Gaslighting is a form of manipulation, bordering on abuse, that can happen in relationships of all kinds. But it most often happens in romantic relationships.
“To gaslight” means to the undermine another person’s reality by denying their feelings or the facts around a situation.
The phrase comes from a 1938 play which became a popular movie in 1944. In the movie, the husband manipulates his wife using gaslights. And he makes her believe she can no longer trust her own perception of reality.
Gaslighting is used as a way to exercise power and control in a relationship. It might even be a way for someone to deflect responsibility for their own actions and to tear down the other person, while still stringing them along.
Continually invalidating how a person feels effectively says that what they’re thinking and feeling is wrong, when actually, what that person is feeling or experiencing is real.
Listed below are some common phrases you might hear if you’re being gaslighted: