Gaslighting

· mategpt's blog

# What is gaslighting ?

Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation and emotional abuse in which a person or group seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or make them question their own memory, perception, or sanity. The term "gaslighting" originated from the 1938 play "Gas Light" and its subsequent film adaptations, where a husband manipulates his wife into believing she is going insane by dimming the gas lights and denying any changes are occurring.

In a gaslighting scenario, the manipulator employs various tactics to undermine the victim's confidence and sense of reality. These tactics may include:

  1. Denial and lying: The manipulator denies things they've said or done, even when there is evidence to the contrary. They may blatantly lie to create confusion and doubt.

  2. Misdirection: The manipulator diverts the victim's attention away from the truth or the actual issue by changing the subject or bringing up unrelated matters.

  3. Contradiction: The manipulator contradicts themselves or provides inconsistent information, making it difficult for the victim to discern what's true.

  4. Minimization: The manipulator downplays the victim's emotions, experiences, or concerns, making them feel as if their feelings are invalid or unimportant.

  5. Projection: The manipulator accuses the victim of doing the things they are actually doing themselves. It's a way to shift blame and avoid responsibility.

  6. Isolation: The manipulator may try to isolate the victim from friends, family, or other support systems, making them more dependent and easier to control.

  7. Gradual escalation: The gaslighting behavior often starts subtly and escalates over time, leading the victim to question their reality gradually.

Gaslighting can occur in various relationships, including personal, professional, or societal interactions. It can have severe consequences for the victim, leading to anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and an increased sense of helplessness.

If you suspect you or someone you know may be experiencing gaslighting, it's essential to seek support from friends, family, or a mental health professional to help recognize and address the manipulation.