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    Gaslighting: Expert Tips To Identify And Prevent It

    Gaslighting makes the victim question their own thoughts, typically leading to emotional instability, loss of confidence among other things. 
    Updated at - 2022-11-30,15:37 IST
    gaslighting tips to identify

    Recently, American dictionary publisher Merriam-Webster announced "gaslighting" as the word of the year. During 2022, searches for this word increased to 1740 percent as per their data. 

    Gaslighting is manipulating someone by psychological means for one's own advantage. The term has been around for about 84 years, but it is only recently that the word has risen in popularity.

    The word finds its origin in a 1938 play titled 'Gas light'. The psychological thriller revolved around deceit and toxic masculinity (Bollywood movies around toxic relationships). Parts of Alia Bhatt and Vijay Varma starrer Darlings were inspired by the play. In the movie, Bhatt played a woman named Badru, who is trapped in an abusive marriage with husband Hamza (Varma). Hamza keeps gaslighting Badru throughout, making her believe that his abuse was nothing but a part of his love.

    Not only marriages, you can find gaslighters just anywhere; in your group of friends, family or at your workplace. 

    We spoke to Dr. Mantosh Kumar, Senior Consultant, Psychiatry, Fortis Mental Health and Behavioural Sciencesand asked the expert to share tips to identify and deal with gaslighting.

    How To Identify If Someone Is Gaslighting You

    You are being lied to

    One of the biggest red flags is when you constantly find that person lying to you and then them denying it all. 

    They play the blame game

    A lot of times gaslighters play the blame game. Finding yourself being blamed by the end of every conversation also hints at gaslighting.

    gaslighting how to know

    You Doubt Yourself 

    You are made to doubt your own truth, your own memory, and you start questioning yourself by the end of the day. 

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    You begin to self-doubt 

    The perpetrator –, be it your significant other, boss or colleague, whoever it isthey try to convince their victim of a narrative where you end up feeling that it was you who made a big deal out of nothing. Sometimes they label you as a sensitive person or ask you to take things in a good spirit.

    A diversion is used 

    Always a diversion or countering is used as a technique when you start questioning the other person. That's when you realise you are being gaslit.

    How To Prevent Gaslighting? 

    how to deal with gaslighting

    Dr. Mantosh Kumar said, “Start identifying that you are not the one at fault. Remain confident, have that state of mind that you were gaslighted and the truth was something else.”

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    Let The Gaslighter Know 

    Let the other person know  that you see through their manipulation. For this, you will have to call them out in the moment or gather evidence to show them how they behave.  A common reaction of gaslighting is frustration. 

    Ask For Help

    It is imperative to speak up in a space you feel is safe. If you find it difficult to fight it all alone, speak to a friend whom you can trust and who can help you manage it.

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