top of page

What is Gaslighting?

Updated: Jul 8, 2022

June's Edu Vid-- Let's fucking get into it.

What is gaslighting? Gaslighting is a form of manipulation, often used within abusive relationships. It’s an insidious type of emotional abuse meant to make you question your judgement and reality. Gaslighting can occur in all kinds of relationships, not just romantic. With parents, friends, co-workers and bosses.

5 signs of gaslighting

  1. Minimizing “It’s not that serious, you’re so dramatic”

  2. Denying “That never happened”

  3. Lying “I never said that, what are you talking about?”

  4. Talking over you

  5. Discrediting you // To friends: she’s crazy

Examples of Gaslighting:

  • “You’re crazy”

  • “It’s not that serious”

  • “I never said that”

  • “That never happened”

  • “You always exaggerate things”

  • “You’re so dramatic”

  • “I’m worried about how often you forget things”

  • “Calm down, it could be worse”

A few effective steps to try if you are being gaslit:

  • Get some distance

  • Screenshot potential evidence

  • Get an outside perspective

If you feel like you are being gaslit seeking professional help might also be a good route to try. They might help you gain perspective and develop effective strategies that can help you in the situation.

Where Did 'Gaslighting' Get Its Name?

“The term gaslighting comes from a 1938 play by Patrick Hamilton, known in America as "Angel Street" and later developed into the film "Gas Light" by Alfred Hitchcock.7

In the suspense film, a manipulative husband tries to make his wife think she is losing her mind by making subtle changes in her environment, including slowly and steadily dimming the flame on a gas lamp. Not only does he disrupt her environment and make her believe she is insane, but he also abuses and controls her, cutting her off from family and friends.7

Consequently, the wife begins second-guessing herself, her feelings, her perceptions, and her memories. Additionally, she feels neurotic, hypersensitive, and out-of-control, which is the goal of gaslighting—to leave the target feeling off-kilter and unsure of what is true and what isn’t.4

Because this film was an accurate portrayal of the controlling and toxic actions that manipulative people use, psychologists and counselors began to label this type of emotionally abusive behavior ‘gaslighting.’”


Sweet PL. The sociology of gaslighting. Am Sociol Rev. 2019;84(5):851-875. doi:10.1177/0003122419874843

Thomas L. Gaslight and gaslighting. The Lancet Psychiatry. 2018;5(2):117-118. doi:10.1016/S2215-0366(18)30024-5

Raquel Savage
9 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page