How to Identify Gaslighting: A Guide (Not Quite for Dummies)

Step 1: What Even is Gaslighting? First things first, let’s play a guessing game. Gaslighting – is it a) a new form of lighting b) a culinary technique, or c) a psychological manipulation tactic? If you guessed c), congratulations! You’re on the right track. Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse where someone attempts to make another doubt their own perceptions, memories, or sanity.

Step 2: The ‘Oops, Did I Do That?’ Method Pay attention to how often someone says, “You’re remembering it wrong,” or “You’re too sensitive.” This is like playing a game of ‘spot the difference’ but with your memories. If your ‘opponent’ keeps changing the rules, you might be getting gaslighted.

Step 3: Emotional Rollercoaster – Not the Fun Kind Notice if you feel like you’re on an emotional rollercoaster that’s always derailing. Are you constantly second-guessing yourself? Do you feel more anxious and less confident than you used to? If yes, then, ding ding, there might be gaslighting afoot!

Step 4: The ‘They Said, You Said’ Conundrum Gaslighters love the blame game. They twist and turn the narrative like they’re in a verbal gymnastics competition. If you find yourself in a conversation that feels more like a maze where you’re constantly lost, that’s a red flag.

Step 5: The Isolation Tactic If someone is slowly chipping away at your social circle, making you think everyone else is bad for you, that’s a classic move in the gaslighting handbook. It’s like playing a game of Monopoly where they try to buy all the properties around you – but in real life, and not fun.

Step 6: The Consistency Check Consistency is key, but gaslighters throw that key away. One day they’re sweet as sugar, the next day as sour as lemon. If their behavior fluctuates more than the stock market, take note.

Step 7: Trust Your Gut (But Really) Ever have that feeling that something is off, but you can’t put your finger on it? It’s like trying to follow IKEA instructions in a language you don’t understand. Trust that feeling. Your gut is often the best detector.

Step 8: Seek Professional Help If all else fails, or even if it doesn’t, seeking help from a mental health professional is like calling customer support. They help you troubleshoot the gaslighting issue with expertise.

Conclusion: Gaslighting is No Joke (Despite the Jokes) Remember, gaslighting is serious and can be harmful. This guide is a quirky take, but the issue is real. If you or someone you know is experiencing gaslighting, seek professional help. Stay aware, stay safe, and don’t let gaslighters dim your light.