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Gaslighting is a form of manipulation that leaves the person being manipulated questioning their own sanity, literally. This is a serious, emotionally damaging situation that can cause psychological distress in many forms. Each person facing it takes it differently, and some people are truly unable to notice it when it comes forth.

Below, I am going to go over some of the signs that indicate someone in your life may be working to gaslight you. If these things are happening to you, you really need to seek outside help and cut ties with your manipulator as soon as possible. Situations like this can do long-term damage and should never be situations we remain in once realizations have been made.

For those beginning to navigate the complex process of healing from psychological abuse, Healing from Hidden Abuse: A Journey Through the Stages of Recovery from Psychological Abuse” by Shannon Thomas offers a comprehensive guide that outlines the stages of recovery and provides actionable steps toward healing.

13 Serious Signs You’re Being Gaslighted:

1. They have isolated you from those who care the most for you.

When someone is trying to gain power over you they will cut you off from the people who care about you. They will close you off from anyone who will try to take you away from them or make you aware of their manipulation. If no one is there to point out the red flags, maybe you won’t see them. Dr. Robin Stern’s The Gaslight Effect: How to Spot and Survive the Hidden Manipulation Others Use to Control Your Life is an invaluable resource that explains how to identify gaslighting and offers strategies for breaking free from its grasp.

2. They try to win arguments by confusing you.

These kinds of people are always doing their best to confuse you. If you’re confused, they can overpower your mind and win any and all arguments that come forth. This will happen time and time again until you stop resisting.

3. You’re always walking on eggshells around this person.

Because of the way this person tends to react to things, you are for the most part walking on eggshells trying to make them happy. You never know who you’re coming home to or what mood they will be in. You should not be living like this.

4. You find yourself thinking negatively about your own being.

The more you’re around this person, the more their words towards you will rub off. You think negatively about yourself because they do the same. The more they call you worthless, the more you will believe it.

5. This person lies to you constantly, but you cannot get him/her to admit it.

Even when you have proof of their lies, they deny everything. This is part of what leaves a person wondering whether they’re sane or not in regards. The more this happens, the more you will doubt yourself.

In addition to seeking knowledge on gaslighting and psychological abuse, personal reflection and mindfulness can play a significant role in your healing journey. Consider incorporating journaling into your daily routine with tools like the Guided Self-Care Journal by Meera Lee Patel, which provides prompts and exercises designed to foster introspection and self-care.

6. You are not happy in general, especially with this person.

If you’re not happy, that in itself should be enough of a reason to move on. Every relationship should leave a person feeling happy. You even with ups and downs should not be unhappy with someone who truly cares about you.

7. This person never admits when he or she is wrong or has made a mistake.

We all make mistakes, and we all have our moments in which we are wrong, but your manipulator will not ever admit that. He or she will push all of his or her mistakes off on you. Everything is always your fault.

8. You are constantly making excuses for this person’s behavior.

You find yourself making excuses for things this person says or does. That is because you know there is something serious going on but don’t want to admit it. From here you need to make serious changes.

9. You feel worthless and as if you are a burden.

You are not worthless and are not a burden, but the more you’re told that the more you will believe it. The thoughts of your manipulator will rub off on you. I cannot stress this enough. Manipulators tear their victims’ self-esteem to shreds.

10. You feel insecure overall, especially around this person.

The more you allow this person to control you, the less secure you will feel. You will feel as if you are not good enough and as if nothing is ever right. All your efforts will feel like irritants in his or her eyes.

11. You admit that you’re wrong even when you’re not to avoid a fight or explosion.

Regardless of the situation, you always have to be the one to admit that you’re wrong. Most of the time you’re actually right and in giving up are allowing him or her to win in order to bring the emotions down in the situation. You do all you can to avoid explosions or having this person lash out.

Maintaining mental and emotional well-being is key when dealing with the aftermath of manipulation. Engaging in mindfulness practices can be incredibly beneficial. The Mindfulness Meditation for Beginners” by Jack Kornfield – Audio CD or Digital Download offers guided meditations that can help ground you, reduce anxiety, and reclaim your sense of self.

12. This person is always calling you names and putting you down.

This person is a manipulator and as noted above, manipulators want you to have a very low sense of self-esteem. He or she will call you worthless, hopeless, a waste of space and so much more. They will only use positive reinforcement on rare occasions.

13. You’re always apologizing to this person, even when you’ve done nothing wrong.

You are always the one to apologize. You in situations that do not deserve an ‘I’m sorry’ are forced to give one. This is humiliating and can really bring your mood down especially when you have done nothing.

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