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  • Brianna Paruolo

How to Protect Yourself from Gaslighting

Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation that can have a devastating impact on your mental health. It can make you question your own sanity, your memories, and your perceptions. If you're being gaslighted, it's important to know how to recognize the signs, navigate the situation, and address the issue.

What is gaslighting?

Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse in which the abuser makes the victim doubt their own sanity. The abuser may do this by denying things that happened, distorting the victim's memories, or making them feel like they're crazy. Gaslighting can be very subtle, making it difficult to identify.

Here are some signs that you may be being gaslighted:

  • Your partner, friend, or family member denies things that happened, even when there is evidence to the contrary.

  • They tell you that you're imagining things or that you're too sensitive.

  • They make you feel like you're crazy or that you're not good enough.

  • They try to isolate you from your friends and family.

  • They control your finances or your access to information.

If you think you're being gaslighted, here are a few tips on how to navigate the situation:

  • Document what's happening. Keep a journal of the gaslighting incidents, including what was said and done. This will help you to see the pattern of abuse and to remember what happened.

  • Talk to someone you trust. Talk to a friend, family member, therapist, or other trusted person about what's happening. They can offer support and help you to develop a plan to cope with the abuse.

  • Set boundaries. Let the abuser know that you won't tolerate their behavior. This may mean setting limits on your contact with them or refusing to engage in conversations that are likely to be emotionally abusive.

  • Take care of yourself. Make sure to get enough sleep, eat healthy foods, and exercise. These activities can help to boost your mood and reduce stress.

Here are some phrases you can use when addressing gaslighting:

"I'm not crazy."

"I know what I saw/heard."

"I'm not imagining things."

"I'm not too sensitive."

"I'm not going to let you treat me this way."

It's important to remember that you're not alone. Gaslighting is a common form of abuse, and there are people who can help you. If you're being gaslighted, don't hesitate to reach out for support.

Here are some resources that can help:

The National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

The National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE

The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN):

You are not alone. You are not crazy. You are not to blame.

With support, you can heal and reclaim your power.

About the Author: Brianna Paruolo, MSED, CMHC-LP, works as a women's perfectionist and self-esteem therapist, offering guidance and support to women who want freedom from the pressures they so often place on themselves. She is passionate that everyone can welcome a new normal where they love themselves and face the future with hope. Send her an email at to connect today!

Legal Notice: The content presented in this blog post/Instagram post is for educational purposes only and is not intended to provide mental health treatment. It is crucial to consult with a qualified mental health professional for personalized advice or treatment regarding your specific circumstances. Reading or engaging with this content does not establish a client-counselor relationship, and the author is not liable for any actions taken based on the information provided. It is recommended to seek up-to-date information and consult professionals for the latest advancements in mental health research and practice. If you are experiencing a mental health crisis, please contact your local emergency services or helpline immediately.

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