Gaslighting

How to deal with the 3 levels of gaslighting

4/26/24
from The Washington Post,
4/26/24:

Many of us differ on what counts as gaslighting — the form of emotional abuse and manipulation in which one person attempts to bend the reality of another. In gaslighting, the target is left feeling confused or even insane, as exquisitely dramatized in the 1944 movie “Gaslight.” Gaslighting was Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Year in 2022, with a 1,740 percent increase in the number of times it was searched. The term’s increased popularity has raised awareness of its effect on our relationships and has prompted confusion over what constitutes gaslighting.

Working with James Floman, our colleague at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, we identified five factors that contribute to the severity of a gaslighting experience: frequency, intensity, extensiveness, intentionality (not all gaslighting is conscious) and the victim’s ability to handle adversity. These factors also inform the severity of the gaslighting, as well as its effect on the target. These effects can start as disbelief and progress to defense and depression. Here’s how to cope with three levels of gaslighting. Emerging gaslighting

Moderate gaslighting

Severe gaslighting

Recognizing the red flags of gaslighting If you think gaslighting may be present in your relationship, check for the following red flags: I often feel confused and crazy in this relationship. I have trouble walking away from a conversation when this person accuses me of something I didn’t do or being someone I’m not. I avoid talking about this person with others. I feel anxious and “not enough” with this person. I am not the same person I was when I entered the relationship. We are all deserving of respectful, compassionate and loving relationships. You are no exception.

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