Young Woman ThinkingGaslighting is a form of manipulation through persistent denial, misdirection, contradiction and lying in an attempt to destabilize and delegitimize a target. It’s intent is to sow seeds of doubt in the targets, hoping to make them question their own memory, perception, and sanity. Instances may range from the denial by an abuser that previous abusive incidents ever occurred up to the staging of bizarre events by the abuser with the intention of disorienting the victim according to Wikipedia.

Gaslighting is a manipulative tactic that is best described in these deceptively phrased statements; “Are you crazy?” “That didn’t happen” and “You imagined it.” Gaslighting is extremely dangerous as it distorts and erodes the victims sense of reality; diminishes their self-trust and causes them to feel unjustified in shining a light on the mistreatment and calling it what it is…abuse!

In order to escape the gruesome grip of gaslighting, one must become grounded in their own reality. It’s important not to go through this alone. It’s also helpful to write a list of events adding to the list as incidents unfold, tell a friend what is happening, or share the experience with a support network to counteract the effects of gaslighting. Having the support of others validates your experience and can assist you in returning back to your sense of reality and away from the distorted reality of the narcissist.