30 Signs Your Partner Is Gaslighting You

By Lauren Mccluskey 1 year ago

1. The Ultimate Form Of Gaslighting... LYING

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Lies are a central factor in this kind of emotional abuse known as gaslighting.  A partner who has a consistent history of lying and obscuring facts may make you constantly doubt yourself, leaving you questioning your own reality and your own perception of the truth!

2. What's Worse Than Lying... DENYING!

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Gaslighting partners completely deny your reality and everything in it.  They deny your emotions, your thoughts, your point of view, and your values.  And whenever you try to address any problems or confront them for their behavior, they deny this as well!

3. They project

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Projection is a defense that gaslighters use in order to get around a guilty conscience.  And they tend to project all of their shortcomings and their mistakes onto you.  All the bad they see in themselves, they are able to see in you, even if it's not there to see.

4. They undermine you

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A gaslighting partner's goal is you control you.  And one of many ways in which they do this is to undermine your emotions.  This instills a sense of self-doubt and makes you feel like you're too sensitive or irrational, and you feel like you can't express your feelings.

5. They're all talk and no action

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You'll find that a gaslighting partner claims to do more than their fair share of everything.  They might drone on about how much they do around the house, when, in actual fact, they haven't touched a thing!  They always say they do more than they actually do, and they always want praise for it.

6. They criticize you

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You might also feel pretty insecure about yourself because they are always criticizing you.  From the way you look, to who your friends are, to what you're eating, how you've washed the dishes, and even how you choose to spend your time.  And, a lot of the time, they'll do it in a very consistent but subtle way.  They know how to make you feel bad about yourself.

7. Flattery is used as a tool for manipulating you

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So on one hand, they seem to be constantly criticizing you, but on the other, they're gushing with compliments...  But what might this mean?  They may use their charm to flatter you and make you feel amazing - to build your confidence higher than ever, only to knock it all back down again.  And the further you fall, the better for them.

8. You're confused

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You're confused... And why wouldn't you be?  Gaslighting partners are adept at keeping you exactly where they want you: doubting yourself, feeling insecure, and isolated.  This way, you are completely under their thumb, and it makes them feel fantastic.

9. They accuse you of imagining things

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And occasionally, you do have the confidence to pipe up and confront them.  But, of course, 
it's all in your head.
it.  They've never lied, belittled you, or done anything other than be the perfect partner... But this denial.  They carefully weave, maintain, and you'll never untangle them!  Will you?

10. You've forgotten who you are

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Not being allowed to feel authentic emotion, and being filled to the brim with self-doubt, makes you constantly reinvent yourself to fit in with your gaslighting partner's alternate reality.  But you're a shell of the person you once were and you've lost the person you used to be.

11. They exclude you from your memories

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They make you feel so detached from reality they no longer just question your emotions, but they start to deny your versions of events.  Even with happy memories that you may have shared - they question whether you got them right and may completely even deny your presence in them.

12. You feel like you're going crazy

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Am I crazy? 
This is a question we never want to ask ourselves.  But, to be honest, if your partner gaslights you, the answer is no.  The reality is, it has been so habitual for you to constantly doubt and question yourself that you feel like you're losing your sanity.  And who wouldn't be driven completely insane by this emotional abuse?

13. You have to beg them for forgiveness

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Now, this is rich.  Out of all the emotional abuse you suffer at the hands of a gaslighting partner, you're the one that finds yourself forever apologizing to THEM!  And for what?  The awful thing is, they don't just want a
and you're done, they want you to actually BEG for their forgiveness as they won't give it up so easily.

14. They attack everything you love

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When we say everything, we mean it.  Gaslighting partners cannot STAND it when you love something, or someone else.  And that's including friends and family members that you hold dear.  They criticize them and accuse them of things until you find yourself believing it all and cutting contact.

15. Everyone's a liar

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People outside of your relationship can see how your partner gaslights you, and they can see how you've changed because of it.  But your partner has beat them to the punch and managed to slither their way in first, convincing you that they're all lying and shouldn't be trusted.

16. They control who you see

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Now you see everyone through your partner's eyes, and they're all lying, cheating, toxic betrayers of trust.  This means your partner has eliminated them from your life so they're no longer an obstacle to controlling you.  You're allowed to see their friends and family though...

17. They turn people against you

Even when your back is turned, the gaslighting never ends. They need you to be isolated so they can control you so they begin to criticize you to other people, making them seem like they have a lot on their plate with your problems and attitude towards them.  So people begin to think negatively of you and stop calling.

18. They accuse you of things they're doing

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Another way they make you feel bad is by accusing you of things you know you're not doing.  Things like lying and cheating... Sound familiar?  Yes - it's because they're doing it, and you kind of know it.  But how are you supposed to be sure when you have your crippling self-doubt?

19. They hide your keys

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You're sure you put your keys on the hook, but they're gone.  So you spend so long looking for them that you miss your dinner reservations with your best pal and your plans are ruined... AGAIN!  So you feel isolated (again) because your friend stops making plans with you, and (again) you question your sanity.

20. They play down your problems

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Your problems are never taken seriously by your partner and you will find that they trivialize your concerns, or even completely dismiss them.  You might be often told that you're being too dramatic and exaggerating things and you never ever get the support you need.

21. You feel like you're being ignored

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And so you feel like you are constantly being ignored.  You don't feel like you're being listened to at all and your relationship is a total one-way street.  You're the one being supportive of your partner and you feel like you're getting absolutely nothing back.  It's exhausting.

22. You experience brain fog

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Then the brain fog sets in and completely obscures your ability to think.  You can't see straight, or concentrate on anything, and your memory completely mists up.  And these are perfect conditions for your gaslighting partner to continue to confuse you and make you feel like you're the problem.

23. They never let you talk

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You don't get a word in edgeways.  But when you do try to speak, you are constantly talked over and shot down.  Your words don't seem to mean a thing to them, and they don't want you to have your say when you are amongst friends and family.  They'll just speak for you, and you let them because you're feeling so defeated and exhausted.

24. They twist your words

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You even begin to question whether what you're saying at that moment in time is actually what you meant to say.  Anything you do manage to say will be completely twisted to suit their gaslighting agenda, and you will be once again ignored and unable to get anything across.

25. They blame you for things

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And blame always comes your way.  Any little thing that happens will be completely your fault as they can do no wrong.  They make accusations towards you, and you never ever feel like you can escape their scrutiny.  So you start to lose your confidence and feel like everything you do is just completely wrong.

26. They threaten you

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As part of this emotional abuse, gaslighting partners may also make threats.  This leaves you feeling like you have a huge sense of impending doom and your natural state is on edge.  And these threats can be pretty unpredictable so you feel like something horrible could happen at any point.

27. They play the victim

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But the bully is definitely not concerned with your well-being.  They're actually only bothered about themselves, and you'll find that they regularly play the victim.  As if they're the ones that are hard done to and you're the one emotionally abusing them!  And they're really good at making other people side with them too.

28. They break their promises

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Even if you do, by some miracle, get through to them and they show the tiniest spark of remorse, do you really think they'll change?  They say that a
leopard never changes its spots,
so why would you expect your partner to change?  However many promises they make, you can always rely on them to break them.  Every time.

29. They use sarcasm to belittle you in front of friends, and think it's hilarious

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Sarcasm is their superpower, and if you become visibly unimpressed or upset, you can always expect an "
Ah babe... You know I didn't mean it!" 
But they DO mean it, and you know for a fact they do.  But they're great at disguising it as a joke.  A joke everyone seems to laugh at but you!

30. They make you feel like no one else will believe you

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But where do you go for support?  Your partner has succeeded in isolating you from your friends and family, making you the butt of the joke and making you seem insane... And so you feel like your support network has fizzled away.  But this is how they wanted you to feel!  if you reach out, you'll probably find that none of it is actually true, and people are rooting for you to speak up and ask for support!

31. Helpful techniques to stop gaslighting! Recognize the signs early

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Now that you've learned the key signs to recognize gaslighting, it's important to pay attention to early warning signs of it happening. Don't ignore any of these signs if you're in the early days of dating someone, because you don't want to end up moving in with that person after ignoring their gaslighting ways!

32. Always trust your gut

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While there are plenty of signs to look out for you, your gut is going to be the best tool for you getting out of a relationship before it gets too serious. Your gut will tell you if you think you can trust this person, whether you're being lied to or whether they're trying to twist something you know to be true!

33. It's important not to feel embarrassed

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If you've been gaslighted once before, it can make you feel shame for never realizing it at the time - don't! Gaslighting can so easily happen to anybody, and it's not something you should be ashamed of. The key is to go into new relationships with your head held high and not feel as though you've done something wrong before.

34. Never second guess yourself

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At the end of the day, you know yourself better than anyone, even better than a partner who's supposed to love you. To avoid being gaslighted easily, never put yourself into question just because they're telling you. Don't let someone make you second guess yourself when you know you're right!

35. Get a second opinion from others you trust

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If your partner is really making you feel like you've done something wrong, or is challenging your view on a situation, check in with other people to gain new insight. If you're really wondering whether you did something wrong in a certain situation, ask your best friend, your mom or your dad what they think. They can offer you a new perspective!

36. Don't let them tell you how you're feeling

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You know your feelings and emotions, and you know
you're feeling them - so nobody else can tell you that. A gaslighter may try and tell you you're being 'emotional', you're being 'sensitive' or you're being 'angry' when you know you're not. Instead of thinking, 'Wait, am I?' think 'No, I know I'm being calm right now, and not angry. They're wrong.'

37. And definitely don't let them offer an opinion on your mental state!

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Another thing gaslighters like to do is make you question your mental state or what you can cope with mentally. You may already be struggling with mental health issues like anxiety or depression, and gaslighters can take advantage of that. Never let anyone tell you that you're 'a psycho', that you're 'acting crazy' or 'are you depressed or something' when you know yourself and your own mind.

38. Never look for retaliation

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When you have been mistreated, especially in such an intrusive way with your emotional and mental wellbeing, it can be easy to want to try and get your own back on them, get revenge, or make them feel the way they've made you feel. The thing with gaslighters is they're not going to like that, so if you retaliate, they're only going to buckle down harder.

39. Don't try to 'win'

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A gaslighter is never, ever going to admit they're wrong or take on board what you're saying. Even if you're strong enough to say, 'Actually, I know I'm right, and I know you're trying to gaslight me' there is absolutely no winning an argument against someone like that. It's not worth the effort.

40. Don't react

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For a similar reason, try not to react at all. Gaslighters do what they do so that they can get a reaction out of you, so that you can start to question yourself and so that they can be 'smug' when you get emotional and frustrated over what they're saying. The best thing you can do to get one up on them is not react at all.

41. Take a time out whenever you need

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The longer you spend with a gaslighter, the more intense and overwhelming it's going to become, and that's going to make it even harder for you to handle. The longer they spend with you, the more they'll be feeding off your energy. Take a step back, cancel plans or take some time to yourself when you need, to make sure you're not around a person 24/7.

42. Get away as soon as you can

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At the end of the day, if you're in a relationship with someone you've realized is a gaslighter, then the best thing you can do is leave that situation. You can't be happy with someone like that, so you should take the next steps to leave them and move away from that person and situation.

43. Speak to a therapist about your experience

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Gaslighting is a form of emotional and mental abuse, which means speaking to a therapist is extremely helpful for recovering from the trauma of it. You never need to feel embarrassed about your experience, and talking to a professional can really validate your feelings on the situation, as well as get tailored advice.

44. Keep a journal

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Keeping a journal every day can mean you have a written record of what you did, and how you were feeling on a certain day. This can be very helpful if a gaslighter calls you out for something you don't think is true. It might be helpful to look at past entries and see that actually, what they're saying happened didn't happen, because you didn't write it down that way at the time!

45. Practice relaxation techniques

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In order to better deal with gaslighting situations when they're happening when you might feel anxious or frustrated, you can get to know some relaxation techniques so that you can practice them in the moment. This could be deep breathing or counting to ten.

46. Know that ending it doesn't mean you've failed

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A lot of people might stick out bad relationships with gaslighters because they don't want to be the one to end it, because they feel like a failure if they let it end, or maybe because they're starting to believe what the gaslighter is saying about them, so they don't want to give people a worse impression by ending things. But ending it doesn't mean you've failed - it means you've succeeded in setting yourself free!

47. Keep track of your feelings and triggers

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If a gaslighter has been calling out any behaviour during arguments or certain situations, it might be a good idea to keep track of certain things that trigger you and make you feel a certain way. That way you can better understand your own emotions in a certain situation without being told how you're feeling, or how you're acting.

48. Take your time with new relationships

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Gaslighters can often be people who love bomb you, or who make you feel like everything is wonderful, until they begin to change once you start getting serious or start living together. Taking your time with new people - taking longer to date before making a commitment - can help you to spot the gaslighting signs at an earlier stage, if there are any.

49. Focus on your feelings, rather than who is right or wrong

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When you get into a fallout or argument with a gaslighter, you can be made to feel like it's black and white - they think they're right, and you're wrong, and you think the opposite. This can feel like you're banging your head against a brick wall. What's more important is recognizing how you've been made to feel. It doesn't matter who's wrong or right, it matters that something upset you, or bothered you, and the other person needs to talk through that with you.

50. Don't compromise on who you are

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Finally, gaslighting can make you feel less of yourself, or have you wondering about your own thoughts and feelings. Get to know yourself and never compromise on that. If a new partner shows signs of gaslighting and starts to complain about the way you do things, or who you are, never apologize. Find someone who will appreciate you for exactly who you are!

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