Has the way you and your partner been communicating recently taken a turn for the worse?
What used to be open and easy communication now leaves you feeling afraid of their reaction. When you last tried to bring it up, they stormed out and accused you of yelling.
You may have become too afraid to even express yourself around them lately. Your partner’s versions of events are not at all how you remember them. And often, it’s you who takes the blame.
Gaslighting is a term you’re likely familiar with but not entirely sure what it means or whether it applies to you.
You may have wondered, “Am I being gaslighted?”
The word “gaslighting” has experienced a boom in popularity in recent years. The term originated from a 1938 play “Gas Light,” which was made into a movie titled “Gaslight” in 1944.
In the film, a husband manipulates his wife using tactics such as gradually dimming the gas lamps in their home but telling her it’s all in her head.
When words become popular, they often get misused. So, what exactly does it mean to be gaslighted?
Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse that causes you to doubt your perception of reality or even your sanity.
It most commonly occurs between romantic partners and family members. But it can also happen with coworkers and in doctor-patient relationships.
A person who’s gaslighting you may engage in manipulative behaviors such as:
- sowing self-doubt
- distorting reality
- denying that they did or said something, even in the face of hard proof
- taking actions that don’t match their words
- isolating you by turning you against your friends
- sprinkling in flattery to confuse you
While potentially damaging, each of these behaviors by themselves doesn’t necessarily mean someone is gaslighting you. Gaslighting is often a combination of multiple tactics repeated over time.
It typically happens gradually, over time. You may not even realize you’re being gaslighted. You may even feel that everything is your fault.
Knowing how to recognize gaslighting can help you navigate this delicate situation.
If you want to know more about gaslighting and ways to deal with it, you can check out Psych Central’s page on tips to identify and deal with gaslighting.
This short test is designed for people who are concerned that they’re being gaslighted.
The following assessment is meant for personal use only.
Gaslighting is an action and not a diagnosis. Your test results can help you assess whether further action is required.
You will not receive a mental health diagnosis by taking this test. It’s a tool that can help you determine whether you’re being gaslighted or not.
Remember that gaslighting is not your fault. You’re not to blame.
If you think you’re being gaslighted, knowing what to look out for can help you learn to cope.