In the age of internet arguments and online trolling, we, more often than not, come across terms that we can't seem to keep up with! One such word that shows up a lot within conversations 'gas lighting'. The term introduced by millennials is increasingly gaining global popularity.
What does gaslighting mean?
Gaslighting refers to manipulation that occurs in personal relationships.
In severity, gaslighting is also considered to be emotional abuse -- as it involves the abuser making the victim question their very reality. As a result, the victim is often left wondering if they're crazy for reacting to a situation created by the abuser. The term is used for instances where the abuser turns the conversation towards the victim without taking ownership of his/her actions.
How do you know you've been 'gaslighted'?
Unfortunately, you may not necessarily know when you've been 'gaslighted'. There are times where victims do not realise that this is happening to them. However, one can keep a lookout for subtle signs that can indicate this behaviour. These include lying, confusion, turning against you, blame games, ammunition and making you question your opinion (by calling you crazy).
How to tackle gaslighting?
If you ever feel that a person is gaslighting you, be sure to call them out for it. There's a good chance that the person doing this will not know they're doing it to you. However, keeping in mind that communication is the key in any relationship, it is crucial to point it out to your partner or friend when they're gaslighting. Your partner should understand the seriousness of your opinions and that you're entitled to have and express them. Explain to them how you're not going to stand for this behaviour.
Why is gaslighting a red flag?
It is easy to mistake gaslighting as a one-time thing -- however, the habit can get repetitive and is a bad habit to encourage. Having a partner that constantly indulges in it can restrict growth in a relationship. When you're constantly subjected to gaslighting, it indicates that your partner emotionally manipulates you and does not care about your feelings. It is vital to be in a relationship that does not emotionally drain you out. Be ruthless if you find that a relationship is not serving your purpose anymore. As it is referred to as a two-way street, it means that your partner should also make the right kind of efforts to keep it going.