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What Is Gaslighting, And How To Read The Signs

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The term seems like there are sparks flying, there’s embers of the first passion and all that. Except, gaslighting has nothing to do with anything beautiful.

When two people are in a relationship, there is a certain amount of mutual understanding, and trust. An implicit understanding that they’re looking out for you. And that’s true for a relationship, at work, or even with family members. But equations change, and that’s okay. If it’s still positive and helping you grow.

It is when your partner, colleague or parent starts making you believe that you have a problem, or you’re crazy to think in a certain manner, even though you’re perfectly alright… they’re gaslighting you. The term has been taken from the movie Gaslight in which the husband makes his wife believe that she’s crazy, and sends her to asylum.

Gaslighting is emotional abuse. It systematically destroys your self esteem, scars your confidence and leaves your incapable for functioning around people. It could be your boyfriend who tells you that you have a problem. That you need to go see a therapist. Or it can be a colleague who questions your work in front of others. It could even be your parents who think you’re good for nothing, and make you believe that.

Gaslighters steer away from meaningful, fruitful conversations. They tend to lie a lot. They shred your confidence slowly so you are always second guessing yourself.  They make you think that you owe them more than they deserve. You’re never given due credit for your hard work, and so much more.

If you’re the victim of gaslighting, try talking to someone you can trust. Break all ties from your toxic emotional abuser, and know that you’re more than their definition of you. Don’t underestimate yourself. It may take time, but work at rebuilding yourself. Be patient with yourself, your confidence has been bruised and battered. Reach out to people who can help. Love yourself ,so there is no space for anyone to gaslight.


Hauterfly's Lifestyle writer and resident Potterhead. In love with boxes, diaries, food, and conversations. Always in a state of fernweh. (Don't know what that means? Search the site for more!)

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