What Are Examples of Gaslighting?

Reviewed on 4/8/2021

Gaslighting examples

They tell blatant lies because they are setting up a precedent
Gaslighting is a form of manipulation commonly seen in abusive relationships.

Gaslighting is when your emotions, words, and experiences are twisted and used against you, causing you to question your reality. 

10 examples of gaslighting are:

  1. Telling lies: They tell blatant lies because they are setting up a precedent, and the victim is not sure if what they say is true, keeping them off balance.
  2. Denying they ever said or did something, despite having proof: They outright deny everything when questioned, which makes the victim question themselves and the facts/proof they have. The victim eventually accepts what they are being told.
  3. Projection: They often blame others to defend themselves for their mistakes. For example, if they are alcoholics or cheaters, they blame the victim for it and make the victim feel guilty and responsible for something that is not their fault.
  4. Turning people against the victim: Gaslighters are manipulative and they keep the people who will always agree with them close and use these people against the victim. They tell the victim that these people also think the same way about the victim, though it’s usually a lie. The victim usually is not sure about who to trust and often tends to believe the gaslighter because they are great liars.
  5. Telling the victim that they are crazy: The gaslighter tells the victim they are crazy and others also think the same about them. This makes the victim question reality and their sanity. It can be so bad that it actually drives the victim crazy.
  6. Using what is important to the victim against them: They identify what is important to the victim and use that against them. Most often, an individual’s identity is most important to them, so it may be one of the first things they attack. They may tell the victim that they would only be of worth if they didn't have so many negative traits and attack the foundation of the person.
  7. They start wearing people down: This usually happens gradually over time as the gaslighting worsens. Even the smartest person may be susceptible to it.
  8. Actions don’t match their words: They are all talk. Their actions don’t match their words and often make false promises.
  9. They confuse the victim with occasional positive reinforcements: They suddenly praise or complement the victim. This confuses the victim and weakens them. This is often seen in abusive relationships. When the abusive partner praises the victim occasionally, it confuses them, makes them think the relationship is not so bad, and makes them continue the relationship.
  10. Telling the victim everyone else is a liar: They convince the victim that everyone is a liar like their friends and family. This makes the victim lose confidence and enables the gaslighter to have complete control over the victim.

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References
Good Therapy. Gaslighting. https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/psychpedia/gaslighting

Health Assured. Signs and Examples of Gaslighting. March 22, 2019. https://www.healthassured.org/blog/signs-and-examples-of-gaslighting/

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