If a close person makes you doubt yourself, your words and actions. If they deny you and you are not able to defend, firmly, your criteria and opinion. If you start to doubt your reality because the other tells you that it is not how you perceive it, be careful! You may be the victim of gaslighting , a form of emotional abuse that is imperceptible but capable of undermining your self-esteem and sanity. Do you think we exaggerate? Keep reading.

The Gaslighting , is a clinical term that refers to a form of psychological manipulation, consisting of distorting facts ranging from the everyday to relevant aspects of the person’s life, affecting his judgment and leaving it increasingly isolated and vulnerable.

Typical gaslighting phrases to undermine your self-confidence

That’s not what you told me! You forget everything! Remember, it can’t be that you don’t remember! You are not okay! You have a lot of stress!

Keep in mind that the aggressor will be very sure of himself, sometimes even surprised by your doubts, all to convince you that he is right.

What is pursued with Gaslighting?

Generate fear and insecurity. Induce yourself to question yourself, you will start by declaring yourself forgetful, then you will doubt your abilities, each time you will be more confused and vulnerable until your criterion of reality is altered.

How an aggressor acts the gaslighter

  • It falls apart in your face. Lie boldly and firmly about the obvious.
  • It makes you doubt about everyday things until it manages to confuse you on more transcendental topics.
  • He misrepresents the facts in his favor to support his claims regarding you, causing you doubt and confusion.
  • After accusing you, he is understanding and willing to forgive your mistake.
  • Intrigue behind your back by making you seem like a liar and incoherent person.
  •  He shows himself as your savior, he is always ready to rescue you.
  • He alternates episodes of destructive criticism with recognition of strengths, thus positioning himself in your mind as a trustworthy person who seeks to help you.
  • It isolates you with tricks from your circle of friends, it becomes your only reference.

Recommendations to avoid being a victim of gaslighting.

  • Trust your personal intuition. In the first stages of gaslighting, although it is a gradual and very subtle process, the victim senses that “something” is not right with that person. If you experience that feeling, you are most likely right
  • Make yourself aware of your strengths and how you feel about yourself.
  • Choose your friends very well. Whoever criticizes you constantly and emphasizes mistakes does not esteem you, why do you allow him to be close to you?
  • Be suspicious of those who lie to you, even if they are white lies. One way to start manipulation is by lying about seemingly harmless things.
  • Put limits on the person who tries to give you guidelines and control your life.
  • Keep your criteria firm and do not allow it to influence your decisions. Let him know that you are aware that he is trying to be dominant.
  • Surround yourself with friends, lonely people are easy victims of the manipulator.

Remember: The best way to avoid psychological manipulation is to be clear about who you are and what you want from life.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses. He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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