Has someone ever said something to you that made you question your thoughts, memories, choices, or identity? This person may be gaslighting you, a common psychological abuse that makes a person question his/her/their sanity, perception of reality, or memories. Victims often feel confused, anxious, and lack trusting themselves.
Check out the phrases below that are key identifiers for someone who is gaslighting you:
- I never said that.
- You need help.
- You sound crazy.
- You're making this up.
- It's your own fault you feel this way.
- You're being so dramatic.
- You are overreacting again.
- You're acting insane.
- You need to work on that.
- You are just insecure and jealous.
- Maybe that's what you heard in your head, but that's not what I said.
- It was just a joke. Get over it.
- You're being too sensitive.
- You are the problem, not me.
Gaslighting happens in personal relationships and even by public figures (think Donald Trump!); however, it's not always intentional or malicious. If someone is doing this to you, identify the problem and give yourself permission to feel what your emotions. Permit yourself to make a sacrifice. Take small steps to get out or stop a gaslight. Feel free to get a second opinion about your interaction. Finally, have compassion for yourself. After all, you're responsible for yourself.