What Is Gaslighting?

If you’re unfamiliar with the term “gaslighting” or you’re confused about exactly what it is, you’re not alone. Calling gaslighting out as it’s happening can be hard, especially because it’s not always obvious when it’s happening.

Gaslighting is a type of emotional abuse that involves manipulation and brainwashing to gain power and control over the victim, is an elaborate and insidious technique of deception and psychological manipulation, usually practiced by a single deceiver, or “gaslighter,” on a single victim over an extended period.

A more psychological definition of gaslighting is “an increasing frequency of systematically withholding factual information from, and/or providing false information to, the victim – having the gradual effect of making them anxious, confused, and less able to trust their memory and perception.

How Does Gaslighting work?

Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation that seeks to sow doubt in a victim about their memories, perception, and sanity. Gaslighting can occur in personal relationships, or it can be used as a political tactic to undermine an opponent.

Gaslighting typically involves an abuser manipulating information and events so that their victim questions their memory, perception, and reality. The abuser may deny or downplay the victim’s experiences, accuse the victim of being overly sensitive or “imagining things”, or make the victim question their sanity. Gaslighting can be a very effective form of control since it causes victims to doubt themselves and their own experiences.

The abuser will use tactics such as denial, blame, and confusion to make the victim doubt themselves and their reality. This can be extremely damaging and lead to feelings of anxiety, insecurity, worthlessness, and even depression.

The Gaslight Effect is named after the 1944 film “Gaslight” in which a husband tries to make his wife think she is going insane by dimming the lights and hiding things from her. While this may seem like a harmless prank, the Gaslight Effect can be very damaging to the victim’s mental health and well-being.

Why Do Some People Gaslight Others?

There are many reasons why someone might gaslight another person. In some cases, it may be done to control or manipulate the victim. For example, an abuser may gaslight their partner to make them feel more dependent on them. In other cases, it may be done out of insecurity or a need for power. Whatever the reason, gaslighting is always a form of emotional abuse and is never acceptable.

If you think you may be a victim of gaslighting, it is important to reach out for help from a trusted friend or family member. There are also hotlines and support groups available to help you through this difficult time. What are the signs of gaslighting? If you are wondering whether or not you are being gaslighted, here are some signs to look for:

Signs of Gaslighting:

-You feel like you are going crazy.

-You question your reality and memory.

-You doubt your judgment.

-You feel anxious, insecure, and worthless.

-You feel like you can never do anything right.

-Your abuser denies or minimizes your feelings.

-Your abuser tells you that you are overreacting.

-Your abuser blames you for the abuse.

Gaslighting abuse symptoms also include low self-esteem, disorientation, self-doubt, and difficulty functioning in school, at work, or in social situations. If you are experiencing any of these signs, it is important to reach out for help.

What to Do If Someone Is Gaslighting You?

If you think you are being gaslighted, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself:

-Build a support network of family and friends on who you can rely.

-Keep a journal to document your experiences and help you remember what is happening.

-Document any incidents of gaslighting with dates, times, and witnesses if possible.

-Find a therapist or counselor who can help you deal with the emotional abuse.

What Should You Do if Someone You Know is Being Gaslighted?

If you know someone who is being gaslighted, it is important to offer them support and assistance. Here are some things you can do:

-Believe them when they tell you what is happening.

-Offer them a safe place to stay if necessary.

-Help them build a support network of family and friends.

-Encourage them to get professional help from a therapist or counselor.

-Provide them with information about gaslighting and emotional abuse.


If you think you may be a victim of gaslighting, it is important to seek help from a trusted friend or family member. Gaslighting can be a very damaging form of psychological abuse, and it can have a serious impact on your mental health. If you are worried about your safety, please seek professional help. Gaslighting can be a very difficult situation to deal with, but some people can help you through it. You must learn to trust yourself again. Remember that this may take time, as well as the support of family, friends, or a professional. With time and the right support, you can, and will, recover.