The Main Points
- A person is being gaslighted if they are the target of a pattern of intentional lies designed to make them feel unsafe or confused.
- When gaslighters act sympathetic, it’s more of an instrumental empathy rather than a genuine feeling.
- Leaving a gaslighter as soon as possible is recommended.
- Use your confidence and will to maintain the upper hand; gaslighters have weak egos and low self-esteem.
To confuse someone and make them think they are imagining things or that reality is different from what they see is, indeed, the goal of gaslighting. It’s all in your head, like the classic children’s tale “The Emperor Has No Clothes.” The emperor strutted around town naked because he had been gaslighted by his tailors into thinking he was wearing the finest and most magical clothing ever crafted in his quest to be regarded as a wise ruler. To get their victim to believe something that isn’t real is the main objective of the gaslighter.
Talented manipulators, or “gaslighters,” try to put their victims in a location where the truth is unknown and their lies seem plausible. Isolating their victims from other people is one tactic used by gaslighters to increase their control over them. They’ll label you as crazy if you dare challenge their lies. The goal is to get you to turn on your own family by making you believe that they are plotting against you. Once in a while, they’ll “throw you a bone” with a truthful comment, but it’ll just be to throw you off the scent later.
We’ve all heard the phrase “gaslighter” tossed around in the media and applied to various famous individuals, but the reality about gaslighters is that they use their victims’ vulnerabilities against them. Further, the more they value themselves, the less they want to control other people. They know they don’t have much to give regarding a healthy relationship, so they resort to gaslighting to grab and maintain their victim’s attention.
What Keeps Victims of Gaslighting Together?
When one partner starts the gaslighting process, it may be too late for the victim to see things clearly because they are emotionally invested in the relationship. The gaslighter probably treated them well at the beginning of the relationship, showering them with compliments and acts of generosity to get them where they’d like them to be, within their control. The more an individual in a gaslighting relationship struggles to break free, the more intense the gaslighter’s attempts to continue keeping them in the relationship grow. They’ll do anything to keep their lovers near, as long as it doesn’t entail openness, genuine care, genuine connection, or acknowledging they were incorrect.
Do People Who Gaslight Feel Compassion for Those They Defraud?
Gaslighters have extremely shallow emotional lives; they may “fake empathy,” but they never feel it for anyone. They may claim to ” comprehend what their partner is going through,” but their inability to truly empathise with another person’s feelings undermines their words. These empathetic responses are indicative of a form of empathy that might be exploited for evil: Even if they can read your thoughts, they don’t feel empathy for you and instead use your anxieties, doubts, and questions to their advantage, making you feel even worse.
Psychopaths are experts at exploiting their victims’ feelings against them. The goal of a gaslighter is to make you doubt your sanity and judgment, so they don’t “accidentally” confuse you. When people are depressed and anxious to the point of psychiatric diagnosis, they are seeking control as a means to an end.
Five Ways to Break Up With a Gaslighter
First, Pay Attention to Warnings
It’s important to confront the gaslighter about their actions before you invest too much time or energy into the relationship. If they care about you and are willing to change, they will consider your suggestions and make an effort to alter their actions.
You Should Avoid Confrontation With Gaslighters Since They Resort to Dirty Tactics
If you’ve been with someone for a while and they haven’t changed their behaviour or their gaslighting behaviours have escalated, it might be hard to terminate the relationship amicably. The gaslighter’s behaviour is likely to escalate if you attempt to have an honest dialogue about the issues in the relationship. The person who gaslights does so to boost their self-esteem, thus they put all their energy towards overcoming criticism. It gives them great pleasure to say things like, “That’s not the way it was,” “That’s not what I meant when I said that,” “No one is going to believe you,” and “Your family/friends will not welcome you back.”
Stop the Relationship Quickly and in an Orderly Fashion
When you finally come to terms with the fact that your relationship is beyond repair, don’t waste any time in making your exit. It’s crucial to cut ties amicably and expediently. Leaving is more challenging the longer you stay, and your network of allies will dwindle as a result.
Stop All Forms of Contact
When you leave, don’t leave any way for the gaslighter to contact you. Ensure that everyone knows how badly you need space and that they’re behind your decision to cut off contact with the gaslighter, no matter how much he or she begs.
Act on the “Gray Rock” Reaction
To avoid further interaction with a narcissist, it is recommended that you “be a grey rock.” This is not exclusive to gaslighters; normal individuals can use it as well. You’re choosing to ignore them completely by being as unresponsive as a lump of granite. You don’t give in, don’t try to negotiate with them, and don’t dispute with them. Whatever they say to you, you just shrug it off. While it may be challenging at first, regular practice will eventually pay off.
Once You Have Freed Yourself
Don’t dwell on the past. Remember how horrible things got by writing down your experience. If you ever feel regret about ending the connection, tell your friends and family to intervene. If you feel you still need support we would recommend visiting WeDoRecover to get the counselling support you need in the comfort of your own home. Keep an eye out for red flags like narcissism, manipulation, and gaslighting in a potential new partner.
Some individuals might not comprehend the harm they are creating, but if they refuse to listen to your demands for change and make an effort to make these adjustments, it’s best to quit the connection before it gets worse. Keep in mind that gaslighters have little strength and low self-esteem. Take pride in your abilities, stand firm in your convictions, and trust that you possess the fortitude and tools within to keep yourself safe.