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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Gaslighting in a Relationship: Is your partner playing this mind game with you?

Is your partner messing with your mind? Recognize gaslighting’s red flags & take action to protect yourself. Don’t let them dim your light!

Let’s have a real conversation about emotional manipulation in partnerships. Most of us have certainly experienced the odd white lie or “forgetting” something that was convenient, but occasionally, a partner’s actions go well beyond these minor setbacks.

Have you ever had the impression that you should tread carefully around your partner? Do they minimize your emotions so much that you start to doubt your own sanity? If you’re nodding along, you may be a victim of gaslighting, which is a covert emotional abuse technique.

The Warning Signs You Can’t Ignore

A single argument is not what gaslighting is about. It’s a pattern of conduct meant to cause you to question who you are. Observe the following warning signs:

  • The Feelings Eraser: They continuously minimize your feelings, calling them “overreactions” or “too sensitive.” Imagine being enthusiastic about attending a concert, only to have your companion inform you that it’s simply loud noise. Sounds confusing, doesn’t it? It is the game of the gaslighter.
  • The Memory Manipulator: Have you ever felt as though you and your lover are living in a different reality show? They may insist you’re imagining things or deny ever saying anything harsh. Like the time you spotted white and gold when everyone else insisted the outfit was blue and black? Gaslighters distort the truth to suit their story.
  • The Architect of Isolation: They attempt to gently break you off from your loved ones. Perhaps they criticize your loved ones in a passive-aggressive manner or make you feel guilty for wanting to see them. It’s how they manage the people in your life.
  • The Expert Trickster: They are masters at using emotional strategies to achieve their goals. They have several techniques in their toolbox, including playing the victim, guilt trips, and silent treatments. Do you recall the acquaintance who took your best sweater on loan and then abruptly lost all memory of having seen it? Yes, gaslighters are adept at painting you in a negative light.
  • The One Who Steals Sanity: The final objective? Causing you to doubt reality itself. They may be demeaning to you all the time, saying things like “You’re crazy” or “You’re overreacting again,” which erodes your self-esteem. It’s similar to the moment you began to doubt your own reflection when a filter made everyone appear like aliens. The same thing is done to your self-perception by gaslighters.

You Deserve Better: Taking Action

Gaslighting is a serious issue, and it’s not your fault. No one should be treated this way in a relationship. If you are really being gaslighted, here are some steps you can take:

  • Trust Your Gut: Your intuition is usually right. If something feels off, it probably is.
  • Document Everything: Keep a journal or record conversations (if legal in your area) to track their behavior.
  • Talk to Someone You Trust: Open up to a close friend, family member, or therapist for support.
  • Seek Professional Help: A therapist can help you develop coping mechanisms and create a safety plan.

Remember, you are strong, and you deserve a healthy, supportive relationship. Don’t let anyone dim your light. Ditch your partner if they are making you a victim in the relationship or even gaslighting you.

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