A Gaslighting Example – What It Is and How to Spot It

The term gaslighting has recently come into prominence and is often bandied about, sometimes by people who clearly do not understand what it means. Gaslighting is a form of psychological abuse where the abuser manipulates their victim into doubting their own sanity.

It can be difficult to spot gaslighting when it is happening to you, but there are certain behaviours that are common to gaslighters.

In this blog post, we will define gaslighting and provide an example of how it can play out in a relationship. We will also offer some tips on how to protect yourself from gaslighting and what to do if you think you might be a victim.

narcissistic gaslighting

The Insidious Effects of Gaslighting in Relationships

Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse that can be particularly damaging because it subtly and gradually erodes a person’s sense of reality, leaving them feeling confused, anxious, and even paranoid.

The abuser deliberately says or does things designed to make the victim question their own memories, perception of events, or even sanity.

Over time, gaslighting can succeed in convincing the victim that they are indeed crazy, thanks to the abuser’s constant barrage of lies and manipulation.

If you think you might be a victim of gaslighting, read on to learn more about this manipulative tactic and how to protect yourself from it.

Gaslighting Example 1 – Baiting

One common gaslighting tactic is called “baiting.” This is when the abuser says or does something provocative, then denies ever having done so when confronted by the victim.

This victim ends up totally disorientated, which further erodes their sense of reality.

gaslighting example

Gaslighting Example 2 – Minimizing or Dismissing Victims’ Concerns

Another common gaslighting tactic is to minimize or dismiss the victim’s concerns.

For example, if a victim expresses concern that their partner is being distant, the abuser may say that the victim is “imagining things” or “overreacting.”

This type of gaslighting can be particularly effective in making the victim doubt their own instincts and perceptions.

narcissistic gaslighting

Gaslighting Example 3 – Reframing

Another gaslighting tactic is called “reframing.” This is when the abuser takes an event or comment that was neutral or even positive and spins it into a negative.

For example, if the victim compliments their abuser on a new outfit, the abuser might respond by saying that the victim is really just trying to say that they look fat.

This type of gaslighting leaves the victim feeling confused and uncertain.

Examples of Gaslighting - Creating Doubt

Gaslighting Example 4 – Blocking and Diverting

Another gaslighting tactic is to block and divert the victim’s attempts to discuss the issue at hand.

For example, if the victim confronts their abuser about lying, the abuser might say that the victim is “crazy” or “overreacting.”

This tactic effectively shuts down the conversation and leaves the victim feeling frustrated and unheard.

isolation - narcissistic grooming

Gaslighting Example 5 – Isolation

One of the most insidious gaslighting tactics is isolation. The abuser slowly and deliberately cuts the victim off from family, friends, and other sources of support, until the victim is completely isolated and dependent on the abuser.

This tactic makes it much harder for the victim to spot the gaslighting, as they have no one to bounce their concerns off of. It also makes it harder for the victim to leave the abusive relationship, as they have no one to turn to for help.


Gaslighting Example 6 – Purposeful Inconsistency

Another gaslighting tactic is to be purposely inconsistent. The abuser will say one thing and then do the complete opposite, leaving the victim feeling confused and uncertain.

For example, the abuser might promise to never lie again, but then go back on that promise shortly thereafter.

This type of gaslighting makes it difficult for the victim to trust the abuser and can leave them feeling constantly on edge.

lies in a relationship quotes

Gaslighting Example 7 – Making False Accusations

Another gaslighting tactic is to make false accusations against the victim.

For example, the abuser might accuse the victim of cheating, even though there is no evidence to support this claim.

This tactic not only makes the victim doubt themselves, but also puts them on the defensive, which furthers the abuser’s goal of control.

narcissistic gaslighting

Gaslighting Example 8 – Pretending not to understand the Victims’ Point of View

Another gaslighting tactic is to pretend not to understand the victim’s point of view.

For example, if the victim expresses concern about the abuser’s behavior, the abuser might say that they don’t know what the victim is talking about.

This tactic makes the victim feel like they are going crazy and can be very effective in silencing the victim’s concerns.

constant criticism

Spotting the Signs of Gaslighting

Gaslighting can be difficult to identify because it happens gradually and can be subtle at first.

However, over time it can take a serious toll on the victim’s mental health, leading to anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, isolation, and even suicidal thoughts.

If you think you might be a victim of gaslighting, reach out to a trusted friend or family member for support.

You can also consider seeking help from a therapist experienced in dealing with emotional abuse.

Frequently Asked Questions about Narcissism

Frequently Asked Questions About Examples of Gaslighting

What is gaslighting?

Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation in which an individual or group makes someone question their own perception, memories, or sanity. It often involves the intentional distortion of facts, denial of events, or even outright lies to undermine the victim’s confidence and sense of reality.

What are some examples of gaslighting?

Here are a few common examples of gaslighting:
– Constantly denying that certain events or conversations ever took place.
– Manipulating the victim into second-guessing their own beliefs or feelings.
– Blaming the victim for things that are clearly not their fault.
– Making the victim doubt their memory by repeatedly contradicting them.
– Using dismissive language to belittle the victim’s emotions or concerns.
– Isolating the victim from friends or family, making them feel dependent and vulnerable.

How does gaslighting affect victims?

Gaslighting can have severe emotional and psychological effects on its victims. It can lead to anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and a distorted sense of reality. Victims may begin to question their own judgment, lose trust in themselves, and feel powerless and trapped in the relationship or situation.

Are there specific signs to look out for in identifying gaslighting behavior?

Yes, there are several signs that may indicate gaslighting behavior.
These include:
– The constant need to explain oneself or justify actions to the gaslighter.
– Feeling confused, anxious, or excessively apologetic in the presence of the gaslighter.
– Second-guessing one’s perceptions or reality.
– Difficulty making decisions without seeking validation from the gaslighter.
– Isolation from friends, family, or support systems due to interference by the gaslighter.

What can someone do if they suspect they are being gaslighted?

If you suspect you are being gaslighted, it’s important to trust your instincts. Here are a few steps you can take:
– Reach out to a trusted friend or family member to discuss your concerns and gather support.
– Keep a journal documenting instances of gaslighting behavior for future reference.
– Educate yourself about gaslighting and emotional manipulation to better understand the tactics being used against you.
– Consider seeking professional help from a therapist or counselor who specializes in abuse and trauma.
Please note that if you are in immediate danger or experiencing abuse, it is crucial to prioritize your safety and seek help from local authorities or helplines.

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