How to spot a gaslighter and what to do about it

Gaslighting has become a household word in recent years, and according to Psychotherapists, we’re using it all wrong!

Yup, unfortunately gaslighting is one of the most commonly misused words as of lately. The real problem is we are devaluing this word by misusing it. Gaslighting someone is actually abuse, and throwing it around incorrectly and too often is harmful to those who are true victims.

So, what is the real meaning of gaslighting? It’s the act of undermining another person’s reality by denying facts, the environment around them, or their feelings. Gaslighting is a manipulative tactic used by some individuals that can leave us feeling confused, doubting our own reality, and questioning our sanity. 

“Gaslighting is mind control to make victims doubt their reality”

Gaslighters are masters at distorting reality, making it challenging to identify their deceptive tactics. It is crucial to recognize the signs of true gaslighting so you can identify it.

Signs of gaslighting

  • Undermining confidence: They systematically erode your self-esteem and confidence, making you doubt your abilities and worth
  • Denial: Gaslighters consistently deny their actions or minimize their impact, making you question your perception of reality
  • Blame-shifting: They deflect responsibility onto you, making you feel guilty for their behaviour and actions
  • Emotional manipulation: Gaslighters exploit your emotions, often using guilt, fear, or shame to gain control over you

How to take your power back

Here are ways to reclaim your power from a gaslighter that will help break free from their toxic grip

  • Trust your gut: Listen to your gut instincts. If something feels off or doesn't align with your values, acknowledge it and validate your own experiences
  • Find support: Reach out to trusted friends, family, or professionals who can provide a safe space for validation and guidance
  • Take notes: Keep a record of instances where you feel manipulated or gaslit. Having tangible evidence can help you gain clarity and maintain your perspective
  • Set healthy boundaries: Establish firm boundaries to protect yourself from further manipulation. Communicate your limits assertively and stand your ground
  • Create distance: If at all possible, distance yourself from the gaslighter. Surround yourself with positive influences and environments that uplift and support you
  • Practice self-care: Prioritize activities that nurture your emotional and mental well-being. Engage in practices like therapy, meditation, or hobbies that promote self-discovery and healing

The takeaway

Recognizing a gaslighter is the first step towards reclaiming your power and finding your truth. By knowing these signs and taking proactive measures, you can break free from the toxic cycle and rebuild your confidence. Remember, you are not alone in this journey. Trust your gut, find your support group, and embrace the journey of empowerment. You deserve to live a life free from manipulation and gaslighting, where your authenticity and truth shine bright, so it can be appreciated, not manipulated.

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