My partner accused me of gaslighting (3 tips)
If your partner has accused you of gaslighting, this can lead to feelings of betrayal and chaos. It is natural to feel this especially if you believe that you’re the victim here and not your partner. However it can also lead to disbelief, you might want to defend yourself.
In this article we will be understanding what exactly is gaslighting, how to find out if you have indeed done this with your partner. And how to rectify this situation.
Here are the topics that we will be discussing:
- What is gaslighting?
- Why does it happen?
- How do you know if you’ve done this?
- How can you rectify the situation?
What is gaslighting?
Gaslighting is when the victim is blamed for a particular unpleasant situation but the opposite person. It especially happens in relationships, where the person who is at fault might turn it over and make it look like they are the victim themselves.
Gaslighting can be quite toxic, especially in long-term relationships, it can also be a sign of manipulation. Most of the time partners do these things in order to avoid accepting their own faults and mistakes.
These are usually people who are unwilling to put in the effort needed for the relationship. They also are trying to shy away from the responsibility of accepting their own faults and working towards a stronger relationship.
When someone gaslights in order to appear like the victim and gain sympathy, this shows that they are manipulative. And chances are that they not only know their own mistakes but have no intentions to change them.
Other than all of this mentioned above there is a chance that people who do gaslight aren’t aware of this. They might not know that there’s something called gaslighting that exists.
They might just be thinking that they’re defending themselves, or standing up for themselves. This is when they need to be taught about gaslighting and what it means.
Why does it happen?
So why and how do people end up gaslighting? Here are a few reasons :
- They’ve come from an abusive relationships
- They think they’re defending themselves
- They like sympathy
- They always play the victim card
- They are narcissistic
They’ve come from an abusive relationship
An individual could learn maladaptive patterns from their past emotionally abusive relationships.
If your partner has accused you of gaslighting, before jumping to the conclusion that you aren’t doing so, try to look back. Introspect for a while, even days if you’d like.
This is a pretty heavy tag to throw out like that, so hopefully your partner has their reasons and has thought about this. In such a case after you take the time to understand if you have done this.
You can also ask your partner to help you understand better. Make sure that you’re at a place where you can hear what your partner says. It’s possible that you’re still in attack mode after the bombshells your partner dropped.
So take out the time to clear your mind, it could be a mistake, it could be something you’ve never noticed before, whatever it is, speak to your partner.
They think they’re defending themselves
Those who gaslight sometimes believe all they’re doing in defending themselves.
For example it’s a possibility that your defence mechanism is to project when you’re being blamed for something. You might even know that there’s every possibility that you have made a mistake, but when you’re pushed into a corner, you rather project than accept.
It’s something you might be doing to protect yourself and your ego. This is when you turn towards gaslighting.
They like sympathy
Playing the victim card leads to a gain of sympathy. This usually is what also prompts children to react the way they do when they get an injury or are sick and so on.
Ask yourself if , when an argument is happening, and you know you’re wrong, do you try to turn it around and gain sympathy for yourself?
Most of the time gaslighting happens in arguments. It can also happen in conversations where your partner’s feelings are being ignored or invalidated by you.
Notice if this is a common pattern, even in light humor you might be pushing your partners views of emotions out of the picture by choosing to speak of your own.
Always playing the victim card
You might be used to being the victim. Especially if you come from an environment or a relationship that has been abusive and traumatic, you might still be living in that state of mind.
Where you are the victim. It’s a vicious cycle of self-pity that leads to you believing that you are helpless. This might be projected such that you show yourself to be the victim in all situations. Even when it isn’t so.
This is how you’ve probably played the victim card in your relationship, leading your partner to believe that you’re gaslighting them.
A narcissistic personality is one that believes they are better than all others around them. In which case they always would like to believe this about themselves as well.
To say someone has a narcissistic personality , you would need a professional therapist’s understanding. However we can have traits of narcissism in us.
This means that we could try to portray ourselves as perfect individuals. We have done everything right and in that way, there is not a chance we could have done something wrong. If someone does say so, then we tend to get defensive about our ego.
How do you know if you’ve done this?
You would definitely have to take some time out of the relationship, to figure this out. You might just need a few quiet days to understand what it means to gaslight someone, what are the ways in which this happens, and then understand if you have done the same.
The best thing to do first and foremost is to speak to your partner. Make sure you know as much as you can from them . Let them be open about how they feel, when exactly they felt as though you gaslit them.
Also this would be the right time to understand if you have actually done this, or you’re the victim here and they are gaslighting you. But naturally all of this takes patience and introspection.
It is not something that anyone can realise and understand in a day, so be patient with yourself and your relationship. If and when you have doubts , clarify them with your partner. This helps in better understanding of the situation.
One thing you shouldn’t do is ask questions like it’s an interrogation, or argue with questions. When someone does this, we feel like we’re getting pushed into a corner. So try to avoid this form of communication.
How can you rectify the situation? .
Once you’ve understood if you have been gaslighting your partner or not, it takes simple steps to rectify the situation. In case your behaviour stems from a past relationship or experience, then therapy is advisable.
If not, then just speaking about this is the best thing. You’d have to admit to your partner that you know you’ve done this and you are apologetic for it.
In order to prevent this from happening in the future, understand the way in which you’ve been gaslighting your partner. There is going to a pattern, or one specific area or subject regarding which you do this. There might be certain phrases you use that are indicative of this, make a note of these things.
If your partner has accused you of gaslighting, then it helps to first understand if you have done this. Give yourself the time to introspect and understand your partner’s emotions. Take a few days if needed, but think about it thoroughly. Think about why this might have happened and how to communicate effectively about it with your partner.
If you have any questions or queries please drop them in the comment section below.
FAQs- my partner accused me of gaslighting
What does it mean when someone accuses you of gaslighting?
It means that you have either hurt their feelings or they are trying to gaslight you in return. Gaslighting is similar to manipulation and it occurs in an abusive relationship.
How do you respond to false relationship accusations?
You respond to false relationship accusations by trying to reassure your partner about their concerns.
How do you outsmart a gaslighter ?
You outsmart a gaslighter by disengaging in the conversation itself. It is much better to just walk away from them.
Is being accused of gaslighting a fork of gaslighting?
Yes it can be a form of gaslighting if you’ve felt this way before and you’ve also addressed this with your partner. In which case it is an act of projection.
What does it mean when someone constantly accuses you of cheating?
If someone constantly accuses you of cheating then it’s time to leave the relationship as that is toxic and completely unhealthy, it’s a code red. .