How to Detect GaslightingHow to Detect Gaslighting
How to Detect Gaslighting

What does gaslighting mean?

Gaslighting is a form of manipulation in which the person gaslighting attempts to create self-doubt and confusion in the other person. It’s a way to try and control and gain power over the other person by making them question their own intentions and motives.

What are some common examples of gaslighting in romantic relationships?

There are several ways people use gaslighting in relationships. Some of the most common forms show up as minimizing or making fun of feelings, discounting the positives or achievements, withholding important information, insisting a person said or did something that they in fact didn’t do, calling a person “too sensitive,” or if they say, “you’re overreacting,” or “you can’t take a joke,” twisting information in a way to shift the blame, and denying abusive behavior.

What are some common examples of gaslighting with family members?

Gaslighting takes place often within family relationships. The most common scenarios involve statements such as “I never said that,” which is typically a way to make the other person question their own reality and memory. It also is seen by parents and/or caregivers denying or dismissing the experiences of family members such as saying something like “That never happened when you were a kid.” It is also seen when a family member tries to make another family member feel bad about themselves by spewing negative comments and/or blaming them for something they didn’t do.

What are some common examples of gaslighting from medical providers/medical gaslighting?

Medical gaslighting is when your medical provider dismisses your concerns about your health or minimizes what you’re reporting. Here are signs someone may be experiencing gaslighting from medical providers: the medical provider tells you what you’re experiencing “is all in your head,” they refuse to take the time to discuss your symptoms and underlying causes, they rush through your appointment, they question whether or not you’re being truthful about your medical history, and they interrupt you while you’re sharing information.

What are specific red flags people should look out for to determine whether they’re being gaslit?

It is very common for the person using gaslighting to deny their role in what they are doing. They will make you feel like what you’re experiencing is 100% a result of something being wrong you with. Here are some red flags that could indicate a person is being gaslit include but are not limited to the following: 1) a person makes you question your own reality, 2) a person is telling obvious lies, 3) a person denies ever saying something despite having proof that they did, 4) they emotionally drain you, 5) they attempt to confuse you by using positive reinforcement, 6) refer to you as “too sensitive or crazy,” 7) they refer to you as “dramatic,” 8) you might hear phrases like “this is all your fault,” 9) you find yourself always having to apologize to them even though you didn’t do anything, 10) you’re constantly anxious or stressed in their presence.

What should people do if and when they realize they’re being gaslit?

If someone becomes aware they are being gaslit, it’s important for that person to reclaim their power and respond to the person and/or situation, not react back. Practices that can be helpful are as follows: 1) making time for self-care; this is especially important because after being gaslit, it’s easy to feel exhausted and drained, 2) Identify needed boundaries to protect your inner peace and hold the boundaries no matter what, 3) Remain confident despite feeling like you’re going crazy or you did something wrong, 4) Don’t take it personal, understanding gaslighting is a symptom of someone who is not well. This doesn’t excuse their behavior, however, knowing this can be supportive in terms of not taking it personal, 5) Ask for support from safe people in your circle, 6) Seek professional help if you’re not able to handle the situation on your own or if you need support processing what this has caused for you, 7) Educate yourself on gaslighting so you can better understand it and recognize the warning signs quickly to avoid any further harm caused to you.

Stephanie Robilio, LCSW
Published Author
Chief Clinical Officer at Agape Behavioral Healthcare

To learn more about Stephanie visit and follow her on Instagram @stephanierobilio, Facebook @stephanierobilio, and subscribe to her on YouTube Stephanie Robilio. Find all of Stephanie’s books on Amazon: WellNowMindful MakeoverPainted Soul, and Bonafide Spirit. To join real conversations about what it takes to achieve optimal wellness in mind, body, and spirit, check out The Mindful Living Podcast on Spotify.

Understanding Gaslighting

, a term originating from a 1944 film titled “Gaslight,” refers to a subtle yet insidious form of psychological manipulation. The gaslighter aims to sow seeds of doubt and confusion in the victim, distorting their perception of reality and undermining their confidence.

Recognizing in Different Relationships

can manifest in various relationships, not just romantic ones. Family dynamics often become breeding grounds for tactics, with instances of minimizing experiences or denying past events. Similarly, in professional settings, from authoritative figures can lead to feelings of powerlessness and self-doubt.

Identifying Tactics

tactics are diverse and can be subtle. They may include belittling emotions, rewriting history, or shifting blame onto the victim. For instance, phrases like “You’re too sensitive” or “You’re imagining things” are common techniques aimed at undermining the victim’s confidence.

Addressing in Medical Settings

Medical is particularly concerning, as it involves dismissing or downplaying a patient’s symptoms or concerns. Instances where medical professionals invalidate a patient’s experiences or rush through appointments without adequate explanation can exacerbate feelings of anxiety and self-doubt.

Empowering Victims of

Empowering individuals who have experienced involves validating their experiences and providing support mechanisms. Encouraging self-care practices, setting boundaries, and seeking professional help are crucial steps towards reclaiming agency and fostering emotional resilience.

Understanding Behavior

behavior involves manipulative tactics aimed at distorting reality and undermining the victim’s perception of truth. This can include denying facts, shifting blame, or invalidating the victim’s experiences and emotions. Victims often find themselves questioning their own reality and feeling confused or anxious as a result of the gaslighter’s tactics.

Impact of on Mental Health

The effects of on mental health can be profound and long-lasting. Victims may experience anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and difficulty trusting their own judgment. Over time, the constant questioning of one’s reality can lead to a sense of confusion and self-doubt, making it challenging to maintain a sense of stability and well-being.

Recognizing Early Signs of

Early detection of tactics is crucial for preventing further harm. Common signs include feeling confused or anxious after interactions, doubting one’s memory or perception, and experiencing a shift in self-confidence or self-worth. By recognizing these signs early on, individuals can take steps to protect themselves and seek support from trusted sources.

in Online Spaces

The rise of social media and online communication has provided new avenues for to occur. Online can involve manipulation through digital platforms, such as spreading false information, undermining someone’s reputation, or invalidating their experiences through public forums. It’s essential to remain vigilant and critically evaluate information encountered online to avoid falling victim to tactics.

Creating Safe Spaces for Victims

Creating safe spaces for victims of is essential for healing and recovery. This can involve offering validation, empathy, and support without judgment. Encouraging open communication and fostering a sense of community can help individuals feel heard and understood, empowering them to reclaim their sense of self-worth and rebuild their lives free from manipulation.

Educating Others About

Education plays a critical role in combating and raising awareness about its harmful effects. By educating others about tactics and providing resources for support, we can empower individuals to recognize and address behavior in their own lives and communities. Together, we can work towards creating a culture of accountability and empathy, where manipulation and abuse are not tolerated.

Supporting Victims of Gaslighting

Supporting victims of requires empathy, patience, and understanding. It’s essential to listen actively to their experiences, validate their feelings, and reassure them that they are not alone. Moreover, encouraging them to seek professional help from therapists or counselors trained in trauma recovery can provide valuable support and guidance on their journey to healing.

Setting Boundaries in Relationships

Setting boundaries is crucial for protecting oneself from behavior in relationships. Clearly communicating boundaries and expectations can help establish a sense of safety and autonomy. Additionally, it’s important to enforce boundaries consistently and assertively, even in the face of resistance or manipulation from the gaslighter. Remembering that boundaries are a form of self-care and self-respect can empower individuals to prioritize their well-being.

Addressing Gaslighting in the Workplace

behavior can also occur in professional settings, undermining employee morale and productivity. Employers have a responsibility to create a supportive work environment where gaslighting tactics are not tolerated. Implementing clear policies against harassment and manipulation, providing training on recognizing and addressing gaslighting behavior, and fostering open communication channels can help create a safer workplace for all employees.

Advocating for Systemic Change

Advocating for systemic change is essential for addressing the root causes of and preventing further harm. This can involve advocating for policy reforms, raising awareness about the prevalence of gaslighting in society, and supporting organizations that provide resources and support for victims. By working together to challenge societal norms and attitudes that perpetuate gaslighting behavior, we can create a more just and compassionate society for all.

Empowering Survivors to Speak Out

Empowering survivors to speak out about their experiences is crucial for breaking the cycle of and promoting accountability. By sharing their stories and speaking truth to power, survivors can inspire others to recognize and address gaslighting behavior in their own lives. Creating safe spaces for survivors to share their experiences and supporting them in their advocacy efforts can help amplify their voices and create positive change.

Continuing the Conversation

Continuing the conversation about is essential for raising awareness and fostering empathy and understanding. By openly discussing the impact of gaslighting on individuals and communities, we can challenge harmful beliefs and attitudes and promote healing and resilience. Together, we can create a culture that values honesty, authenticity, and mutual respect, where gaslighting has no place.

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