Gaslighting: How to Identify and Treat It in Relationships

Updated: Feb 15, 2021

Learn how to avoid manipulation and build healthy relationships from Santa Clarita's leading licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

I bet you have been hearing this term more and more these days. Most people hear the word “gaslighting” but don’t totally understand what it means, nor do they realize the devastating, negative impact gaslighting has on relationships.

What is Gaslighting?

Gaslighting is one of the most subtle forms of emotional abuse. Unless you understand gaslighting and have had experience with this twisted mindset, you are probably going to miss the signs that are happening, initially. Before you know it, you will be in the throes of a toxic relationship questioning everything you once knew to be true about you, unless of course, you catch the signs early and you know what to do about it. So let me teach you everything you need to know about gaslighting and what you can do about it.

Let’s Be Honest About What Gaslighting Really Is…

I am going to dive right in and get straight to the core of what gaslighting is. Gaslighting is straight-up manipulation and a slow, steady, covert form of emotional abuse with the overall goal to gain power and control over someone else. Gaslighting is when someone methodically repeats behaviors that eventually cause you to start questioning your reality. Gaslighting is brainwashing. A gaslighter will tell you that you don’t see what you see, hear what you hear, or feel what you feel.

You seriously begin to believe that you secretly might be losing your mind! Their ultimate goal is to overpower and gain control over someone by altering reality. The gaslighter is king when it comes to convincing someone a frog is a duck, or the sky is green. The gaslighter chips away at the other person’s perceived reality until they start doubting themselves. Gaslighting is emotional abuse. It is subtle. One of the biggest tell-tale signs determining if you are involved in a toxic relationship with a gaslighter is if you start to question your sanity.

Knowing what gaslighting means, and more importantly, how to navigate a toxic relationship is essential to becoming healthier and creating relationships that thrive.

6 Ways to Determine if You May Be Involved With a Gaslighter.

Have you been wondering lately, “Am I in a toxic relationship with a gaslighter?” Well, these key questions may help you decide if you are in a toxic, gaslighting relationship.