24 phrases ‘gaslighters’ use against you

These word pairings can do a lot of damage to trust and office morale. Make sure you avoid these tell-tale signs of manipulation and coercion, no matter who is in your audience.

Editor’s note: This article is a re-run as part of our countdown of top stories from the past year.

If you’ve ever spent time around a gaslighter, you know what they’re capable of.

Gaslighters engage in the manipulation technique of distorting known facts, memories, events and evidence to invalidate a person’s experience. The idea is to make those who disagree with the gaslighter question their ability, memory or sanity. (See it in action in the 1944 movie “Gaslight,” starring Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer.)

Gaslighters use lies, false promises and personal attacks to make those around them doubt themselves. For example, at a meeting on Tuesday, your boss says, “You can all leave at noon on Friday.” When Friday comes along, your boss indignantly says, “I would never say you could leave early. You weren’t paying attention.”

When it comes to politics, gaslighting is all around us. Gaslighting also occurs in personal relationships, though it is often subtler, but gaslighting in the workplace can be especially destructive—particularly if your boss is the culprit.

According to Psychology Today, gaslighting typically begins gradually, with a snide comment or critical remark disguised as a joke. The gaslighter may then deny having said or done something, tell blatant lies and eventually project his or her bad behavior or traits on you.

The more aware you are of a gaslighter’s techniques, the better you can protect yourself. The following are phrases to look for if you suspect someone is trying to gaslight you.

1. “If you were paying attention…”

2. “If you were listening…”

3. “If you knew how to listen…”

4. “We talked about this. Don’t you remember?”

5. “I guess I’ll have to repeat myself since you can’t remember.”

6. “You need to learn to communicate better.”

7. “You’re being irrational.”

8. “Don’t you think you’re over-reacting?”

9. “You’re just over-sensitive.”

10. “Stop being so sensitive.”

11. “You’re too emotional.”

12. “You can’t take a joke.”

13. “You’re so thin-skinned.”

14. “You always jump to the wrong conclusion.”

15. “Stop taking everything I say so seriously.”

16. “Can you hear yourself?”

17. “I criticize you because I like you.”

18. “You’re the only person I have these problems with.”

19. “You’re reading too much into this.”

20. “I’m not arguing; I’m discussing.”

21. “I know what you’re thinking.”

22. “You should have known that this was not a good time to talk.”

23. “Why are you upset? I was only kidding.”

24. “Why would you think that? What does that say about you?”

What experiences do you have with gaslighting, PR Daily readers? Are there phrases you would add to the list for conscientious communicators to avoid?

Laura Hale Brockway is a regular contributor to PR Daily. Read more of her posts on writing, editing, and corporate life at impertinentremarks.com.


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80 Responses to “24 phrases ‘gaslighters’ use against you”

    Ron Curtin says:

    “What did I do, Ron?” when someone knows what they did to harm you and pretends that they don’t know.

    Yasmin says:

    Discussion gives them an opening. When you get questions like “What did I do, what do you mean, I don’t understand they are not listening or trying to understand you, they are waiting for your reply so they can either; attack you personely or when you answer they start denying everything you say. Making you the insane sounding person. When you have a gaslighter in your life I would recommend you (out of my own experience) First to stay at a far distance from this person don’t let them get close to you, if it means cutting of contact than I am afraid you have to do so. Always keep distance so you can minimize contact and you have control over when they can speak to you (I only talk over the phone twice a year). Second you have to accept that this person will never acknowledge the harm they have caused you. Logic and reason doesn’t work on these people, you will only go insane trying to convince them. The sooner you accept this, the faster you can move on with your life. It is hard to accept escpecially when it’s a relative, but it is your only way out of this misery. Stick to the facts in your life and know that you are not making things up, if it really happened and they deny or go around it they are gaslighting you. (The relative in my case is my father)

    Some Guy says:

    One frequent statement I continue to see is “if everyone around you is a problem, the problem is you.” It instantly shuts down any dialogue for whatever issue is happening. I’ll use my own experience as an example. I have brought up to many people my past and how I have been bullied for my looks all my life. So having gone through this kind of treatment from people for a good chunk of my life, it leads me to believe that most people are assholes. Anyone I ever mention this to says the above statement. I must be the problem. Yeah…Aren’t I so intolerable for simply existing? I know now that its just gaslighter language. Victim blaming. I hope this crappy sentiment of “if everyone around you is the problem..” gets studied and hopefully it will finally come to light what a horrible and victim blaming statement this is.

    Mary canary says:

    I’m gaslighted daily . Partner said you can’t trust me instead of you don’t trust me. That was an admission in my opinion

    Wendy Schmidt says:

    After they hurt you they say, “I’m sorry you feel that way.” It’s not an apology, it’s a means of making you feel like you’re the problem.

    Jimilla Holt says:

    When your partner tells you that you make up thoughts in your head.. When your trying to discuss a a problem or a feeling..

    Cheshire says:

    If they make snide comments like “I better do this so you don’t yell at me later” or “If I let you do it instead of doing it myself I’ll never hear the end of it” considered gaslighting?

    Patrick says:

    @wendy Schmidt – Right there. “I’m sorry you feel that way.” Or, even worse iteration of that would be, “I believe that you believe that.” I had a counselor/social worker do that to me for a year. I have had people speak to me in that way in life. I think that you can read into what the implications are. There are some cues, verbal, facial expressions, body language, that also seem to be tangentially related from these types of comments and sayings. You just know, when someone says these things that they mean you no good. It is covert, under the surface. Parsing words, providing examples (“well if you don’t give me examples, how am I supposed to…”), slow-walking, delaying, evading, countering, avoiding, not providing a direct answer…. I have a universe of thought behind what the phrase, “I’m sorry you feel that way,” truly means.

    Cory says:

    @ wendy…

    “I’m sorry you feel that way”

    I can never ever get an apology, even for something extremely simple but would still warrant an apology.

    @ patrick..—- the slow walking…omg. im so glad someone else recognizes this in people. When I’m trying to get my partner to hurry up because of a time crunch. There is never ever a “move faster” effort. Not once. have I been like “can we move a little faster, we ave people waiting on us.” there is never not once in fouhr years been a time where I actually witnessed a sense of urgency, hustle. etc. “hey come on, we got to go ! we are late ” replies with ” I AM MOVING AS FAST AS I CAN” when there is no change in effort.

    I think all in all, I hahve witnessed gaslighters to be people who silently mooch there way through life, they pretend to be stupid or not understand what you are saying.

    I’ve been in arguments where for at least 3 hours I was screaming “stop talking to me, STOP replying to me, PLEASE DONT SAY ANYTHING”

    first thing that I hear is “I didn’t do anything”, “I was sitting silent”, “I didn’t do anything wrong”, ” I– I– I don’t understand what your mean?!”.

    covering their ears pretending that they can’t hear you…

    “are you doing having a temper tantrum”

    “I didn’t say anything, you must be hearing voices”

    vial insanity

    I think gaslighting has become more prevalent because people don’t understand the etymology behind many words they say, even if he words are common.

    Brittany Yerden says:

    So, my sister, mother and sister in law all blame things on me that they actually do themselves. They have put me down for years and I absolutely hate myself. I have always blamed myself and posted all my insecurities on social media(big mistake) and they tell people that I’m the issue and I’m at fault and always denying that they hurt me. They fabricate stories to others and now, I have no one. I feel so alone and hopeless. I feel like I will never love myself. They know how much I hate myself, unfortunately my own fault, but they would lie and say I’m arrogant,so I had to prove myself and defend myself to them. I feel like I’m always defending myself. I feel like I will never escape this cycle of abuse. How can I just “ignore” them? I have been through this my whole life practically and even told myself how I must be the issue. I told myself i needed to respect them just as much because all their cruel words and actions must be true and I must deserves it. I really need some advice. Thank you so much!

    Anna H. says:

    My ex used to refuse to discuss anything after the first time if I couldn’t repeat the high points of our conversation word-for-word. For instance, we’d had a discussion about taking equal turns vacuuming, but he liked to vacuum first thing in the morning and I worked late nights and slept in. He was angry at me for not waking up at the time he dictated to do my share of the work, but we discussed changing the appointed time to vacuum so it was more fair to me. Sure enough, though, a few weeks later he got pissed at me again for not vacuuming on time. I pointed out that we’d already discussed this and came to a solution (or so I’d thought), and he asked me to repeat to him word-for-word what we’d said. I couldn’t, but I could paraphrase and tell him the date that we had the discussion, as well as where we were standing in the room while we were talking, etc. He told me that unless I could give him the entire unedited conversation, I was lying, and he wasn’t talking about this anymore. With that as an intimidation technique, over eight years of dating he effectively tailored all of my actions to meet his exact requirements. I didn’t realize the extent of the manipulation until we’d broken up and I was in therapy. Never again.

    JUNO says:

    Brittany, hard as it may be, we sometimes need to cut people out of our lives. Specifically people who are destructive versus supportive of us. Oftentimes, this will include family members. In your case, they may see you as possessing some unique talents, skills , personal characteristics, etc. they are jealous of so, they demean you. In what you wrote, you demonstrated good insight and an accurate read of what has been going on. You are smart!

    The next step is figuring out how to distance yourself from those who are harming you. That is, determine how you can largely eliminate them from your life. If you live with these family members, find your own place. Also, eliminate your psychological reliance on them. You can find useful guidance for this on line.

    Rely on your own good judgement to quietly plan this out. Keep your plans to yourself unless you have a VERY trustworthy friend you can confide in. The act of planning will give you strength! By breaking away, you’ll gain a fresh and positive self-outlook. Your confidence will grow.

    Do not look for ANY help, support, guidance, etc. no matter how small, from those who are harming you. The above will take some time. Be patient. In the meantime, let their abusing words turn into motivation to continue planning and gaining your freedom.

    Families are sometimes known to gang up on members who are unique, different from them as they find such individuals to be threatening. I suspect you have a talent(s) they are jealous of and do not wish you to become successful or happy in your life.

    Mary canary says:

    I’ve found out last week that my gaslighting partner has lied about an issue for the 22 year duration of the relationship .now I’m staying in the bedroom I can’t bear to look at him because he said , he lied to protect Me !!

    Mary canary says:

    He also says why would you think that about me , I’m sitting here minding my own business and you love arguing . I had a meltdown 2 days ago and he seemed to go quit , until , why aren’t you sitting next to me watching the television . I don’t understand what’s happened !!!!!!

    Mary canary says:

    First time ever I’ve witnessed the pacing thing . He stood up calmly and started walking very slowly from room to room and turning to grin at me to mock my anger . Then accused me of being violent because I tore up my teatowel in frustration . Yesterday he urged me to go in the lounge after I’d spent 4 days in the bedroom . He even trivialised the time in there and said it was 2 days yet claiming I’ve ignored him for 4 days . B…… 😠

    Samuel Braun says:

    Not much dissent among these comments. Why? I use probably a third to a half of these phrases on a regular basis, and they’re used on me in return. No harm, no foul. That’s just the way it’s always been. Just a normal part of conversation. Maybe there is a valid point to be made about manipulation, but most of these examples are crazy. Take the first three examples (above). I use them when the person I’m talking with comes back at me with a statement that DOES NOT FOLLOW at all from what I just said. That, and the fact that many (most? me included) people don’t really listen that well, instead they are often already thinking about what THEY will say next, is ample justification. (Granted, number three sounds a little snarky. I actually DON’T say that one) Number 7. Exactly how is that different from “that’s irrational.” Jeez, if you can’t say that, you may as well stop talking. What else CAN one say when the other person is not being rational. Number 16. When someone says something absurd, this is exactly the correct thing to say. Number 19. This is often well meaning and helpful advice that makes the other person feel better about himself or at least provide a little reassurance. Number 21. Often used in a self-disparaging way. Look, if you’re going to put us in a verbal straightjacket then what’s the point of even having a discussion.

    Scott says:

    None of those quotes are gaslighting. The only reason you believe that is because your victim mentality knows no bounds; you want to play victim in a pathetic attempt to avoid having to swallow your pride and admit your mistake.

    Honestly, I don’t think gaslighting is even a legitimate term. It’s just a verbal device “victims” use as an excuse not to accept responsibility.

    Nina says:

    I think JUNO gave Brittany excellent advice.
    What do you do when you are victimized by a gas lighter all your life before you even knew what that means?…I finally realized that I had to completely separate myself from the perpetrator if I was ever going to have any peace. My life improved THE MINUTE I WALKED AWAY FOR GOOD. I rarely communicate and if I do it’s briefly on my terms…always careful not to backslide into the trickery. Jealousy, Manipulation and Sabotage is real …And Sometimes being with Family is completely Over rated. Stick with people who genuinely give their support.

    Christy Fortier says:

    I got into a relationship with a 57 year old- I’m 28. The first time I ever heard the word gaslighting was a couple weeks ago when my friend told me I’m missing dangerous red flags about being undermined and manipulated… I ignored that advice and kept seeing this older guy. He through his cellphone at me to ‘prove’ that he doesn’t talk to any other women but me and family.. well while entertaining his request I read a text message he sent to a friend basically saying I was t doing much for him in anyway- I brought this up with him and his response was, “it’s guy talk! This is bullshit we’re not in high school I didn’t effing do anything! You’re impossible to please; no one will put up will put up with you like I do!” (Screaming at the top of his lungs- face as red as one can get). Anyways.. that made me question wether or not I was overreacting..
    Moving onto his comments about my sanity… “do you hear yourself? I mean really. You have a split personality and need to accept help”
    He would also touch my sides and pull on me telling me, “this is where all your food is going- you really should take a picture of yourself eating that bagel”
    — now I was uncomfortable eating around him—
    The first night I refused to put up with the manipulation bullshit and threatened to leave- as I planned on it- he told me “IF YOU LEAVE ILL END IT! I’ll fucking end it!” I said “Martin.. what do you mean?” He said, “if you leave I’ll kill myself” I said I wouldn’t leave… but at 3 am I was in the next room with my heart in my stomach wondering what he was gna do to me if he heard me packing my things.. talk about a bad GUT feeling.. I couldn’t even catch my breath. But I got the courage to pack my things and I left in the middle of the night—
    — he also pushed me so hard out of nowhere that I stumbled across the kitchen into his sink— and he laughed like he was joking- I couldn’t even look him in the eyes at that moment bc I didn’t want to see what pleasure that gave him— he started scaring me but in the most twisted way I felt like it could still work— until
    I thought to myself oh God.. if I see his face again- I will be terrified…
    he contacted my family tonight to tell them I was ‘on drugs’ and ‘drinking alcohol’ and that I needed help… Which was just the weirdest twisted lie (HE EVEN TOOK A PICTURE OF HIS BEER AND SENT IT CLAIMING I BROUGHT IT TO GET DRUNK!!!)NOW at this moment in time After he made contact with family bc he’s blocked on my phone— I’m literally scared for my life. I’ve been open eyed all night into morning worried that he’s going to show up here he made a comment that he’d either “love” me “to pieces” or “chop” me “up into pieces”
    I don’t know how it got this bad— but he’s doing a job on my mental state and well-being..that’s for sure.
    There’s so much more.. but I’ll leave it at that bc I’m exhausted.

    Anne says:

    I tend agree with the comments that these phrases are not great examples of gaslighting. They are too vague and can often be rooted in some truth. And many of them redundant. That said, it does depend on the context, intent and even tone of voice. “It’s 10% what you say and 90% how you say it.”

    For example, to say someone is overreacting can sometimes be true and a fair statement. But saying something like, “you’re overreacting so there’s something wrong with you” would be a better example. Similarly, saying “you’re the only person I have these problems with” can be true but to say, “you’re the only person I have these problems with because you are too sensitive and irrational” might be a better example.

    I have difficulties with my boyfriend that I never have with anyone else. I will ask him to calm down and not make such a big deal of it and he will tell me I’m crazy or there’s something wrong with me. Who is doing the gaslighting. It is my reality that he is flying off the handle over something unfair but I don’t call him crazy. He take it that step further. Also, he is an alcoholic and often forgets conversations or remembers them differently. When is it standing up for your true recollection of events and when is telling them that you told them something already or they weren’t listening gaslighting. I will make light of it and say, “you must have misheard me. No big deal,” but he says I’m gaslighting. If I were criticizing him for it, perhaps that would be different. He will criticize me for doing something that he does all the time but if i point that out, he claims I’m gaslighting. Where are the lines?

    Tw says:

    OK people calm down.
    Or is that me gas lighting?
    One big consideration that is missed in simply looking at words and phrases is motive and intent.
    Too often people latch onto a form of armchair psychology and self analysis. Appropriating words and phrases that are sometimes just simple statements of fact to be forms of abuse, when they are not.
    Abuse is a systemic behaviour that has one purpose, to exert power in order to control. This can be evidenced in terms, phrases or acts that are imposed across multiple areas and over time. Individual statements do not make a gas lighter, collective statement and behaviours over time do. These reveal the true character and nature of an individual, and ultimately what their motive and intent is.
    Another term used here is victim mentality. One consideration when defining someone according to power and control techniques and methods is to be fully aware that it does place you into a victim mentality. That is what it is designed to do, to protect the self from further abuse, firstly by identifying forms of abuse, then by protecting the victim from further abuse by refusing to accept any form of explanation.
    Instead defining anything offered that is only measured through a lens of self protection as further abuse.
    The method is self validating, self protecting, and as such can not allow challenge because to to so might cause further damage or abuse.
    It is not subjective if self applied, and should always be considered and reviewed by a trained third party professional, who talks to both sides, not just one side.
    It is all too easy to cause significant and lasting damage to relationships by applying elements of psychology to suit a disposition or desired outcome, this is why context and defining character and nature over time, as well as external review and challenge of these things is imperative.
    Gas lighting is not just attached to words, it is found in the intent.
    If you then assume someone is guilty of intent based solely on words and allow them no right to challenge you conclusions and definition of them then this is a sure sign that you are the issue.
    Because you are denying them their basic legal right to a presumption of innocence, you by application of a method to define an abuse without allowing context deny them the right to a voice and to defend themself.
    So be very careful, what may sometimes appear as gas lighting may actually be a medical condition, emotional difficulty, or even a psychological issue in the other person, and not an intent to cause deliberate harm. Perceiving them only through a lens of suspicion and doubt attached to self protection or only your rights does not allow for broader considerations to be made.
    Which is a limiting factor of simply trying to define anyone there by words and phrases.

    Stephanie Taylor says:

    He hurts my feelings, then doesn’t care. He just makes it worse, til I’m very upset. I say why do you give me nothing but hate & I have to beg for love? I get “I’m impossible to love”. ” If you’d stop”(falling apart) ” I can’t”,. (love me) all this because he didn’t love from the beginning. This is happening after, 7 yrs of not being aware, I’m still recovering & getting back control. He’s name in my phone is evil husband… Oh, I’m responsible for his actions & he is the victim.

    Harmony says:

    Thanks for the informative article!
    It started me wondering though, if someone who has been gaslit for years can they start to develop/demonstrating the behaviors to gaslight others without realizing it?

    Aimee Holbrook says:

    I think the biggest take away from this, and how to separate true gas lighting from people being Uber sensitive is this….gas lighters have MOTIVE. They are narcissistic people who are trying to gain control over their victim by making them think they’re going crazy or are unstable and can’t live without the gaslighter…

    Niccog says:

    I think they usually use all of the above if not most of these phrases. Toxic people who gaslight others are just extremely manipulative. They will lie to you to the bone. I see someone in the comment section saying that toxic people will usually say “if everyone around you is a problem, the problem is you.” Its a lie… They say this so you end up blaming yourself. I remember working for an extremely toxic company once actually. The manager would always find a reason to get me into trouble for something and always wrote me up and lying claiming I’m always doing things wrong even though I knew the entire time he was lying… He then eventually said this same statement “if everyone around you is a problem, the problem is you.” I still knew he was lying so just ignored it and eventually left the company. I then started working for a better company. One that isnt toxic. And not once has any of the managers said that “I was the problem” or saying “if everyone around you is a problem, the problem is you” and nothing ever went wrong. They all said I was doing a good job and nothing I was doing was wrong. So just one word of advice. Stay away from toxic people. They’re the biggest liars.. They will twist your words, lie to you, claim your doing something wrong even though it’s actually right etc…

    Jon says:

    Context is key with all of this, especially as both a gaslighter and the gaslighting victim may find themselves saying many of the listed phrases. A few are also phrases that may come up around someone genuinely dealing with psychosis (such as caused through trauma, depression, etc.). The different effects and results are key, especially since gaslighting is used by an abuser in manipulating the victim and particularly has the goal of cognitive dissonance.

    For Harmony ‘s question: As with many forms of abuse, it’s fully possible for a victim of gaslighting to end up using gaslighting techniques themselves. I have one former friend who was attempting to gaslight people who, himself, has a rather emotionally and physically abusive father. There are also tons of articles on the subject plus the cycle of abuse, with studies suggesting that 1/3 of victims end up becoming abusers later in life. Part of breaking the cycle is recognizing the abuse for what it is and consciously avoiding negative (i.e. manipulative, abusive, etc.) behaviors.

    Lennox says:

    It’s sometimes their emotional switch versus verbal cues. For example, they will do something hurtful, cheat or lie, and when you ask a valid question like “why would you do that, you really hurt me” they react by escalating the situation to an uncomfortable confrontation to avoid asking your honest question and resolving the matter leaving you hurt and confused but afraid to press on asking questions fearing you’re being a “nag”. Lots of men use this on their wives or what they refer to as their “ball and chain” or “old lady”….what I’ve never understood is why would you get involved in a committed relationship with a beautiful, loving woman just to manipulate and destroy them psychologically and disregard them emotionally (as if they’re ‘damaged’ or ‘unloveable’)…that’s your wife. You swore a vow to honour and protect that human being as did she do the same for you. I see it all too often, couples “pump and dump” partners like they’re disposable. It’s sickening.

    Randolph says:

    “You have no proof” or “You have no evidence” yet the proof is obviously there. The gaslighter makes believe the proof doesn’t exist or doesn’t count as proof, so his victim must be imagining things.

    Heather says:

    Saying these things doesn’t make you a gaslighter… sometimes the gaslighter is on the other end of this conversation blowing everything you say out of proportion and context and putting words in your mouth… if someone is alway blowing up about insignificant crap and then trying to make you out to be the bad guy because your sick of listening to nothing but negativity of course your response is going to be that they need to calm down

    Paula says:

    My mom and i say all this shit to each other all the time. We’re both gaslighting one another, and its a really exhausting relationship. Periodically we both try not to, but it just slips back into the same old shit. Its a constant and painful cycle, and we dont have any other family, which makes everything a lot worse. Over the years our relationship has been stripped to the bare minimum of meeting 1-2 a year and speaking only if practically necessary. If im being realistic, i would say its highly unlikely that our relationship will ever change.
    Its really sad. Sometimes i can tear up because I miss her so much, even though we’re in the same room. Honestly, i think we’re both narcissists fucking up each others lives, and even though a family is all i want, I dont think i should have kids and pass the curse on.

    Jess says:

    I have someone in my life who responds to my communication in a way that almost all people wouldn’t. Here’s the example.
    It’s Wednesday and we make plans to catch up Next Friday. I confirm great see you next Friday. Then on Friday, 2 days after the Wednesday they reconfirm meeting that night. I remind them that I said NEXT Friday and then they go on to school me about how a majority of people would refer to NEXT as THIS Friday. I try to explain that if it was this week, I would have said THIS not NEXT. My sense is that this person intentionally looks for potential miscommunication holes from my communication, plays it out and then uses the moment of realisation to pick apart how I’m communicating.
    This is just one example of many ways in which this person will essentially blame me for misunderstanding.
    Is this gaslighting or am I just intolerant?

    Ingrid says:

    Here’s my advice: make Charles Boyer give back the brooch, fetch the picture back up on the wall, & tell him to take Angela Lansbury & get the (bad word) out of my (bad word) house!!!! It’s my (bad word) attic, & my (bad word) gems!! Then, if he tries to wormtongue argue you, then its throat chop to the balls.

    Dave says:

    I’m not sure, but it seems like a good proportion of this comments section is from active gsslighters trying to minimize the perception of these phrases and twist the blame back onto the victims once again. I don’t mean the one lady who admitted to a cycle of two way gaslighting with her mother, because she at least has recognised the damaging effects of her words and actions. This was a valid and necessary article, but as mentioned elsewhere, context is key to the understanding of these phrases.

    Bill says:

    @Dave, I definitely noticed this too, even in my self as I read through the artical and comments I tried to switch it up in my head only to realize that I do actually exhibit some of these behaviors and many people do so too me. After Recognizing the fault in myself and many others I am at of the state of mind you should just be self aware and even if others do it to you try your best to not do it to others. That’s really all there needs to be said, it is human nature for many in wanting to have control over their own life and in turn it may seem like (Gaslighting) or becoming (victimized). Look at context whenever you feel like your being manipulated or you are thinking of saying one of these phrases because it can just further deepen the whole you are in if not.

    V says:

    11 of these out of 24 get said to me on the regular. And I am a loss every single time and have no way to even defend myself he manipulates every single thing I say or do and I’m dependant on him because I’m a stay at home mom. I’m breaking and just want a way to stay sane.

    Jay Smith says:

    My goal as a professional dog trainer is achieve the highest level of communication as possible with another species. The old methods of jerking in choke chains and coercion or the force type training of dogs did nothing to help me with this quest. When I learned the techniques of using positive reinforcement to change behavior I became a master at it. (I am very good with dogs)
    In the back of my mind I had always thought about transferring these methods over to people as I had learned in Karen Pryors book “Don’t shoot the dog”. As I applied these skills to the relationships in my life, I then sat back and watched them work with ease and precision. (not really, it’s work but it’s stress free work) I also realized how I had been using abusive techniques to manipulate people to get the things I wanted. To make a long story short and what I’m trying to say is by focusing on the positive The and reward the behaviors you want not only does your relationship get better but you can get the other person to do your laundry, the dishes etc!!!that. By trying to ignore the negative or undesirable behaviors they tend to fade away or extinguish if there is no positive or negative consequence!

    Belfast says:

    You are dead right.
    I’ve been married 50 years and never experienced gaslighting personally either in the marriage or my immediate family.
    But I was a lawyer, and I heard these stories repeatedly, MOSTLY by women who couldn’t understand what was happening. On the occasions when it was a man confused but wondering if she was unfaithful. Usually, yes.
    The significant emotion in all cases was confusion and a tendency to blame themselves in some little way, because they couldn’t accept bad intent on the other.

    Nick says:

    As a victim of this myself, I found these phrases a useful anchor to realise that I’m not going mad. But one of the respondents here is correct, they’re not all gaslighting phrases, but that’s not the point is it? I believe the phrase goes, ‘the dose makes the poison’ and that’s the case here. None of these phrases alone are particularly harmful, and many of them are part of logical observation and some are just a bit unkind. However, used in volume they make a difference. not just that, it’s the intent, if these phrases become relationship tropes used to shut you down and feel like you don’t have a valid point, then they’re dangerous. Remember, they’re just indicators not a calibration system. I’ve been on the end of this, and I’ve been made to feel over-sensitive and trivialised, making something out of nothing, I’ve had all those grains of truth and critcism dressed up as support. When I’ve challenged it using my best logic and reason, I’ve been told that I’m over analytical. It’s sad, and it breaks my heart, but the only way is to leave the relationship. I don’t believe it makes the gaslighter necessarily evil, it’s just a part of their control-drama and it may or may not be intentional. The plain fact is, that when one is faced with this situation, you are dealing with a person who will not value your reason and logic in reflecting their behaviour, because their whole MO is based upon ridiculing your arguments. It’s a hiding to nothing. My dad used to say, ‘you’re banging your head against a brick wall; it’s nice when you stop’.

    Andrea says:

    Um… I have a mildly narcissistic super gaslightly elderly claims-to-be-forgetful mother and I stand up to her constantly. Which means I’ve had to LEGITIMATELY say almost all of these things to her, and not once have I gaslit her. Of course, she uses many of these on me allllll the time, always manipulatively, but when you’re dealing with someone like that these phrases do pop up regularly as truthful responses to THEIR actual behaviors.

    Lists like these can be damaging to healthy people. They upset me sometimes because it makes me feel like I’m not *allowed* to stand up for myself Or that I have to bend over backwards to come up with alternative phrasing constantly just to avoid using wording they use manipulatively. It’s good to recognize these, but I tend to take people with a grain of salt when I hear others say any of these, until I’ve experienced both parties and can distinguish who the actual problem is….

    Andrea says:

    **I misspoke in haste but can’t edit. I don’t use all/most of these. 9-15, and 17 never come up (although I do demand she stop WHINING, or ask why she’s *literally* whining, which is her default when anything doesn’t go her way or she’s surprised). She used most/all of them towards me, though. Weekly

    Elliot says:

    I could go on for daaaaayyyyyssss with phrases and tactics. My mother and older sister are extreme gaslighters. I grew up without a father, so I had no means of knowing what was reality and what was not for most of my life. It messed me up fundamentally. I still have issues today bc of it. They used it to normalize physical abuse as well as verbal/emotional abuse and neglect. I didn’t even know I was being abused until someone pointed out the proof on my body. I’d say it’s almost always coupled with some sort of abuse. Keep contact to a minimum or none at all if you can. Be aware of ‘amassing the troops’, be aware of them making their behaviors or obsessions your own (often used to make you a villain). Get a therapist ASAP. Meditate. THIS HELPS SO MUCH! it’s like you can see all the traps they set and you no longer have an emotional response making the trap useless. If you have to see them, make sure a trust friend or partner comes along that knows. They will likely be somewhat thrown by them plus you can check in with that person later. have contact with as many other ppl as possible. DONT LET THEM ISOLATE YOU!!! AND MOST IMPORTANTLY: Be vigilant about getting into other relationships with gas lighters. Oftentimes if you grow up with ppl that do this, you subconsciously seek those dynamics later on in work/romance even if you effing hate gaslighting.

    Ggirl says:

    If somebody is chronically gaslighting you in these ways, they are most likely somewhere on the narcissistic spectrum . As such, they are not likely going to change or ever take responsibility for their behavior.

    The absolute best thing to do if you encounter someone who treats you like this is to limit your contact with them as much as possible. If you can go no contact great, if not–limit your encounters and never engage. Do not ever explain yourself to them.

    These people are psychologically dangerous to your health. They should come with a warning. I live with this for 14 years, and even though I’ve had two clinical psychologists say that based on my descriptions of the behavior that this person likely NPD, I still second guess it and second-guess myself. Just talking to this person on the phone or having to see them in person brings up a lot of anxiety.

    My advice, get them out of your life as much as possible. They are not going to change. Believe me, I did everything in my power to get this person to try to see what they were doing and they just dug their heels in further “you’re crazy” your “emotionally unstable”… This can cause you to be and feel emotionally unstable overtime and can even lead you to think about suicide. So, get away! Your life could depend on it.

    Riaan says:

    This is an interesting one:

    “I’m not arguing; I’m discussing.”

    I don’t know how I feel about it as it implies arguing as a negative.

    I’ve quite recently thought about it and how arguments are generally seen by people as negative, but that’s not the case. Arguments are supposed to be presented with proper facts to support one’s statement and to propose a counterpoint to another statement so that all parties can achieve a beneficial outcome.

    On the other hand, if that person has the need to say something like this then they themselves probably misunderstand the proper definition of an argument. There’s no need to disguise an argument as a discussion, they can be the same thing for that matter, it’s simply a form of coming to the better conclusion based on facts provided from all parties.

    M says:

    “I’m sorry you feel that way.” IF they ever apologize, they’ll deflect it towards you. They’ll never, EVER apologize for their actions, but rather for your response to those actions. And if you try to point that out, they’ll call you unforgiving or mean.

    Similarly, if you express feelings of hurt, they’ll make it about them. E.g. if you tell them you don’t feel like you can come to them with your emotions, they’ll say, “How could you say that to me?” or, “Do you know how bad that makes me feel?”

    In short, gaslighters will treat you like shit and still somehow make YOU feel guilty.

    Ms Confused says:

    My issue began when I realized he was moving my belongings or take them then put them back a few days later and stealing much! He told me, “ you are insane”, “you have problems” “you need help!” Yet when COVID-19 started he was home every day so my items disappeared more frequently and he would purposely try to get me to catch him. for example, he took my coin collection which I did not notice until he started leaving the wheat pennies from my collection on the dresser, I found a few on the kitchen floor as well as living room. The first two times I thought, how cool I can add them to my collection! Then it dawned on me… he is purposely f€€{£g with me. I went to the coin collection location where I discovered over half of my other coins missing as well as around 50 wheat pennies. I asked him about it, he said he was offended that I would think he took my stuff. He assured me that he would never do that to me, and that he is my only true friend! (Sound familiar?) Later I set him up and of course he took those items as well; money and my calendar. The calendar shows up a few days later after I walked away from a pile of paperwork I was going through page by page. When I returned to the pile, there it was, on top of my pile of paperwork! Wtf? I then began to think back. I realized that not only did he keep changing my passwords to many of my accounts, he also actually stole many items including many boxes full of my belongings in the garage, but I was convinced it was my friends or my sister who stole my belongings as he made sure things disappeared after their visits. he stole so much from me, isolated me from those who loved me, convinced me for abt a year that I was going crazy because I was losing my stuff, my jewelry, and my mind, my memory even my sister began to feel sorry for me, but he made a mistake by having a gun in the house and pulled it on me when I can home late two nights in a row, so the cops removed him.Now my cousin does the same stuff! He returns most everything but with him I see his face grinning as if he enjoys watching me struggle while I’m looking for my stuff including cleaning supplies I just put in a spot then he lies, saying I’m loosing my mind! I caught him one day but decided to play along as if I had a memory lapse. I laughed it off with him. I know I’m not loosing my mind, I just happened to be around others who r sick, most likely because I grew up around it and never realized it until my bf f~~[ed me over in away I could see it! After so many years of this I finally began to see it! I feel weak now even though I used to be strong, I new what & where I was going. I had no problems making decisions, now I’m terrified that this will continue even though I see it now & am getting therapy! It never affected me before but it did! I spent a large portion of my life being so angry not knowing why, until now! Life is strange! People are evil! I feel so ruined but still trying to not b destroyed!

    Ms Confused says:

    I forgot to say….. it Is embarrassing to be a victim from a gaslighter! But hopefully I will be humbled by it!

    Nicola Smith says:

    I got this one the other day. I said think your back in touch with woman who broke up your marriage. He is introvert to shy of rejection so his mum plants the seed so to speak and she has been liking this particular ex of his posts. I told him what I thought by text his reaction what the fuk or you on about
    . I said I don’t need any confirmation your reaction says it all. Then he resumed his silent treatment. We are certainly done .

    Bobby says:

    Turmoil is the best interpretation based on my personal observation. Prolonged agony; stark relative conclusion after months/years, it’s most definitely compatibility issues. People aren’t taking their relationships to new levels. SELFISH behaviors; reckless abandonment, it’s the blame game whereby the NAME OF THE GAME is BATTLESHIP?! Prehistoric images appear as you toss around your flatulence grenades. You expect one thing but do another. Sacrifices are made; both parties, afterall what is a relationship without conceding here and there? Fine to disagree but controlling your significant other will eventually erode any chance of continuing the relationships. I had to pluralize the word ‘relationship’. We have our religious beliefs; perhaps not, atheists. We have our FAMILIES; perhaps not, you’re alone with an infamous gas lighter throwing Molotov Cocktails. My advice is to remain SINGLE; you can have friends, acquaintances. Marriage is something when you take your wedding vows to HEART. I think we all can express chaos under pressure. Be mature; think before you speak, try to understand your objectives.

    Narcs are Everywhere! says:

    ““You always jump to the wrong conclusion.””
    “Why would you think that? What does that say about you?”

    Narcs also say plausible things sometimes, to force you to say this, so you look crazy. There entire position is based upon making you look like a crazy person. They make you appear like a Narcissist so they can point and say “See you are crazy!”

    Tammy Sue says:

    Heres one that i didnt realize had been happening until about the eighth time. It went like this…. We went to dinner with people i know, we go out to play pool, my bf whispers something in my ear that the other female said, i said. So i questioned her and she started yelling. My bf comes over immediately and says “why do you always cause drama”? I look at him and walk out. Next morning i realized he set me up and has done that with all new people we meet. He doesn’t want me to have friends. What better way to accomplish that and make me feel like i am unlikable. Since then, i have taken Betty Whites attitude

    Mike says:

    Hmmm… Interesting how everyone here responds like a victim… You are manipulative gaslighters too, because you are distorting and twisting the truth from what your partner is accusing you of. Hmm… a little gaslighting came out of me with that statement by distorting your reality because I don’t even know you right? Did my statement make you angry? Everyone has a little bit of gaslighting in them because we all think we are right… that’s why you might not accept that you are abusive too… (You just heard a whisper in your ear, “Ego! Ego! Ego!) It’s hard to accept. I know. I know. But, when you are accept, humility kicks in and you start to become aware.

    However, you all have the ability to deal with such gaslighting statements thrown at you… Let me explain…

    You all have the ability to be assertive and say “No!” if being mistreated, right?

    Gaslighting goes both ways during an argument and both parties are guilty. Nobody is right during a heated argument. Why? Because both parties are angry and over exaggerating and not thinking straight. The aggressor is manipulating the situation by thinking he is right and the victim is manipulating the situation by feeling sorry for him/herself and thinking him/herself is right. Both are wrong in thinking that way. I would have to disagree with how gaslighting is defined.

    Now, if one party is calm and tries to calm the situation, maybe that person has integrity while dealing with the perceived aggressor. . Most people think they are right and won’t let go of their ego. Why? Because people have a BIG EGO. That’s why most people have a little bit of gas lighting in their heart because of their ego and won’t really listen.

    Dealing with a gaslighter: Be calm , really listen, and put your emotions to the side; or just walk away if the gaslighter won’t stop… ​Now, just like when a mommy is calm dealing with a baby that keeps crying and crying in her ear. Mommy just listens to her baby right? And if mommy can’t deal with the crying she will walk away and let the hubby take the next round. That’s how you deal with a gaslighter. Don’t fuel the gaslighter…

    Unhappy Camper says:

    How about from a department head “What is the problem?” After you’ve just given an elaborate explanation, given multiple examples, sent them a detailed report .. (requesting their help on something you have no access to and so can not fix.) And when you explain again – you get the same smiling response and shrug as they walk away. Or they tell you “No, you’re wrong, there’s no problem, it’s very easy. Just use … ” (Which does not work, and you’ve explained … and is even funnier they are trying to tell you how to do your job that they have not a clue about).

    And so you try to involve your mutual boss – but are instead told to “work it out”, even though you have also explained to said boss, this other person’s clear lack of motivation to help, and the detriment to everyone’s productivity that this problem is not fixed …

    It’s so utterly frustrating. After trying different ways to communicate, I had to acknowledge they really did not care, had zero interest in helping, and instead were getting a kick out of watching me struggle with the problem. SO now I avoid that person, try to find work arounds, and otherwise emotionally disengage — until I can find another job.

    David says:

    Quick question, I do joke a lot, sometimes to the point of being excessive and sometimes I do tend to cross a boundary every now and then, which I see afterwards and fully and willingly admit to and see their point of view and promptly apologize, so my question is, when talking about it immediately afterwards is saying, “I was just joking” wrong, I mean I legitimately am and the moment I’m told it wasn’t funny to them I take ownership, however as I said it does happen and I do lead off with the fact it was a joke so I don’t understand how that’s wrong if I don’t try to mask it once I realize feelings have been hurt?

    Chris Boyles says:

    I hate the people who start out with a preconditional precursor such as “Not that it is any of my business” and then proceed to take you to task personally as if the “precursor” serves to make the disparaging comments socially acceptable and civil, when the reality is it is a lowbrow vile personal denunciation sophisticatedly designed as a hypothetical, there fore in the miscreant’s perverted mind, washing their hands of the whole sordid matter THEY started in the first place….

    Ashley says:

    These phrases can go either way…especially when dealing with younger generations that are naturally more self centered and isolated due to the changing familial structures and dependency on technology. I am a millennial female and I have been in a couple of very abusive relationships where all these things were said by the abuser, I have been in relationships in my 20s where these phrases were used on both sides, in fact because younger people are so clueless when it comes to healthy communication, and we are used to have full authority and sovereignty and sometimes anonymity to say whatever we want, thanks to the internet, we tend to respond in hurtful and rash ways. We are a generation of spoiled brats compared to our elder generations, because we were fawned over by our parents

    T says:

    Quite a lot of comments for an article that doesn’t begin to touch on gaslighting as a subject. Literally zero of these phrases are indicative of gaslighting. Not a single one.
    What you are reading is a result of modern sociology’s “semantic bleaching” of the word. The alt-right has done that same thing with the word “woke”, and each has taken readers away from the actual meanings.
    Each one of these phrases listed in the article absolutely have a time and place to be used, and are worthy to be used towards a grown person that we can expect a standard of assimilation into adulthood from, and that has performed the quite requisite tasks of assuming their duties to confront issues and concerns.
    Gaslighting is a fairly acute realm of interaction and it’s actually very rare; due to media you’re bound to think it’s a virus occupying every living breast and throat. All should stop taking away from actual victims and not claim victimhood because you were treated as anything more than a delicate leaf in the wind.

    Supreme says:

    I don’t agree with some of these.
    “I’m not arguing, I’m discussing.”

    Whenever I communicated about issues with my ex, he would get angry and start a fight. Having a constructive non-toxic conversation about important matters was nearly impossible because the moment I start communicating it, he takes it defensively ready to fight. Saying things like “I’m not arguing, I’m discussing.” is a way to try to help them readjust their perspective and stop being angry. Dismissive avoidant problems with a hint of narcissism.

    Anonymous says:

    this is so wrong. half of these arent gaslighting and the other half depend on context… do you have a journalism degree?

    Jamie M says:

    I am in a situation where my husband is gaslighting his drinking problem on to me, i have three children two together, I lost full custody of my oldest child due to his drinking, this was two years ago. he made the usual promise that he would stop etc. he hasn’t stopped in fact it’s getting worse, he misses days at work because of it. I miss days at work because of it. whenever I try to talk to him about it he turns it around on me, he says I am trying to control him, or I’m not the boss of him or why am I making it a big deal, or why can’t I just relax and stop nagging him. I’ve had to call the cops on him recently as he came home early hours of the morning in a rage. just early hours this morning he woke me up when he got home because he wanted his share of the rent back. he even goes as far as yelling at me and calling me horrible names most times. my problem is that I have asked him to leave on so many occasions, he says that I can’t make him leave as his name is on the lease too, I’d leave but I have two kids that I’d have to take with me, there is a big housing shortage where I am. I’ve tried to get him help, he always says things like I am going to change, I am sorry etc but it’s like a broken record. I’m literally stuck. Whats worse is its starting to have an effect on our two children as well.

    Jen says:

    Don’t forget the two go to words narcissistic gaslighters use on you: “You’re paranoid” , “You’re crazy”. My narcissistic half sister loved using those on me.

    Vlad says:

    this guy I’ve been seeing for the past 2 years does this: he will whisper stuff like “leave” , or “I hate you” or whatever! then , when I ask him what he just said, he says, “umm nooo…I did not just say that to you… ” “I love you, why would I ever say such thing?” when I know damn right what he just said..
    what is he doing?

    After 25 years I realize now she's a Narcist Gas-lighter to the 3rd degree says:

    So I’ve been married to my wife for 25 plus years, recently I’ve discovered the gaslighting world. SO I’ve lived through this marriage during the years thinking that all the problems in the relationship was somehow my fault. I’ll surely admit that I have done my share of stupid, name calling, drunk days etc. However I don’t remember some of the things that the wife said I done. Dam I really don’t know where to start with this shit because it’s became so surreal in the last 2 months that I’m overwhelmed with the fact that I’ve been manipulated for 25 years with this Gaslighting approach ort whatever you call it. It’s really some scary shit.

    I have always been a bit insecure, jealous and controlling, however I never thought that this women I love so dearly would use things against or toward me to make herself be a a better person to our children and or others without me realizing. Dam this shit really hits home and and makes me very sad.

    So , like I said a few months ago I started researching and reading about narcist., and ran across Gaslighting phrases. I’m at first like am I a gas lighter because she has made me think so. The further I dug the more clear it has gotten. I’m like this is exactly what my wife is doing to me, this is crazy. I really had to dig deep to control myself from totally calling her out for these years of deceiving me and using this tactic in our relationship and marriage.

    I always wondered what the disconnect was in our relationship, I now think that it is the fact that my wife is a maculating narcist and a master at gaslighting. Like how the fuck could I have known because I had never heard of such a thing.

    So, I’ll get to the point, I studied the shit out of different types of narcist and the way they operate. We made a trip to the mountains one day and on the way back she went off on my like never before. We were driving down the road so I had no chose but to hear all of this gaslighting for almost a hour. I was never so hurt and delusional in thought at the same time.

    I kept thinking that if I was this bad why the hell would this women stay with me and not get a divorce. She’s a good person, she’s smart and makes good money, why the hell would she put up with me if I was all these bad things that she claims?

    So, not qualified of course but I do have common sense and have accomplished quit a few things in my life. I start to realize how much this was happening everyday, and how it’s effected my relationship with our children. Dam this is really a sad situation and it really has gotten me pissed at her. My daughter came down one evening while I was studying an article about gaslighting, I asked her what here and her mother was hollowing about, my daughter stated that she’s accusing me and claiming xyz. I said to her, I want you to read this article and tell me what you think. She read it and said yes this is exactly what she does to me all the time, and I’m like yeah she’s been doing it to me for 25 years. At this point I’m convinced that my wife has this problem and it runs very deep.

    Again, I’m really upset that she’s hidden and used this to control me in ways that she has. I wanted to divorce her and just be done. Remember 25 plus years of marriage 4 kids. I can’t just walk away from her and say goodbye to our family. Believe me I wanted to and I think I still want to.

    So one evening I go up to the bedroom and she’s going off about something and I just blurted out you’re gaslighting. She says, I don’t even know what that word means. So I still had this article pulled up on my phone that many of you may have read. 24 phases that gas lighters use. She met at least 18 of them and has used them in our relationship.

    So, I sent here the link!

    She jumps up say’s I’m F-king crazy F-u I’m done I’m done with you.

    Ok, so I say as she goes down the stairs read the phrases again and then tell me I’m wrong because you use these just in the last day or so. I then told her that I loved her dearly and I had to tell her to help solve the problem. We’ve been through all kinds of shit in the past 25 so we can fix this. NOT SO EASY!

    For a few days things seem to clam down. but then the gaslighting monster would come out again. I finally told here that I’ll call her out every dam time she does it. And I do, nothing make her so mad that this.

    I don’t think sometimes that she even realizes what she’s doing sometimes. I think it seems she uses it as a protection against something, I read a lot about this entering as a childhood travesty comes about. Her parents divorced when she was 3 or so. To say the least she’s very good at gaslighting and duplicating reasons that it’s my fault or etc.

    I’m beside myself on this, I love her, but I’m really mad at her because she’s been mipping me for so long to keep my love by making me feel guilty.

    I’ll take all the advice possible. I love her more than anything in the world. I can forgive but not forget. I’m 60 years old, so what the hell is one to do?

    3rd degree victim

    Mandy says:

    my husband will say something that hurts me, and 2 min later say he never said that, it makes me the bad one and lier.

    Percy V. says:

    I worry about what this world will be like for my grandchildren and so on when we have really become so……idk, needy of validation of who we are and what we feel. I’m not advocating gaslighting or any type of abuse towards another person at all and I understand the value of bringing this info to the masses, but I’m more wondering why many of you have continued in a relationship you obviously were negatively affected by. weren’t we the generation that was told as kids we were all so very special and “good enough” and all questions are good questions etc. yet as adults we aren’t even self assured enough to unequivocally know if our S.O. is whispering “I hate you” to us!!?! If you know the other person is doing something like whispering shit and then denying it, or trying to manipulate you ( because most comments I read were left as 100% fact) have the confidence in yourself to show them the door. Or tell them you’re running to the store but just don’t come back. Someone who is doing those things to you doesn’t even deserve an explanation, you’ve wasted enough time on them. People don’t just gaslight everyone they know, it’s a purposeful action done to achieve something they want. People like that spend time looking for their “mark”. Sure it’s awful of them, but you CANNOT change another person! Value yourself more, don’t accept that kind of treatment anyone and you won’t be treated like that. It really makes me sad to see people with such low confidence. But hey I can’t change it for you. Hope everyone is better than yesterday. Sorry this was so long!

    Victoria Bondoc Cabrera says:

    After reading the article, and the comments here, I realize that I am a gaslighting victim.
    But the major realization is that I too am gaslighting my own daughter, my hubby, my friends. “Hey, we need to leave now. What’s taking you so long?” “Did you hear what you just said?”
    My Resolution: Be more careful with the words we say, and the actions implying such words. The habitual gaslighting thoughts are surely hard to stop, but we could pause a few moments and stop converting them into words and actions.

    Eleanor says:

    Gaslighting by close friends is dangerous and this piece does a great job summarizing some of the ways that you can be lied to along with signs to look for. If you want to learn more about manipulation, deception, and how to spot it Pamela Meyer’s Masterclass is comprehensive and entertaining.

    Cindy says:

    So my question is concerning #4. I have said this during an argument with my husband.
    It bothers me to be considered gaslighting because when he’s intoxicated he doesn’t remember the evening. So is my comment still considered“gaslighting “?

    Ajay says:

    I also relate to some of the posted comments. I have a sibling who has been constantly reminding me of some of the things I have said to her over the past 8 years since our mother passed away.. she has also been reminding me of how she perceived our mother treated her over the years. Because it has been a regular happening (whenever she’s at her low ebb) I have gotten to the stage where I told her I wasn’t going to put up with it anymore, and that I was walking away. The response I got from that was more of the same reminders of her feelings about my misdemeanors, also an extremely twisted version of a recent conversation. During a prior visit to her house, during the course of conversation she mentioned about how she had been supporting me after the sudden death of my husband (some 15 years ago) that I took my anger about my husband dying out on her and it made her feel unworthy. As it turns out I remembered that she had said that she knew how I was feeling at the time, and she made reference to all her failed relationships. My reply to her at that time was that she had not been with someone for 43 years and had that person die suddenly. Anyway..getting back to the beginning… she didn’t recall that she had made that comment. Since then I have written her a letter and delivered it to her mailbox… in it I called her out on the disrespect about what she had said at her house that day.. I also stated that I didn’t think I could ever forgive her for that, and I also told her that I didn’t think she had ever considered my feelings about what had been happening as it seemed to be always about hers. Then I told her I chose to walk away for my own well-being. She would have got the letter 3 days ago, and I have not heard from her as yet so I don’t know if she’s read it or not… I just do not understand why she’s been like this to me..some people for some reason just don’t get that others do not want to put up their stuff all the time..it’s been a very frustrating and stressful time for me…thanks for listening ❤️

    Carmen says:

    I feel that especially when women have relationships that involve ex-bf or ex-bff’s who were male you see a lot of gaslighting sometimes. Once you go away and stop talking to them and don’t see them, some of them will pull out all the stops to prove that they are the victim of some terrible relationship. Other times, they will do little things to try throw you off balance, confuse you, do passive aggressive things, or even things that are a bit mysterious. A lot of times, these guys were so used to being your hero. Your person you used to turn to when you needed someone. But that was before it all crapped out. They’re hoping that you’ll cave and contact them now! Cause gaslighting is really just about control and power! I think most of the time they don’t even know if they really truly want the relationship back or not. They don’t know how to love anyone else. They’re terrified of a real relationship! What they begin to miss most is that person who gave them encouragement and support and was their “supply” of “feel good “ and love. But unfortunately it never lasts cause, as humans, once in awhile we’re going say something that pisses them off. Then, we’re all bad! Again.

    MM says:

    Sounds like my family, original
    Your too sensitive,
    Your dramatic
    Your all these things

    Lol. My gas lighter older sister tried to convince my friends I was no good. They thought she Crazy. She lies. Steals.
    After being released from hospital . Had lymphoma . Only reason came To get pain meds
    I just walked out disgusted. We do not live near each other thank god.

    My mother often pitted sisters against each other.

    I do not know why to this day. It was like she enjoyed we being crisis. She often compared us to each other. Of course defining faults.
    I guess she was miserable.

    GR says:

    This resonated quite a lot to me. My 2 friends who are a couple, started ignoring me after they used me for food and obtained what they wanted from me. When I said several times, that I was feeling they were getting distant, they say I was overimagining things and not to take things personally. “I am sorry you feel this way” was also said and the girl in the couple outright ignored me. The guy told me she was dealing with family things (that her brother was committing suicide), then I find out that she was enjoying herself in Singapore at a wedding and ignored my messages completely, but can post how happy she is making new friends in Singapore on Instagram. The posts kept going on, while I was in fact worried about her family issues as several people in my life have passed away with suicide. When I try to end the friendship, he says I am too sensitive. The guy even lied to my face and when I told him I think they have been both using me, he says he is shaking because I made him so angry. I finally cut all ties and blocked both of them. A few times I saw them, they seem like they are so angry and I did not even bother. Now finally I am less stressed and can avoid the tension and disappointment.

    Marcy Mills says:

    This validates what I’ve been saying!Out of 24,I’ve heard 18..multiple times.What really makes me angry is the fact when I say “stop gas lighting me”, I am laughed at…then I cry…I could never do this to a person I claim to love..never…This shit is real,and it hurts…💔

    Julie says:

    I feel like some of these phrases may be easy to miss because they come really close to addressing things that a real relationship needs, they just do it in a really cruel way. Example, communication, trying to break one out of their shell by joking around, that kind of stuff. However, number one they’re probably going to argue no matter if it’s a discussion or not, and blame you, and number two not everybody is a jokester and, they shouldn’t be manipulated into feeling self doubt or inadequate. However, it is my opinion reading this that theseGLs are still going through a final evolution from ape to human, doesn’t it seem like that aggressive, could strike and enjoy it at any time treat still hangs around, deeply coiled in some DNA mess.? kidding I think the big problem one of them, is the malevolent nature in which the words are put together, conveying that he/she should be considered a martyr for sticking with, and trying to work things out with the victim, who the Gaslighter is falsely portraying to be small, dense, frustrating, darn near learning disabled individual. I just want to say that I hear you, all of you who have commented. And especially all of you who are brave enough to share your stories because I haven’t gotten there yet, at least not publicly and only with a very few members of my own family. I hope you all stay strong and find renewed confidence and strength each and every day.

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