Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation that seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or in members of a targeted group, making them question their own memory, perception, and sanity. Using persistent denial, misdirection, contradiction, and lying, it attempts to destabilize the victim and delegitimize the victim’s belief.
Narcissists use gaslighting tactics. An abuser’s ultimate goal is to make their victim second guess their every choice and question their sanity, making them more dependent on the abuser.
There are two characteristics of gaslighting: The abuser wants full control of feelings, thoughts, or actions of the victim; and the abuser discreetly emotionally abuses the victim in hostile, abusive, or coercive ways.
Signs of gaslighting include:
Countering information to fit the abuser’s perspective;
Undermining victim by gradually weakening them and their thought process.
The psychological manipulation may include making the victim question his or her own memory, perception, and sanity. The abuser may invalidate the victim’s experiences using dismissive language: “You’re crazy. I’m worried; I think you’re not well.”
Confused, thus learning.