What does it mean to gaslight someone

What does it mean to gaslight someone

Gaslighting and toxicity are two sides of the same coin. Both are very sensitive issues that have undermined the growth of many intimate relationships. It is very simple to identify a toxic relationship, but it’s often difficult to know when you’re being gaslighted.

What does it actually mean to gaslight someone? This is often the question asked by many. Especially those who are ignorant of the dynamics of gaslighting. When you’re gaslighted, you become indecisive. And, everything you do goes through rigorous retrospection.

You begin to have a fallout with your realities and your observations become less important. You must ask; what is actually a gaslight?

Gaslight meaning

In a nutshell, “gaslighting” is a type of manipulation or emotional blackmail, where the manipulator tries to get someone to become doubtful of their own reality, views and values. It is a type of emotional blackmail where a partner is made to shut down their analytical faculty.

You’re emotionally manipulated to change your perception in order to please your partner. Gaslighting deals with power and emotions. Before you get gaslighted by someone, you’re either attached to them intimately or they have a little authority.

What does it mean to gaslight someone

What does it mean to gaslight someone

In many relationships, some partners are “gaslighting”. But, they are often unaware, because it might be in their character. It is very necessary to know exactly what it means to gaslight someone. Knowing the symptoms of gaslighting would save partners from unnecessary emotional stress. Below are some basic signs of gaslighting.


If you find it difficult to appreciate your partner, it means you’re gaslighting him or her. Appreciation matters a lot in relationships. It sends across a negative energy when the efforts of a partner is not appreciated.

With time, they might begin to become less sensitive to appreciation. As you have subtly made them believe. You withhold ordinary “thank you” despite the efforts of your partner.


You consistently and constantly question the memory of your partner. You’re very quick to use the phrase; “that never happened.” Your victims would begin to question their memory. They often wait for your evaluation, before they could believe their own memory.

Anything they say about the past, goes through your serious scrutiny. You end up believing the ones you like and make them discard the ones you’re uncomfortable with.

This often happens in a relationship. You were probably caught flirting with someone else. When confronted by your partner, instead of making an apology.

You deflect it immediately with phrases like; “is not what you think,” “how did you even come up with this.” “You’re becoming unnecessarily sensitive.” These would force your victims to accept your wrong evaluation and force them to question their perceptions. 

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Do you always make important things seem unimportant? How often do you trivialize the feelings and needs of your partner? He or she might have probably approached you for an anniversary gift.

Instead of making them understand your genuine stance, you rebuff them with; “you’re obsessed with events.” You become very inattentive to how they feel and you also make them believe so.

He asked you for a cuddle and you quickly turned him down with; “you are becoming too romantic.” Such actions would make your victims question their own reality and views about intimacy. This is also applicable to other personal and professional relationships where gaslighting exists.


You suddenly develop loss of memory. When victims come up with issues, you suddenly do not remember anything again. You easily say; “Seems you’re the only one aware of this.”

You don’t give them the space to entertain your past. You made a promise to take her shopping if she can allow you to get intimate with her. When she begins to remind you of your promise, you quickly hush her with; “I can’t remember saying that.” 

However, if you’re still finding it difficult to answer the question; what does it mean to gaslight someone?. Here are some phrases manipulators use while trying to gaslight someone. “That never happened,” “you’re crazy – and your friends think so also,” “I’m sorry if you think that I hurt you,” “I didn’t know you’d get offended by that minor issue,” “You’re too sensitive,” among others.

What does it mean to gaslight someone

How to tell if you’re being gaslighted

You might have probably had thoughts about being gaslighted in your relationship. If you couldn’t figure it out with the signs of gaslighting, you can check yourself. There are changes you might notice in your behavior when you’re gaslighted. 


You’re always finding it very difficult to make a decision. You are over conscious of how your manipulator would react to it. You seem to consider the interest of your manipulator more than your own interest, when you’re making decisions. You’re always doubtful of your intuition and you hardly believe in yourself anymore.

Being over sensitive 

You pay so much attention to unnecessary details. You find it difficult to ignore things just because of the unknown reaction of your manipulator. Even your words are cautiously picked so you don’t offend them. 

You seem unreasonable during arguments

Your points are hardly considered. You question your knowledge often. During arguments, your manipulator finds a way to make you go in circles. Every reply deflects your views and contributions.

You’re always apologizing

You are not too sure of your partner’s thoughts.

Youquickly come up with reasons to excuse your partner’s behavior.

You are just unhappy in your own life.

You’renot comfortable with the way you do things.

Everythingyou do, doesn’t seem good to you.

Youdon’t really know what you want for yourself.

How to avoid gaslighting

Having done justice to; “what does it mean to gaslight someone?” We’d quickly reveal proven steps on how to avoid gaslighting. Before you could avoid gaslighting, you have to figure it out.

This is basically why we took time to reveal its symptoms above. Now, if you have figured it out that you’re being gaslighted, go through these steps and quickly get yourself freed.

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1. Talk to a friend or family member

Problem shared is problem solved. Stop reeling in silence and quickly confide in a friend. Tell them what you feel and how long you’ve been changed.

Discuss your fears with them and give them clear instances. This would probably aid your recovery. A friend or family member would certainly have something to contribute. Hear all they have to say and consider their opinions.

2. Start feeling your emotions 

You had probably Left aside your emotions, while trying to please your partner. Go back and pick them up. Make your emotions count in all you do. Consider them first before any other thing. Give yourself that much needed permission to feel your feelings.

3. Start making small decisions 

Having figured out your emotions. You can start making little decisions by yourself. You might first take a step towards your hobby. Try to do minor things that’d make you happy. 

4. Get ready to make sacrifices

In our discussion about; “what does it mean to gaslight someone?” We uncovered that it can only be possible to gaslight someone, if they are emotionally attached. You have been gaslighted, probably, because of your affection.

You were very much conscious of what you’d lose if you don’t live to please your partner. However, you have to get yourself ready to make sacrifices, if you want to avoid gaslighting. Prepare your mind to lose a lot, if you really want to avoid being gaslighted.

What does it mean to gaslight someone

How to stop gaslighting

If you’re the type that gaslights people, you’d have to change. To secure your relationship with people. If you’re always gaslighting people, you’d always have a toxic relationship. You’d hardly get to see the emotions and feelings of your partner. To avoid this, here are some steps to stop gaslighting.

  1. Always put the feelings and emotions of your partner ahead of your decisions.
  2. Pay attention to their needs and feelings.
  3. Treat with seriousness, every issue they’d come up with.
  4. Answer their questions diligently and offer reasonable replies when accused wrongly.
  5. Always aim to see them happy.
  6. Don’t imagine things, pay attention to their body languages.

Gaslighting in relationships

Gaslighting is often found in intimate relationships. It easily exists in relationships because of the emotional attachment between the partners. It easily gets gaslighted when they become conscious of what they’d lose if they take a decision. 

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