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  • Brianna Paruolo

Gaslighting: How to Recognize it in 2022

According to Merriam-Webster, Gaslighting is the word of the year. With a reported search volume increase of 1740%, gaslighting has seemingly been the word on the tip of everyone's tongue in 2022.

What exactly is gaslighting, and what might it look like? Manipulation and misleading contribute to the action, causing the person(s) to question and doubt their own experiences, memories, or beliefs.

Gaslighting can occur in the workplace, romantic relationships, and family systems and can happen to anyone.

Gaslighting can look like this:

  • Being told an event or conversation didn't happen or didn't happen the way the individual remembers it

  • Using distraction by changing the subject, silencing and invalidating the other individual

  • Ignoring or avoiding the concerns being expressed by others

  • Minimizing a severe situation or accusation

  • Projecting by accusing an individual of behavior the other person is engaging in

  • Putting down others with harmful labels like "crazy."

  • Undermining someone's word by sabotaging/manipulating property of evidence

  • Threatening a negative outcome if you can't see their way

Tools to challenge gaslighting

  • Using relaxation techniques like deep breathing and meditation for anxiety brought on by experiencing gaslighting

  • Implementing self-care techniques, such as making sleep a priority and staying connected with supportive people

  • Journaling to differentiate between fact versus feeling

How to speak up to gaslighting

  • "This is my experience and my emotions."

  • "I'm stepping away from the conversation."

  • "I hear what you're saying, but that wasn't my experience."

  • "It sounds like we remember things differently."

  • "I'm not debating my truth with you. "

  • "I feel like I'm not being heard."

  • "I want some space from this conversation."

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