Have you ever been around someone who makes you question your reality? Do you find yourself questioning yourself? What did you hear, what did you see, what did you feel? If you say “yes” to any of these you may be a victim of gaslighting.
Gaslighting makes you question your reality. The objective of getting you to question your reality is so that the gaslighter can control you and/or the situation. They are power trippers who get their source of power by gaslighting others who are trusting, honest, vulnerable, open to constructive criticism, etc… Innocent, trustworthy people get trapped in relationships with these very toxic people.
I will share some of my experiences as examples so you can see if you resonate with them. I question or confront my narcissist, it may be as simple as “who called?” but because they don’t want me to know, they simply unplug. They may not answer me while staring at me blank face so that I am aware that they heard me or they may change the subject to something unrelated. They negate the situation.
If I say “but you said you were going to do this”, they will reply, “I know what I said” without giving any explanation or reason for not following through with their words. Or they may say, “I did not say that!” These responses make you question the reality of what you heard, what you believed. Because any “normal” non-toxic person would say “I’m sorry I’m not going to be able to follow through on what I told you.”
Anyone who dismisses your feelings or pain is gaslighting you. If you say “that hurt when you said that” and they reply, “you are a complainer, just like your girlfriends. All women complain!” That is labeling you and putting you in a category that is not true. It makes you question your perception of reality.
Gaslighters are controllers and people who want to be in control are competitive in their relationships. There’s certain competitiveness that breeds jealousy. And jealousy leads to cutting folks off so they can be first. They will run over anybody and everyone to be at the top. And when they step on others to be first, they will also be trying to distort their “competitors” reality so they cannot be first. They are essentially eliminating the competition. Make sense? The best way they think to win is to hit you in the knees as Tonya Harding did to Nancy Kerrigan.
If you resonate with any of what I’m saying I encourage you to first know you are not crazy. Your feelings and thoughts are real and matter. Next, find yourself a safe person to speak to about what is happening. Go to Human Resources, a therapist, a pastor, a best friend that you can confide in, and get help. Distorting your experience so that one may gain power is a game that you cannot win and you must know how to handle the situation safely.