If you know about the film from 1944 called gaslight then you know exactly what I will be talking about in this here post.
If not, here’s a brief definition: to gaslight someone is to gently manipulate them, and coax them into questioning their own sanity.
It might start innocently enough with some simple lies until it gets to the point when you no longer can tell if you are sure about what you say.
In the film by that name, a man manipulates his wife until she is not sure if she is sane any more. He does this by dimming the gas lights in their home then turning them back up and when she mentions it to him, he tells her that he has no idea of what she is talking about.
Why would anyone do this, you ask? Power is the reason. When someone is successful at it then they hold power over their unsuspecting victim, and this is simply no way for a relationship to be; it is after all a fair equal union as opposed to a hostile take-over.
As a general rule of thumb, love is no longer healthy when it becomes about control, power, and numbing mind-games; and this is the precedent for countless evils that happen in a relationship and leave outsiders wondering whether you have been bewitched to remain in such a cursed union so this is the point you should exit stage left.
Read on below to find out the signs you should look out for to know if your significant other is gaslighting you,; and keep in mind you will have to be very keen because it happens to the best of us and is a lot easier than you may think to fall into this pit.
They Are Totally Charming To Other People
The thing with a person who is manipulating you is that they need others to always take their side in the event anything happens so they are charming, attentive, polite, considerate, and all those other nice things to you, but only when you are in front of people. Things are of course very different when you are by yourselves, as they will ignore and belittle you, convince you that the things you care about are nonsense, and will not support any dreams that you may have.
If you notice this Jekyll and Hyde phenomenon and feel as if no one else can really see the person you are with, it is time to turn your radar up and watch out for any of these other signs.
They Tell You Outright Lies
You know beyond all doubt that this person is lying to you but they stand their ground, why? They are setting the stage so that you will never be sure if anything they say is true, and as long as you are not on guard, then they will amp up their manipulation in some of these following ways.
They Constantly Deny Things They Had Said
“Honey, when will you fix this door? You said you would get to it later in the week and it’s Saturday already”. “What? I never said anything like that”….
Even if you have proof of it, they will borderline swear an oath with the Holy Book that they did not say it, and the more they do it, the less sure you become of anything and the more you rely on them to show you the light, which of course they have no intention of doing.
They Use Things You Care About As Weapons
They know of your dreams and aspirations and what they mean to you, and how dear your sister is to you, so they will say things like “you know you’re too lazy/slow/inept to be in that line of work”, and “your sister is a bad influence on you, do you think your mom will be happy if you leave me like your sister left her spouse?”. And so on and so forth, making you feel lucky to be with them because they know you so damn well and accept you despite your numerous flaws.
The Frog In A Pot Of Boiling Water
Because they do it so gradually, you will not feel the pressure all at once; a few light lies in the start, some nasty comments over time, and before you know it it has reached the climax yet you are still holding on to the illusion of love. Same as with the frog in the pot of boiling water, it starts out with a cool comfortable temperature and as the heat is gradually turned up, it is soon boiling before the frog realizes what is going on.
Their Actions And Words Do Not Match
They will say a lot of things; “you’re the best thing that has happened to me”, “I will change”, “I love you”, etc, but none of these words mean a thing; they are all just empty talk worth nothing and their actions always bring you down.
They Seem To Be Positive For You, Sometimes
Every now and then they will give you some morale boost and words of encouragement like “Seems like you’re finally getting the hang of keeping the house clean and tidy”. While this seems like a compliment, it is just another tool on their belt because they live in the same house, right? So the house being clean serves them as well.
What this random positivity does is to keep you unsure of things because it seems like they are actually good people with your interests at heart but rest assured they are not. Remember the Devil was an angel of light once.
They Weaken You With Confusion
Stability makes people comfortable while confusion weakens them and this is their goal, to keep you weak and dependent on them because you will always turn to them when you need some stability in your life.
They Turn People Against You
In a bid to isolate you so that you are easier to control and also find people who will stand by them, they will tell you false statements implying that other people know you are no good or you are weak so that you turn to them for support and invariably fall deeper into their traps.
They Are Dismissive Of You
They tell you that you’re crazy and also joke about it to others so that it becomes easier to keep you in a position where you believe that, and others will also find it hard to believe that the gaslighter is manipulative and abusive; the things you do and say mean very little to them once you are in their control.
They Project Their Behaviors On You
If they are cheats, they accuse you of cheating; if they are drunks, they accuse you of alcoholism and because they are manipulators, they accuse you of manipulating their feelings to get your ends. Once you react to this and attempt to defend yourself, you feed in to their plan and are distracted from what they are doing even more.
These are the main things to look out for when you suspect that you are being gaslighted, and you should expect a lot of opposition if you attempt to let them know that you are on to them. Because love tends to throw everything into a shade of roses at least at first, you should take care to keep safe from the clutches of a narcissist whose qualities I will tell you all about next time. Til then, stay foxxy!!