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Examples of Gaslighting to Watch Out For

* I generally write using the pronouns he/him when referring to narcissists, but females are just as likely to be narcissists or exhibit narcissistic traits. So please don't think just because article uses the word him or he that it could not be a woman in that same role.

Has anyone ever said something to you that stopped you in your tracks and made you question your very sanity?

Did it make you doubt your memories and your perception of reality itself?

Chances are you’ve been the victim of gaslighting.

Emergency Numbers

Rape Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) is the nation’s largest organization fighting sexual violence: (800) 656-HOPE / (800) 810-7440 (TTY)

988 Mental Health Emergency Hotline: Calling 988 will connect you to a crisis counselor regardless of where you are in the United States.

911 Emergency

The National Runaway Safeline: 800-RUNAWAY (800-786-2929)

Self Abuse Finally Ends (S.A.F.E)

American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Trauma & Child Abuse Resource Center

Domestic Violence Shelters & Resources

Futures Without Violence

National Center for Victims of Crime

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

National Network to End Domestic Violence

National Sexual Violence Resource Center

Prevent Child Abuse America

Stalking Prevention, Awareness, and Resource Center (SPARC)

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) HelpLine: 1-800-950-NAMI, or text “HELPLINE” to 62640. Both services are available between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. ET, Monday–Friday

National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255); www.suicidepreventionlifeline.orgOr, just dial 988

Suicide Prevention, Awareness, and Support: www.suicide.org

Crisis Text Line: Text REASON to 741741 (free, confidential and 24/7). In English and Spanish

Self-Harm Hotline: 1-800-DONT CUT (1-800-366-8288)

Family Violence Helpline: 1-800-996-6228

American Association of Poison Control Centers: 1-800-222-1222

National Council on Alcoholism & Drug Dependency: 1-800-622-2255

LGBTQ Hotline: 1-888-843-4564

National Maternal Mental Health Hotline: 1-833-TLC-MAMA (1-833-852-6262)

The Trevor Project: 1-866-488-7386 or text “START” to 678678. Standard text messaging rates apply. Available 24/7/365. (Provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning—LGBTQ—young people under 25.)

The SAGE LGBT Elder Hotline connects LGBT older people and caretakers with friendly responders. 1-877-360-LGBT (5428)

The Trans Lifeline is staffed by transgender people for transgender people:
1-877-565-8860 (United States)
1-877-330-6366 (Canada)

Veterans Crisis Line: https://www.veteranscrisisline.net

International Suicide Prevention Directory: findahelpline.com

The StrongHearts Native Helpline is a confidential and anonymous culturally appropriate domestic violence and dating violence helpline for Native Americans, available every day from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. CT. Call 1-844-762-8483.

‘Find a Therapist’ Online Directories

Canada

UK & Republic of Ireland

  • Emergency: 112 or 999
  • Hotline: +44 (0) 8457 90 90 90 (UK – local rate)
  • Hotline: +44 (0) 8457 90 91 92 (UK minicom)
  • Hotline: 1850 60 90 90 (ROI – local rate)
  • Hotline: 1850 60 90 91 (ROI minicom)
  • YourLifeCounts.org: https://yourlifecounts.org/find-help/

What is Gaslighting?

How do you convince someone that something they know to be true isn’t? In psychology, what is known as the “illusory truth effect” is a phenomenon in which a listener comes to believe something primarily because it has been repeated so often.

When an abuser continually tells you that you are oversensitive or that what you are experiencing is in no way abuse, you begin believing it, even if you know deep down it isn’t true.

Confused by all the slang terms? Start Here,

A Glossary of Narcissistic Slang Terms

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Examples of gaslighting:

“If you were paying attention…”

“If you were listening…”

“If you knew how to listen…”

“We talked about this. Don’t you remember?”

“I guess I’ll have to repeat myself since you can’t remember.”

“You need to learn to communicate better.”

“You’re being irrational.”

“Don’t you think you’re over-reacting?”

“You’re just over-sensitive.”

“Stop being so sensitive.”

“You’re too emotional.”

“You can’t take a joke.”

“You’re so thin-skinned.”

“You always jump to the wrong conclusion.”

“Stop taking everything I say so seriously.”

“Can you hear yourself?”

“I criticize you because I like you.”

“You’re the only person I have these problems with.”

“You’re reading too much into this.”

“I’m not arguing; I’m discussing.”

“I know what you’re thinking.”

“You should have known that this was not a good time to talk.”

“Why are you upset? I was only kidding.”

“Why would you think that? What does that say about you?

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Emergency Numbers

Rape Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) is the nation’s largest organization fighting sexual violence: (800) 656-HOPE / (800) 810-7440 (TTY)

988 Mental Health Emergency Hotline: Calling 988 will connect you to a crisis counselor regardless of where you are in the United States.

911 Emergency

The National Runaway Safeline: 800-RUNAWAY (800-786-2929)

Self Abuse Finally Ends (S.A.F.E)

American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Trauma & Child Abuse Resource Center

Domestic Violence Shelters & Resources

Futures Without Violence

National Center for Victims of Crime

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

National Network to End Domestic Violence

National Sexual Violence Resource Center

Prevent Child Abuse America

Stalking Prevention, Awareness, and Resource Center (SPARC)

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) HelpLine: 1-800-950-NAMI, or text “HELPLINE” to 62640. Both services are available between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. ET, Monday–Friday

National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255); www.suicidepreventionlifeline.orgOr, just dial 988

Suicide Prevention, Awareness, and Support: www.suicide.org

Crisis Text Line: Text REASON to 741741 (free, confidential and 24/7). In English and Spanish

Self-Harm Hotline: 1-800-DONT CUT (1-800-366-8288)

Family Violence Helpline: 1-800-996-6228

American Association of Poison Control Centers: 1-800-222-1222

National Council on Alcoholism & Drug Dependency: 1-800-622-2255

LGBTQ Hotline: 1-888-843-4564

National Maternal Mental Health Hotline: 1-833-TLC-MAMA (1-833-852-6262)

The Trevor Project: 1-866-488-7386 or text “START” to 678678. Standard text messaging rates apply. Available 24/7/365. (Provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning—LGBTQ—young people under 25.)

The SAGE LGBT Elder Hotline connects LGBT older people and caretakers with friendly responders. 1-877-360-LGBT (5428)

The Trans Lifeline is staffed by transgender people for transgender people:
1-877-565-8860 (United States)
1-877-330-6366 (Canada)

Veterans Crisis Line: https://www.veteranscrisisline.net

International Suicide Prevention Directory: findahelpline.com

The StrongHearts Native Helpline is a confidential and anonymous culturally appropriate domestic violence and dating violence helpline for Native Americans, available every day from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. CT. Call 1-844-762-8483.

‘Find a Therapist’ Online Directories

Canada

UK & Republic of Ireland

  • Emergency: 112 or 999
  • Hotline: +44 (0) 8457 90 90 90 (UK – local rate)
  • Hotline: +44 (0) 8457 90 91 92 (UK minicom)
  • Hotline: 1850 60 90 90 (ROI – local rate)
  • Hotline: 1850 60 90 91 (ROI minicom)
  • YourLifeCounts.org: https://yourlifecounts.org/find-help/

Examples of invalidating expressions. — Each is an attempt to talk you out of your feelings.

“Ordering” You to Feel Differently

Smile.
Be happy.
Cheer up
Lighten up.
Get over it.
Grow up
Get a life
Don’t cry.
Don’t worry.
Don’t be sad.
Stop whining
Stop laughing..
Don’t get angry
Deal with it.
Give it a rest.
Forget about it.
Stop complaining.
Don’t be so dramatic.
Don’t be so sensitive.
Stop being so emotional.
Stop feeling sorry for yourself (Source)
Don’t take it personally / Stop taking everything so personally

Ordering You to “Look” Differently

Don’t look so sad.
Don’t look so smug.
Don’t look so down.
Don’t look like that.
Don’t make that face.
Don’t look so serious.
Don’t look so proud of yourself.
Don’t look so pleased with yourself.

Denying Your Perception, Defending

You’ve got it all wrong.
But of course I respect you.
But I do listen to you.
That is ridiculous (nonsense, totally absurd, etc.)
I was only kidding.
That’s not the way things are.
That’s not how things are.
I honestly don’t judge you as much as you think.
It’s not going to happen

Trying to Make You Feel Guilty While Invalidating You

I tried to help you..
At least I …..
At least you….
You are making everyone else miserable. (Source)

Trying to Isolate You

You are the only one who feels that way.
It doesn’t bother anyone else, why should it bother you?

Minimizing Your Feelings

You must be kidding.
You can’t be serious.
It can’t be that bad.
Your life can’t be that bad.
You are just … (being difficult; being dramatic, in a bad mood, tired, etc)
It’s nothing to get upset over.
It’s not worth getting that upset over.
There’s nothing wrong with you. (Source)

Using Reason

There is no reason to get upset.
You are not being rational.
But it doesn’t make any sense to feel that way.
Let’s look at the facts.
Let’s stick to the facts.
But if you really think about it….

Telling You How You “Should” Feel or Act

You should be excited.
You should be thrilled.
You should feel guilty.
You should feel thankful that…
You should be happy that ….
You should be glad that …
You should just drop it.
You shouldn’t worry so much.
You shouldn’t let it bother you.
You should just forget about it.
You should feel ashamed of yourself.
You shouldn’t wear your heart out on your sleeve.
You shouldn’t say that about your father.

Defending The Other Person

Maybe they were just having a bad day.
I am sure she didn’t mean it like that.
You just took it wrong.
I am sure she means well.

Negating, Denial & Confusion

Now you know that isn’t true.
You don’t mean that. You know you love your baby brother.
You don’t really mean that. You are just … (in a bad mood today, tired, cranky)

Sarcasm and Mocking

Oh, you poor thing. Did I hurt your little feelings?
What did you think? The world was created to serve you?
What happened to you? Did you get out of the wrong side of bed again?

Laying Guilt Trips

Don’t you ever think of anyone but yourself?
What about my feelings?!
Have you ever stopped to consider my feelings?

Philosophizing Or Clichés

That’s life.
Shit happens.
That’s life and we just have to deal with it.

Time heals all wounds.
Every cloud has a silver lining.
Life is full of pain and pleasure.
In time you will understand this.
When you are older you will understand
You are just going through a phase.
Everything has its reasons.
There is a reason for everything
Everything is just the way it is supposed to be.

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Talking about you when you can hear it

She is impossible to talk to.
You can’t say anything to her.

Showing Intolerance

This is getting really old.
This is getting really pathetic.
I am sick of hearing about it.

Trying to Control How Long You Feel Something, or Judging You for How Long You Feel It

Are you still upset over that? It happened a long time ago.
You should be over that by now.

3 thoughts on “Examples of Gaslighting to Watch Out For”

  1. Jerrod G.Robkar Jr of Henderson,Nevada is very much like this. But I caught it very early. I knew that he was “sick” but thought that I wouldn’t mind.

  2. i have narcstic sister with a narcstic daughter that has done unexplainable harm to our family. she was chosen to have power of attorney over my sick mother, father still living also. she lived out of town but had her daughter watch over my mother.
    my wife and i were visiting mom andboth manipulated my father noticed she needed some medical attetin. my fater agreed and we took her to the doctor, which helped heal the wounds she had. after we sucsessfully got the medical attention she needed , hell was unleashed on myself. she absolutly fits the traites of of a narcsistic personallity. what ended in secretly arranging end of life hospice care to overdose my mother to death in a short period of 5 days. it was cold and calloused , having her daughter defend her and being the one that administered thr drugs to my mother that put her to sleep and never waking up until she died.

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