Warning Signs Of Gaslighting, Gaslighting Techniques, And How To Deal With Gaslighting

May 3, 2022 | Relationships | 0 comments

Warning signs of gaslighting include projecting, confusing, lying, using what you love against you, and other signs. Gaslighting is a common form of manipulation in abusive relationships. This is an indirect form of emotional abuse in which the abuser or bully misleads the victim, creating a false narrative that makes them question their reality.

Warning Signs Of Gaslighting

The victim of gaslighting eventually begins to doubt their worldview and wonder if they are losing their sanity.

Gaslighting occurs mainly in romantic relationships, but it is not unusual for it also to take place in controlling friendships or between family members. Gaslighting others could be a sign of a mental disorder such as borderline personality disorder (BPD) or narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). This type of emotional abuse is used to control family members, friends, and even co-workers.

How Gaslighting Works

Gaslighting is an attempt to alter a person’s perceptions of reality. When someone gaslights you, you may second-guess yourself, your memories, past events, and perceptions. You might feel dazed after speaking with the gaslighting person and wonder if there’s something wrong with you. You might feel that you are somehow to blame or react too much to the situation.

Gaslighting can cause confusion and make you question your judgment, memory, self-worth, mental health, and general well-being. Therefore, it might be helpful to learn more about the techniques that someone who is gaslighting may use.

Gaslighting Techniques

gaslighting techniques


Gaslighting is a common behavior of pathological and habitual liars and people who frequently exhibit narcissistic tendencies. They are known to lie openly and refuse to change their stories even when they are being called out or provided proof of their deception. You might hear them say things like “You are making up things,” “That never happened,” and “You are crazy.”

Gaslighting is built on lies and distortion. Even if you know that gaslighting person is not telling the truth, they still can be very convincing. And eventually, you can start to second-guess yourself.


If you call someone who gaslights you out or ask them a question about something they did or said, they can often change the subject by asking the question instead of responding to the issue at hand. This not only throws off your thought process, but it can also make you question the necessity to ask a question if they don’t feel the like answering. 


People who gaslight gossip and spread lies about you to others. While pretending to be concerned about you, they may subtly tell others that you are emotionally unstable or “crazy.” This tactic is often very effective, and many people will side with the bully or abuser without ever knowing the whole story.

A gaslighter may also lie to you, telling you that others think the same thing about you. Although they may never have said anything bad about you, those who gaslight you will make every effort to convince you that they did.

Minimizing Your Thoughts and Feelings

Trivializing your emotions gives the person who is gaslighting you to gain power over you. For example, they may say things like, “Calm down,” “You are overreacting,” or “Why do you feel so sensitive?” These statements can minimize your feelings or thoughts and communicate that you are wrong.

You may start to question your thoughts and beliefs if you deal with someone who doesn’t acknowledge them. You may not feel validated and understood, making it very isolating, shameful, and difficult to deal with.

Denying Misbehavior

Bullies and emotional abusers are known for their inability to admit that they were wrong. They do it to avoid taking responsibility for their bad choices. Gaslighting victims can feel ignored, unheard, or as if their impact is insignificant. This tactic makes it difficult for victims to move on from bullying or abuse.

Shifting Blame

Blame-shifting is another well-known tactic for gaslighting. Every discussion is twisted so that you feel like you are the cause of something. Even if you try to explain how the abuser’s behavior makes you feel, they will twist the conversation to make it seem like you are to blame. They might tell you that they would treat you differently if you behaved differently.

Changing History

Gaslighters tend to tell stories in their favor. For example, if your partner, who gaslights, pushes you against the wall, and you discuss it later, they might twist the story to say that you fell and they tried to stabilize you.

It is possible to start doubting your memories of what actually happened. Encourage confusion, and second-guessing on your behalf is exactly what they intend.

Using Kind Words as Weapons

Sometimes when asked questions or called out, someone who gaslights might use kind and loving words to smooth over the situation. For example, they might say, “You know how deeply I love you,” I would never harm you intentionally.”

These words might be exactly what you want to hear. However, they are not authentic, especially when repeated. However, they may convince you to let the person off the hook. This allows them to avoid responsibility and consequences.

Warning Signs of Gaslighting

warning signs of gaslighting

Gaslighting can cause depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues, such as addiction and thoughts of suicide. Therefore, it is important to recognize gaslighting. Ask yourself if anything from this list is true:

  • You doubt your judgment and perceptions. You’ve learned that sharing your opinion can make you feel worse, so you keep silent.
  • You question your feelings and reality: you try to convince yourself that the treatment you get isn’t so bad or that you’re too sensitive.
  • You are worried that you are too sensitive. The person may minimize hurtful words or behaviors by saying, “I was just kidding” or “You need thicker skin.”
  • You feel powerless and alone. You believe everyone around you thinks that you are crazy, insane, or unstable, just like a person who gaslights you says about you. This can make you feel isolated and trapped.
  • You feel vulnerable and insecure. You may feel that you are “walking on eggshells” with your friend, partner, or family member. You feel anxious and have low self-esteem.
  • You feel disappointed in yourself and the person you have become. You feel weak and passive. In contrast, you once felt stronger and more assertive.
  • You start to wonder if you are who they say you are. If someone is gaslighting you, they will make you feel stupid, wrong, inadequate, or crazy. You may find yourself repeating the same statements to yourself.
  • You feel confused. The person you are being gaslighted by confuses you.
  • There is a feeling of imminent doom. When you’re around this person, it feels like something awful is about to occur. You may feel threatened or on edge, but you don’t know why.
  • You spend a lot of time apologizing. You feel the need for a constant apology for your actions or who you are.
  • You feel inadequate. You feel like you’re never good enough. You will try to live up to and exceed the expectations of others, even if they are unrealistic.
  • Because you are unsure of yourself, you struggle to make decisions. You prefer to let your friend, partner, or family members make the decisions and avoid making decisions.
  • You second-guess yourself. You wonder if your memories are accurate. You may have stopped trying to share your memories for fear of them being incorrect.
  • You are wondering if something is wrong with you. It makes you wonder what is wrong. You start to wonder if something is fundamentally wrong with you. This means that you worry that you are not mentally well.
  • You believe others are disappointed in you. You apologize all the time, thinking that you or your actions let people down, and you always think that you’ve made a mistake.

Seek professional help immediately if you recognize any of these signs. Gaslighting, if left unaddressed, can have a devastating effect on your self-esteem and mental health.

Your doctor can recommend a counselor to help you deal with the situation.

What to Do If You Found Yourself A Victim Of Gaslighting

You can take some steps to prevent gaslighting from happening in your relationship. You might consider:

You can take some steps to prevent gaslighting from happening in your relationship. You might consider:

Gain some distance.


Sometimes, it could be helpful to step back from the intense emotions gaslighting can cause. You can physically leave the situation, and you may also be able to use relaxation techniques like deep breathing or grounding exercises.

Keep the evidence.


Gaslighting can cause you to question yourself so make sure you preserve evidence of your experience. You can keep a diary, save text messages, or keep emails to remind yourself not to doubt yourself.

Set boundaries.


Set boundaries to communicate what you are willing to accept in a relationship. Make it clear that you will not allow your partner to trivialize or deny what you have to say.

Seek out an outside perspective.

outside perspective

Discuss your feelings with someone you trust. You can benefit from another person’s perspective to help you understand the situation better.

End the relationship.


Although it is difficult to do, ending a relationship with someone who gaslights you repeatedly can often be the best way to end the abuse.

A mental health professional can be helpful if you suspect you are experiencing gaslighting. They can help you understand the situation, gain perspective, and develop new coping techniques that will help you deal with the behavior.

The Bottom Line Of Warning Signs Of Gaslighting

therapy session

Keep in mind that you are not at fault for the circumstances you are facing. The person who is gaslighting your feelings chooses to behave that way. They are responsible for their choices.

Counseling can help you establish boundaries with someone who is gaslighting. You may eventually reach a point where you are ready to end the relationship.

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