What is gaslighting ?

gaslighting is a form of psychological abuse of a victim through misinformation.

The  goal of the abuser is to make the victim doubt their own perception, memory or even their own sanity.

examples of gaslighting could be :

– “I told you last week i am going out with my friends, don’t you remember ?”

– “no wonder all your colleagues are talking bad behind your back”

– “I am not treating you disrespectful, you imagining things again”

– “We both know you are not capable of having a sophisticated argument about politics, you just believe what the media is telling you”

 

Etymology

The term gaslighting derives from the 1938 stage play “Gas Light”

In the stage play a husband convinces his wife that she is slowly getting insane trough manipulating elements of their environment.

When the wife points these changes out, he makes her believe that she is mistaken and not able to remember things correctly.

One of the things is the gradually dimming of the lights (which used to be powered by gas) ,

and refusing to acknowledge the changes of light brightness to his wife.

 

The term however became widespread after the 1944 movie “gaslight” starring Ingrid Bergman.

You can watch the movie here to get a better sense of gaslighting examples.

 

Gaslighting typically occurs between partners, but also cases between parents and children, siblings, co-workers, and patientsare known.

Statistically more women are the victim of gaslighting abuse. The reason for this is still unknown, but it is suggested that the

social perception of the crazy emotional unstable women benefits male abusers.