Healthy & Well, Parenting & Relationships

Rise Above ‘Gaslighting’ – the Tormenting Kind of Mental Abuse!


“What are you talking about? Shut up, you don’t know anything!”

“Have you lost your mind?”

“You are going crazy?”

“I’m not raising my voice!” (while actually shouting at you!)

“I never told you this..” or for that matter “You never told me to do this..”

Sounds familiar…? No, it is not déjà vu for you to feel after reading these statements. In case you get to hear these kinds of statements on a regular basis, then maybe you are a victim of Gas Lighting. The phrase got its relevance in late 1930s &40s when a play based on this psychological phenomenon followed by a movie of the same name was made.

How to deal with Gaslighting?
How to deal with Gaslighting?

Gas Lighting is a kind of psychological/mental manipulation that makes one doubt his or her memory, thoughts & events happening in their lives. It compels one to lose confidence in self and take a second guess at any kind of decisions, whether big or small.

For instance, I know a lady who was well educated and came from a happy decent background. She had loving parents and a comfortable life. She must have been a promising independent girl with a positive outlook towards the future and life. Then she got married to a boy far less educated than herself. Slowly things started changing for her as she became homebound and he the bread earner for the family.  In fact, as of now after 45 years of living with the same guy, the same lady can be seen calling out to her husband for the smallest of the work to be done.  I have always wondered about the audacity of that man to ridicule her wife in front of their kids. Reading about Gas Lighting actually made me understand what the lady might have gone through. Sad but true.

This kind of mental manipulation can be done by parents, siblings, spouse and even outside like in the workspace by colleagues or the boss. Most of us, while growing up and further in life, are subjected to gaslighting of some kind or the other but what keeps the sanity intact is the extent to which it has been done. Sadly, there are people who are subjected to extreme kind of gaslighting. This is tormenting especially if it is done by a person whom we love or look up to as an idol. The mental manipulation is also classified as personal abuse or emotional abuse.

List of Contents

Popular Ways for Gaslighting are:

  • They lie.
  • change the details of a particular event that happened in past
  • Try to confuse you
  • Their actions and words don’t match
  • They try to build a tribe against you.
  • According to them, you are the crazy one.
  • They try to project that everyone else is at fault or are unworthy of your trust.
  • These people shower uncalled for love and care while you can feel the emptiness in the relationship.
How to deal with Gaslighting?
How to deal with Gaslighting?

How can you Self-analyze, if You are a victim of Gas Lighting:

The only person one should not give up on is self. However, most people tend to give up and sacrifice ourselves. A balanced ‘self-love’ is and should be the central aspect of one’s existence. So the analysis of what’s going on around oneself is quite important. How people we spend most of our time to behaving with us in their actions and in their words. Right from the immediate family members to friends and colleague, this analysis is a must.

How to deal with Gaslighting?
How to deal with Gaslighting?

Here are some mental situations that go on with a victim of Gaslighting:

  • Feeling less confident than before.
  • Having a constant feeling if something is not correct but cannot track it down.
  • If you feel you are being too sensitive.
  • Doubting your capability of doing even simple things correctly.
  • Feeling the need of apologizing time and again. Please understand it is purely human to falter at one time or the other but if you are constantly blaming yourself for every incorrect thing then you are surely gas lit.
  • Having the guilt about your response in a particular situation.
  • If the person who is gas-lighting you is one of the family members, you tend to talk less about the person in front of others.
  • You feel isolated and do not derive happiness in any activity.

You might like to read this: Reading Between the Lines of Happy & Unhappy Marriage. CLICK Here!

How to Deal with Gaslighting?

A person who does this kind of mental manipulation on another person may be trying to hide insecurity of him. Hence, gas-lighting can happen again and again with the victim.

Here are few tips to cope with gaslighting in a way it doesn’t affect the individual mental setup:

  • Realize: First and foremost step towards coping up with this kind of mental abuse is realizing that you are being manipulated.
  • You have a powerful memory: Remember your memory isn’t as weak as the person is making it look like. We all falter some or the other time and that’s okay.
  • Detach: Additionally, develop a healthy detachment from the person. It is an important step to limit the drastic ill-effects of gaslighting.
  • Illusion V/s Reality: Moreover, it is important to differentiate between the illusion that the other person wants to present and the real world. This can be the first step towards detachment.
  • Be Vigilant: Being watchful about what’s happening around you, especially related to the person whom you think is gaslighting.
  • Record: Maintain a diary and note down all the dealings and exchange of words especially the portions where manipulations could be done. This will help in fact-checking.
  • Be Assertive: Stand for self. Do not be complacent to personal attacks. Resisting might compel the true feelings of the other person to come out.
  • Build your Circle: Furthermore, grow a trusted circle of friends with whom you can share your thoughts.
  • Meditate: It helps in calming down, builds focus and more.

Hopefully, this article was a helpful read. As a rule, do not let anyone play with your mind.


Happy Sustainable Living!

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(27) Comments

  1. I wasnt aware about the concept of gas lighting. Its really good to know, how to deal with it when I see someone going through the pains of gas lighting

  2. This is so depressing that psychological phenomenon like gas lighting is prevailing in our society . This post clear many doubts about this. Informative post

  3. Shreemayee Chattopadhyay says:

    Gas lighting is something very new to me. Firstly I wasn’t able to get what actually you’re going to share. In our society these types of mental abuses are seen in many families. Even, I also did face sometimes. Yes, self love will definitely work.

  4. jhilmildsaha says:

    This is such an insightful post on mental health. I have never heard about Gas lighting. The idea that something kime this can exist also is scary.

  5. Gas lighting is the most common method of manipulation and it’s been since ages and eons. I like the fact that you gave helpful ideas about coping and recovering from it. It’s very easy to find fault in ourselves and fall victim to this kind of mental manipulation.

    1. oh yes, that is so true!

  6. These are some pointers we need to know. Sometimes unconsciously we are under such impression of members. Will keep check on people who are Gaslighting and shall apply the methods you suggested.

    1. Yes knowingly ad unknowingly many of us get gas-lit but that’s ok until it takes the shape of mental abuse which hampers our personality.

  7. Haajra Fareen says:

    Your articles are extremely informative and intriguing. Issues like these need to be highlighted. Thank you for putting it out there.

    1. Thanks.. Glad you found it helpful.

  8. You have very well pointed that many are unknown of the fact that they are victim of Gas lighting. Self analysis is very important and once we know the person who makes a person weak persona needs to be assertive in thoughts and cross question the person.

  9. alpanadeo says:

    If gas lighting starts at home or done by anyone known then we are more likely to ignore it because first thing, we would never expect it to happen to our brain will not tell us that something is not right. But as you said, knowing what gas lighting is and looking for such points is very important to handle it.

  10. Gaslighting is more common than we think and a serious way of hitting on someone’s self-confidence. I wish victims are able to identify and fight it for their own good.

  11. Dr. Surbhi Prapanna says:

    Gas lighting is one of the common way of mental abuse. yes words are powerful and when they get used in wrong way, they hurt a lot. you have shared great tips to deal with this common problem. indeed, a useful post;.

  12. I never knew about what gas lighting. I come to know about it through your post. Mental abuse have seen in many family . These are really great pointers to follow.

  13. For ages, gaslighting has been the most common method of manipulation. Loved the way you provided helpful suggestions for coping with and recovering from it. This is indeed an informative post.

  14. Gaslighting is a fairly common phenomenon. though I got to know of its nomenclature now. There are many instances where a person is overpowered and psychologically pushed against the wall.

  15. thanks for highlighting this issue in your blogpost. I learnt a lot form this post and sharing it with a friend too for whom it might be helpful.

  16. A lot of people go through this. Unknowingly.. I. Hope this post reaches many people and they benefit from the tips.Realising what’s happening to. Them and taking steps is important.Thanks for sharing it

  17. Gaslighting is very unfortunate truth of many households. The most helpless part in most of the cases is unawareness of victim that he/she has been gaslighted every then and now by someone. So yes awareness is very necessary and the pointers you have listed are spot on.

  18. You’ve offered some important tips to deal with gaslighting. There is such little information on this topic and I’m glad you’re writing about this issue in detail. Kudos to you!

  19. The situations you described happen, however I wasn’t aware of the term gas lighting. The article was very informative and I hope it reaches more people and more people get aware about it.

  20. Honestly this post is a stark reminder of how vulnerable we are in front of negativity and manipulation. I know the concept thanks for a title I watched on screen, however, once we become slave of a negative mind, it becomes very tough to overcome.

  21. So I have a doubt. If you are in a relationship where you are being gaslighted, you realise it and still stuck there due to whatever reasons. How to deal with it and be with them

  22. I have seen and read a lot of articles and movies where there is a lot of gas lighting episode happening. It is really sad that why one person needs to dominate another one and take control and charge of one’s life.

  23. This is such an important topic for discussing. I hardly see content on the internet around this. Thank you for writing on this.

  24. Thank you for explaining this gas lighting topic in detail, I have experienced it since my childhood. Self analyzing exercise is also great. One can analyze it easily.

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