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Gaslighting is a type of communicative technique that exists in multiple forms and may force one to question their own version of reality. Most of the time, it can make you lose grip on reality and create unequal power dynamics. In the worst-case scenario, it may take the shape of psychological abuse and lead to a complete mind takeover.

Like other types of psychological abuse, gaslighting can severely affect the personality, even after cutting ties with the responsible person. Since most people are unaware of the process or how to respond to gaslighting, it may lead to a few lingering effects, such as depression, anxiety, and self-doubt.

That said. Recovery is possible, and with the right kind of support, gaslighting along with its impacts can be effectively dealt with. Joining a  luxury treatment rehab can be an effective solution to speed up the recovery process and prevent lifelong consequences.

  • In the UK, gaslighting is known to be a criminal offence
  • Unofficial surveys suggest that some 58% of people between 18 to 54 years of age have suffered gaslighting at some point in life
  • Over 38 million men and 43 million women are likely to suffer from emotional abuse (gaslighting) by an intimate partner

Gaslighting is described as a type of psychological manipulation that forces someone to doubt their opinions, memory, and sanity. The motive behind this tactic is often to gain control or power over others. Over a period of time, it may lead to:

  • Second-guessing decisions so often that it gets difficult to make choices on own
  • Withdrawal from family and friends with minimal social life
  • Declining mental health
  • Constantly apologising to the abuser

Gaslighting can induce so much self-doubt that it may force the victim to become indecisive and completely dependent on their gaslighter to make decisions for them. This form of psychological abuse is more prevalent in romantic relationships but may also occur between parents and child, in a workplace environment, and among different family members.

Gaslighting behaviours are well-rooted in social and gender inequalities. It is more common in close relationships, especially the ones with a power imbalance. The process is gradual and often goes unnoticed until the level of self-doubt and confusion starts affecting life.

The long-term consequences of gaslighting are severe and can completely debilitate life. Its effects on mental health are particularly devastating, often ending up in one or more psychiatric issues, including anxiety and depression. An important thing to remember is that gaslighting, and the cloud of confusion that follows can be a type of emotional abuse. If not stopped in time, it can hurt the upcoming life with lifelong effects to deal with.

Gaslighting is capable of undermining the perception of reality. When someone is gaslighting you, it leads to second-guessing yourself and your decisions, perceptions, and memory. Even a small interaction with the gaslighter can leave you feeling confused and wondering if there’s something wrong with yourself. It can also encourage you to take the blame for something you are not responsible for.

A gaslighter can also force you to question your judgment, self-worth, memory, and even your overall mental health status. It may be helpful to know the common techniques these people may adopt to belittle you before learning how to deal with a gaslighting spouse.

Lying

Gaslighters are often pathological liars with narcissistic tendencies. They commonly lie and never change their stories, no matter how much the victim calls them out or provides proof of deception. Phrases like “that never happened” and “you are just making this up” are frequently used in their discussions.

 

Discrediting

People who are habitual gaslighters love to gossip and spread rumours. They may pretend to worry about you as they subtly hint to others about your emotionally unstable or crazy personality. This tactic usually makes other people side with your abuser without knowing the full story.

Distracting

It is common for gaslighters to change the subject, especially when they are called out for something they said or did. They may try to change the subject or divert your attention by asking another question instead of responding to your allegation. This tactic can easily throw you off your train of thought and provide your gaslighter with an opportunity to escape without accountability.

Trivialising Feelings and Thoughts

Belittling emotions in an attempt to gain power and control is an important characteristic of gaslighters. Such people may use statements like “you are too sensitive” and “you are overreacting” frequently to minimise what the victim feels or thinks and to communicate that they are wrong. 

Dealing with someone who fails to acknowledge your feelings, thoughts, or beliefs can easily make you question yourself. In addition, it often leads to a lack of validation which may be extremely shaming, isolating, and difficult to handle.

Shifting Blame

Blame-shifting is another common tactic to identify before learning how to deal with gaslighting. The gaslighter may use it to twist every discussion to shift the blame on the victim, even if it is not their fault. This strategy is also used when you try to tell your abuser how their behaviour is affecting you. For instance, they may claim that they wouldn’t treat you the way they do if you behaved differently.

Denying Wrongdoing

People who frequently engage in emotional abuse or bullying never accept any wrongdoings. The reason for this constant denial is to avoid the responsibility for their bad choices. The denial can often make the victim feel unheard, unseen, and unimportant, making it hard for them to recover or move on from the abuse.

Misusing Compassionate Words

Gaslighters often use kind and compassionate words to smooth over the situation every time they are questioned or called out. They may say phrases like, “you know I love you. I can never hurt you intentionally.” While the words may sound highly kind and supportive, they are primarily inauthentic, especially if this type of behaviour is repeated frequently.

Changing Past

A person who gaslights is habitual of changing the past events and retelling stories in a way that favours them. For example, if a gaslighter shoved you against the wardrobe and hurt you, they may twist the story later on and mention it as an attempt to steady you as you stumbled. The words they choose and the delivery style are so convincing that you may begin to doubt your memory of what exactly happened.

Learning how to deal with gaslighting is only possible once you are able to identify the problem and its eroding effects on your mental health. While gaslighting can take several forms and present as variable symptoms, the most damaging ones are the ones that take root in your mind, wearing away your trust and self-worth. Mentioned below are the common signs that you are being gaslighted:

  • Facing difficulties in making simple decisions
  • Believing that you are too sensitive
  • Constantly making excuses for your partner’s behaviours to others
  • Always blaming yourself for how you are being treated
  • Believing whatever the gaslighter tells you
  • Walking on eggshells around a potential gaslighter
  • Doubting your sanity and memory
  • Feeling trapped and lonely
  • Trying to convince yourself that the gaslighter’s behaviour is justified
  • Finding yourself apologetic all the time
  • Self-doubting yourself and your abilities
  • Feeling threatened and on edge all the time

After identifying the ongoing process of emotional abuse and its perpetrator, the next step is to learn how to deal with gaslighting and potentially avoid its long-term effects in the future. Below are some ways to take action and protect yourself, whether at work or in a relationship.

Talk to others: It is common to isolate yourself from family, friends, and colleagues as a response to gaslighting. Talking to people, especially the ones who understand and support you, is recommended to validate your experience and help you get out of the problem.

Focus on actions: A gaslighter may often tell you what you want to hear to keep the relationship going. However, remember that their words are meaningless as long as their behaviours do not depict them.

Avoid Arguing: Remember that gaslighting is not considered rational behaviour, and its perpetrators will most likely not respond to logic. If a partner, colleague, or friend turns every conversation into a chance to insult you or question your sanity, stop engaging with them.

Trust Yourself: Learning to trust yourself again is challenging and may require some time and practice. Just remember that whatever picture the gaslighter painted of you is completely wrong and does not justify who you actually are.

Get Professional Help: Gaslighting can be severely detrimental for many victims, leading to various issues like poor self-esteem, depression, anxiety, complete social isolation and more. In such cases, getting over the trauma and learning to trust yourself again can become difficult without help and support. Consider joining an inpatient luxury treatment centre to take a break from life and the abusive relationship and give your mind and body a chance to recover. Contact us now to book a slot today.

If you or a loved one have been a victim of gaslighting or struggling with its long-term complications, seeking help is important. An inpatient luxury treatment centre can be a potential solution to tackle the problem and contain the damage before it permanently damages the health and quality of life. These rehab centres offer individualised treatment programs supervised by qualified professionals in a luxurious and comfortable environment.

  • Initial Assessment: For every resident, an initial assessment is conducted to check the current mental and physical health status and identify problems, if any. The treatment program is then tailored according to the results.
  • Personal Enclosures: Private villas are available for residents who wish to heal in seclusion.
  • Five-star Amenities: The facility is equipped with all luxuries, such as a private chef and driver, large gardens and swimming pools, spas, gymnasium, and more.
  • Holistic Treatment: The team of experts focus on a holistic way of management and offers various therapies and forms of meditation to help deal with the trauma and restore self-trust.
  • Involvement of Family Members: Treatment for any mental or psychological issue demands support from family and friends. At our facility, we ensure that you or your loved ones are never alone by conducting weekly sessions with the family members or friends of your choice.
  • Individualised Plans: Our team of professionals thoroughly assess every resident and devise a plan tailored according to their needs and requirements for better outcomes.

Being on the receiving end of gaslighting and narcissistic abuse can be extremely painful. It can easily make one feel alone, exhausted, and stuck in an unbreakable cycle of abuse and often lead to anxiety, depression, PTSD, and codependency. Learning how to deal with gaslighting without indulging in negative coping mechanisms is essential to maintaining a high quality of life without any lingering side effects. Joining an executive rehab centre can be a good place to begin the process of recovery in a luxurious environment away from the daily stressors of life. Contact us now to book a slot.

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