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Beware Of Gaslighting

Knowing what gaslighting is will keep it from happening to you. This term was born out of a 1944 movie, and has become a term recognized in modern psychology.

“Gaslighting is a form of manipulation that seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or in members of a targeted group, hoping to make them question their own memory, perception, and sanity. Using persistent denial, misdirection, contradiction, and lying, it attempts to destabilize the target and delegitimize the target's belief.[1][2]” (Wikipedia.)

Can you identify how this is also being used in today’s politics?

The term owes its origin to the 1938 Patrick Hamilton play Gas Light and its 1940 and 1944 film adaptations in which a husband tries to manipulate his wife, (played by Ingrid Bergman) into going insane. The way he does this, among others, is by convincing her that the gaslights, (street lights) are actually not dimming and brightening, as she observes every night, when in fact he is causing them to do so. Thus the title and term.

If you have never had the unfortunate experience of dealing with a sociopath, consider yourself blessed. I have, and this is a favorite manipulation technique of theirs.

If you find someone trying to convince you that what you observed first hand and know to be real is not, because you are “delusional”, see this as a big red flag.

This happened to me with a cheating partner who tried to convince me that I was delusional and imagining the evidence I’d uncovered of his infidelity, blaming it on me being “depressed.”

(Depression doesn’t cause delusions, by the way.)

Fortunately, I knew that I was neither depressed nor delusional. But what also helped was

understanding this favorite manipulation technique of the modern sociopath.

I’ll never forget the day I looked at him and said with a hearty laugh, “You are trying to gas light me!”

Watch the movie. Know the term. And unless you know you have a major psychological disorder that is known to cause delusions, don’t ever let another person call into question your reality. Hold your ground and ditch them as fast as you can!

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