10 Signs He’s Gaslighting You

10 Signs He’s Gaslighting You ©iStock/Squaredpixels

Have you ever dated a guy who made you feel nuts? If so, you might have heard of the term gaslighting. It’s a form of psychological abuse, and it’s a way to turn all of the crap he does wrong around on you so that not only do you feel bad for calling him out, but you start to wonder if you’re the one at fault. Worried that your boyfriend might be guilty of gaslighting? Look out for the following signs:

  1. You’re beginning to doubt yourself all the time about everything. This is the biggest, most clear sign of gaslighting. When you’re beginning to question your morals, judgment, sanity, or even what happened, you’re being gaslighted.
  2. He mocks your beliefs, concerns, and statements. The easiest way to discredit someone and get them to question themselves is to mock them so the other person feels stupid/belittled. If your boyfriend is doing this to you, it’s a surefire sign that he’s gaslighting you, and that you should dump him.
  3. You’ve resorted to keeping a journal, because you really do feel like his account of the past is wrong. Your partner says you did one thing, you remember (clearly) doing another. He keeps denying it happened the way you say it did. Solution? You begin to write things down so you’ve got written proof of how it all went down.
  4. You start to wonder if you’re losing your mind. If you feel like you might be going nuts on a regular basis, especially when it comes to your relationship, that’s a serious issue. You should never feel like you don’t know what’s going on or where you stand in a situation, especially when you’re with someone who’s meant to love you. If your boyfriend’s making you feel like you’re slowly going mad, you need to get away from him.
  5. You’ve begun to snoop, even though you typically value privacy. Do you feel the need to snoop for proof that he’s lying to you and that you were right all along about things you’ve called him out on? If you find yourself reaching for his phone, it’s time to break up.
  6. Actually, when you think about it, he’s the ONLY person who keep making you question yourself. If only one person is saying that you’re nuts, then chances are that you aren’t nuts. The more you can pinpoint the abuse coming from one person, the more likely it is that he’s gaslighting you.
  7. His explanations don’t add up, or are just downright implausible. The more unlikely the explanation is, the more likely it is that he’s full of crap and hoping to make you feel nuts enough to believe his terrible and improbable lies. The more mad the explanations he gives are, the more likely it is that you’d be nuts to believe them.
  8. When you bring something up, he keeps repeating the same phrases until you drop it. This is actually a classic brainwashing method. He’s literally wearing you down until you don’t even have the will or energy anymore to fight back, so you just accept it.
  9. He insists that you don’t know what you’re talking about, even though you know for a fact you do. Sometimes, a guy will get so insecure about a girl being smarter than him that he’ll begin to “correct” facts that you tell him. He might even argue with you when you show him proof. This is a sign that he’s trying to basically make you lose your credibility to make himself feel better. Screw that.
  10. Your self-esteem took a plunge, and it started when you began dating him. If you’re normally a confident person, being with a great guy should make you feel even better about yourself. If he’s constantly negging you or outright putting you down, not only is he a crappy boyfriend, but he’s trying to control you by making you feel like crap.
  11. Your friends and family are concerned about how he treats you. This is one of those times where you might want to listen to outside observations.
  12. With him, it’s always, “Deny, deny, deny.” Your boyfriend can do no wrong. Everything is your fault. Your boyfriend has no responsibility to keep you happy. You, on the other hand have all the responsibility to keep him happy. If you bring up the discrepancies, lies, and hypocrisy, he always denies it. This is gaslighting in its most obvious form.
  13. You stop being interested in confronting him, because you know there’s no winning with him. If it’s gotten to this point, you’ve already lost any hope of actually fixing your relationship and you should leave. This is not, and will never be, a healthy relationship.
Ossiana Tepfenhart is a New Jersey based writer and editor with bylines in Mashed, Newsbreak, Good Men Project, YourTango, and many more. She’s also the author of a safe travel guide for LGBTQIA+ people available on Amazon.

She regularly writes on her popular Medium page and posts on TikTok and Instagram @ossianamakescontent.