The only way you can describe how you feel is that you feel minimized. You feel crushed and smothered. You’re constantly second-guessing yourself; your feelings, your perceptions, your memories, and a small, suffocated part inside of you wonders whether you are actually going crazy.
You feel neurotic, you feel hyper-sensitive and you feel an overwhelming sense of alienation.
If you can identify with what I just wrote, you are most likely experiencing a sophisticated manipulation technique known as Gaslighting. This technique undermines your entire perception of reality and can slowly creep into your relationships, friendships, family life and work life.
Commonly adopted by psychopathic, sociopathic and narcissistic types of people, Gaslighting tends to eat away at you slowly until you realize that you’re a shell of the former person you were. Although you might feel crazy, although you might feel imbalanced and irrational, there is still hope.
How to Know Whether Someone is Gaslighting You
Gaslighting is so harmful because it promotes anxiety, depression, and with enough frequency in our lives, can sometimes trigger nervous breakdowns. So the question now it: are you being gaslighted? How can you know whether you’re experiencing this subtle form of manipulation in your life? Review the following tell-tale signs:
1 Something is “off” about your friend, partner, son, daughter, mother, father, sister, brother, colleagues, boss, or other person in your life … but you can’t quite explain or pinpoint what.
2 You frequently second-guess your ability to remember the details of past events leaving you psychologically powerless.
3 You feel confused and disorientated.
4 You feel threatened and on-edge around this person, but you don’t know why.
5 You feel the need to apologize all the time for what you do or who you are.
6 You never quite feel “good enough” and try to live up to the expectations and demands of others, even if they are unreasonable or harm you in some way.
7 You feel like there’s something fundamentally wrong with you, e.g. you’re neurotic or are “losing it.”
8 You feel like you’re constantly overreacting or are “too sensitive.”
9 You feel isolated, hopeless, misunderstood and depressed.
10 You find it hard to trust your own judgment, and given a choice, you choose to believe the judgment of the abuser.
11 You feel scared and as though “something is terribly wrong,” but you don’t know what or why.
12 You find it hard to make decisions because you distrust yourself.
13 You feel as though you’re a much weaker version of yourself, and you were much more strong and confident in the past.
14 You feel guilty for not feeling happy like you used to.
15 You’ve become afraid of “speaking up” or expressing your emotions, so you stay silent instead.
Gaslighting causes us to doubt our own memories, perceptions, and judgments, throwing us emotionally and psychologically off balance.
If you feel as though your self-esteem, confidence, and independence has withered under the flame of gaslighting you are not alone. And you’re not going crazy.