What might gaslighting look like in your relationship

Gaslighting in a relationship can be subtle and insidious, making it difficult to recognise, especially if you’re emotionally invested in the relationship. However, there are some signs that may indicate gaslighting behaviour:

  1. Denial and Minimization: The gas lighter may deny or minimize your feelings, experiences, or concerns. They might say things like, “You’re just overreacting” or “That never happened.”
  2. Blame-Shifting: Gas lighters often shift the blame onto you, making you feel responsible for their behaviour or the problems in the relationship. They may say things like, “You’re too sensitive” or “You’re the one causing all the problems.”
  3. Invalidation: Gas lighters may invalidate your feelings or experiences, making you doubt yourself and your perceptions. They might say things like, “You’re crazy” or “You’re imagining things.”
  4. Confusion and Contradiction: Gas lighters may use confusion and contradiction to make you question your memory or sanity. They might give conflicting information or change their story to make you doubt yourself.
  5. Withholding Information: Gas lighters may withhold information or distort the truth to control the narrative and manipulate your perception of reality.
  6. Isolation: Gas lighters may isolate you from friends, family, or other sources of support, making you more dependent on them and easier to manipulate.
  7. Gaslighting Cycles: Gaslighting often occurs in cycles, with periods of manipulation followed by periods of affection or apology. This can make it harder to recognise the abuse and create a sense of confusion and dependency.

If you suspect that you’re experiencing gaslighting in your relationship, it’s important to trust your instincts and seek support. Talk to a trusted friend, family member, or therapist about your concerns. They can provide perspective and help you develop a plan to address the situation, whether that involves setting boundaries, seeking couples therapy, or leaving the relationship altogether. Remember, gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse, and you deserve to be treated with respect and dignity in your relationships.

Brian can be contacted on brian@changes.ie

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