A Healing & Informative Site About Narcissistic Sociopaths

Gaslighting

“That is not what I said” “Your crazy, that never happened” “are you sure? you know your memory is not always right” “that’s all in your head”

Do any of these statements sound familiar? Have you found yourself questioning your own memory over an event or conversation? Do you second guess what you might have said? Have you questioned your own instincts? This is called Gaslighting. This term comes from the 1938 stage play Gas Light, in which a husband attempts to drive his wife crazy by dimming the lights {which were powered by gas} in their home, and then he denies that the light changed when his wife points it out. It is a very effective form of mental & emotional abuse that Sociopaths use to control you. By breaking down your trust & instincts {making you second guess yourself and your sanity}, this leads to a person staying in an abusive relationship, who is then easily manipulated. The Sociopath does not use Gaslighting to make you crazy, like in the movie, but they do this to break your mental & emotional strength.

Some of the methods of Gaslighting are:

  • Deflection- they will deflect questions off of them and in turn make you question the accuracy of thoughts and/or memory- “why would you ask that? look what you did….”
  • Trivializing- they will make you feel unimportant, or your thoughts and ideas are not worthy. Special occasions are sometimes not even acknowledged. They display faked sympathy. why did that hurt you? your overly sensitive” “it’s only your birthday”
  • Denial- until their last dying breath they will deny something that you know to be accurate or the truth- “i never said, that. i didn’t do that, you told me to __(fill in the blank)_______” This takes accountability off of them.
  • Withholding- the abusive partner never wants to engage in a conversation that may make them admit to, or divulge incriminating words “are you going to bring that up again? Your confusing me with all this talk of ___________” “I don’t want to talk about this”.
  • Forgetting- how frequently the abusive partner has a lapse in memory!! “i never said i would do that, that did not happen like that, i haven’t been speaking to someone else” etc.
  • Character Assassination – systemic & methodical attacking of what you believe in, your values, your morals. “why do you let so & so talk to you like that”….”look at the way your dressed”….”why didn’t you handle the situation like this_____” “why do you attend that church that brainwashes you”…

1. You constantly second-guess yourself.

2. You wonder, “Am I being too sensitive?” a dozen times a day.

3. You wonder frequently if you are a “good enough” partner.

4. You have trouble making simple decisions.

5. You think twice before bringing up innocent topics of conversation.

6. You frequently make excuses for your partner’s behavior to friends and family.

7. Before your partner comes home from work, you run through a checklist in your head to anticipate anything you might have done wrong that day.

8. You buy clothes for yourself, furnishings for your home, or other personal purchases thinking about what your partner would like instead of what would make you feel great.

9. You actually start to enjoy the constant criticism, because you think, “What doesn’t kill me will make me stronger.”

10. You start speaking to your partner through their family and/or friends so you don’t have to tell them things you’re afraid might upset them.

11. You start lying to avoid the put-downs and reality twists.

12. You feel as though you can’t do anything right.

13. You frequently wonder if you’re a good enough lover.

14. Your kids start trying to protect you from being humiliated by your partner.

15. You feel hopeless and joyless.

If you can answer Yes to these, you are/have been a victim of gaslighting. Remember, to a Narcissist/Sociopath it is all about control. Gaslighting is abuse!

“THE EDGE, there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over.”   hunter s. thompson

©SociopathLife.Com

 

 

gaslighting list credit: Robin Stern,PhD

11 Responses to “Gaslighting”

  1. vanessa walters

    things I would remember, which he insisted were NEVER said or done..it happened a lot, and it drove me crazy! and when I would confront him, he would deny that he said or did those things..and that I was making things up! one was telling me that our first child was NOT his, it was my boss’s; he said that my boss chased me around his office desk, until I got pregnant..he kept up THAT line for weeks, until I quit getting upset, cry or argue with him. When I refused to play his sick game; he quit..until he’d think of something else to drive me crazy with..I had NO idea it was gaslighting. I also thought I had lost my engagement/wedding rings until after me frantically hunting the house for them for days; he finally told me that he had the bands welded together and the stone removed so I would wear HIS rings..I had to pay the bill and deduct the cost of the stone. He had promised that the stone would be used for a brooch or a pendant, but he pitched a fit over the cost; so I told the store to keep the stone and I paid the bill.

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