A person who is psychologically manipulated, tortured, and emotionally abused in a relationship is a victim of GASLIGHTING. The gas lighter smartly avoids taking responsibility for his toxic behaviour by categorically and blatantly lying and denying culpable action. The sufferer has no option but to question his intellect and psyche and live with noxious guilt.
GASLIGHTING is a term taken from a 1938 play – “Gaslight.” A chauvinistic husband abuses his wife mentally by pumping into her psyche that she is losing her mind. In the nasty process, the docile wife loses her way and starts questioning her identity, senses, and reality, including turning off her gas lights at home.
Gas lighters disempower people by baffling and intimidating them. Their sole purpose is to gain control over weaker and more vulnerable minds, thus nurturing their abusive interests.
One must be vigilant of the hissing serpents loitering freely at workplaces, institutions, homes, and relationships, making your life miserable. Relationships face the worst kind of gaslighting. Never show your neediness, demands or clinginess to others. You are exposing the fortress of your self-respect and kindness to the gaslighter felon. By revealing your expectations, you are trespassing in the lives of others– the best way to maintain sanity is to change yourself and quash expectations.
Some people understand their folly and are ashamed to accept their nasty truth yet deny it and try to gain self-control over the other person. This is ‘unintentional gaslighting.’
I watched a series on Hot Star in which the husband blatantly gaslights his unassuming wife by making her feel insignificant, confused, and insane. His emotional manipulation and self-pleasure are rewarded by compelling the wife to perform perverted sexual acts. The wife is forced to comprehend her guilt, doubting her reality and sanity.
Remember, you are being gaslighted if someone refuses to listen to you, accuses you and talks to you —
*“Hey, you are stupid and sensitive – this never happened.”
* “You are indeed a confused person – gosh, you overreact.”
* “You are in the habit of forgetting facts; this is not right.”
* “What are you saying? I never said that.”
* “It is surely your fault; I will never do a thing like this.”
* “Oh dear, it was just a joke – don’t you understand the jokes?
* “Stop exaggerating – there is something seriously wrong with you.”
* “How dare you corner me with this nasty accusation.”
Gas lighters usually harbour a narcissistic personality trait and an anti-social behaviour disorder. They rarely reveal personal information giving people a distorted view of themselves. They tend to manipulate others because of their vested interests and needs. There is outright lying, falsehood, manipulation of reality, condemnation, and bullying.
The Gas lighter’s narcissistic Mantra is – “That did not happen – and if it did, it wasn’t bad . . . and if it was bad, then it’s not a big deal . . . and if it is a big deal then it’s certainly not my fault. . . and if it was my fault, then I did not mean it . . . and if I meant it, then sure enough, you deserved it.”
Beware of those around you who gaslight you without your knowledge, and you succumb to their occult motives out of generosity, love, and empathy.
Ways to overcome the menace and escape the horror – YOU NEED TO SPEAK OUT.
* “Oh, I heard you well, but we remember things differently.” – Bravo! You have scared the serpent.
* “I am neither listening nor responding if you continue speaking to me like this.” – remain confident in your version.
* “Don’t enforce your experience over me – I heard you, sorry this is not what I think.” – Bullshit misbehaviour without fear.
* “I can’t take this anymore; I am walking away from the present conversation.” – take space from the situation.
* “Let’s not debate the issue or argue about your story.” — focus on yourself and your self-respect.
* “Don’t you always enjoy pointing out my mistakes and coercing me?”
The best approach to eradicating a gas lighter is to appear emotionless. It’s the realisation by the gas lighter that you don’t care anymore. Initially, he will try to convince you, but eventually, he will change. BUT DON’T FALL FOR IT.
For prolonged survival, the relationship must be on; ‘one is on one’ pedestal. No one has the right to take advantage of one or emotional mileage over the other. Sometimes we don’t realise we are unintentionally using or gaslighting a relationship. Space and respect are the Mantras for any form of longevity.