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What are Gaslighters?

Gaslighting is a term to describe people who try to manipulate others by psychological methods. Essentially they use this to make the other person question their own reality, their own sanity and their own way of looking at things, especially themselves.

In a relationship, gaslighting is used to control the other person and a common tactic by an abuser to gain power and control over the other person.

This really touches base with what I have been saying all along, just because someone says something, just because someone believes something, just because someone yells louder, does not make them valid, does not make their reality the truth.

Gaslighting is a common tactic used by abusers, narcissists, and cult leaders. It is a way of making a person reliant on them and their reality while wiping out the victim’s own reality. It can be something that is done over a long period of time, subtly and the victim does not realize they are being brainwashed, which is essentially what gaslighting is.

We have so many trauma survivors who have had to deal with this and who still deal with it. When those voices come into your head, telling you that you are worthless, that you are at fault, that you are lying, and that you are not valid, that is the time to start fighting back. The first step my friends is to recognize it. Call it out. Then you can work on healing and work on taking back your control.

There are so many signs of the gaslighter, and it is important to remember that they are abusers and they are manipulative and that you have to remove yourself from the relationship or situation because these people will not change; I should clarify this with ‘most likely they will not change’.

Here are a few signs to watch out for. Remember that it is so important to recognize abusive behavior so that you can fight back and protect yourself.

Acceptance, Education, Accommodation, Healing.

Remember this. Hold it close to your heart and you can heal. We can heal and we can fight back and we can take away any power they had over us.

Gaslighters will tell lies, straight to your face with no visible indication they are lying. You know it is a lie, they know it is a lie, and according to the research I have done, they do this to keep you unsteady. How will you know when they are telling the truth? How do you know when to call them out?

Gaslighters will deny they ever said something, even though you know and may even have proof that they did. They will deny it and they will make you question your reality because they are good at what they do. This is how they start to get you to believe their reality and question your own.

Gaslighting is done over time, they wear you down and down until you do not realize that you have been brainwashed and you start to internalize everything they say, you believe them and you question yourself.

This is one that I really understand because of my own experiences, but gaslighters’ actions do not match what they say. Watch their actions, and what they say, it is meaningless, it is rhetoric and it is lies. How they act is what you need to look out for. People’s actions speak so much louder than words my friends. I learned this at an early age.

They will break you down and then throw you a bone. Gaslighters are great at manipulation and they will do everything they can to make sure you believe that you have no value while occasionally showing some “kindness” so that you believe they may not be all that bad and perhaps they are right after all, because why would they say something nice? Why would they be kind? According to the research, this is a tactic used to keep the victim off-kilter and question your reality and when you look at what you are praised for, typically it is something that served the gaslighter.

They project their weaknesses onto you. If they are an addict or an abuser or a cheater, they will consistently accuse you of their actions, their addictions and their infidelity in order to distract from their own nefarious deeds. Again, this makes you question your own thoughts and reality.

Gaslighters will not only work on manipulating you, they will manipulate those around you. They will build alliances with those who they know would believe them and stand by them and then use that to further manipulate you and your reality. Their goal is to isolate you.

Not only will gaslighters lie about what others have said in an effort to isolate you and make your reality and support system smaller, but they will tell others that you are crazy and they will tell others that you are a liar.
Look, abusers come in all forms and this is simply one more and you can identify them and what they are doing to you if you choose to. That is where I cannot be clear enough. Trauma survivors are so vulnerable to this. They (we) struggle to create our reality and to break free from the abuse and the lies and manipulation, but that makes us so damn vulnerable to it.

If you need help, seek it.

There is no shame in being a trauma survivor. There is no shame in being in or having been in an abusive (emotionally or physically) relationship. Seek help.

Not only to recover, but to recognize the signs, and how to deal with them when/if they happen in the future.

You, not the gaslighter have the power. You just have to take it back and I will be frank my friends, it is not easy. Healing from abuse is not easy and frankly leaving the hell you know for something you don’t can be so fucking frightening. I know. I have done it. I left everything and everyone I knew to find a better life when I was a teenager.

Our lives are difficult. We have been through hell. But damn it, we can heal and we can survive and we can fight back. This is your life. This is your power and no one has the right to abuse or manipulate you.

So, gaslighters are asshats who try to fuck with your reality and control you while at the same time working on diminishing your support system so that you feel alone and that all you have is the gaslighting abuser. You are worth so much more than that damn it.

If you cannot break free alone, then seek help. But break free. Life is just too damn short. To damn precious to spend it being manipulated and abused.

Psychology Today: