Ever felt like you’re going crazy because someone keeps telling you that something you know happened, didn’t?
This is called gaslighting.
It’s a sneaky way people mess with your head, making you question what’s real.
Let’s break it down and look at the 12 signs that suggest someone might be gaslighting you.
1. They Say It Didn’t Happen
Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you’re absolutely certain something happened, but the other person flatly denies it?
Even when you have solid proof, a photo, or a message perhaps, they still insist it never occurred.
This is a classic gaslighting move.
They’re not just denying the event or conversation; they’re trying to make you question your own memory and judgment.
This is the first and often most obvious sign of gaslighting – complete denial of facts, causing you to doubt your own reality.
2. They Love to Mix Things Up
You know that feeling when you’re so confused you don’t know what’s up from down?
That’s what a gaslighter aims for.
They might tell you something one day, and the next day, they say the complete opposite.
Or they’ll make promises they never keep and then deny ever making them.
The goal here is to keep you guessing, keep you confused.
When you’re unsure, it’s easier for them to manipulate and control the situation.
This constant state of confusion is their playground, and it’s a key sign that someone might be gaslighting you.
3. They Change the Subject
Here’s a personal example of this one. My ex-boyfriend, let’s call him Jake, was always good at changing the topic whenever I confronted him about something he did wrong.
Once, he borrowed my car and returned it with a scratch on the side. When I asked him about it, he instantly shifted the blame onto me.
He said it was my fault for not telling him about the narrow parking space near his place.
Before I knew it, we were arguing about how I don’t give him enough information, instead of discussing the scratch on my car.
That’s when I realized that Jake was a master of diversion.
Instead of owning up to his mistakes, he’d twist the narrative to avoid responsibility and put me on the defensive.
Needless to say, that relationship didn’t last long!
4. They Make You Feel Bad About Yourself
Gaslighters have a knack for making you feel worthless. They’ll belittle your achievements and constantly criticize you, hoping to erode your self-confidence.
The interesting fact here is the psychological term for this: it’s called “devaluation.”
According to psychologists, devaluation is a defensive behavior used by those who feel threatened. It allows the gaslighter to feel superior by making their victim feel inferior.
The aim is to make you feel like you’re not good enough without them, further deepening their control over you.
So if someone is always putting you down, be aware – it’s a major sign of gaslighting.
5. They Twist Your Words Around
Imagine having a heart-to-heart conversation with someone, pouring out your feelings, only for them to take your words and twist them into something you never meant.
It’s heart-wrenching, isn’t it?
Gaslighters do this all the time. They’ll misinterpret what you say, deliberately distorting it to fit their narrative and make you seem like the wrong one.
It’s a cruel way of maintaining dominance in the relationship and can leave you feeling misunderstood and alone.
Remember, everyone deserves to have their voice heard and their feelings acknowledged.
If someone consistently twists your words, it’s not just frustrating—it’s gaslighting.
6. They Accuse You of What They Do
I used to have a roommate who was notorious for being messy. She’d leave her dishes in the sink, her clothes all over the place, you name it.
But the crazy part?
She would accuse me of being the messy one. It was mind-boggling! She was projecting her own habits onto me.
And that’s exactly what gaslighters do.
If they’re lying or cheating, they’ll say you’re the one doing it. It’s a way for them to shift blame away from themselves and onto you, all while making you feel defensive and guilty.
So if you find yourself being accused of something you know they’re doing, be warned – it’s a classic gaslighting move.
7. They Try To Keep You From Others
This is one of the ugliest parts of gaslighting – isolation.
Gaslighters will try to cut you off from your support network: friends, family, anyone who can offer you a reality check.
You know why?
Because they want to be the only voice in your ear, the only perspective you see.
It’s a calculated move, designed to make you dependent on them for information and emotional support.
It’s not about caring for you, it’s about controlling you.
If they’re constantly bad-mouthing your loved ones or finding reasons for you not to see them, that’s a big red flag.
Always remember, anyone who truly cares for you would encourage your connections with others, not try to sever them.
8. They Don’t Care About Your Feelings
When you express your feelings or concerns to a gaslighter, they may dismiss them as trivial.
They might say you’re “overreacting” or being “too sensitive.”
This behavior is actually a form of emotional abuse termed “invalidation.”
It’s a cruel way to belittle your emotions and make you question your own feelings.
So if someone regularly dismisses or trivializes your feelings, it’s not just insensitive—it’s a sign of gaslighting.
9. They Make You Feel Guilty For No Reason
I remember dealing with this one quite vividly. I had a coworker who had a knack for twisting situations around to make it seem like everything was my fault.
Even if it had nothing to do with me, she’d find a way to blame me.
I would often find myself feeling guilty and apologizing for things I didn’t do. It was a constant cycle of unwarranted guilt and confusion.
That’s when I realized what she was doing – she was gaslighting me.
She manipulated situations to make me feel guilty, all to maintain control.
So if you find yourself apologizing often or feeling guilty for no clear reason, be careful, you might be dealing with a gaslighter.
10. They Tell You Everyone Thinks You’re Crazy
This is a brutal one. A gaslighter might tell you that everyone – your friends, your family, your colleagues – thinks you’re losing it.
They do this to make you feel like you’re against the world and push you further into isolation.
It’s a low blow, meant to make you feel insecure and alone. It’s also a lie. Trust me, if everyone thought you were crazy, they’d tell you themselves.
11. They Say You’re Always Wrong
No matter what the situation is, according to the gaslighter, you’re always in the wrong.
You could be the most logical, reasonable person in the room, but they’ll find a way to twist the story so it’s your fault.
It’s a harsh way to keep you under their thumb and constantly second-guessing yourself.
12. They Never Say Sorry
A gaslighter rarely apologizes because in their mind, they’re never wrong.
If they do apologize, it often comes with a ‘but’ that shifts the blame back onto you. It’s an insidious tactic designed to avoid responsibility and maintain their control.
Recognizing these signs is crucial for protecting yourself from gaslighting.
Remember, it’s not about blaming yourself; it’s about understanding their tactics so that you can regain control over your life.
It may be tough, but always remember – you have the power to break free from their manipulation.
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