Gaslighting is a manipulation technique that can be used by narcissistic partners, narcissistic fathers, narcissistic mothers, abusers and cult leaders.
The term gaslighting can be seen as a form of mental abuse that makes you doubt yourself and apologize for things that are not your fault at all!
The goal is to break down your self-confidence so that someone else can take control of you.
Gaslighting can also make you more dependent on the abuser. Read on and find out if you are the victim of gaslighting!
What is gaslighting?
Gaslighting is a manipulation technique and one of the most harmful forms of emotional abuse. It is aimed at destroying someone’s self-confidence and gaining more power over the other person. It causes the victim to start doubting himself/herself and his/her idea of reality.
The word gaslighting can be traced back to the 1944 film ‘Gaslight’, in which a man manipulates his wife until she thinks she’s crazy.
It is therefore not surprising that it is used by people who meet the criteria for narcissistic and antisocial personality disorders (NPD and APD respectively).
An important characteristic of APDs and NPDs is that they take pleasure in undermining the will of the other. For them, this is proof of their own ‘superiority’.
It can be applied to an individual as well as to large groups.
If it is built up slowly, the victim does not even realize how much he or she has been brainwashed.
Gaslighting can be done in a subtle way. For example, if you tell your partner that you don’t appreciate them crossing your boundaries, you may get a response like this:
“Jeez, stop overreacting, I didn’t mean it like that.”
Instead of the other person showing empathy, you will be blamed and you will be seen as a crybaby.