Have you ever heard of the 1938 stage play “Gaslight” or seen the movie by the same name from the 1960s? Gaslight is about a husband who successfully convinces his wife that she’s insane by destabilizing and delegitimizing her memories and beliefs.
Since then, the term “gaslighting” has been used both colloquially and by psychiatric professionals to describe the manipulation tactic in real life relationships.
What Is Gaslighting?
Gaslighting is a power tactic where one person uses manipulation as a way to control another person by making them question their grip on reality and truths. On paper, it’s easy for people to say that they’d never be susceptible to the seemingly obvious methodologies of gaslighting, but in reality, gaslighting is often done so subtlety, slowly, and methodically that the damage is often already done before the target figures out they’ve been victimized.