The Weapon of the Emotional Abuser: Gaslighting

A phrase that has gained popularity in recent years is “Gaslighting.” Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse because it skews the balance of power in a relationship and makes the victim question their reality. There are many different ways that an abuser can gaslight their partner, and the effects can be huge. Often, victims have a hard time overcoming their emotional abuse, and it takes a long time to trust again. The best way to respond to gaslighting is to keep a record of everything so that you can view the events later with clear eyes. Gaslighting can have a huge impact on emotional and mental well-being, so it’s important to address it.

The Weapon of the Emotional Abuser: What is Gaslighting?

What is Gaslighting?

Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse where a person makes the victim question their perception of reality. A victim of gaslighting will feel confused and question their own reality. They may also question their own feelings about events and wonder if they are over-reacting in situations. This can cause significant anxiety and eventually hurt a person’s mental health. The term comes from a 1938 play called Gas Light where a husband keeps dimming the gas-powered lights in a home and disagrees with his wife when she points it out. Gaslighting can make a victim unable to trust their own instincts and feelings. It is a classic weapon of emotional abusers.

Effects of Gaslighting?

The main effect of gaslighting is that the victim begins to mistrust their own feelings. They question their reality, and ultimately this gives the abuser more power. If a victim feels unable to trust their own instincts, they’re more likely to stay in a relationship with their emotional abuser. They’ll also be afraid to reach out to others for help because they wonder if they’re being too sensitive. If a victim doesn’t reach out to friends or family, then it’s less likely that somebody will spot the other red flags in their relationship.

How to Respond to Gaslighting

The first thing to do if you suspect your partner is gaslighting you is to keep a record of things. Start a journal or diary of your day to day conversations and when you feel like your feelings are being dismissed or questioned. Hopefully, you’ll be able to gain some perspective by viewing the conversations later on. Collect evidence that supports the version of events that you remember, even if your partner insists that you are incorrect. You can also speak with a friend or somebody you trust to see if they notice red flags. This is another way to collect evidence that you can refer back to later. It’s important to address gaslighting because it can have such a harmful effect on your mental health.

Gaslighting is a common form of emotional abuse. If your partner is gaslighting you, they may argue with your memory of events, or make you question your feelings. They may even make you feel guilty for questioning their motives. Eventually, all this confusion can deteriorate your self-confidence and hurt your mental health. The situation just helps your abusive partner gain more control over you. If you are a victim of this form of abuse, start keeping a record of events to refer to later. And reach out for help. You can always ask for help at the Domestic Violence Support Hotline.