Hello! Are you worried that someone has been gaslighting you? How do you tell for sure it has been happening? It’s not easy, but there are ways to do it. The quiz we prepared might help you discover if you’ve been gaslighted. Our test won’t replace aid from a mental health professional, but it can assist you in making sense of someone’s behavior.
What is gaslighting? What are the warning signs? How do you respond to gaslighting, and how can you seek help? Let’s try and answer these questions today.
Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse that causes someone to doubt their perception of reality. If someone gaslights you, they make you unsure of your feelings and thoughts. For example, they might try to convince you that you remember things incorrectly, that you overreact to situations, or accuse you of making things up.
The origin of the term can be found in the play from 1938 “Gas Light” which was later made into a movie. The plot follows a woman whose husband slowly manipulates her into believing she’s mentally unwell and descending into insanity. The title refers to the gas lights in her house that seem to dim and brighten again for no apparent reason. The husband tries to convince the wife it’s only her imagination.
“Gaslighting” as the word never appeared in the play nor any of the movies. The New York Times first used this term in 1995’s Maureen Dowd’s column. It took until the 2010s for the word “gaslighting” to reach the public consciousness. The person who helped popularize the term was Dr. Robin Stern who wrote the book “The Gaslight Effect” in 2007.
Gaslighting is supposed to make you second-guess yourself and leave you confused about what actually happened. You might feel you’re to blame for something you did or that you’re just too emotional and sensitive.
What are the signs of gaslighting? One of the common tactics is lying. A person trying to gaslight will tell outright lies and won’t back down, even if you know for a fact they’re lying and can call them out. This is supposed to confuse you and make you doubt your version of events.
Withholding is yet another strategy a person gaslighting you might use. That means they will shut you down and refuse to listen to what you have to say. They can accuse you of being the one trying to twist things and will pretend not to understand what you mean.
Another sign of gaslighting is diverting or distracting. The gaslighter will attempt to change the subject to get your mind away from the issue at hand. They might answer with a question to your question to throw you off.
A person who gaslights you might spread rumors about you to other people. They will pretend they’re worried about you or imply you’re unstable. This can cause others to side with them without hearing your side of the story. The gaslighter wants to discredit you, so you aren’t as easily believed. They might even tell you that other people think the same things about you – even if it’s a lie.
The gaslighter will minimize and trivialize your thoughts and feelings. They will accuse you of being too sensitive or overreacting to things. They might say things like “You’re so dramatic, calm down”, “Why are you so emotional?”, “You’re blowing this out of proportion”. This tactic is meant to convince you your feelings are invalid.
There are many types of gaslighting. Often it happens in romantic relationships. However, it can also happen between non-romantic family members, in a workplace, or even when you’re going to a doctor. Some medical professionals use gaslighting to dismiss people’s concerns.
What are the signs you’ve been gaslighted? Doubting your feelings and questioning your version of reality is the main one. You will also feel vulnerable and insecure. You might feel like you’re “walking on eggshells” around your partner, friend, or family member.
You have a sense of impending doom when you’re around that person. You feel like something’s bad about to happen. You spend a lot of time apologizing for what you do or what you are.
You are disappointed in yourself, feeling you’ve become weak and passive. You also feel like other people are disappointed in you, assuming you’ve let them down in some way or made a mistake.
You struggle with making decisions because you don’t trust yourself and your judgment. You prefer to allow your partner, family member, or friend to make decisions for you.
What can you do if you experience gaslighting in a relationship? There are some measures you can take to protect yourself.
Try to gain some distance from that person. It can be helpful to step back and consider your feelings without other influences. Physical distance would be good, but you might also try meditating or grounding exercises.
Save the evidence of gaslighting. Keep a journal, screenshot texts, or record conversations. You will have tangible proof of gaslighting later when you try and doubt your perception.
Learn how to set boundaries. Make it clear you won’t allow the other person to minimize your feelings or ignore what you have to say. Setting boundaries is not an easy thing to do, but it’s essential to a healthy relationship.
If you don’t feel you can deal with this yourself, you might want to reach out to a mental health professional. They can help you learn more about the situation and develop coping strategies.
Are you ready to take our quiz? Find out if you’re being gaslighted with this simple test. Answer the questions to get your score. Good luck, and remember – help is out there!
How many questions are in the quiz?
There are 20 questions.
What options can you get?
Gaslight alert, Possibly gaslighting, No gaslighting
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