Auntie Says...

Gaslighting Part Two: The Who and What to Watch For

Several months ago, I wrote a post about gaslighting and wanted to update it and bring it back to the forefront because it is such an important topic for anyone who finds themselves in a toxic relationship or someone who’s questioning their judgment.

Click here to read my other article.

All of that information is still current and valid. In that article you’ll find 35 *gaslighting phrases*–These should act as RED FLAGS as to what is going on behind the words. I’ve added another ten today.

What is Gaslighting?

The term “Gaslighting” originated from a British play call “Gas Light” –later made into a movie called Gaslight.

The premise of the play was that the husband was trying to convince his wife, and everyone else, that she was actually insane.

He did this via a form of psychological manipulation that he wove into their everyday lives by “shifting things in their environment and insisting that she is mistaken, remembering things incorrectly, or delusional when she points out these changes.” Wikipedia.

In the play and movie, the jerk of a husband begins to dim the gas lights in the house and then pretends not to notice.

The wife asks about the change and he says nothing is different and all is fine. He is making her question her own perception of reality.

Scary stuff but it still happens today.

…even today the word [gaslighting] is used to describe an attempt to destroy another’s perception of reality.

Florence Rush -author-1980

Why Would Anyone Gaslight Someone Else?

This type of behavior really is a form of abuse used to isolate a partner and exert control.

For a partner to belittle an individual and manipulate situations, words, and environments is confusing, authoritative, and downright abusive.

Anyone who would do this is narcissistic and will probably never accept responsibility or even admit to such behavior.

What Should You Do if You Feel You’re Being Gaslighted?

If you suspect you’re deep into something like this, trust your instincts. If your gut is telling you something is off, it’s probably right.

It’s not a normal way to be treated (or to treat another) and its not okay.

Here a few things you can do to regain a sense of control.

One thing you may want to do is start keeping a log of situations and conversations. By keeping notes you can at least be aware of your schedule and what’s going on in your daily life.

It gives you something tangible to refer to if you’re in doubt.

Photo by Anete Lusina on

If there’s alcohol or drugs involved in your world–

Write down what and how much you drink or even better–don’t partake.

Keep your head as clear as possible.

Talk to others (friend, family, whomever you trust). Ask them to watch out for you or to record things on your behalf.

Gaslighting is a type of verbal sneaky abuse that can escalate to physical assault so be cautious.

The abuse through gaslighting is often very subtle and confusing. Doubt delivered with a compliment, or a threat served in a backhanded manner, can make your head swivel as you’re not sure what’s going on.

In my last gaslighting post I gave you 35 possible phrases…

Here’s another ten *gaslighting phrases* that you may recognize… Treat these phrases as RED FLAGS

one: I was only telling you how to improve yourself so you could be your best. You do want to be your best, don’t you? You always say you do. Don’t you want me to be truthful? I’m only telling you because I love you. Others wouldn’t be so honest.

two: I don’t know what you heard, but you obviously twisted it the way you wanted, because I didn’t say anything wrong/bad/ugly/unloving/nasty…

three: Well, if you’d get your head out of a wine bottle you may be able to remember what I really said. You’re drunk all the time and even after that your brain is fuzzy. I don’t know how you do it.

four: I buy you nice things (I pay the rent/buy the food/pay the bills/take care of your kids…). You never say thank you or appreciate what I do for you. You’re so selfish.

five: You should never be allowed to have children. They’ll be as fucked up and dysfunctional as you. The world can’t take it.

six: You’re fat and get fatter everyday. No one else wants to see all that gross extra flesh but I accept you for who you are. I’m the only one who’ll ever love you the way you are. You should be happy to have me.

seven: I don’t want your idiot friends coming over here anymore. They never liked me from day one and they’re all so ignorant and judgmental. Remember it’s about you and me now…not you and your friends. You don’t need anyone else. I’m everything you need or should want.

eight: I never said you were stupid. I don’t know who’s voice that is on the recording but it’s not mine. I think you’re trying to gaslight me.

nine: I know you slept with your boss. He’s got the hots for you and I can tell you two have been together. I’m not stupid you know. It’s written all over you just like the slut you are. Why do you want to hurt me so bad?

ten: Maybe you shouldn’t love me. I need someone who can really commit to me and help me heal. I’m so broken and sad. I don’t deserve you.

So in Conclusion Let’s Look at the Facts:

  • Someone who is gaslighting you is abusive and manipulative.
  • They can be male, female, or any gender or age.
  • They’re liars and will turn and twist the truth to their advantage.
  • They want to isolate you and create a dependency.
  • They’ll tell you’re stupid one minute and special the next.
  • It can be gradual and wearing.
  • You begin to question your own sanity.
  • They always deny doing anything wrong.
  • Nothing is their fault.
  • They deny. Deny. Deny.
  • They’ll shift blame anywhere else.
  • They’ll admit shortcomings only to later deny or accuse you of analyzing them.

This type of relationship is not only unhealthy but destructive.

Auntie Lesson.

With gaslighting, the behavior can be so subtle you don’t even realize what’s happening. If you find yourself questioning yourself then stop and listen to your gut. What’s it telling you and why aren’t you listening? It can be scary to recognize abusive tendencies in others but it can also save a life. Exiting from such relationships is often the only way to get your life back. Seek help through family and friends and local community abuse hot-lines if necessary. In Canada you can Call 1.833.456.4566 | Text  45645 or click here

6 thoughts on “Gaslighting Part Two: The Who and What to Watch For”

  1. Make sure, if you are logging this stuff, that you keep it in a safe place. A narcissist will not respect your privacy and doesn’t think it is wrong to read your private journal. I was beaten so badly for things I had written, I gave up writing for more than 20 years.

    1. Oh my goodness YES! So sorry that happened to you Sally. Makes me so sad (and mad too!). No one should ever have to go thru that. Thanks for sharing and Yes for anyone and everyone…Sally has great advice here. xoxo

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