As we discuss some real-life incidents of gaslighting in this write-up, it is important to note that sometimes, low self-esteem and too much dependence on a particular relationship can make it seem like you’re being gaslighted, but it might not be the case every time.
For a detailed explanation of the term, read our Part 1 of the series here.
If you’ve been second-guessing yourself around someone or feel being targeted within a particular group, chances are you are being gaslighted. So, look closer. Your mental health is directly related to your own sense of worth and how confident you feel being you.
As I have shared earlier, domestic abuse is the most common form of gaslighting in our society, all thanks to patriarchy. This is the major reason why more women face gaslighting than men. It can sometimes lead to an overlap with Stockholm Syndrome where the “victim” becomes totally dependent on the perpetrator for their own sense of reality.
So, let’s take a look at some of the most common examples of gaslighting:
A husband is adamant to make his wife believe that his absence in parenting responsibilities doesn’t exist when it’s quite evident that it does. When he doesn’t acknowledge the problem and keeps blaming the wife, it is him trying to gaslight her. If the wife starts believing this and questions her own judgement, she has been successfully gaslighted.
It is important to note that if the wife manages to make the husband acknowledge and take action for the same, she has successfully avoided being gaslighted.
Many a times, as I previously mentioned, both the victim AND the perpetrator don’t know they are participating in the act of gaslighting. It is almost always about control so it’s important to be vigilant.
Another example of gaslighting is when a parent puts all the blame on the child for being late for a task, when the child is not at all responsible for it. This is manipulating the child’s reality and confusing him/her in the process.
When a child reacts differently to a situation, parents often end up using terms such as “overreacting,” “making it up” sometimes even unconsciously. But to put things into perspective, this is an example of gaslighting your child instead of embracing their emotions.
Such events can lead to long-term damage of a child’s self esteem so it’s important to validate a child’s feelings instead of dismissing them.
At workplace, if a colleague or a senior person of authority is always targeting you, due to which you’re seriously doubting your own capabilities, chances are they are gaslighting you.
Ever heard your boss say, “Oh I never asked you do X, why would you waste your time on it?” when you clearly remember they did? If it starts happening often, look closer. Gaslighting is often used to maintain or gain power in a given relationship.
Among close friends, gaslighting is when a friend keeps dismissing your emotions and struggles saying you’re being too sensitive every time you share your heart and keeps manipulating you into depending on them for survival. It can be unintentional but it does take away your self-confidence and you start questioning your own feelings towards a certain situation.
Such friends don’t want you to interact with anyone else but them and will consistently tell you to seek them whenever you feel low or unstable.
It becomes extremely crucial that we understand gaslighting as it affects most of us in one way or the other. You might also be gaslighting someone even without knowing it. As it affects us psychologically, gaslighting can lead to physical and/or mental abuse as the victim becomes too dependent on the perpetrator without realizing it.
Self-reflection and creating a meaningful daily life can help us all curb the need to control those around us and lead healthier happier lives. The bonds we share with those around us should be based on mutual respect and growth, instead of control and manipulation.
In the next part, we will discuss how to identify if you’re gaslighting someone unintentionally.
Do you think you have experienced gaslighting? Or have gaslighted someone unintentionally? Share your story with us. (You can choose to remain anonymous)
What are the signs of gaslighting? Click here to know more.
DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed in this post are the personal views of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of Flawsomelife.com. Any omissions or errors are the author’s and Flawsome Life does not assume any liability or responsibility for them.