What is Gaslighting and Strategies to Cope

Katie LairdPsychotherapy

Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse in which an individual creates a false narrative that is designed to make someone question their reality and judgment. It most often happens in romantic relationships, but can also occur between friends, family, or in the workplace by those who are attempting to gain power and control over the other person. Those who experience gaslighting are at an increased risk for anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts.

Signs of Gaslighting
 Claiming that you said or did things you know you didn’t do.
 Denying or ridiculing your recollection of what happened.
 Saying that you are “too sensitive” or “crazy” when you state your needs or concerns.
 Expressing doubts to others about your state of mind, feelings, or behaviors
 Insist that their version of what happened is correct and will not consider facts or your perspective
 Retelling the story in a way that places blame on you.
 Common gaslighting phrases: “You’re making things up”, “That never happened”, “You’re being dramatic”, “You’re blowing things out of proportion”.

How to Deal with Gaslighting
 Stand firm in what you know. It could sound like “I know what I saw”, “Don’t tell me how to feel; this is how I feel”, “My feelings and reality are valid”.
 Recognize when gaslighting is happening.
 Keep a written record of what happened to refer to.
 A Gaslighter will always find a way to deflect, minimize, or deny. The best thing to do is disengage.

If you are struggling with the mental health effects of gaslighting, please do not hesitate to reach out and book a visit with one of our counsellors at www.serenitynowwellness.ca or calling 403-454-7600.

How to Tell If Someone Is Gaslighting You