Gaslighting: What Is It & How Does It Affect Us?

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse in which false information that contrasts with reality is repeatedly given to the victim by a perpetrator under the guise of offering help and compassion. The procedure strips away the victim’s ability to form their own thoughts, beliefs or opinions and pits them against themselves.


What Is Gaslighting?

When we think of gaslighting, we often think of it as a tactic used in relationships to control and manipulate our partners. However, gaslighting can also occur in other relationships, such as with friends, family members, and even co-workers.

So, what is gaslighting? Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse used to gain power and control over another person. It is a very subtle form of abuse that can be hard to detect. Gaslighting usually starts off slowly, with little things you may not even notice. For example, your partner may question your memory of events or make comments that undermine your confidence. Over time, these small things can add up and leave you feeling confused, anxious, and even crazy.

If you are in a relationship with someone who is gaslighting you, you must reach out for help. Gaslighting can be extremely damaging to your mental health and well-being. Many resources are available to help you if you are emotionally abused.


10 Signs Of Gaslighting

  1. Your partner constantly tells you you’re overreacting or being too sensitive.
  2. Your partner ensures that you doubt yourself and your own judgment.
  3. Your partner makes you feel your thoughts, feelings, and perceptions are wrong.
  4. You find yourself making excuses for your partner’s hurtful behaviour.
  5. You find yourself doubting your memories of past events.
  6. Your partner often tells you that you’re ‘imagining things’ or ‘being paranoid’.
  7.  You start to question your own reality and perception of things.
  8. You start to feel like you’re going crazy or losing touch with reality.
  9. Your partner gaslights you in front of other people to make you look bad or crazy. 
  10. You feel hopeless, helpless, and alone in the relationship.


How Is Gaslighting Carried Out?

There are a few different ways that gaslighting can be carried out. One way is by the gaslighter constantly denying that certain events took place, even when there is clear evidence to prove that they did. This can make the victim start to doubt their own memory and perceptions.

Another way gaslighting can be carried out is by the gaslighter shifting blame onto the victim for things that are not their fault. This can make the victim feel like they are always to blame for everything, even when they know that isn’t true.

Lastly, gaslighting can also involve the gaslighter making false accusations against the victim. For example, suppose the victim is talking to someone else about what is happening. In that case, the gaslighter might accuse them of being ‘crazy’ or ‘overreacting’. This is done to invalidate the victim’s experiences and make them question their sanity.


Why Do People Gaslight, & How To Stop It

Many people gaslight without realizing it. It can be a way of coping with stress or insecurity or controlling and manipulating others. Gaslighting is often used in relationships, where one person tries to control and undermine the other by making them question their own reality. If you’re in a relationship with someone who’s gaslighting you, it’s important to get help and support. Here are some tips on how to stop gaslighting:

Identify the gaslighting behaviour: Pay attention when you feel confused, isolated, or like you’re losing your grip on reality. These may be signs that you’re being gaslighted.

Challenge the gaslighter: Confront the person who’s gaslighting you and let them know that you’re onto their game. This can be difficult, but standing up for yourself is important.

Get support: Talk to someone you trust about what’s happening. It can be helpful to have an outside perspective when dealing with gaslighting.

Take care of yourself: Make sure to take time for yourself and do things that make you happy and help you relax. This is especially important if you’re feeling overwhelmed by gaslighting behaviour.


How does gaslighting affect us?

Gaslighting can cause all sorts of psychological problems. It can make you doubt yourself and your own memories. It can lead to anxiety and depression. It can make you more likely to develop PTSD if exposed to trauma later in life. In severe cases, it can even result in suicide.

If someone Gaslights you, it’s important to reach out for help. Talk to a friend or family member who will believe you and support you. 


Gaslighting Example

When someone is gaslighting you, they manipulate you into doubting your reality. It is an extremely effective form of emotional abuse that can impact your mental health. Here is an example of how gaslighting might play out in a relationship:

You and your partner are having a disagreement. Your partner insists that you are overreacting and that you are wrong about what happened. They may say, ‘You’re too sensitive or ‘You just see things.

Over time, this constant invalidation of your experiences and reality can leave you confused, isolated, and doubting yourself. You may start to question whether you saw or heard what you thought you did. Gaslighting can be very subtle and difficult to spot. Still, it’s important to be aware of it to protect yourself from this manipulation.


How To Respond To Gaslighting

If you think you might be a victim of gaslighting, you must reach out to someone you trust for support. Here are some additional tips on how to respond to gaslighting:

  1. Trust your gut. If something feels off, it probably is.
  2. Keep a log of things that have happened that make you question your reality. This can help spot patterns and determine whether or not you’re being gaslighted.
  3. Talk to someone you trust about what’s going on. It can be difficult to tell if you’re being gaslighted, so getting another person’s perspective is important.
  4. Seek professional help if the situation impacts your mental health or sense of self. Gaslighting can be very damaging, so getting professional service can be crucial in recovering from it.


The Causes Of Gaslighting

There are many possible causes of gaslighting. It can be caused by a personal vendetta, an attempt to gain control, or simply a desire to create chaos. Regardless of the motivations behind it, gaslighting is a serious issue that can have devastating consequences.

Some of the most common causes of gaslighting include:

A need for control: Gaslighting often occurs when one person feels they need complete control over another. This may be due to jealousy, insecurity, or a desire to manipulate and control the other person.

A desire to cause harm: In some cases, gaslighting may be done simply because the person enjoying it gets a perverse pleasure from causing another person pain. This type of sadistic behaviour is often seen in abusive relationships.

A need to cover up something: Gaslighting can also occur when someone is trying to cover up their own wrongdoing. Making their victim doubt their own memories and perceptions can make it more difficult for them to speak out about what happened.

Mental illness: In some cases, gaslighting may be caused by a mental illness such as borderline personality disorder or narcissistic personality disorder. These disorders can make it difficult for people to understand and accept reality, leading them to gaslight others as a way of coping with their feelings of insecurity and inadequacy.


Gaslighting: Breaking The Chain Of Abuse

When we hear the term “gaslighting,” we usually think of it as a manipulative partner or family member. But gaslighting can also be a form of workplace bullying. And like other forms of abuse, it can have lasting effects on the victim’s mental health.

In a gaslighting relationship, the abuser constantly makes their victim question their reality. They might lie about something that happened or make comments that undermine their victim’s confidence. Over time, the victim’s sense of self wears down until they start doubting their memories and perceptions.

Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse that can be just as damaging as physical abuse. If you suspect you’re being gaslighted at work, you must reach out for help. A therapist can provide support and guidance as you navigate this difficult situation.


Techniques To Practice Self-care

Many techniques can be used to practice self-care. Below are some examples:

Keep a journal – Writing down your thoughts and feelings can help you process them healthily.

Exercise: Taking care of your body by getting regular exercise can help to reduce stress and promote overall well-being.

Connect with nature: Spend time outdoors in nature, and take in the sights, sounds, and smells of the world around you. This can help to centre and calm you.

Spend time with loved ones: Surrounding yourself with people who make you feel good can help to lift your spirits and give you a sense of support.

Do something you enjoy: Make time for activities that bring you joy, and savour them fully!


Gaslighting Vs. Reality

When we experience gaslighting, our reality is distorted by the manipulations of another person. This can leave us feeling confused, isolated, and even crazy.

Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse that can have a lasting impact on our mental health. It’s important to recognize when it’s happening to protect ourselves from further harm.

What is gaslighting?

Gaslighting is a form of manipulation in which someone tries to make you question your reality. They might do this by lying to you or making you doubt yourself. For example, they might tell you that you said something you didn’t actually say or make you question your memory of an event.

This kind of behaviour can be really confusing and distressing. It can make you feel like you’re losing your grip on reality. And it can have a long-term impact on your mental health.



Though it can be difficult to spot, gaslighting is a simple form of emotional abuse that can have severe consequences. If you think you may be a victim of gaslighting, it’s important to reach out for help. There are many resources available to victims of gaslighting. With the right support, you can begin to heal the damage that’s been done.