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Gaslighting

Gaslighting
22.03.2020

Have you ever been in situation when you’re not sure in your own senses, perception, memory? Like some intense dreams that leave such a deep emotional trace, that next day you doubt: did it really happen or it was just a dream?.. Or when you are sure that you met your friend in hot July but he says it was -10 and snowy that day… Or when someone runs a pencil over your back but your conscious draws that it was a knife and now you have a bleeding scratch there… Such mind-tricks happen to us everywhere, but there are some people, who uses this mental cracks with purpose, against us. 

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Gaslighters are people who make us question our reality. This is one of the dirtiest and most dangerous of the existing combination of manipulations. The saddest thing is that more often it is used by those we love and those we trust: by our friends and live-partners. That is explainable: only persons who have some value for us can influence our opinion and behavior. The bigger the value, the stronger the influence. 

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Main purpose of  all gaslighters (that they usually don’t even realize, as they not often realize the fact of their manipulative behavior) is to gain more power over you. Thirst for power isn’t something abnormal itself: almost everyone sooner or later has it. The way they are trying to get the power – here’s the catch. Emotional abuse. Pretending to be someone who loves you they cover real intensions under ostentatious care, explaining it as a desire to help you, they have only one real purpose: subordinate you. Try to remember, are there people in your surroundings that make you feel bad about yourself? Maybe a friend who always tries to help you to fix some small imperfections (“Take the bubblegum, you need it”, “Maybe you should try another dress next time, that will hide your skinny ass”, “It would be nice to fly to Italy this weekend, pity you can’t afford it”) Like he or she is frank with you because you are “real friends”, but when you start to analyze this friendship, you’ll find out that all her honesty was about the facts that there’s smth wrong with you, never about how cool, strong or beautiful you are.

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Narcissistic persons (especially the mix of narcissism and sociopathy) gaslights their partners more often. They make you believe that you are not that good as you think and you are so fucking lucky to get them, because nobody else in this Universe could be interested in you. They can align you against your friends or family, by telling them that you told something unpleasant. Or by convincing you that you have some feelings or memories that you really don’t. “You told me you don’t like your uncle because he was rude to you when you were a kid… Did you forget? It’s ok, our psychic protects itself by excluding bad things out of the memory. But you definitely told me that.” Next day they will give you some promises to take care about you: “I think you need a private music teacher, I’ll pay for it.” Or “Let’s buy you some new clothes.” Like they really care. So even if you don’t want to believe, step by step you will, because the doubt will poison your mind: “Such a nice person can’t be wrong, he wishes me all the best.” They are bluff masters. 

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I can write hundreds of pages about gaslighters manipulative tricks, but all of them have the same idea – to make the victims loose the sense of reality. Self-esteem, sense of normality, self-aware, sense of stability, main values, trust – this are the main targets. If you noticed some unwanted changes in this features of yourself after communication with a person – this is the signal. Keep your attention on what this person says and how he really acts, because the main thing that discovers gaslighters is that their deeds hardly match their words. “I’m the best man for you.” “I’m the only one who’s honest with you.” “Nobody will love you as I do.” “They all just use you, I’m your only real friend.”  Sounds similar? Reason to beware.

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How to behave yourself if communication with gaslighter is inevitable? How not to be trapped? The correct way of behavior with gaslighters depends on situation. But the first step to solve any problem is to realize and admit that there’s a problem. I noticed one common thing in those who were gaslighted: they characterized themselves as lost, falling into pieces persons. It was difficult for them to understand their own desires or to make own decision.  The most often answer on the questions  “Would you like this? What do you want to do now? Should we watch this movie or that?” was “I don’t know…” If you feel something similar, start to analyze your entourage: is there anyone who possibly suppresses you emotionally?  

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If this person is your friend or lover, first of all you should ask yourself: why do I choose such relationships? What does this pain give me? Most often the answer is in your past: your mother was a narcissistic person and you are looking for the same emotions you experienced in childhood, for example. Then the correct way will be to stop this relationship. The sooner the better. If not immediately, then step by step.

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If the gazlighter is your boss, teacher, parent or someone else you have to deal with, then observe his behavior, notice his tricks. Provocations are only valid if you react to them. Become a psychiatrist, explore this person (of course silently, he shouldn’t even guess), try to find out why he behave this way, follow his way from childhood until today, make conclusions,  diagnose him, but abstract yourself. Then you will see all weaknesses of your gazlighter and disarm him. He will not be able to influence you anymore.

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I had two persons (at least those I’m aware about :D ) in my life who used this tricks on me. Both of them believed they wish me the best. Unfortunately when gazliter wishes you the best, they don't ask you what's the best for you. I will share the stories in next blog, it was quite exciting experience.

Meanwhile share your stories and thoughts about the topic in comments. People need it. I need it.

Hug and kisses!

MG♥

  

 

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1
Herr007
They drain you for energy, and don't let you recover to think for your self, as they always want your attention to whatever. Problem is...they really don't want you to be too good at least, for sure not any better than they are, that is the most important, and even if you think you are best friends, you are only on the condition that he/she is better than you.

What is really scary is how much time and energy they put into this game, and scheming behind your back, to make sure you never ever will be able to be better than them.

You have to break up with such person, no matter what. Several years after I broke with my "best friend" I found out how bad it really was. It was unbelivable bad...mindblowing actually, and I realised this was the meanest, sickest and perhaps most dangerous person I have known in my entire life...
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Guest
Interesting topic. With all the fake news and propaganda on internet and in social medias, I guess gaslighting might be pretty common today. But it's probably on a personal level it feels most painful. I find it myself hard to know how much I have been gaslighted. When it's well done, it can be difficult to find proof that it really happened. I might have to choose what reality I want to believe.

Some years ago I confronted a girlfriend of lies and manipulation. When she then told her version of the confrontation to other people, I lost some of my network. I don't know what she told, but part of people around me started to believe that I was some kind of manipulative badass. It made me question myself if maybe they were right, and that I should correct my behaviour. And even if they were wrong, I didn't want it to happen again. Ever since, when I meet people that I feel manipulate me, I try to avoid confrontation and rather just stop seeing them, if I am able to do that.

This lesson was not a very painful experience because the girlfriend didn't mean a lot to me, but I lost some contacts that were important to me back then, and it made me question what was the reality about myself. Eventually I would prefer to say I was gaslighted in this case, but I am not absolutely sure I was not a gaslighter either. Or maybe both. Or maybe there was no gaslighting at all :D

Looking forward to hear about your cases.
Hug you MG♥️
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Guest
Hi Monica! Hope you are doing well.
Just wanted to say I really enjoyed reading your last blog post about gaslighters. I’ve experienced similar things that you wrote about recently, with someone who used to be an advertiser on this website.

I met her when I was in a vulnerable situation, and didn’t have many close friends. We seemed to match pretty well, and met very regularly for a about two years.
She was always very nice to me, gave me a lot of advice, compliments and so on. We talked a lot on messages between sessions, and I thought we were good friends.

Anyways, she needed money for private reasons, and I offers to borrow it to her. A short time after that she suddenly quit her escort job in Oslo, moved back to her home country and blocked me on all social media where we used to communicate. I asked her why, and I’m the “bad guy” for not understanding she just needs some “privacy”.

It’s a long and complicated story, and I can’t really explain it well here. But I just wanted to say that what you write is important for many of us to hear. We’ve never met, but you seem like an intelligent person, with a lot of common sense. I wish you all well in these difficult times!
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Advisor
Hi M,

The gaslighters are very difficult to spot at an early stage. They are usually charming people with social skills, showing empathy and seemingly caring for others.

Their victims are insecure individuals, often searching a rescuer (financial or sentimental) and their natural defences against abusers are down. They happily let the gaslighter into their lives because they are craving for material comfort or emotional stability. They lack self-esteem and think they are not enough on their own, they need someone else to help them out of their misery.

The easiest way out of this would be to refrain getting involved with all the charming people whom you are attracted to. You would then avoid most gaslighters. But in doing that you would also close the door to love, friendship and many forms of happiness. What a shitty life, much worse than being gaslighted...

The other way is to take back the control of your life. You are as good as you convince yourself you are. Dream big, ambition being happy on your own. Accept loneliness as a moment to get to know yourself and enjoy your own company. It's ok. Turn it into a deliberate choice and embrace it. And then, when you are ready and self-loving, go and connect with people on your own terms, not because you need them.

Your life will be gaslighter-free and you will be able to tackle all the other shit life will throw your way. And there will be plenty of work...

On this happy note I wish you a great 2nd week of confinement in Cannes. Keep us entertained, many kisses.

S
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Pizza guy
Hi Monica.

This topic is very relevant for me at the moment. My best friend had recently separated from someone who matches this description. They have a kid together, so naturally they stay in touch. He seems to be the only party compromising though. He has honestly admitted to wanting her back, despite knowing that she has treated him badly.

do you have any advice on how to help him as a friend. I have tried being there to listen and at times offered some tough love in return. I am worried he will take her back if she decides she wants that. She is struggling economically without him. So she might want to get back together with him for that reason alone. Any advice is appreciated.


Kind regards a big fan.  
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Monica
Gentlemen, thank you so much for your stories! I find this topic really interesting as well, because it amaze me, how some persons voluntary choose such relationships even when they realize the situation is bad.

Pizza guy, the danger of the situation that if you interfere, you can loose a friend. It's the same if I see, for example, that your friend's husband having an affair: should I tell her or I shouldn't? Maybe she's happy while she doesn't know anything and I will break her happiness with my ugly truth :|  
So I would recommend you not to show straight to your friend that you don't like his girlfriend. Act delicate and indirectly explain him how distractive for him his choice. You can tell him stories or show films about others in such situations, it can make him to start reflect about his own life. And the best for him for now. is to socialize as much as possible and meet different woman. Literally surround himself with women's attention: go for dancing or yoga courses, clubs, date in tinder etc. All places where you can find mostly female audience. Push him for that.
You seem to be a very good friend. :{}  
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Mikal
Dear Monica, I really like your blog and your piece about gaslighting.


Have you read the book "Behave" by Robert Sapolsky?  He combines different Sciences, and try to answer why we do what we do, and our decision making process. Very interesting book, recommended.

Please stay healthy and safe:-)

Mikal
Oslo Norway
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Monica
Quote
Mikal wrote:

Have you read the book "Behave" by Robert Sapolsky?  He combines different Sciences, and try to answer why we do what we do, and our decision making process. Very interesting book, recommended.
Not yet, but I've just googled the author and the book is definitely in my list now, thank you for the recommendation!
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