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I mean you guys, it’s Friday and this is all pretty self explanatory. Go check out this handy post explaining the concept of gaslighting in “Clueless”-themed GIFs.
I find I do this myself sometimes with my partner but honestly if I really dig into it – I really am honestly confused about their position and sometimes honestly think he is crazy. It doesn’t necessarily make it right to make him feel so – he probably illegitimately feel that way – so I should still respect his feelings, however it doesn’t change the fact that it isn’t gas-lighting. It’s simply differences in perception.
Gas-lighting exists, regardless of your own personal experiences.
Oh absolutely. Did my post come across as if I disagree with this?
My intent was to simply say not everything is black and white. There is gas-lighting and there is legitimate confusion over someone else’s perceptions.
I did kind of read it that way, yeah. But I get what you’re saying now.
Gaslighting isn’t simply a difference in perception though. It refers to a tactic used by manipulators to specifically create this confusion in their target. It’s the malicious intent that makes it different from an honest misunderstanding.
I read this article in my first week as a therapist. Since then, I think I’ve probably talked with about a dozen of my female patients about how their partners/ex-partners might be doing this to them, given what they’ve told me. There’s always this moment when realization flashes across their faces, the dawning of, “Hey, wait a minute. I’m getting duped! I’m *not* crazy, and I *don’t* have to take this!” It’s one of my favorite moments.
Unfortunately there seems to be a thread of victim blaming running through this article… Sure, the author says that gaslighting is “not your fault” a few times, but she also says this:
“Sadly, far too many people in the world allow the behavior to continue, constantly apologizing without knowing why and living in a state of confusion for eternity. But if, like myself, your unrelenting pursuit for knowledge and possibly concern for the person outweighs your emotional thresholds and your sense of self-respect, you won’t simply apologize and move on. You will figure out what the reality of the situation is.”
So you are only truly a victim if you don’t have an “unrelenting pursuit for knowledge”? The last sentence of that quote also seems to contradict itself.
I commend the author for shining the spotlight on the so-called crazy-making that happens in abusive relationships. I would caution her against comparing “what so many guys have done or attempted to do to me throughout my dating career” with domestic violence as it can come across as if she doesn’t fully understand how difficult it is to be a domestic violence survivor.
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