Gaslighting has been used for centuries as a way to control and manipulate others. In recent decades, it has become more widely recognized as an abusive behaviour with devastating consequences for victims. Unfortunately, gaslighting is still prevalent in our society today, both in personal relationships and in larger social contexts such as workplaces or educational institutions.
The most common signs of gaslighting include: feeling confused or disoriented; questioning your own memories or reality; feeling belittled or ashamed; being isolated from family and friends; feeling like you are “crazy”; feeling constantly scared or anxious; feeling drained after interacting with the perpetrator; believing everything they say without question; difficulty making decisions without consulting them first; finding yourself apologising all the time even when you don’t know what you have done wrong; finding yourself constantly second-guessing yourself; and finding yourself becoming increasingly dependent on them for approval and validation.
It is important to remember that gaslighting is never your fault – it is always the perpetrator who is responsible for their actions. If you think you may be experiencing gaslighting in your life, it’s important to reach out for support from trusted friends, family members, healthcare professionals or support services such as helplines or counselling services so that you can talk through your experiences safely and get help dealing with the emotional damage caused by this type of abuse.
The effects of gaslighting are incredibly damaging both mentally and emotionally – victims often struggle with feelings of confusion, guilt and shame which can lead to depression and anxiety if left untreated. It’s essential that victims recognize what they are going through so that they can seek help before it gets too severe.