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Gaslighting...are you a victim?

View profile for Sophie Crane
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Gaslighting...Are you a Victim?

You may be familiar with the term “Gaslighting” but may not fully understand what this means.

Gaslighting is a subtle, yet dangerous form of control and the victim is usually unaware that they are experiencing it.  In simple terms it involves the abuser convincing someone that they are wrong when they are not or making them feel like their emotions are invalid.

Gaslighting can be a vicious cycle of manipulation, this can entail verbal abuse followed by compliments and praise with this pattern continuously repeating itself.  

Signs to watch out for include:

  • Being told your behaviour is crazy, dramatic or irrational
  • Being told you are exaggerating
  • Being criticised for your tone of voice
  • Being cut off from your friends and family, e.g., your partner may suggest they’re a negative influence on you when they’re not
  • They change the direction of a conversation
  • Questioning your account of events to make you think you’ve made it up

This type of behaviour may leave you feeling depressed, anxious and isolated with no one to turn to.

If you feel that you are a victim of gaslighting it may help to:

  • note down or keep a diary of any abuse that you have experienced,
  • reach out to a friend or family member; or
  • if you feel in danger, call 999.

This can be particularly challenging if you are married to or cohabitating with your partner. You may have children together, a house and bills to pay and feel like there are no options available for you to escape the abuse.

Here at Harrowells, we can advise you on the best course of action for your particular circumstance and allow you to take back control.  

Our articles are intended for general information purposes only and are not a substitute for professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances. We are always very happy to discuss any plans, issues or concerns you may have and to clarify how we might be able to help. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.