Since “gaslighting” has become a psychiatric buzzword over the past five years or so, many individuals are now happily able to identify this type of abuse.
If you’re not familiar with the term or need a refresher, gaslighting is a form of manipulation in which the abuser gradually causes you to begin doubting your own judgment and reality, depriving you of power and lowering your self-esteem.
Although some of the more obvious instances of gaslighting may be simple to see, experts claim there is a subtler variety that frequently goes unnoticed.
Relationships in which partners do not always agree on everything are common and even good. It’s also crucial how you respond when your spouse has a different opinion, according to experts, doing so might be deemed gaslighting if you shut them down and act as if your viewpoint is “correct” and theirs is categorically “wrong.”
You can find it challenging to acknowledge that other people are free to respond to events or have different ideas than you do, and you might feel forced to chastise your spouse if their viewpoints diverge.
It typically doesn’t feel pleasant when someone actively attempts to persuade or convince you of anything. Due to your adamant persistence, your spouse will probably feel ignored, misunderstood, and maybe even doubtful of your intentions.
What do you say or do when something you did or said irritates your partner? Do you actively listen to them and attempt to understand what made them feel that way? Or do you immediately go into defensive mode to avoid taking responsibility?
Saying that someone is “too sensitive” is a typical covert indication of gaslighting. Although this may appear like a casual comment, what you’re actually doing is discrediting your partner’s emotions. This can cause them to feel guilty over something that really hurt.
A strong relationship requires the ability to accept responsibility for your mistakes. Therefore, if your first reaction is to somehow accuse your spouse (or others) when they bring up a questionable deed or behavior, it might be construed as manipulation.
Giving up your urge to be right and accepting your partner’s perspective helps stop unintended gaslighting and speed up the resolution of problems. It is advised to stay off the defensive and avoid using words like “always” and “never” in your conversations.