What is Gaslighting? 10 Techniques To Protect Yourself Against It

10 gaslighting techniques to protect yourself against it

Gaslighting is a technique by which a person or a sectarian group, for example, seeks to have more power. For this he chooses a victim and manipulates her, so that at first, he has him first to doubt his reality. And it works much better than you might think. Everyone is susceptible to gaslighting. This is a common technique among manipulators, gurus, narcissistic perverts, in short, anyone who wants to create a cult of themselves. To protect yourself from it, it is important to know its tactics.

The gaslighting takes place slowly, so the victim does not realize that she is being brainwashed. For example, in the movie Gaslight (where the term originated from), a man manipulates his wife to such an extent that she thinks she is losing her mind. People who use this technique of mental manipulation deliberately distort information to put themselves forward or to make the victim doubt their sanity, memory or perception of reality.

It is useful to know these techniques in order to be able to spot them and especially to protect themselves from them. Here are the processes used by those who do gaslighting:

They tell blatant lies.

For example, he tells you a lie. You know for a fact that you just heard a lie. This lie is being struck at you with the most serious air. Why is it so blatant? This is the first step in this manipulation, which will be the basis of gaslighting. Once they tell you a huge lie, you cannot be sure about anything and precisely whether or not they are subsequently telling the truth. The goal here is to destabilize and disrupt you.

They deny having said anything, even if you have proof of it.

You know they told you something, and you know you heard it. But when you remind them of what they said, they deny over and over again that they said it. This leads you to wonder about the facts and to doubt yourself: maybe in the end, they never said that? The more they do this, the more you doubt yourself, your reality, thus starting to accept theirs.

They use what is near and dear to you as a means to reach you.

They know how important your children are to you, and how important your identity is to you, which is what they will attack first. For example, if you have kids, they'll tell you that you shouldn't have any, or that you would be a better person if only you didn't have that long list of negative traits. People who practice gaslighting attack the foundations of your being.

They have you to wear.

This is one of the most insidious things about gaslighting - it happens gradually, over time. A lie here, a lie there, a scathing comment from time to time ... And the manipulations start to create loopholes in you. Even the smartest, most self-aware people can get trapped in gaslighting. This is the story of the frog in the basin of water on the stove: the stove is lit very slowly, and the frog never realizes what is happening to it. She is cooking!

Their actions do not follow their words.

When dealing with a person or a guru who practices gaslighting, it is better to consider their actions than their words. Their words have no meaning, they are just words. The problem is in their actions (what they do or do not do).

They engage in positive reinforcement to confuse you.

That person who is manipulating you, told you that you are worthless yesterday, or is congratulating you today for something you have done. It just adds to the uneasy feeling because you think "well, after all maybe he / she isn't that bad". It is a subtle and calculated technique to destabilize you and, once again, make you doubt your reality. Observe what you've been commended for: it's probably something that serves the purposes of the gaslighter.

They know that confusion makes people weak

Gaslighters know that everyone likes to feel like they are stable and balanced. Their goal is to destroy that and make you constantly question yourself. As you know, the most natural human tendency is to turn to the person who makes you feel balanced and stable: the very one who practices gaslighting.

They try to turn other people against you

Gaslighters are masters of manipulating people and finding those who are going to stand by them, to turn them against you. They will thus make comments such as "this person knows you are wrong" or "this person also thinks you are useless". Keep in mind that doesn't mean these people actually said these things: a gaslighter is constantly lying. He uses this technique so that you no longer know who to believe or who to turn to, which will lead you right into his "mouth".

It's fully aware: Isolating yourself from others gives them more power.

Tell others that you are losing your mind

Here is one of the most efficient gaslighter. The latter knows very well that if he tells everyone that you are losing your mind, others will not believe you when you try to justify yourself by evoking his personality. It is a very well mastered technique.

They tell you everyone else is lying

By telling yourself that everyone is lying to you (your family, your friends, the media), it once again makes you doubt your reality. You have never known someone capable of so much daring and self-assurance. So he has to tell the truth, right? No, it is still a manipulation technique that makes people turn to the gaslighter to get the "right" information, which as you know deep down is not at all correct.

Is the gaslighter aware of his behavior?

It depends on the people. You might think that the gaslighter is not at all aware of his behavior, but this is not always the case. By the way, there is a book, by Dale Carnegie (How to Make Friends and Influencing Others), which provides a foundation for learning to influence people. This is where the difference lies between gaslighters considered pathological and the majority of those who have only read Dale Carnegie leading neither a life of violence, nor abuse, nor destruction.

This is why it is important to know the techniques used by gaslighters: to better protect themselves against them. Because even if a gaslighter does not do this consciously, he can realize the benefits obtained when his victim becomes dependent on him. He also feels good when no one holds him responsible for his behavior.

However, just because a gaslighter is unaware of his manipulative behavior does not make his actions acceptable. If you think you are the victim of a gaslighter, your best bet is to try to cut off all communication with him. You can also seek the help of a professional who will help you protect yourself as well as possible.

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