Shut Down Gaslighting With These Phrases
“Gaslighting” is a word we hear quite often. It was even Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Year in 2022. According to Parade magazine, it’s also a “harmful behavioral pattern.” Dr. Michele Leno, Ph. D, LP, a licensed psychologist, told the magazine that gaslighting is a “manipulative tactic” used to “minimize, demean, or disregard” a person’s thoughts and feelings. Parade collaborated with psychologists to compile a list of phrases to shut down gaslighting.
Examples of gaslighting.
Gaslighting can be seen in social media and everyday life. A few examples include conspiracy theories, trolls, fake news, and deep fakes, according to Psychology Today. The concept was also referenced in a 1938 play called Gaslight, written by Patrick Hamilton. There was a movie adaptation of the play that came out in 1944. It’s about a man’s deliberate attempts to make his wife believe that she is going insane. His methods included dimming their Victorian home’s gas lights while insisting the lights were not dimming, thereby undermining and impairing her ability to trust her own perceptions.
One of the experts suggested shutting down gaslighting sooner rather than later. It not only removes a manipulative person from your life, but it also gives you self-confidence.
Another expert pointed out that a gaslighter might often use one or a combination of strategies. These include outright lies, coercion, scapegoating, and reality manipulation.
If you need phrases to shut down gaslighting, you may want to try some of these. “We don’t see things the same way. My reality is my reality, and your reality is your reality.” They said that this phrase is both non-confrontational and assertive. One of their experts said that it’s the perfect phrase to use when gaslighters try to undermine your perspective or question your reality.
Interestingly, on their list of phrases is “OK.” This phrase doesn’t necessarily mean you agree with the gaslighter but it saves you time with the back-and-forth and fuss.
“People who engage in gaslighting often rely on broad brush strokes of the truth, half-truths, and incomplete information to convince you of their perspective,” said one of their experts. So, they suggest using the phrase, “Can you provide more specific details?” According to the magazine, this phrase focuses on hard facts rather than opinions and emotions.
If you’re ready to completely exit a conversation with a gaslighter try the simple phrase “Let’s stop talking about it.”
Check out the complete list of phrases to shut down gaslighting here.