1. Denies your reality
A gaslighter is pro at making you go crazy, and then making you feel crazy for going crazy. Why? They'd rather you second guess your sanity... than realize you are their victim. Let’s take this example: I dated a guy who was clearly not yet over his ex. He spoke to her every day and night. His excuse? But CJ, she doesn’t have that many friends … I can’t abandon her! She has an office job like me. She gets my work struggles [unlike you]. But CJ, she’s my best friend! Are you saying I’m not allowed to have friends?!
Do you get the picture now? They will overstep all your boundaries, and then deny your feelings and reality completely… so they can keep doing whatever the heck they want.
"Gaslighting so often flies under the radar, simply because it's a form of manipulation (and mental abuse) that no one wants to talk about."
2. Project their insecurities onto you
A gaslighter will make you feel all the insecurities they feel. Because that’s what they do, they throw everything back at you… because you take it (the kind of people gaslighters attract).
For example, [the same dude] had terrible skin growing up. So what happened when I broke out with two pimples on my face? Well, I grew up with acne so it’s always been a turn off for me when a girl has acne… My ex had perfect skin... I’m not used to dating a girl that breaks out. Umm CJ, I don’t think you’ve been trying hard enough to clear up your skin lately. I want a girlfriend that puts effort into things. (Deflecting the real problem off themselves, and back onto you).
Yeah I know, I’ve dated some pretty whiny dudes. I get it.
"In a gaslighter’s world, you don’t exist. You are simply a mirror for them to project their deepest fears and insecurities."
3. Blame you for things they are doing
Do you sense a theme yet? A gaslighter throws everything back at you. Whatever bad thing they are doing, they will either blame it on you or blame you for doing the exact same thing (whether you are or not), as a way to deflect all responsibility off themselves. Whenever they do something you don't like, guess what? It's your fault! They wouldn't have done it had you not been so annoying or unreasonable or unappreciative. Bringing up valid points of conversation (i.e. talking about feelings) scares the gaslighter. So they'll do things to hurt you, then deflect their pain back onto you... in the form of the blame game.
A gaslighter will most likely devalue their ex in the beginning stages of your relationship, in order to reel you in and make you feel special in comparison. For example, [same dude again] would devalue his ex so hard in the early stages of our relationship… I lost interest in her a long time ago. She never understood me. She wasn’t good looking enough for me! Her nose was too crooked. Etc. (You can’t make this shit up).
But what happens once the gaslighter gets comfortable with you? That’s right. YOU become their new target of devaluation.
5. They don’t respect your privacy
In a gaslighter’s world, you don’t exist. You are simply a mirror for them to project their deepest fears and insecurities. That’s why when you tell them something super private, they don’t think twice about running to tell someone else. I once told my gaslighter probably the most personal, vulnerable thing about me (I’m talking physical, emotional trauma, things you need therapy over)… and guess what he did? That’s right, he went and casually texted my super personal story to his ex-girlfriend. Why? Because you are not a human being to the gaslighter. You are simply a vehicle for them to use, to boost their own ego and manipulate everyone around them.
"That’s right, he went and casually texted my super personal story to his ex-girlfriend."
So there you go. Gaslighting is NOT something often talked about on the internet, and that's a huge problem. It so often flies under the radar, simply because it's a form of manipulation (and mental abuse) that no one wants to talk about! We end up victims of basically a form of brainwashing, but have nowhere to go for information or support because brainwashing in society is seen as "taboo". But I can honestly say, it happens everywhere. It just hasn't become mainstream yet.
We are completely blind when being gaslit, but see things so clearly when we take a step back. But remember this: a gaslighter's goal is to make you feel crazy enough to ensure you don't reach out to other people for help. Because trust me, anyone who makes you feel crazy all the time is not good for your mental health.
So, I'm here to let you know that if someone is doing ANY of the above things to you, you are not crazy. You are simply tangled up with a master manipulator who knows exactly what to do to keep you quiet and compliant. So don't.