Manipulators are a dangerous breed. They make you question reality and convince you to believe in their lies with the smallest amount of effort.
At one point, it dawns on you that you’ve been going against yourself only because your manipulative boyfriend succeeded at making you fall for his version of truth.
It’s obvious that manipulation tactics are hard to spot (otherwise they wouldn’t work, right?) And gaslighting is nothing different.
When someone’s gaslighting you, he’s actually distorting the truth. This then makes you question your own beliefs because you keep hearing all the time that what you see or believe is completely wrong.
At one point, you give up and end up following the manipulator’s lead. And that’s when you run the risk of losing yourself entirely in the hands of the one who’s trying to make you codependent on him and his “truth.”
If you already suspect that you’re being gaslighted, here are the phrases that might make you realize what’s actually going on in front of your eyes.
If you’re familiar with any or most of these, chances are that you’re in a relationship with a manipulator who’s doing everything he can to gaslight you and distort your vision of reality.
1. “I never said/did that.”
Once you confront your partner about something he said or did to you, he instantly denies it. There’s no way you’ll ever hear him apologizing to you and saying that he’s sorry.
Instead, you’re faced with utmost negation of your words. He might even convince you that you have a bad memory and that’s why you think he said or did all of the things you’re accusing him of.
And because he gets so stubborn with it, you actually believe him for a second, even though you know that you haven’t made it up.
2. “You’re too sensitive.”
Every time you get upset over something your gaslighting partner does, you hear him saying how overly sensitive you are.
He launches into a full-blown attack of your emotions and doesn’t stop until he crushes them completely.
By doing this, he’s trying to make you forget about the reason you were upset. Instead, your whole attention shifts to the fact that you may just have done something wrong.
He accuses you that your sensitivity is cause of the problem because, apparently, he never did anything to hurt you.
“It’s all in your head” might be also one of the phrases he uses at this point to convince you that you’re wrong and he’s the one who’s saying the truth.
The more he acts this way, the more you feel like you’re losing your sanity. And that’s not something you should feel in a healthy and loving relationship.
3. “Your friends/family are fools.”
The moment your friends or family members realize what’s going on, they make sure to let you know. They warn you of all of the signs of gaslighting they’ve been seeing and tell you that you need to do something about it.
And when you let your partner know about what they’ve told you, he responds by putting them down as well.
He calls them fools and accuses them of trying to sabotage your relationship. He does whatever it takes to prevent you from seeing them in the future.
He does this because he knows that he can’t trick them into believing his lies. So, the only option is to stop you from hanging out with them.
4. “I’m not angry. What’s wrong with you?!”
Your partner might be avoiding you or acting all snappy every time you ask him something. Then, when you hit him with the “what’s wrong” question, he acts as if he has no idea what you’re on about.
“I’m not angry. What’s wrong with you?!” – you hear these words but that’s the only thing he says to you.
There’s no reasonable explanation for why he’s been giving you the silent treatment and avoiding any type of conversation with you.
So, you’re left wondering what’s going on. Did you actually do something wrong? Did you make him upset? Or is it all in your head and are you making it up?
That’s exactly what your manipulative partner wants you to feel. He wants you to question your own reality because that helps him gain more control over you.
5. “If you really loved me, you would…”
This is one of the most serious things a gaslighter says. Once he starts using your love as a tool to get whatever he wants, you’re already deep in the mud.
He pins the blame on you and starts questioning your love. This actually makes you act the way he wants because you feel the need to prove your feelings for him.
But it only goes to show that he doesn’t love you at all. If he did, he would never give you ultimatums like this.
6. “No one else could ever love you.”
This one is tricky as it plays with your confidence like it’s a toy.
He does everything he can to put you down in order to make you question your worth.
Instead of being a supportive partner, he actually makes you feel that you’re not lovable. He treats you like you don’t deserve to be loved and you should be grateful that you have him in your life.
Apparently, he’s the only one who could ever be with you.
He keeps repeating it over and over again – so much so, you at one point actually start to believe him.
He convinces you that no one would ever choose you and that you need to take care of him if you don’t want to end up all alone.
So, you unknowingly let him manipulate you, allowing him to treat you however he wants.
7. “This is exactly why no one likes you.”
Again, this bullet is aimed straight at your confidence.
When you decide at any point to confront him and tell him about something he did that hurt you, he turns the tables to his advantage.
At this point, he’s not even listening to you anymore. He’s simply waiting for you to stop talking so he can tell you that this is the exact reason why no one likes you.
He masterfully manipulates you into second-guessing your own behavior, and once more, you do as he says. You start to believe that he knows what’s best for you.
But if only you could snap out of it, you would realize that all this time, you’ve been gaslighted.