The term gaslighting fundamentally involves manipulation. Those being gaslighted have their perception of reality rejected or altered so much so that they end up questioning their own selves. This way the person doing the manipulation gains control over their victims, and eventually dictate everything to the victims who now have no shred of confidence left within them.
This leads to abusive relationships in which the victims think it is right for them to be mistreated. This systematic erosion of the person’s mental state where they become enslaved to their partner is an extremely dangerous condition. It is hence important to watch out for the signs of gaslighting exhibited by your partner, and part with them for the sake of your own survival.
Reject your truth:
The person doing the gaslighting tends to manipulate their partners by disputing with their version of the truth. The partners start to doubt themselves, and not trust their memory anymore. They cannot then distinguish their reality even.
Everything recounted by the gaslighter, therefore, is the only truth, and they employ this dangerous weapon to control their partners. This also conveniently absolves them of any responsibility as they then embellish the truth whichever way they want, painting themselves as extremely nice people.
Shifting the blame:
Since the gaslighters are master manipulators, they successfully always shift the blame to their victims. Overtime the victims internalize their inadequacies as enlisted by the gaslighter who walks free. This perpetuates a mindset in the victims that they are indeed the wrong one; they are the ones being pushy, obnoxious, and are incompetent.
With the constant criticism comes the control. The victims are made to feel like they cannot possibly do anything right, and hence the bad behaviour on part of the gaslighter is justified. With the self-esteem of the victim successfully shredded, they gain more control over them.
Make you feel over-sensitive:
Rather than being apologetic for the wrongs that they’re doing, the gaslighters conveniently shirk from the blame by portraying their victims as being too sensitive. This causes the victims to perceive their response as irrational.
They feel that they are to blame as they are being too sensitive and there was nothing wrong with the gaslighting partner’s behaviour. The victims then are also left without any emotional support and normalize the torture inflicted by the gaslighter.
In order to gain full control over their victims, the gaslighters tend to isolate their victims. By progressively removing the victim’s loved ones away from them, they are left even more vulnerable.
They then have no support and are reliant on the gaslighter alone. This helps the gaslighter get the ultimate control over their victims. Furthermore, without the support of the loved ones, the vicious cycle is more likely to continue as there is virtually no one to stage an intervention for the victim.
Gaslighting is a very dangerous phenomenon in which the victims have to undergo a great deal of pain. It is important hence to recognize the signs of gaslighting and seek aid from an expert.