Gaslighting is a form of abuse commonly used by toxic people. Anyone can fall victim to it. And the abuser can be anyone, too. It can be your partner or someone in your family. Sometimes they’re people who just recently came into your life.

Whoever the toxic person in your life might be, they will use gaslighting in an attempt to manipulate and brainwash you. And sadly, it usually doesn’t stop at just attempts. It works so well because it is done very gradually, so the victim usually doesn’t see what’s happening until it’s too late. Or not at all.

If you want to be able to notice if it ever starts happening to you, or if it already is, here are the typical behaviors to watch.

10 signs of gaslighting in a relationship:

They rebuff your claims, even when you are sure of them.

They did or said something. Maybe made a promise, but didn’t come through. You are hundred percent sure it happened and you confront them, but all you get is their denial. And they never stop denying to the point where you start wondering if it’s possible that you mixed it up. But it seemed so real in your memory.

Eventually, you will start questioning everything you remember. And they will keep denying until you’re no longer sure you trust yourself. Instead, you accept anything they serve you because you believe your own mind is unreliable.

They straight up lie to you.

They will look you right in the eyes and drop this huge bomb of a lie. You know it’s a lie, but they won’t even flinch while convincing you of it. Why would anyone who wants to manipulate you sabotage themselves with an obvious lie?

Because when they tell you things like that once, and you see only conviction and steadiness on their face, you’ll never again be sure when they are telling the truth.

Everything you love or care for can be used against you.

Especially when it comes to family. If you have children, they might go through them. They might tell you shouldn’t have had any. Or that you are not a good parent to them.

Or they will go straight for your character and self-esteem. They will convince you that you’d be someone better if some things about you weren’t so bad. They make you feel unworthy, one way or another.

They do it slowly and unnoticeably.

As mentioned at the beginning, it is very gradual. And because of it, it works so well. You don’t even have the chance to fight it off because you never notice. And it works even on the brightest people.

They will throw in a concealed insult or two. Wake up the self-doubt in you. And then sneak in lies everywhere. Change it up a little and make sure they keep turning up the heat over time so you don’t get alarmed before they make it work.

They say one thing, then do another.

Pay attention to their acts. You will notice they are completely inconsistent, and their words don’t match with what they’re doing. Their talk is just a diversion.

They suddenly give you praise.

After making you feel not good enough for being who you are, you suddenly get praised for something. If you weren’t confused before, you will be now.

You will start to think they might not be as bad as they seemed lately. But don’t be fooled. It’s just another scheme that will keep you off balance. And if you pay attention to what it is that you got praised for, you will see it was something that was of use for them.

They know how to use the confusion against you.

After finding so many ways to confuse you and get you off balance, they will find just the right way to use it against you. They know how vital it is for any person to feel normal and stable. They make sure they take that away, so you’re forced to find something or someone to keep you grounded.

Usually you will look for that stability you lost from the person closest to you. But the issue is that it is almost always the gaslighter, which is what they were aiming for.

They project their behavior on you.

Everything they are guilty of doing, they will eventually blame on you. And they will be so persistent that you will be too busy defending yourself to pay attention to what they’re actually doing.

They portray you as unstable in front of others.

Making you seem unstable and insane in front of others makes it hard for you to find help. Being seen as such will make people doubt your words when you accuse your abuser of doing any of the things listed.

They convince you everyone else is playing with you.

Again, when they have the nerve to claim your friends and family, and even the rest of the world, is playing tricks on you without even flinching, you will start to rely on them to tell you the ”truth”.

You might think they must be telling it how it is, because instead of being crazy and manipulative, they are simply very honest and straightforward. So, once again you will be brought in a place where you’re forced to question what is real around you.

It’s just another way for them to isolate you from others, because in isolation lies the key of their control over you. That is why it is important to keep in mind that just because they claim someone said or did something, or that someone lied to you or tricked you, it doesn’t mean it’s true.

So, if you ever notice someone doing these things, you better turn around before they make you into another victim of such awful and cruel behavior.