Gaslighting is a form of manipulation that stems from a desire to maintain control. It involves the intentional undermining of another individual’s trust in themselves and their ability to see truly what is going on. Gaslighting can be especially damaging in a relationship because it can lead to the gaslighter trusting the gaslighter even when they know things aren’t right. Either a partner or an employer may engage in this type of abuse; however, it’s much more common among individuals in positions of power such as employers, clients, and authority figures like teachers or coaches. Anyone with access to something another person wants money, fame, attention, etc. can gaslight another as a means to get what they want while simultaneously making the other person less able and less willing to resist them. Additionally, anyone who has been subject to gaslighting before is at greater risk of falling victim again if they don’t recognize the red flags and take steps to protect themselves. If you’ve recently left an abusive relationship or suspect someone you know may be being manipulated by their partner, we’ve got excellent advice for how you can flip the script on future gaslighters.
How To Turn The Tables On A Gaslighter
Recognize the signs of gaslighting so you know when it’s happening.
Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse, and so it is often accompanied by other signs of emotional abuse as well. These include things like extreme jealousy or possessiveness, attempts to isolate yourself from your friends and family, regular negative or critical comments, and excessive controlling behavior. If someone you are in a relationship with exhibits any of these behaviors, you should be wary. And if they also begin to tell you that you don’t remember situations correctly, that you’re too sensitive, or that you’re imagining things, it’s a warning sign that they may be gaslighting you. If an employer or supervisor is gaslighting you, the signs are a little different. You may notice that they regularly ignore or downplay your accomplishments, that they constantly criticize you, or that they try to control every aspect of your work life.
Block your abuser from having access to your phone and computer.
If you suspect that someone who is currently gaslighting you has access to your phone and computer, block them from accessing those devices. You can do this on both iOS and Android devices using their built-in features. Block their number, and block them from accessing your device remotely using their email address. If your abuser has their own devices and you have access to them, delete their number from your contacts and block them from contacting you. If they have their own email account, delete it from your contacts and block them. It’s also a good idea to clear your browser’s history of their browsing history and block them from accessing your browsing history. If you receive an email from them with a link or attachment, don’t click on it. Instead, mark it as spam and block the sender from contacting you again.
Establish firm boundaries with consequences for crossing them.
There are different ways to go about this, but one thing you should do is record any abusive or manipulative behavior you notice and make a note of when it happens. This can help you build a case for ending the relationship or for reporting your abuser to their superiors. If you’re in a relationship with a manipulative partner, you may find that they are particularly sensitive to being recorded or that they may try to convince you that recording them would be illegal. Don’t fall for this; it’s not true. Depending on the circumstances, you may also be able to use a restraining order to protect yourself from a gaslighting partner.
Change up your routine and look out for warning signs.
If you’re being gaslighted, you’ll likely find that you’re experiencing regular anxiety and that your self-esteem is being eroded. You may also lose interest in activities you used to enjoy and find yourself more frequently feeling depressed. If you’re working with a client or in a position of authority over a student, you may notice that they are increasingly anxious or they may become more withdrawn. You may also see an increase in mistakes or sloppiness in their work. If you notice these warning signs, try changing up your routine. Get a new coffee order, talk to a different person, or make a different appointment. This can help break up the pattern of gaslighting and put an end to it.
Don’t respond to calls or texts from the person who is gaslighting you.
If you’re being gaslighted by a partner, stop responding to their calls and texts. If you’re being gaslighted by an employer or client, don’t respond to their calls and texts. If you have to respond, tell them you’re busy and can’t talk right now. If they are your partner, you can also try explaining that you’re not comfortable with the way they’re treating you. However, it’s important to do this without escalating the situation, so you may want to have a script prepared so you don’t say something they can use against you.
Develop a support network and set up safe calls with people you trust.
If you’re being gaslighted, you want to build a support network of people you trust and can rely on. This network should include friends and family and can also include other victims of gaslighting, the National Domestic Violence Hotline, and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Pick people who you know will be supportive and who can help you if you find yourself in a difficult situation. If you’re in a relationship with a gaslighter, you may also want to set up a safe call with a friend. This is a call you can make in an emergency where you are not in a safe place or do not feel safe talking to your partner. During the call, be as vague as you possibly can, and don’t give any details about where you are or when you’re coming back.
Take care of yourself, both physically and mentally.
If you’re being gaslighted, you need to take care of yourself on both a mental and physical level. Mental self-care includes things like journaling, meditating, or keeping a gratitude journal. It also includes setting aside time for activities that help you decompress, like reading a book or watching a show you enjoy. Physical self-care is just as important. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep, eating well, and exercising regularly. It’s important to maintain good health so that you can stay strong and resist the effects of gaslighting. You may also want to consider getting therapy if you’ve been gaslighted in the past. This can help you recognize and better deal with the effects of gaslighting now.
How To Identify A Gaslighter?
- They’re always right
- They don’t listen to you
- They have a very poor sense of humor
- They constantly lie or make things up
- You can never do anything right
- You can never do anything without being criticized or blamed for it
- You are incapable of understanding their point of view, even if they give you the same information multiple times, in the same way, and with the same amount of detail that you would give to someone who does not have gaslighting tendencies
If you’ve been gaslighted in the past and are concerned that someone is currently trying to gaslight you, it’s important to recognize the signs. It can be hard to identify gaslighting when it’s happening to you, but if you keep an eye out for the signs, you can protect yourself from abuse and manipulation. If you think you might be being gaslighted or if someone you know might be, take action. Don’t let yourself or a friend be manipulated by a toxic person. Instead, take steps to block the abuse and support yourself.