Being in a relationship requires a lot of effort. As blissful as it is, it is constant hard work; however all worth it.
But at times, so much effort might swing in the wrong direction if you are unaware of the partner’s intentions or your partner is not the right fit for you. To say the worst, what if your partner is a narcissist or someone who is unreasonably dominating and only finds pleasure in letting you down?
In such instances, you will always feel you are not giving enough in the relationship. You will feel you are not good enough a person. So many negative emotions might creep into your head as you see your self-worth slipping away.
However, it is important to find out if your partner is using gaslighting phrases and you are being gaslighted in the relationship. Is it really happening to you?
What Does Gaslighting Mean In A Relationship?
Gaslighting is a psychological practice where your partner, or the gaslighter, manipulates the facts, instances, or events using gaslighting phrases to exercise undue dominance and assume a sense of power. This is a simple distortion of conversation to gain an upper hand over someone.
According to American Sociological Association
“Gaslighting—a type of psychological abuse aimed at making victims seem or feel “crazy,” creating a “surreal” interpersonal environment”
Gaslighting is a clear form of emotional abuse and makes any relationship toxic, and harmful for the victim.
When it comes to the history of gaslighting, gaslighting is abusive behavior and the word can be traced back to a 1938 play named ‘Gas Light’ which was a mystery-thriller and played for 6 months in the London theaters. The 1944 movie ‘Gaslight’ was adoption of this play with screen collaborations of Charles Boyer and Ingrid.
15 Signs Of Gaslighting In A Relationship
How to know if you are being gaslighted. Are there any telltale signs that your partner is using gaslighting phrases that you must be aware of?
Well, you might be often confused whether you were being gaslighted or was it really your fault. Here are some signs to be sure of your situation:
- You are confused about your actions
- Loss of self-esteem
- You feel trivial in the relationship
- You always feel at fault
- You have begun to consider yourself crazy
- You are mostly depressed than happy
- You focus on pleasing your partner
- You opt for whatever measures required to make the relationship work
- You second-doubt even the smallest decisions made by you
- You lie to avoid the blame, even for once
- You make excuses to your friends and family for your partner’s behavior
- You feel you are the ‘wrong one’ in the relationship
- You pity your partner for bearing with you & feel grateful that they stick around
- You apologize to your partner almost all the time
- You have a hard time expressing your concerns to your partner
Gaslighting Techniques & Gaslighting Phrases To Look Out For
Gaslighters are perfect liars. This is one of the most important ammunitions where the gaslighter will confidently lie at your face. Even if they know that you know they are lying, they will blatantly do that to set up the web for further manipulations.
Some of the gaslighting phrases in this context are:
- You’re the only person I have these problems with.
- You are remembering it wrong.
- That never happened.
- You are just making this up.
- We talked about this. Don’t you remember?
They will deny and dismiss whatever you say. It is one of the most common gaslighting tricks where despite you have enough pieces of evidence, they will call it all false, so much so that you will begin questioning your memory and your reality.
Here are a few examples of gaslighting in a relationship to help you identify this technique:
- I don’t remember that/I don’t remember saying that.
- I didn’t mean it like that.
- Stop taking everything I say so seriously.
- You’re reading too much into this.
- You have a selective memory.
If you confront your partner with truth or state a fact you are sure of, they will bombard you with so many questions with a straight face that you will step back out of confusion and for being terribly wrong. You will land in a state of confusion and end up apologizing instead.
Check out the gaslighting phrases examples or phrases narcissists use below:
- The problem isn’t with me, it is in you.
- If only you would ever pay attention…
- You never listen to a word I say.
- I find it impossible to deal with someone who doesn’t trust me.
- If you’re lucky, I’ll forgive you.
Words & Actions Don’t Match
To be sure that your partner is indeed a narcissist gaslighting, check for what they say and what they do. There will often be a mismatch in their words and actions. They often tend to make fake promises while their actions play havoc in the relationship.
A gaslighter uses these gaslighting phrases or narcissist sayings:
- I criticize you because I love you.
- I never promised I’ll do that. I am busy.
- I do so much for you and you treat me so bad.
- You don’t give enough in this relationship. I’m the only one who cares.
- I laughed at you in front of them but I love you, right?
When your partner or an entity is gaslighting you, one of the safest gaslighting techniques for them is to throw their own insecurities at you. For example, if they are a cheater, they will often accuse you of that, so much so that you will begin to justify yourself out of nowhere and forget about your partner’s behavior.
Emotional projection is understandable through these gaslighting phrases:
- You are being unnecessarily jealous.
- You are over-sensitive.
- You always try to manipulate me.
- I know you are not loyal to me.
- It feels like you always look for ways to win over me.
Using Close Ones As Their Weapon
Once your partner feels they are in a situation where nothing is saving them, they will often take the support of their friends and family who support them. Eventually, they will take your partner’s side while you will be proven wrong.
Examples of gaslighting phrases here are:
- They think you are crazy.
- I told them about our fight and they said you were wrong.
- If these people were right here, they would understand how weird you are.
- Do you want proof that you are wrong? Let me call this person.
- This person told me I am the sensible one in the relationship.
Diverting The Topic
As simple as that, they will simply divert the topic and avoid any discussion over the issue. They can also opt for silent treatment to change or block the topic and after a while, you will end up overthinking and assuming that you were at fault for raising an unnecessary concern.
Below are gaslighting phrases to show you how they do that:
- Can’t you take this as a joke?
- You should have known that this was not a good time to talk.
- Why would you think that? What does that say about you?
- You need to learn to communicate better.
- Where is this coming from? Are you imagining things?
They will just act confused about what you are speaking as if it is all alien to them and they are not able to comprehend as they have no idea about it. Therefore, to cut you down, they infuse a sense of uneasiness in the conversation and this will work in favor of the gaslighter.
They show confusion with the below mentioned gaslighting phrases:
- What drama is this? Is this even a concern?
- What are you talking about?
- Can you hear yourself?
- I don’t understand what you are thinking.
- I have no idea what you are saying. Let’s speak later when you are in the right state of mind.
They Project Others As Liars
When they feel they are being proved wrong, one gaslighting technique is to put everyone at fault and blame others. They do so with so much confidence that you begin to believe them and naturally, you will believe the person also because that’s your partner.
Here are gaslighting phrases as examples:
- They are lying because they just hate me.
- They are jealous of us. They are manipulating you.
- What do they know about us to say anything about me?
- They are liars. It’s their habit.
- Forget it. They simply don’t want us to be together.
They will often discard your concerns, feelings, and facts. They will let you down and this will initially make you work harder towards the relationship and please them more before you ultimately realize they are the ones doing wrong.
More gaslighting phrases that show how they belittle you:
- You are a psycho to imagine such things.
- Don’t you understand this? This is so simple.
- You are neurotic. Stop bothering me with your drama.
- You shouldn’t wear this. You look fat.
- Look at how you eat/ sleep/walk. This is so embarrassing.
Check out this video for tips on how to handle your partner you belittles you:
Once you understand you are in a wrong relationship and your partner is gaslighting you, it gets easier to step out of such a gaslighting relationship by being confident, focusing on self-care, and seeking professional support.