Gaslighting occurs when a person seeks to gain power through making the other person in the relationship question their reality. They use manipulative tactics to get their way and maintain a hold over the other person. It’s a terribly sad thing to be a victim of this because the signs may build up slowly over time.
Your intuition tells you that something’s off.
You may be able to tell from the beginning or it may be something that you find out later on, but you know something’s up. Your intuition is screaming at you to get out of the relationship because something’s wildly off. This isn’t always the case, though. Sometimes the intuition can be buried under all of the manipulation that the other person has done. It’s not uncommon to not be able to hear the intuition.
You have a lot of self-doubt.
It’s hard for you to decipher between what’s true and what’s false. When you’re deep into being gaslighted, that other person has taken your direction away from you. Now you have tons of self-doubt. You regularly doubt whether what you’re doing is the right thing or not. There’s an unfortunate sense of groundlessness.
You’re scared of your partner.
There’s no real good reason that you should be terrified of your partner. You’re supposed to feel love from them, you’re not supposed to fear that they’re going to hurt you in some way. This is a giant red flag that you may have been a victim of the manipulating powers of gaslighting.
You feel like you’re crazy.
Perhaps the most significant of all of the signs, this one is about questioning your reality. It occurs when you feel like you’re losing it or like you’ve totally lost it. You can’t decipher between the true and the false so you just feel like a total crazy person. There’s no fixing it either when you’re stuck in the relationship with your perpetrator.
You feel the need to apologize all the time.
You have this overwhelming feeling that everything’s your fault so you’re constantly apologizing for nothing at all. It leaves you feeling like your self-esteem is lowered and it leaves people around you confused at why you’re apologizing so much. This is because your gaslighter makes you feel like everything’s your fault.
You’re afraid to speak up in your relationship.
You know that speaking up never really turns out well. Your partner always manages to find a way to bring you down. As a result, you don’t get to say what your needs are, so they aren’t met. It’s terrible that you fear having a voice. This is what being a victim of gaslighting looks like.
Your partner tells you that you’re too sensitive.
In another attempt to act like you’re the one who’s the problem, your gaslighter regularly tells you that you’re too sensitive. They say that things bother you too easily even though any normal human would be bothered by what was happening. Though you’re left stuck, not knowing what to believe.
They use things special to you as ammunition.
They say things like “I’m going to tell your sister that you did this crazy thing,” or they threaten to take things away from you. This is all under the premise that it’s your fault and you’ve done something wrong. Gaslighting is turning things around to make them about you rather than the perpetrator.
They tell you everyone else is a liar.
When you try to bring up the fact that your best friend thinks your partner treats you wrong they say that your friend is a big fat liar. The gaslighter continues to manipulate reality to try to gain control over you. To do this they point the finger at anyone but themselves.
You think there’s something wrong with you.
As a result of all of this messing with the mind, you think that there’s something seriously wrong with you. You can’t help but believe a lot of what your gaslighter says to you. As a result, you can’t shake the feeling that you’re totally messed up and out of whack.
Your self-esteem has lowered since being with this person.
Maybe when you first started dating your self-esteem was good. It wasn’t anything crazy, but it was solid. However, over the course of the time you’ve been dating this perpetrator, your self-esteem has gradually lowered. You now have a really crappy idea of who you are. You think that you’re broken and unlovable now.
They pathologize you.
Your partner says things like “you obviously have bipolar” or “you’re a pathological liar.” They make the argument into a diagnosing session where they decide what mental health issues you have. This is another way to make you feel poorly about yourself and keep the claws of control in you.
Your partner always plays the victim.
Nothing is ever your partner’s fault. No, instead they’re constantly playing the victim. A fight that you get into turns into them acting like they did nothing wrong at all, but they were greatly wronged. It’s exhausting and it messes with your mind. You’re left wondering if you really are an awful person who’s always at fault.
You believe this is what you deserve.
Somewhere along the way you’ve developed the idea that you’ve created this reality for yourself. Your perpetrator has their claws so deep in you that you truly believe you deserve the treatment that you’re getting. This is one of the very sad parts of gaslighting.
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