotional abuse, I leave you the signs that could indicate that you are suffering.
- At first he was the ideal person and now treats you badly.
- Previously I praised and told you how wonderful you were and now you’re always a mess for him/her
- devalues you constantly and compares you with other people.
- You justify bad behavior of that person towards you in the face of others and also for you.
- Doubts about your perspectivebelieving that his is the real one and not yours.
- Doubts in your ability to remember things and suffer impotence for not being able to do it “correctly”.
- You question your way of thinking and acting constantly.
- Doubts even about your mental health.
- You have very low self-esteem.
- you feel a lot fault.
- You are too afraid to express your feelings to that person.
- You feel a lot of pressure to please the other person.
- You rethink too much if you are very sensitive or exaggerated.
- you always ask apologies to the other person, even though you know you shouldn’t.
- You are not happy and you do not understand why, since you are next to an ideal person.
- You hide information from the people around you about your relationship with this person.
- You stop questioning and always agree with the other person.
- You find it hard to make decisions, even simple ones.
- You feel like you can’t do anything right.
- When you’re with that person you feel uncomfortable and nervous and you don’t know why.
- You constantly ask yourself if you are being a good enough partner, employee, friend, child,…
If you see yourself reflected in several of these statements, you may be suffering from this type of emotional abuse.
How to get out of emotional abuse “Gaslighting”.
If you think someone is using this type of emotional abuse on you, the important thing is not to let it continue: you have to get away from this toxic relationship.
- Trust your judgment. It is normal that sometimes you are not right, but you are not always wrong. If you feel that someone makes you feel this way, realize that she is manipulating you.
- Do not always seek to please that person. If it’s not a reciprocal relationship (whatever kind it is), she’s not healthy for you.
- Don’t always question what you feel. You may be wrong in some interpretation, but no one can deny you to feel one way or another.
- Be aware of all that you are worth and do not let the assessment of others be the one that matters. I already told you about this in the article “Learn to value yourself”.
- Beware of idealizing the other person, nobody is perfect and, therefore, if someone forces it, they are cheating on you.
- Learn to be assertive and to put limits on the other person.
- Surround yourself with people who do make you feel good and don’t question you.
- Go to a professional psychologist if you do not see yourself capable of leaving this type of relationship on your own.
Nobody has the right to manipulate you and make you feel bad about what, if you feel that it is happening to you, it is the right time to seek help if you need it and get out of this.