If you feel you’re being gaslighted, there are ten indications to watch out for.
1. You question your emotions and reality.
Due to the various techniques employed by the abuser, you may first believe that you are not being mistreated. You may instead attempt to persuade yourself that the therapy you are undergoing “isn’t that horrible” or that you are “just overly sensitive.” To defend your relationship, you will likely use the same phrases that your abuser has repeatedly fed you. You will most likely seek other explanations for why the relationship is failing instead of admitting that the abuser is creating a hostile environment.
2. Your judgment and perceptions are being challenged.
You likely fear expressing your emotions or speaking up. You could also fear expressing your emotions. Because the abuser continually punishes you for expressing your emotions or challenging him, you are inclined to remain mute and refrain from speaking out. If you express your own opinions or feelings, you are typically made to feel worse than if you had simply remained silent.
3. You are very perplexed.
You may feel bewildered when your abuser alternates between becoming Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (an alias for a split personality). You may question whether your partner is a genuine article. Does your partner’s “good” persona make you question the existence of their “evil” self? Or do you minimize the impact of the “evil” character to keep the peace? For instance, your abuser may have told you that you are “confused,” “do not think clearly,” or “always a bit confused.”
4. Feeling weak and vulnerable, alone and powerless, is an awful sensation.
Your abuser may convince you that everyone else believes you’re acting irrationally or that you’re “very unstable,” but you have no one to confide in. You’ve been cut off from your family and friends, so you feel lonely and alone. This makes you feel helpless and discourages you from investigating or altering the problem. In addition, you may feel as though you must walk on eggshells around an abusive spouse to escape their hostile and dismissive conduct. Your abuser may exhibit a heavy sigh of irritation, a disgusted expression, eye-rolling, or an explosion of anger when exhibiting this behavior. It might also be pure wrath; your abuser loses control and terrifies you, causing you to feel even more terrified and frightened.
5. Are the abuser’s claims starting to ring true?
Frequently, the person gaslighting you will conclude with phrases that make you feel inadequate, inferior, and inept. When being gaslighted, you may also have a sense of mental decline. After such frequent attacks, you may say to yourself the same horrible things about yourself that you never thought yourself to be before. You begin to believe your abuser’s assertions over time, despite never having felt this way before.
6. You are always frustrated with yourself.
Your mental health will suffer as a result of the abuser’s gaslighting. Moreover, as the abuser continues to inflict mental trauma on you, your underlying feelings of depression and inferiority will intensify. You may think that you need to be more powerful and authoritative, but whenever you consider doing so, you prefer to keep mute to avoid angering or irritating your spouse. This may result in emotions of helplessness, hopelessness, and failure, as well as frustration with oneself.
7. You have the feeling that something awful is about to occur.
After a prolonged period of abuse, you may begin to feel great stress (a sensation that things will never change) and helplessness (a feeling that you cannot make things better for yourself). When you are with an abusive spouse, you may feel as though something dreadful will occur, even though you cannot pinpoint any specific threatening conduct. Abusers are typically subtly and methodically abusive over time, so there are occasions when you should feel frightened, but unbiased observers would not anticipate this. If you feel intimidated, it is because your abuser has, in some manner, threatened you. The attacks are well-planned and meant to surprise you.
8. You believe you may be overly sensitive.
Frequently, the gaslighter may attempt to justify his or her unpleasant behavior by stating, “I was only kidding; you need stronger skin.” By asserting that you are responsible for your sensitivity, the abuser establishes a justification to continue his or her behaviors. By condemning you for being overly sensitive, the abuser renders you incompetent and unable to make judgments. It is terrible that people’s proper sensitivity levels are lessened or ignored by their abusers, as this gift should warn that the abuser is once again assaulting them.
It is time to quit making so many apologies.
9. It is time to quit making so many apologies.
Do you frequently apologize for your actions? Do you also apologize for matters in which you had no part? Do you apologize for incidents that had nothing to do with you because it is easier than explaining why you were not at fault? Do you feel accountable for the problems of your abuser? Your responses may also indicate that you are being gaslighted. While we are aware of the situations in which we should apologize for our own poor or incorrect behavior, it is not necessary to apologize for numerous times every day. No one is so “evil” that they should feel compelled to apologize continuously.
10. You have difficulty making decisions.
Your self-respect ultimately robs you of self-confidence, self-esteem, and the capacity to make easy decisions, so diminishing your self-respect. You rely on others, particularly your abuser, to make decisions for you. If no one acknowledges your views, feelings, or activities, you will eventually feel unsafe and uncomfortable talking as you once did. To escape punishment for making what your abuser regards as “poor judgments,” you deliberately refrain from making any.
As the victim, the only way out of this situation is to avoid the abuser. You must put some distance between yourself, create boundaries, and seek assistance from an uninvolved relative, friend, or mental health expert. Contrary to how the state organizes the lottery, the only way to win is not to participate. My goal is to prevent victims from engaging in the abuser’s game.
You must act immediately if you believe you are a victim of gaslighting. A mental health expert or psychologist can assist you in recognizing the warning signs of gaslighting in your own life or the lives of others. If you do not get assistance for Gaslighting and do not adjust your thinking, your self-esteem and mental health will continue to decline. Therapy can help you change your thinking and give you the vital feedback your abusive partner has likely denied you.