Click here to schedule online counseling at Thriveworks.
Hi, my name is Brandy Enneking and I’m a Licensed Clinician with Thriveworks in Tucson, Arizona. I’m here to talk to you today about what gaslighting in relationships looks like.
First you might be even asking yourself what is gaslighting? So I’m going to read you a definition from the Oxford dictionary. It says that gaslighting as a verb means to manipulate someone by psychological means into questioning their own sanity. So let’s start there.
Someone trying to manipulate you to question yourself, right? Question your own sanity. This really looks like emotional abuse. It’s someone who is lying to you, blatantly lying to you. Denying that they said things that they have said. Making you feel like you don’t trust yourself, trust your gut. It’s really manipulating you into believing that you are not right about anything. Telling you things like, you’re crazy. You’re wrong. Making other people in your life believe that you’re crazy and wrong.
It’s really that cycle of power and control where they’re doing everything they can to kind of break you down, make you feel weak, make you feel less than, so that you really are questioning yourself and you start to believe the negative thoughts that you might have about yourself, that this person who is gaslighting you, is doing to you ultimately.
Somebody who gaslights you might also shower you with gifts or compliments to kind of reel you back in, you know, reel you back in so that you question it. Okay, well they’re really nice to me. They really care about me. Maybe they really are the only one that’s going to love me. Maybe this is the best that I can do. “He’s not so bad.” “She’s not so terrible.” Well, that’s part of gaslighting. It’s really making you believe that you are deserving of this way. That you’re being treated, making you not trust anyone in your life because you’re crazy, right?
So really just emotionally terrible thing, for lack of a better word. So that’s what gaslighting in relationships looks like. It is emotional abuse. It is using the things that you care about the most almost like ammunition, you know, taking something like your children and using that against you, taking your pets and using it against you. Using your weaknesses against you. Really just, you know, pounding that that nail in further and further. Um, that’s what gaslighting is.
It’s really manipulating you so that you stay with them or so that you really are questioning your own sanity. Just like the Oxford dictionaries that, you know, that’s what gaslighting in relationships looks like. You guys could be doing it to each other. You could be doing the gaslighting and not even realize that. Most likely, if you’re looking at this video, somebody is gaslighting you and in relationships, that’s what it looks like. It looks like, you know, this kind of manipulative, emotional abuse.