5 Things You Didn’t Know are Gaslighting

Have you ever experienced a moment where you doubted your own reality because of someone else’s words or actions? Ever caught yourself second-guessing your own judgment because of someone else’s influence?

We’ve all been there, caught in the web of another person’s manipulations. Today, we’re diving into the deep, murky waters of psychological manipulation and uncovering some sneaky gaslighting tactics that might be hiding in plain sight in your everyday life.

So, what exactly is gaslighting? Well, picture this: You’re feeling pretty confident about your memory or your version of events, but then someone comes along and starts making you doubt yourself. They might twist things around, deny what you know to be true, or straight-up invalidate your feelings. 

With that said, here are some surprising signs of gaslighting you might have missed:

Constant Contradictions

Ever had someone nodding along to your story, only to turn around and say, “That’s not what happened”? Some people might subtly try to gaslight you either to steal the spotlight (“Let me tell you how I remember it”) or change the narrative and make themselves seem more sympathetic. Sometimes, it might not even be intentional, like when they just have a really assertive or argumentative personality. But accidental or not, having someone constantly contradict you is still a subtle form of gaslighting that can leave you doubting your memory and perception. 

Selective Memory

Picture this: You’re going over your plans with a workmate or a classmate about a project, and they suddenly forget agreeing to something you both discussed yesterday. You explain to them what happened, but still, they insist that you’re wrong. Frustrating, right? Gaslighters excel at selective memory, rewriting history to fit their narrative and delete any inconvenient truths (like mistakes they made or commitments they want to get out of). 

Minimizing Your Feelings

Picture this: You’re upset about something, pouring your heart out, and instead of empathy, you get a dismissive, “You’re overreacting.” Ouch. Gaslighters love to downplay your emotions, especially if they’re the reason behind it, making you feel like you’re making a big deal out of nothing. Being told things like “It’s not that serious” or “You’re too sensitive” is already a sneaky form of gaslighting. Remember, your emotions are valid, no matter what anyone else says, so don’t let anyone gaslight you into thinking your feelings aren’t important.

Disregarding Your Perspective

Ever had someone give you the silent treatment or excluding you from the group? Doing things that disregard your perspective, like talking over you or deciding things without your input, is another subtle form of gaslighting. Because the other person is ignoring what you believe or perceive (like doing something even when you told them it’s a bad idea), they’re indirectly making you feel that what you think or say is unimportant or wrong, which makes you doubt yourself and feel that you’re delusional. 

Microagression

Imagine you’re answering in class and someone says, “You’re pretty good at math/science for a girl.” Or maybe you’ll get praised at work, only for another colleague to say “Hey, you’re pretty smart for someone who didn’t go to college.” What if you were walking down the street and a person came up to tell you, “Wow, you’re so brave for wearing that outfit.” These small comments or actions might seem harmless, but they can really mess with your head over time and make you question your abilities or choices. 

Microaggressions (like back-handed compliments and thinly-veiled insults) are like a quiet form of gaslighting because it chips away at your confidence and makes you doubt your own experiences. It’s like they’re subtly telling you that you don’t fit their idea of what’s normal or acceptable without actually telling you. And when you try to call them out on their insensitive behavior, they’ll most likely just shrug it off or say something like “That’s not what I meant.”

So, recognize any of these patterns of behavior in your relationships? Noticed any other warning signs that someone is trying to make you doubt yourself? Share your insights in the comments down below! 

Gaslighting isn’t always as obvious as we think. It can sneak its way into our lives, leaving us feeling confused, insecure, and downright frustrated. And sometimes, even the gaslighters themselves aren’t aware of the harm they’re causing others. But that doesn’t excuse their behavior. Remember, you deserve to feel heard, respected, and validated. Trust yourself, trust your instincts, and never forget your worth. 

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