Gaslighting the 2022 word of the year

NWA Marriage and Family Therapy serving all of Arkansas online.

Gaslighting is a term that came from the 1940’s psychological thriller movie titled “Gaslight”. View for free link, You Tube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYmtzaHwCKo It is well worth a watch, and hold up many years later.

Today “To gaslight” is an active verb that has come into our modern speech. Used in terms of relationships one can say “Relationship Gaslighting” to mean when one person in a relationship intentionally distorts their partner’s perception of reality for their own manipulative advantage.

Relationship gaslighting can manifest in many ways. Signs to notice are when you begin to question your own judgement, values or perceptions and your own sense of reality. Oftentimes, fault will be assigned to you at a time when you attempt to question explanations or when you feel most vulnerable or powerless from the confusion fallout and insecurity that gaslighting eventually causes.

Questioning to attempt to clarify may bring on statements that you are too sensitive, jealous or overall unworthy in various ways. You then begin to feel isolated and confused and begin doubting yourself. Developing with time a sinking feeling at the pit of your gut. This feeling is a good red flag to honor.

To balance this discomfort, many people try to talk themselves out of their feelings with positive self-talk. They may change their own behavior to try harder to accommodate for their partner’s gaslighting, in hopes of being a more supportive partner and to improve and regain trust in their relationship. Usually, these actions are not effective and the gaslighting will continue.

People are now using “gaslighting” very often and sometimes inappropriately. Enduring continued gaslighting is unhealthy and will emotionally unbalance you. The question now becomes what are real and genuine relationship difficulties and what is manipulative relationship gaslighting?

As a Marriage and Family Therapists, I have seen both and have helped individuals and couples explore the different angles and nuances so they can see clearly for themselves.

Call NWA Marriage and Family Therapy to discuss a counseling appointment. Offering sliding scale fee at your convenience. Serving clients virtually anywhere in Arkansas.

Office voice mail 479-225-0055. Thank you.