Let's talk about Gaslighting!
Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse when the person that harms causes their partner to question their perception of reality, feelings and instincts.
This term originates from the 1938 stage play, Gas Light, where a husband inflicts emotional abuse on his wife by making her believe she is loosing her mind.
According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, here are some warning signs of gaslighting:
the abusive partner pretends not to understand or refuses to listen. Ex. “I don’t want to hear this again,” or “You’re trying to confuse me.”
the abusive partner questions the victim’s memory of events, even when the victim remembers them accurately. Ex. “You’re wrong, you never remember things correctly.”
the abusive partner changes the subject and/or questions the victim’s thoughts. Ex. “Is that another crazy idea you got from [friend/family member]?” or “You’re imagining things.”
the abusive partner makes the victim’s needs or feelings seem unimportant. Ex. “You’re going to get angry over a little thing like that?” or “You’re too sensitive.”
the abusive partner pretends to have forgotten what actually occurred or denies things like promises made to the victim. Ex. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” or “You’re just making stuff up.”
Gaslighting usually begins slowly and the victim is unaware the person that harms is using this tactic to gain power and control over them.
If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse, please call
House of Ruth's 24-hour Hotline at (877) 988-5559 and speak to our Advocates who are ready to help.