Gaslighting is a form of psychological abuse which refers to the act of manipulating (someone) into questioning their own reality or meaning making of situations. Gaslighting causes a person to feel confused, anxious, and unsure of themselves, their skills and even their memories. They tend to internalize the blame of their own boundaries being disrespected or things not working out, even when not at fault – resulting in damaging a person’s sense of self and bringing in a feeling of hopelessness.

To gaslight does not solely mean that a person may disagree with our perspective. It is not about ‘winning an argument’. While this may be part of the whole, we must keep in mind that gaslighting emerges in those relationships where there may already be vulnerability and the need to assert dominance by breaking one’s self-confidence and their support systems with an aim to completely manipulate, devalue and disenfranchise a person.

While the term is often used in clinical and therapeutic spaces to discuss patterns of behaviour in unhealthy relationships, the colloquial and misuse of the term may make it harder to break free and access support for people experiencing gaslighting.

If you or someone you know is experiencing such behaviour, remember – It’s okay to access support.

Check out our resources page for more information!

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