10 Signs You’re Being Gaslighted in Your Relationship
Do you know what it means to be ‘gaslighted?’
Have you heard the word, ‘gaslight’ lately? Many are realizing their abusive and narcissistic relationships are even more secretly manipulative and gaslight is the term used to explain this. It’s taken from the title of an old movie, where the main character was purposely driven crazy by the actions of others.
Maybe you or someone you know is experiencing this, but how do you know?
Here’s the example of Amy*, a smart, career-driven woman. She’s close to her family, despite your typical issues from time to time that most modern families share.
Her mom often suddenly becomes offended at something Amy said and won’t respond to her messages or calls for a few days until Amy is appropriately sorry. Her sister often accuses her of being too sensitive.
Her husband always tells her she gets upset too easily and that he won’t discuss anything “important” with her after 7 pm so he can get a good night’s sleep without the drama.
Over time, Amy started to feel that she was to blame for all the stress in her relationships. She thought it was her hyper-sensitivity causing issues and refers to herself as a “drama queen”.
So she began to go to therapy, where she openly talked about her need to change herself and become a better person. That’s when her psychologist explained that she’s a victim, not the agitator in these scenarios.
She’s being gaslighted, with those around her use her kindness and sensitive personality against her to act any way they wanted. 🤯
When she resists their ideas, they blame her for the disruption of “balance” in the relationship. But what they think is balanced actually puts their needs above hers every time.
If this sounds familiar, you might be being gaslighted too.
According to Robin Stern, Ph.D., author of the book “The Gaslight Effect: How to Spot and Survive the Hidden Manipulation Others Use to Control Your Life,” signs that you are a victim of gaslighting include:
- No longer feeling like you used to, with a newly negative self esteem
- Being more anxious and less confident than you used to be
- Often wondering if you’re being too sensitive or told that you are
- Feeling like everything you do is wrong or being told this is the case
- Always thinking it’s your fault when things go wrong in other’s lives
- Frequent apologizing
- A sense that something’s wrong, but being unable to identify what it is
- Often questioning whether your response to your partner is appropriate
- Making excuses for your partner’s behavior to others or yourself
- Avoiding sharing information to friends or family members to avoid confrontation about your partner
If these resonate with you, it might be time to get help. You don’t have to live in fear of losing the love of others. You can gain control and a realistic balance of the situation with professional support from trained therapists.
Often the best place to start is with a book like the one mentioned above, then find a gaslighting expert to work with where you can begin to save your relationships, but more importantly… yourself.