Have you ever told someone that you’re feeling sad, only to have them respond with a phrase like: “No, you’re fine. You’re just feeling tired. Don’t be dramatic?”
If so, you may have been the victim of gaslighting.
“Gaslighting is similar to the concept of invalidation,” licensed psychotherapist Brooke Schwartz explained to Cosmopolitan.
“It’s undermining somebody’s sense of reality and denying the facts, and their feelings, to create what is a blatantly false narrative.”
Gaslighting “makes someone question their judgement, their perception of reality, their experience, and sometimes their sanity.”
Experts say disagreements and perspective differences do not count as gaslighting. Gaslighting is never an isolated incident either, they say.
It is an intentional act – a gaslighter often has something to gain from emotionally steering a situation in their favour.
Experts say gaslighters often begin relationships with “love bombing”, displaying nurturing and charming characteristics. Slowly, they attempt to become their partner’s sole support system.
Invalidating phrases such as, “You’re so ungrateful” or “You’re going crazy”, are examples of typical gaslighting language.