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Gaslighting

Gaslighting is a type of abuse that is used to make victims second-guess or doubt their own thoughts and feelings. When someone is being gaslighted, they are fed false information, often and on purpose, that leads them to question what they know to be true. Over time, the manipulations can grow more complex and effective. Common Tactics Include:

  • This is when someone questions a partner’s memory, sanity, or perception of reality. They may say things such as, “I didn’t say that. I don’t know why you would think that,” or “Are you sure about that? That never happened.”
  • This occurs when a person belittles how someone else feels, leaving the other person feeling invalidated in their emotions. Their partner may accuse them of being “too dramatic” or “too sensitive”.
  • Trivializing involves making the victim believe that what they communicated is insignificant and unimportant. They may say things such as, “You’re going to let something like that come between us?” or “Why do you always overreact?”
  • It is not uncommon for people who gaslight to keep their partner away from their friends and family. Partners may claim they know other people are saying negative things about the victim. They may say things like, “I don’t think your family has your best interests at heart,” or “I don’t think your friend actually likes you.”
  • This involves someone pretending they do not understand the conversation, or refusing to listen, in order to make the other person doubt themselves. For example, they might say something along the lines of, “I don’t want to talk about this again,” or “I don’t know what you are talking about.”

REMEMBER

You deserve a healthy and respectful relationship where your feelings and experiences are acknowledged. If you suspect gaslighting is happening reach out to a trusted adult, counselor, or helpline.

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