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I always hope when I write articles about my experiences relationship-wise that I’m helping someone. I hope I’m giving someone the advice they’ve been looking for, or the realization that they aren’t alone in what they’ve experienced. In this case, I hope this article found you, not vice versa. I hope you aren’t seriously wondering this about yourself and your relationship. Before I say anything else, I’m no expert. All I can tell you is what I have experienced. Take it as you will. With that said, unfortunately I think the experience of gaslighting happens a lot more than people realize. I was with someone who emotionally manipulated me for a long time. Gaslighting, in a simple definition, is the act of manipulating someone by psychological means into questioning their own sanity. According to a “ThriveTalk” article, the tactic is used by the ‘gas lighter’ to gain power and control, they plant seeds of uncertainty in the victim. If that doesn’t explain the depth of it well enough for you, gaslighting as a term originated in 1938 with a play by Patrick Hamilton. It was later adapted into a film in 1944, but the mental and emotional abuse behind the word has existed forever. It is one of the most common forms of emotional abuse. It’s hard to open your eyes and realize what’s going on when the person you love and trust the most has convinced you it’s best to keep your eyes closed.

Some of the most common signs of gaslighting;

  • If your significant other constantly tries to convince you that you are crazy for having any sort of reaction to the things they do to you

  • If your significant other makes you feel like you’re too sensitive

  • If your significant other has conditioned you to think everything is always your fault

  • Constantly feeling like something is wrong/your partner is upset but not being sure why or what about

  • If your significant other makes you feel like everything you do is wrong

  • If your significant other cancels plans they know you’re looking forward to without telling you, continually

  • If you feel the need to constantly make excuses to loved ones about your significant other’s behavior

  • If your significant other denies behaviors/actions you witnessed them do

  • Feeling afraid of speaking up because you don’t want to upset your significant other.

Gaslighting is something that can change you as a person forever, even if you get out of the relationship. After I got away from my experience with gaslighting, it took me a long time to recognize what a real, regular relationship was like. I was so used to having someone treat me like a lesser person that I went looking for something more like it. Like I talked about in my very first article, I became absolutely against commitment. I wanted nothing to do with anyone who wanted me. Emotional manipulation in any way, not just gaslighting, can be detrimental to you as a person and how you will act/treat relationships for the rest of your life. 

Relationships are hard enough to navigate when everyone involved has pure intentions. Taking these other intentions into consideration makes relationships seem almost impossible in today’s society. Of course, like I previously stated, this issue has existed since at least 1938, but it has only evolved as time passed. People and relationships are always going to be hard to understand and navigate, even platonic relationships. I encourage you to have pure intentions in all relationships you enter into and be sure your partner does as well. No one deserves to be emotionally manipulated.


A 20 year old transfer student and campus trendsetter at UNT who is passionate about equality. I love shoes and talking about things that hopefully help others.
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