5 Hidden Signs Someone is Gaslighting

Hey Optimist Minds!

Have you heard of the word “gaslighting”? This is a form of psychological manipulation that seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a person. If someone is gaslighting you, you might be questioning your memory, perception, and sanity.

This technique is used when individuals want to minimise their feelings of guilt and control how someone else feels or acts. It’s done very craftily, so it can be hard to notice, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the concept. Nevertheless, once you learn how to recognise it, you can become immune to this manipulative tactic.

If you find that you have been a victim of gaslighting, we recommend speaking to a mental health professional. Gaslighting is a type of abuse that leads to a decrease in self-esteem and self-worth.

Now, let’s talk about five hidden signs someone is gaslighting you.

Number One

You keep being told that you’re overreacting.

Is someone frequently telling you that you’re too sensitive? When you get angry or upset, do they say that you shouldn’t be feeling this way?

One way to gaslight a person is to invalidate their feelings. Our feelings are spontaneous reactions to situations, and they can never lie to us. Even if it’s true that our response was disproportionate, the emotions are coming from a place of truth that needs to be acknowledged.

An abuser will make you question your feelings and deny them. By doing so, they are trying to be in control of how you react. If they did something they shouldn’t have, instead of admitting that, they’d rather tell you that your response is the problem instead of their action.

Number Two

Whenever you bring up a concern, they deflect it with an attack on you.

Have you tried to express your point of view to this person, but in vain? Does it often happen that you wanted to talk about one thing, but before that’s completed, they’ve turned the conversation into something that makes you look bad?

Deflection is another tool used in gaslighting. The abuser has no interest in resolving your concerns as that will involve them taking accountability for their behaviour. They’d much rather throw in accusations, distractions, or even insults to shift the focus to your faults and flaws.

Number Three

You’re so sure that something happened, but they keep telling you it’s not true.

In the 1944 movie, Gaslight, the protagonist’s husband kept making her question her reality. He would hide her belongings and then accuse her of misplacing them. Ultimately he had her and others believing that she was losing her sanity. This film is where the term originated from. 

Your abuser might be trying to convince you that you don’t remember things correctly. They may tell you that you said or did something you never did. Generally, when this happens enough times, you start feeling the need to record all your conversations.

Number Four

They withhold information from you.

Does this person give vague or no answers when you ask them about their whereabouts? Do you suspect that they talk about you to others and then lie about it to you?

If this person is quite secretive about certain things, it’s likely that they don’t want you to have a complete idea about your surroundings and circumstances. When you’re kept from knowing the entire picture, you’ll stay confused and doubtful.

This makes it easier for them to sell you their version of things. In addition to all the other gaslighting techniques, keeping things from you gives them more control over you.

Number Five

They use your fears against you.

Has it happened that this person initially gained your trust and encouraged you to reveal something vulnerable about you? Did they then go right ahead and use that information against you?

If someone is gaslighting you, they will take advantage of your trust and use it to exploit you. They will blackmail you into doing things that you don’t want to, or they will bring up your secrets to make you feel small.

A gaslighter is like a puppetmaster that uses persistent denial, misdirection, contradiction, and lying to control you. Did any of these scenarios seem familiar to you? Let us know in the comments if you’ve been in these positions.

The hidden signs we discussed here will help you identify gaslighting so that you can take back control of your feelings, thoughts, and actions.

A link for further reading and the studies & references used in the making of this video are mentioned in the description below. 

Thanks for visiting optimist minds, take care. Until next time.

References

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