Are you a victim of gaslighting? You might be quick to answer no, but do you know what it means to be gaslighted? No, this isn't a new, made-up word. Gaslighting has been around forever. As a matter of fact, it was used in the 1944 movie, "Gaslight." In the movie, a man is so manipulative to his wife that she begins to think it's all in her head, that she's losing her mind.

Gaslighting a form of psychological manipulation where the manipulator plants seeds of doubt into a person's head and in turn, the person being manipulated beings to be flooded with feelings of self-doubt. Their self worth slips through their fingers and they begin to question their own sanity. Gaslighting is very much a form of abuse. If you or someone you know has experienced any of these warning signs, you may be a victim of gaslighting.

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    1

    They Hold Something Special to You Over Your Head

    The gaslighter taps into what is most special to you and holds it against you. For instance, they know that your family means the world to you and that letting down your family would be devastating. And so the gaslighter lays down low blows, telling you that your family would love you more if you were more attractive, had a better job, spoke more eloquently and so on. The gaslighter literally attacks you from the core of your being.

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    2

    They Cut You Down and Then Lift You up

    The gaslighter will cut you down, telling you how awful you are in every aspect of your self and then they'll suddenly toss praise your way which confuses you and makes you think that the gaslighter isn't completely awful because they paid you a compliment. Except they are awful. The tactic they use is to keep you on an emotional teeter-totter almost like you're a marionette and they're the puppeteer bringing you up and down as they please.

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    3

    They Tell People You're Crazy

    Be careful of this one. Really, really careful. One of the most powerful things a gaslighter can and will do is tell people that you're crazy. That you're off-kilter. That you're a hot emotional mess. They may say it in a joking manner, but when you've finally had enough and turn to others for help getting out, they'll be less likely to believe the severity of your situation because the gaslighter will have laid the foundation that you're the one who's off their rocker.

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    4

    They Backtrack on the Truth

    A gaslighter will lie to your face when you ask them about something they said. You know they said it because you heard it with your own ears; they said they'd do something or did do something and then when you ask them about it, they'll turn on you and tell you that they never said what you claim and they'll deny in such a convincing way that you begin to believe that maybe, just maybe you misheard them or that it was someone else who actually said it.