Gaslighting is a devious form of manipulation used to make the victim feel confused, powerless, and question their reality and even their sanity. Anyone can be susceptible to gaslighting and this tactic is a widely used one by narcissists, dictators, abusers, sociopaths, or cult leaders. It’s done gradually so that the victim is not even realizing what is happening until it’s too late.
Here are 6 things that you may not realize you are doing if you have been gaslighted and are still healing from the abuse.
1. You Are Overly Analytical Behind the Words of People
When someone has been gaslighted for a long time, they learned the hard way that words can cut like knives. Words were being used against them as a form of abuse and manipulation and that’s why these people are extremely cautious, sensitive, and analytical of every word. They can appear skeptical during conversations, but that’s only because they fear being manipulated again.
2. You Cut Off People Immediately If You Feel Slightly Suspicious
Having been gaslighted for so long has left a mark on your soul. That’s why you are overly cautious when you meet someone new and when it comes to allowing them into your life. You are so hypersensitive and hyperaware that if you feel even a slight sense of suspicion you are out of there. Your safety mechanism no longer allows you to let suspicion and manipulation slide and therefore, the only solution is to cut off anyone who makes you feel that way.
3. You Lack Trust When It Comes to Entering New Relationships
This is another side effect that is a result of gaslighting. You have been deprived so much that you find it extremely difficult to enter a new relationship out of fear that the same thing will happen to you again. You have trouble trusting people and that keeps you isolated and always on your toes. This is a very negative thing because it can lead to self-doubt, loneliness, and overthinking about one’s own actions and the actions of others.
4. You Have Difficulty Conversing Because You Fear Your Words Could Be Used Against You
After you have been gaslighted, even a simple conversation can make you feel stressed and anxious. You fear that the other person will take your words and then use them against you to manipulate you. So, you either remain silent, or you are extremely cautious and suspicious both of which are bad for your mental health.
5. You Have an Aloof Demeanor and You Seem Disinterested to Minimize the Chance of Getting Gaslighted Again
People who have been gaslighted know perfectly well that being sensitive and showing emotions is a recipe for disaster because it will make you easy prey to manipulators. Therefore, you believe that your aloof and disinterested demeanor keeps you protected from further gaslighting.
6. You Always Think First About Yourself Than Anyone Else
Putting yourself first is a great thing, however, when it comes to gaslighting, it is one of the side effects that come after it. Yes, it will work in your favor especially if you have always put others first, but it may get out of control if you start ignoring everyone around you including people who truly love you and care for you.