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Gaslighting: Examples, Effects, and How to Confront the Abuse

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Lying and manipulation are hallmarks of abusive relationships. Intentionally misleading someone is highly destructive to their self-esteem. Gaslighting, an example of manipulation, is common in many toxic relationships. Learning what gaslighting is can help you recognize dangerous behavior in your relationships. After escaping an emotionally abusive relationship, mental health therapy programs can help you get back on your feet.

If you or someone you know has broken free from an abusive relationship, Northpoint Recovery can help you recover. Our caring professionals can help you manage your mental health and progress toward a healthy future. Contact our team today at 888.296.8976 to learn more about gaslighting effects, how to confront gaslighting abuse, and how to heal from toxic relationships with our help.

What Is Gaslighting?

The term gaslighting comes from the 1944 film “Gaslight,” in which a man tries to make his wife believe she is losing her mind by making small changes in their home and denying that they ever happened.

Today, we use the term gaslighting to describe someone who tries to manipulate another person by making them question their reality.

Examples of Gaslighting Behavior

There are many different ways that someone can gaslight another person. Here are some common examples:

  • Denying that an event took place, even if there is evidence to prove it
  • Lying and contradicting what the victim knows to be true
  • Making the victim feel like they are crazy or overreacting
  • Making the victim doubt their memory and perception
  • Manipulating the victim’s environment to make them question their reality

Gaslighting is a psychological manipulation that causes people to lose their sense of identity, perception, and worth. Gaslighting aims to make the victim question their reality and feel like they are going crazy.

Effects of Gaslighting

Gaslighting can have several harmful effects on the victim. Some of the most common effects of gaslighting include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Insomnia
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Memory loss
  • Social isolation
  • Substance abuse
  • Self-harm
  • Suicide

The severe effects of gaslighting can put a person down a dark path and may even lead them to seek drugs or alcohol to numb their emotions.

Who Is Likely to Inflict Gaslighting Abuse?

Certain personality types tend to be more manipulative than others. People struggling with borderline personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, and sociopaths are likelier to gaslight those around them.

Gaslighting in Romantic Relationships

Abusive relationships are often characterized by gaslighting behavior. Romantic relationships affected by gaslighting may:

  • Lack communication
  • Be one-sided
  • Have a power dynamic in which one person is controlling

Gaslighting is emotional abuse. Finding resources to help break the cycle of abuse can let victims of gaslighting return to a healthy relationship.

Gaslighting in Work Relationships

Manipulative behavior is not limited to romantic relationships. Gaslighting can also occur in workplace relationships. Some signs that you may be a victim of gaslighting at work include:

  • Your boss denies your accomplishments.
  • You are constantly questioning your performance.
  • You feel like you are always walking on eggshells.
  • Your coworkers exclude you from important projects.

If you are experiencing any of these signs, reaching out to a trusted friend or family member for support is essential.

Breaking the Gaslighting Cycle

Here are some steps you can take to stop the gaslighting:

  • Identify the gaslighting behavior.
  • Recognize that what you are experiencing is not normal.
  • Reach out to a trusted friend or family member for support.
  • Talk to a therapist.
  • Consult with an HR representative or an attorney if gaslighting occurs at work.

If you are in an abusive relationship, contact a domestic violence hotline for help. Ending a relationship with someone gaslighting you can be difficult, even seemingly impossible. It is important to remember that you can recognize what is going on around you, and you don’t have to rely on their word.

Heal from the Effects of Gaslighting at Northpoint Recovery in Idaho

At Northpoint Recovery, we specialize in mental health therapy programs to help those recovering from abusive relationships. Contact us today at 888.296.8976 to learn how we can help you reclaim your life after escaping gaslighting abuse.