Gaslighting: What Is It?
Gaslighting is a strategy commonly employed by pricks. It helps them get their own way. But what is it?
The term ‘gaslighting’ evolved as a shorthand way of describing the core feature of the behaviour of the villain in a 1938 play by Patrick Hamilton, called ‘Gas Light’. In this play the villain slowly drives his wife into believing she is going insane. People who are being gaslighted end up losing their own sense of reality. They are forced to ask themselves if their own perception of what has been happening is correct. It is, in effect, an insidious and evil form of brainwashing.
This is an abusive pattern of behaviour used by pricks to drive people to the point that they simply give up and let the prick have their own way: take control. Out of fear or belief that they cannot trust their own judgment, the victim allows the prick concerned to take control of all their decisions: and in fact, their lives. At the very least, gaslighting undermines the victim’s sense of self-worth.
There are several ways in which this may be done. Here are some of them.
By constant questioning, constant challenge by the prick concerned, as to what actually happened. They may assert that what you remember is not really what happened. Or they may state outright that your perception of the situation is just plain wrong.
By actually telling you that you are crazy or have some sort of mental health problem, or that you are mentally unbalanced.
By questioning the value of your judgment, or the validity of your feelings.
By questioning your motives.
By accusing you of some moral weakness such as being unforgiving, or holding a grudge.
By accusing you of having a hidden agenda. They may make out that you are the bad guy.
By trivializing what actually happened, accusing you of overreacting.
By outright denying what has happened, accusing you of having an overactive imagination. In other words, you cannot tell what is reality and what is not.
At the end of the day, gaslighting is just one of the many forms of bullshit used by pricks to get their own way.
Next time we’ll begin looking at specific gaslighting terms or phrases used by pricks.
Until then - P.J. Cavē