Let’s talk about Gaslighting!

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Let’s talk about Gaslighting!

Arsh Ali
Importance of Time
Workshop of Muslim NGOs

Gaslighting is a form of psychological abuse where a person or group makes someone question their sanity, perception of reality, or memories. People experiencing gaslighting often feel confused, anxious, and unable to trust themselves.

In other words, Gaslighting is an insidious form of manipulation and psychological control. Victims of gaslighting are deliberately and systematically fed false information that leads them to question what they know to be true, often about themselves. They may end up doubting their memory, their perception, and even their sanity. Over time, a gaslighter’s manipulations can grow more complex and potent, making it increasingly difficult for the victim to see the truth.

Gaslighting can occur in personal or professional relationships, and victims are targeted at the core of their being: their sense of identity and self-worth. Manipulative people who engage in gaslighting do so to attain power over their victims, either because they simply derive warped enjoyment from the act or because they wish to emotionally, physically or financially control their victim.

What is a gaslighter’s technique?
A gaslighter will initially lie about simple things, but the volume of misinformation soon grows, and the gaslighter may accuse the victim of lying if he or she questions the narrative. They typically deploy occasional positive reinforcement to confuse the victim, but at the same time, they may attempt to turns others against the victim, even their own friends and family, by telling them that the victim is lying or is delusional.

Is gaslighting ever unintentional?
It is possible for an individual to manipulate someone without realizing they are doing so. Importantly, though, the gaslighter still enjoys wielding control over the mind and behaviour of the victim, even if they cannot articulate or acknowledge this fact. Some people engage in manipulative behaviour because they witnessed it frequently as a child, most often in their parents. Regardless of a gaslighter’s level of self-awareness, the behaviour is never acceptable, and ignorance of the phenomenon should not be accepted as an excuse for manipulative actions.

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