What is gaslighting?



I see people saying that they gaslight other people but I don’t get it. Thank you in advance

In: Other

Gaslighting is a form of manipulation named after an old movie of the same name. In the movie, the husband would flicker the gaslights (an old way of lighting a house before modern electrical lighting) to mislead his wife, and insist that they had not flickered.

Gaslighting tends to involve a complete abandonment of truth. Saying things and claiming you never said them, doing things and claiming you never did them (despite the victim having seen it) and things of that nature. This leads the victim to slowly lose faith in their own perceptions and memory, in some cases actually causing the victim’s ability to remember things to deteriorate.

There was a play/movie where a guy hates his wife and cheats on her, and spends every night searching the apartments around the building for some jewels he wants to steal that he heard a murdered woman hid in the building. As he turns lights on and off in the building the gas powered lights in the apartment flicker, and as he cuts and hammers through walls he makes sounds, his wife hears and sees these things and he repeatedly tells her she is simply hearing and seeing things until she thinks she has gone insane because she is SURE the lights are dimming and she hears sounds in the walls, but he keeps telling her he hears and sees nothing. (in the end she figures it out and sends him to jail, with a twist that feels like it was written like she originally was going to kill him, since it has a twilight zone ending where now everyone thinks she is insane and she points out that being insane she can no longer be held responsible for her actions)

In the modern age ‘gaslighting’ is doing something very openly then claiming you aren’t doing it in a way that is intended to make the person doubt themselves. Like repeatedly calling someone fat then like, when they call you out on it acting all fake confused and being all “I never said such a thing, why do you make all these things up??” then going back to slipping into a bunch of fat jokes until you get called out again and act all confused.

Gaslighting is lying with the intent of making the target question if they really saw or hear what they did. If successful, the gaslighter can control the narrative and essentially get away with acts that otherwise would get them in trouble.

For example: let’s say a politician says on video that he supports a bill. Later in his career when the bill turns out to be unpopular, he claims he never supported the bill and all video evidence to the contrary was faked to make him look bad. This politician is trying to get people to reject the evidence of their eyes and ears in favor of the false reality he claims is true. This is gaslighting.

Revising recent, not-so-recent, and ancient history, in order to support a narrative, and to some extent doing it poorly.

For example, the legacy media is currently reporting that Pete Buttigieg, if nominated and confirmed, will be the first openly gay man to hold a Cabinet post. Yet the same outlets were quite aware the Richard Grenell was an openly gay man holding a Cabinet post (DNI). Was February really that long ago? You have to either believe journalism has completely died (but maybe it has), or the outlets that are making this a big deal have an axe to grind, and believe their readers are too ignorant to pay attention to facts…

Dude you’ve posted this question to this sub like 5 times and have gotten your answer.

Why are you wasting our time?

It’s a term that comes from an old movie where a man tries to manipulate his wife into thinking she’s insane so that she’ll be institutionalized, but nowadays the term is frequently misused to describe any kind of lying, hypocrisy, or manipulation.

Rule 2.

r/psychology or r/gaslighting might know better.