The time has come for you to win in his came. You finally came to the realization that he’s been mistreating you all this time. Are you wondering how to turn the tables on a gaslighter? Fear not; I’ve prepared some tips for you.
To start with the basics, gaslighting is a form of psychological and emotional abuse in a relationship that isn’t necessarily a romantic one. So even your parents and friends can gaslight you, but this is mostly a pitfall of a toxic love relationship.
This “technique” may confuse you completely and even cause you to lose touch with reality. The gaslighter usually has some deeper issues with himself and he may have mental health disorders. He’s going to make you question your judgment and perception.
But the abuse won’t stop there. He’ll turn to victim blaming, tell you that you’re too sensitive, and make you second-guess yourself. You may start believing that everything bad that’s happening is your fault and your image of reality may become distorted.
The gaslighter will make you believe in his lies, insist that some things never happened, and even separate you from your friends and family. It’s time to change that. Take the control back in your hands and learn how to turn the tables on a gaslighter. Good luck!
11 effective ways to turn the tables on a gaslighter
Okay, before we go through these effective ways that you can use to stop this kind of manipulation, I have to tell you a couple of things. First of all, make sure he’s actually gaslighting you. I know that this may sound harsh and like I don’t believe your judgment, but you have to do it.
Check online what kind of behavior is considered gaslighting if you’re not sure. Be aware of all the red flags that you somehow missed and memorize them. Double-check if he crosses everything from the list that perfectly describes a gaslighter before you act.
However, if you’re well aware of what it is and he even uses typical gaslighting phrases such as “I never said that” (and you know for sure he did), or starts emotionally blackmailing you, make sure you get out of that relationship.
Collect the proof that he’s trying to confuse you. Take screenshots, and write down all the situations when he mistreated you or tried to convince you the opposite of what you know is true.
Now that we’ve concluded these things, it’s time to figure out how to turn the tables on a gaslighter and outsmart him. Ready?
1. Confront him about his behavior
The first step is always the hardest, so this will require a lot of energy from you. Or maybe not energy, but rather determination and confidence, which you kind of lack lately (he made sure that your self-esteem drops down a bit).
But, don’t worry. You have all the evidence in one place and all you have to do next is to take a few deep breaths. I promise you, as soon as this thing is over, you’ll feel relieved. Remember that you have to stay strong because he’ll try gaslighting you one more time.
I mean, it’s his weapon of choice and he won’t give it up easily. Especially since it proved to be a good one so far. So you have to be persistent and resilient because he’ll try anything to make things go his way.
2. Don’t let him change the subject
Once you confronted him about his behavior, you have to master the skill of how to turn the tables on a gaslighter. Why am I saying this? Because right here is where your battle starts. You can’t let him change the subject as he used to do before.
He’ll try to convince you that you’re not right, that he never did those things you’ve mentioned, and that you’re overreacting. I hope this triggers you (but not to the extent where he’ll call you crazy) and you execute the plan to the end.
If he tries to change the subject, you’ll know that you’re doing the right thing. He’ll try to escape the situation and avoid talking about the “problem” altogether. Do you want to finally be free? It’s your turn to say a couple of things.
3. Know the difference between genuine affection and love bombing
This is one of the most important things that I have to mention. You have to know the difference between genuine affection and love bombing. Why? Because he’ll use the latter to prevent you from leaving this toxic relationship.
Since you clearly don’t want to stay there anymore (otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this article), keep in mind that love bombing is everything he’ll do and say next – and it’s not sincere. He’ll give you a lot of attention and try to make you feel loved.
He’ll promise you that he’ll change and work on himself, but don’t fall for that. This will be his last attempt to keep you in his clutch and if he feels like he’s failing, he’ll try harder – so be ready to break free from his grip.
4. Set boundaries
Believe it or not, you have to set some boundaries and restrictions with him. Maybe you didn’t do this at the start of your relationship, but you will have to at some point. When you want to turn the tables on a gaslighter and keep him away from your life, you really need to set up some rules.
Make it clear that what he’s doing to you right now is not acceptable and that you won’t tolerate it anymore. If you don’t feel safe in his presence, you can record everything that’s happening. He may try to convince you that you’re doing something illegal, but don’t trust him.
Worst case scenario, you can always apply for a restraining order and include authorities and professionals in solving the issue. Keep in mind that you’re not alone and you can fight against him.
5. Listen to what he has to say
One of the things that will definitely surprise him and help you to turn the tables on a gaslighter is if you listen to what he has to say. Okay, you’ve confronted him, but each story has two sides, right? Let him tell you his point of view.
The trick here is that you know he’s lying. You’re not going to believe in a single word he says, yet he’ll have no doubt that you do. When you let him talk, make sure you’re taking everything he says with a grain of salt.
He manipulated you before, what’s stopping him now to do the same? Sure, you’ve surprised him with the confrontation, but he’s not ready to surrender just yet.
6. Avoid discussions with him and stay calm
He’s always ready to engage in a discussion and he’ll definitely try to get into one with you. Try to avoid it completely and stay calm. Don’t respond to his provocations and show no emotion. If you pretend like you don’t care at all about what’s happening, that will eat him up.
Your anger will want to step in, but don’t yield. If you do, you’ll prove to him one more time that he has power over you. You don’t want to come down to his level (again), do you? He knows how to play by his rules, but when you’re the one deciding how the game will be played, he’ll be lost.
I know that a lot of things may annoy you in this situation and especially those triggers that you developed from this abusive relationship, but choose to stay strong.
7. Let him win an argument even if you’re right
All this time that you’ve spent in a relationship with him, you tried to point out when he was wrong. Not because you wanted to brag about you being right, but rather because you didn’t want him to go around and appear foolish.
Now it’s time to turn the tables on a gaslighter, so don’t get defensive. Don’t complain, don’t justify yourself or your behavior, and simply don’t give a damn about who’s right or wrong. Let him win an argument even if you’re completely sure of what you are saying.
This is going to confuse him since he won’t have reasons to backfire on you and he won’t have a chance to accuse you of the reactive abuse like he used to do before. Impressive move, isn’t it?
8. Give him the silent treatment
Another thing that’s ultimately going to flabbergast him is if you give him a silent treatment. Following what we said recently about not engaging in discussion with him and letting him win an argument, this is your ideal battle tool.
Be the bigger person he’ll ever be and don’t react to his insults and harassment. When you give a gaslighter the silent treatment, he’s going to be thrown off balance. That’s not something he used to do, because you were the one who went through that.
He doesn’t know how to behave when he’s been stonewalled and it will take him some time to bounce back.
9. Be busy
When he tries to approach you and talk things through, be busy. Don’t answer his calls or his messages and simply opt to stay away from him. That’s going to hurt him because he can’t control you as much anymore.
Take up a new hobby, start playing a musical instrument (it’s never too late), change your coffee order, go to a random weekend getaway – do whatever makes you truly happy. He’s going to be devastated, but he won’t be able to do anything about it.
In order to turn the tables on a gaslighter, you need to break up the pattern of gaslighting. Don’t be a person of routine and if you were one, re-shape it. Meet new people, dance until your feet hurt at music festivals, and sing your heart out.
10. Build your support system
This step is the most important in breaking the vicious circle, you HAVE TO build your support system. He’s going to drive you crazy and you need someone who’ll keep you sane. Your closest friends, family, siblings – choose someone who’ll know every single detail of the situations you’ve been through.
In moments when he’ll try gaslighting you again, they’ll open your eyes and they won’t let you fall for it one more time. They will be your support on this rough journey and they’ll help you find that light at the end of the tunnel.
Make sure you can count on these people in emergencies, but if you call them then, don’t reveal where you’re at or when exactly are you coming back. If his abuse got to extreme levels, you can’t be sure that he didn’t build in some hearing devices or even a GPS tracker.
11. Walk away
The ultimate thing that you have to learn, if you want to know how to turn the tables on a gaslighter, is to walk away. We’ve started with the hardest step, so we have to finish it with another one. The road that you’ll have to take is definitely going to be a rough one.
Still, choose to leave, choose yourself!
Dating a gaslighter, or even being married to one, means that he led you to the point where you’ll be too tired to react, too overwhelmed by your emotions. Show him that you’re not that easy to break and cut him out of your life.
He doesn’t deserve you; don’t let him keep stopping you from moving on. Block him on social media, and block his phone calls and texts if you have to. Perplex him by leaving first. And never look back.
After you’ve been through emotional abuse, you’ll have to rebuild some parts of yourself from scratch. Don’t give up. Use this experience to grow stronger, smarter, and more self-aware. Boost your self-esteem to the highest level possible and don’t overthink the breakup.
If you really want and have the strength, you can send him a message in which you’ll say how much he hurt you. But, don’t explain yourself or your choices, he doesn’t deserve that. I mean, did you get an explanation for his behavior other than “It’s who I am” or “You knew what you signed up for”? I knew it.
It’s time for you to finally end this turmoil he’s been putting you through since day one. Be your own support and shelter because, I promise, greater things are waiting for you. Get rid of everything that weighs you down and set yourself free.
And please, don’t be afraid of love. Don’t shy away from it. There are a lot of good guys out there and the right one will cross your path too. You need to be ready to write a love story that will leave everyone in awe.
You deserve all the happiness this world has to give and don’t settle for anything less. Don’t let anyone erase that smile from your face or tell you that you’re too much. For the right guy, you’ll never be too sensitive, too emotional, or too fragile.
The right guy will appreciate all your bits and love you endlessly. Remember that.