Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse. It is an abuse where a person the abuser will brainwash the person making them think that whatever is happening is their fault. Follow this article to explore the signs of gaslighting in a relationship and how to stop gaslighting in a relationship.
Gaslighting is also a form of abuse – emotional abuse. An abuser will brainwash you into thinking that no matter how the situation plays out, it will always be your fault. The person will make you second guess yourself. Gaslighting is a sign of an unhealthy relationship. Your partner will target you over and over again till you start believing them. It is a form of abuse where an abuser will convince their target to believe whatever story they tell them. Just like every other form of abuse, gaslighting may not happen at the beginning of your relationship but the signs are there all along.
In the start the signs may not be clear but as the time goes, these signs will become more clear. The person will make you feel hopeless and unworthy of any love and affection. They will put every blame on you, they will constantly tell you that no matter what you do, you can never do anything right. This verbal abuse is called gaslighting where a person is brainwashed into thinking that their accomplishments are nothing
Follow this article to explore more about the signs of gaslighting in a relationship and how to stop gaslighting in a relationship.
Table of Contents
What is gaslighting in a relationship?
Gaslighting is an emotional and psychological form of abuse. It is done by brainwashing a person or manipulating a person. It is a kind of manipulation that is meant to control your life. Your partner will constantly tell you that no matter what you do it will never be enough for them and your relationship. They will manipulate you into making decisions about your life according to their convenience.
This is a tactic a person uses when they want to shift power towards them. Through gaslighting, a person will make sure that during the course of their relationship every decision the other person makes will be influenced by them. It will cause the victim to question their sanity and their worth. Gaslighting and manipulation will only make the relationship more toxic. An abuser will use love as a thing to get away with any mistake. They will make you think that they love you but no matter what you do, your efforts are not important enough because they do all the work in the relationship.
Gaslighting is one of the worst forms of toxic relationships. A relationship where your partner likes to exert his/her power over you through manipulation, a relationship where the victim starts to question their sanity, and a relationship where a person is constantly insulted in a humorous way in the name of love. All of these are some of the ways through which an abuser will make you suffer through gaslighting.
What are the signs of gaslighting in a relationship?
Signs of gaslighting are always present in a relationship. It is the trust of the victim in their abuser that gives them the benefit of the doubt. Although there are many signs of gaslighting and manipulation in a relationship but some of the main signs of gaslighting in a relationship are:
- You are reminded about your shortcomings
- You feel insecure
- You start questioning your worth
- You walk on eggshells
- Your partner never admits their mistake
- Your partner will start playing the victim
- You start negative self talking
- You apologize a lot
- Need of approval from your partner
- You make excuses for your partner
- They start wearing you down
- Your partner is all talk
- They have a confusing personality
- Your partner will praise you according to the situation
- They put all blame on you
- Your partner will isolate you
- They will make you question your sanity
- They will label you “Too sensitive”
- You don’t trust yourself
- Your partner acts entirely different in front of audience
You are reminded about your shortcomings:
One of the main signs of gaslighting in a relationship is that your partner will constantly remind you of what you can’t do. They will criticize you and compare you with other people. Your partner will constantly tell you how you can’t do something and you should learn from the other person. They will use your shortcomings against you.
You feel insecure:
You start to feel insecure about the way you look, the way you talk, and even the way you eat. You will feel as if you are not good enough and your partner will not even help you in chasing away these insecurities. In fact, they will make fun about your thoughts making you feel worse.
You start questioning your worth:
Another important sign of gaslighting is that you will start feeling worthless and hopeless. You will feel as if no matter what you, the end result will always be a disaster because of you. You will feel like a failure and a loser. You will start questioning yourself if you are good enough for anything.
You walk on eggshells:
You are way too careful around your partner, you are scared about offending them. You start walking on eggshells whenever they are with you. You are scared that even a slightest mistake will make them angry and you don’t want them to act any differently with you.
Your partner never admits their mistake:
Your partner will manipulate you every single time. They will never admit any of their mistakes and get out of a bad situation blaming everything on you. They will never apologize and admit that they are wrong in a situation. According to them, they can do no wrong.
Your partner will start playing the victim:
After an argument the abuser will start playing the victim. They will manipulate you into thinking that everything is your fault and they are innocent and know nothing about the matter. They will brainwash you in such a way that you will end up apologizing for a mistake that you didn’t even commit.
You start negative self talking:
When your partner constantly reminds you of your shortcomings and compares you with other people then, you will start questioning your worth. This can lead to negative self-talk. You will remind yourself how you failed at a certain thing or how you let your partner down. Feeling of hopelessness will start to develop in you.
You apologize a lot:
Gaslighting is a sign of a toxic and an unhealthy relationship. You will find yourself apologizing a lot even for the mistakes that you didn’t even commit. You are scared of offending them, you start going into a shell and do as you are told. You will apologize even for the slightest mistake.
Need of approval from your partner:
As a sign of an unhealthy relationship, you will constantly seek approval from your partner. You are too scared about offending them, you want everything to be of their choice. If they tell you to move south, you move south. Whenever you do something on your own, you are afraid of how they are going to react and what they will think about you.
You make excuses for your partner:
Your friends and family are constantly warning you about the signs of emotional abuse. They want you to get away from your partner but you keep on making excuses for them. It is because your partner has manipulated your decisions so much, they have brainwashed you into thinking that your friends and family don’t like the two of you together and they will try to break you apart. So, when anyone warns you about these signs you always take it in a completely different way.
They start wearing you down:
A person who is a gaslighter in the relationship will work there gradually. They will know your desires and your dreams and then, they will manipulate you into believing that you will not be able to achieve those dreams. They will gradually wear you down and will make you give up on so many things because of their manipulation.
Your partner is all talk:
Do you often hear from your partner that, “If I was at your place I would have done this or that”. But have you ever seen them doing that thing? If the answer is no then, your partner is all talk and they don’t have the tendency to do anything. All they want to do is bring you down, make you feel bad about yourself, and point out your flaws every chance they get.
They have a confusing personality:
They will tell you to do something and if the outcome is not what you expected then, they will turn back on their words. They won’t agree that they told you to do something if there is a negative outcome. They will constantly make you confused, they will take you to the point where you might start questioning your sanity.
Your partner will praise you according to the situation:
When you are in a relationship with a gaslighter then, you will be scared of everything that you do. You will have this fear of offending them, you will constantly walk on eggshells. Your partner will constantly demotivate you but even if they do praise you it will be according to their convenience. They will like you when you do everything according to them, they will praise you for your work but, all of this praise will only be limited till you do something that might offend them.
They put all blame on you:
No matter what you do, if something is not according to their choice then, your partner will conveniently put all of the blame on you. They will make you feel bad about yourself, they will keep on reminding you about how they had a bad day just because of you or how something did not turn out the way they wanted just because of you.
Your partner will isolate you:
The first step of gaslighting is isolating the victim. They will make you cut off contact with your friends and family. They will do everything in the name of love, they will manipulate you into believing that all of your friends and family members are trying to separate you from them. Believing them, you will cut off contact from your family and friends. After that they will start showing the rest of the signs of gaslighting and emotional abuse.
They will make you question your sanity:
Your partner will drive you to the point where you might start questioning your sanity. They will make you believe that most of the things are happening inside your head and maybe you are imagining them. Most of the time when you confront them about a certain thing they will easily blame it on you saying that all of this never happened and it was all inside your head.
They will label you “too sensitive”:
Whenever you try to express your feelings and tell them how you did not like a certain thing about their behavior, they will laugh it off and tell you that you are too sensitive. They will constantly mock you for your feelings because according to them only they have the power to complain and get angry.
You don’t trust yourself:
The constant mocking and blaming will make you lose your self confidence. You will start to question everything in your life. No matter what you do you will always believe that if the result is bad then it’s entirely your fault. You don’t trust yourself anymore, your partner has made you dependent on them. They have brainwashed you into thinking that you cannot take your own decisions and you have to get their approval.
Your partner acts entirely different in front of audience:
Sometimes you feel as if you don’t know your partner anymore. They act sweet and supportive towards you when there are people present. In front of an audience they will make you feel as if you have been living with someone else. They will do so because they have to maintain a completely different image in front of other people. They can only show their real self in front of you because that’s where they feel powerful.
What are the long term effects of gaslighting in a relationship?
Gaslighting is a form of abuse – emotional abuse. It attacks you mentally and emotionally. Although all the signs are present, still some people fall victim to it. It can affect a person in many ways. Some of the long term effects of gaslighting in a relationship are:
- Low self esteem
- Trust issues
Being subjected to gaslighting can give you anxiety. It can make you feel as if you still need someone’s approval and no matter what you do the outcome will be bad. You don’t trust yourself, you choose to isolate yourself from others, and you are constantly overthinking. You don’t trust yourself and it has made you anxious.
The constant mocking and blaming will make you question your worth and your sanity. This can lead towards depression. You will feel as if you are good for nothing, you cannot do anything right, and you are hopeless and worthless. Depression is one of the long term effects of being in a relationship with a gaslighter.
Low self esteem:
With the feeling of worthlessness and hopelessness comes low self esteem. You will feel that whatever your partner is saying about you is correct. You cannot do anything right and if you are in a social situation you will constantly walk on eggshells because you believe that you will end up doing something that will embarrass your partner.
If you manage to get out of that relationship even then, you will feel traumatized. You will feel worthless and you might have to deal with anxiety and depression. You will be stressed and your insecurities will be on high alert. Even a little mistake can lead to a breakdown.
You will start believing everything your partner tells you. You will start believing them about your insecurities. They will project your shortcomings as your insecurities and you will believe them because that’s what they will make you believe. They will be pleased when you don’t trust yourself because you think you will end up ruining everything.
One of the main long term effects of gaslighting is that you won’t be able to trust anyone else. You will feel that everyone is against you and everyone you meet will betray you. So you start isolating yourself, you get anxious when someone tries to enter your life. You start living in a bubble and that can lead to low self esteem and depression.
How to stop gaslighting in a relationship?
You can fight gaslighting in a rel;ationship and make it stop. Following are some of the ways through which you can stop gaslighting in a relationship.
- Recognize gaslighting
- Stand firm
- Leave the conversation
- Talk to your friends or family
- Seek professional help
One of the most important things for you to do is to be attentive and recognize the signs of gaslighting. It starts gradually, a gaslighter will start by isolating you from your family and friends. You see that happening, you cut them off instead of your friends or family. Never make any decision by listening to their side of the story, keep an open mind and judge things accordingly.
Whenever you have a conflict with your partner and they try to change things according to their convenience then, stand firm on your ground. Don’t let them fool you, tell them your side of the story and listen to theirs. For confirmation, gather any proof you can that will help you more.
Leave the conversation:
When you feel that your partner is not ready to listen to you and is keen on making you believe what they think is right then, you should leave the conversation. Walk out and clear your head, tell them that you believe your side of the story and you respect their opinion but you are standing firm on your ground.
Talk to your friends or family:
Don’t isolate yourself. Talk to your friends and family members. Share your thoughts and feelings with them. Express what you are feeling, sometimes it’s good to get a second opinion. Go outside, spend time with your friends and you will feel your mood lightened. Never give in to your gaslighter and isolate yourself.
Seek professional help:
If you feel like you cannot share some things with your friends or your family members then, seek professional help. Talk to a professional counselor and share your feelings. Don’t close yourself because that’s what your gaslighter wants. So instead of isolating yourself, talk to someone and you will feel much better.
A gaslighter will not start mocking you or blaming you from the start. First they will start by isolating you, they will make sure that you don’t have anywhere else to go. A gaslighter will want you to be completely dependent on them, they will brainwash you to cut off contact with your friends and family. Gaslighting is a form of emotional and mental abuse and just like every form of abuse, the abuser will get pleasure in exerting their power over the victim.
The signs of gaslighting are all present, you just have to be more vigilant, you can also stop gaslighting in your relationship, it’s all about standing your ground. If your partner starts disrespecting you in any way or thinks that it is okay to make fun of your insecurities in the name of love then, tell them you don’t want to be engaged with a person like them. Walk out from that relationship. A gaslighter will think that if you love them so they can do anything they want, prove them wrong. And always remember to love yourself first.