Okay - who knows what gaslighting means?
It's a term that's been around for a while that basically describes the act of being subtly and cruelly manipulated.
I had a first husband who gaslighted me. You might have a first husband or friend or work colleague who has gaslighted you.
Lisa Scott sums it up best in a column for NEXT magazine, when she explains, "Gaslighting is when someone tells you, you didn't say/do something when you did, that up is down, and Nana's armchair has always been in that corner. Do it often enough and a person will start to seriously doubt their sanity."
Gaslighting is so clever, you don't even realise it's being done to you.
"The psychological term comes from the 1938 play Gas Light where a husband tries to convince his wife she's going insane by constantly moving things around then lying about it," explains Lisa.
"It's a form of manipulation that uses persistent denial and misdirection to destabilise the victim... designed to change perceptions of reality to ensure a permanent state of wonkiness."
Gaslighters tell a lie with a straight face...They deny they have ever said something, even if you have proof.
And if you want to see it perfectly executed, you need look no further than this scene in Married At First Sight, where Sam confidently tells Elizabeth she's lost her mind when she confronts him about his claims to the rest of the group that she tried to seduce him.
The experts can see it. We can see it. Poor Elizabeth cannot see it, which just goes to show we all need to be able to count on our friends to call the BS when we're oblivious.
"Sam's kind of turned it around and made her look like the problem in all of this," observes MAFS psychologist John Aiken.
Now that Elizabeth and Sam have left the show, we can only hope that Elizabeth now sees it too.
Gaslighting - a term that describes the act of being subtly and cruelly manipulated.
Keep your gas mask on, people.
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