25 Gaslighting Phrases in Relationships You Should Not Ignore (2022)

25 Gaslighting Phrases in Relationships You Should Not Ignore (1)

It cannot be denied that to make a romantic relationship work, and whether you’re just getting to know each other or a few years into marriage, much work goes into it.

However, you and your lover work through the ups and downs of your relationship.

Sometimes, relationships can turn unhealthy and even toxic. Gaslighting is a psychological phenomenon that is very troublesome. Gaslighting Phrases may be used by one or both partners during everyday conversations or during disagreements.

Using Gaslighting Phrases in relationships can turn the relationship into a toxic one.

Therefore, it is important to be aware of these phrases so that you’re aware of any signs of gaslighting. This is a form of emotional abuse.

The concept of abuse is also important. Abuse is not just limited to physically hurting a person. Abuse can take several forms– emotional, physical, verbal, mental, and financial.

Given how common a gaslighting relationship is, it is imperative to be aware of the phrases people use to gaslight others. You are in charge of your safety and sanity. To learn about gaslighting in general, continue reading.

Related Reading: What Is Gaslighting in a Relationship

How does gaslighting take place in relationships?

Gaslighting can cause a lot of pain in a relationship. It has the potential to wreak havoc. So, what is gaslighting in relationships? This is an emotional abuse tactic. The abuser uses it to shift blame to the one who is being gaslighted.

When a person uses Gaslighting Phrases, they may be trying to alter the conversation or information to show that they are completely harmless, with no ill intentions.

Gaslighters use these phrases to exert power in a relationship. They may have a high desire to control the victim.

Gaslighting is considered a form of emotional abuse because these phrases and sentences can ruin the victim’s self-esteem, confuse them, and even affect their sanity.

Gaslighters use 5 direct manipulation techniques- countering, stonewalling, diverting/blocking, denial/intentional forgetting, and trivializing.

Related Reading: Stages of Gaslighting in Relationships

What are the signs that you’re being gaslighted?

Gaslighting harms the victim because the victim may feel very confused and upset. They might start questioning the truth behind his/her/their perceptions. The victim begins doubting himself/herself/themselves.

(Video) 25 Gaslighting Phrases Narcissists Use To Avoid Taking Responsibility. (Understanding Narcissism.)

If you’re being subjected to Gaslighting Phrases, there is a possibility that it may have been happening for a long time. This is because gaslighting is challenging to detect. It may not harm you initially. However, the long-term consequences may be detrimental.

A victim of gaslighting may spiral into a strong sense of self-doubt, confusion, feeling anxious all the time, isolation, and eventually, depression.

The effect of gaslighting on the victim may start with a feeling of disbelief. It can then turn into defensiveness, which can eventually result in depression.

Related Reading: Common Signs of Gaslighting

25 Commonly used gaslighting phrases in relationships

Consider the following phrases to be examples of gaslighting in a relationship. Be aware, and please protect yourself from this form of emotional abuse.

Before you start with the phrases, here’s a quick video about gaslighting:

25 Gaslighting Phrases in Relationships You Should Not Ignore (2)

Here are commonly used Gaslighting Phrases in romantic relationships:

1. Stop being so insecure!

Gaslighters are great at playing the blame game. They’re good at shifting the blame on the victim.

If you point out something about the abuser that concerns you, they will make you feel bad for even bringing it up. They don’t want to work on themselves. So, they may call you insecure.

2. You’re way too emotional!

This is one of the most commonly used Gaslighting Phrases. Gaslighters lack empathy.

However, they may not acknowledge this about themselves. Instead, they may divert the attention to you and comment on how emotional you are.

3. You are just making this up.

If your significant other has narcissistic personality tendencies, then you may have heard them say this. This is one of the most common phrases narcissists use.

They may be prone to using denial as a defense mechanism. So, they may coerce you to alter your perception of a situation.

4. That never happened.

If you’ve been subjected to this phrase repeatedly, it may lead you to question your sanity and lose touch with reality.

(Video) 12 Gaslighting Phrases Abusive People Use To Control You

5. Stop exaggerating the situation!

Gaslighters use this phrase to convince the victim that the victim’s concerns are exaggerated and trivial.

This is a direct attack on the victim’s rational abilities.

6. Can you not take a joke?

25 Gaslighting Phrases in Relationships You Should Not Ignore (3)

An abuser uses this phrase to say something hurtful and get away with it. That’s why they say something hurtful jokingly.

If the victim then points out that it was rude or mean, or hurtful, the abuser may use this phrase to normalize their nasty comment.

7. You are just misconstruing my intentions.

This is one of the more direct Gaslighting Phrases used by abusers to deflect responsibility from themselves to the victim.

They will often say that the situation was a misunderstanding and try to get away with it by using this phrase.

8. The problem isn’t with me; It is in you.

This classic phrase has one of the highest potentials to hurt the victim.

The gaslighters use projection (a defense mechanism) to erode the victim’s self-esteem by saying this phrase.

9. I think you need help.

This phrase can be used healthily with good intentions, but it can also be misused. If your partner is quite manipulative by nature, then they can use this phrase to harbor self-doubt in the victim’s mind.

They question the mental health status of the victim by deceiving them through this statement.

10. That was never my intention; Stop blaming me!

This is another deceiving statement made by gaslighters that are riddled with falsehood.

By saying this, they’re trying to come clean and look innocent with pure intentions when they’re deflecting the issue.

Also Try: Am I Being Gaslighted Quiz

11. Let’s start over from square one.

Narcissistic gaslighters commonly use this to avoid acknowledging and working on their own mistakes or issues.

(Video) 5 Signs It's Gaslighting, Not a Disagreement

These abusers don’t like confronting their problems. They use this phrase as a way to skim over their past mistakes and start anew.

12. I won’t tolerate lies.

This is a commonly used diversion tactic where the gaslighter uses this phrase to avoid confrontation about their problematic behavior.

If the claim raised by the victim doesn’t align with the abuser’s narrative, they use this phrase to divert.

13. You need to lose weight.

Gaslighters often want the victim to depend on them for validation and love. This is one of how the relationship becomes toxic.

To create this dependence, they often resort to criticizing the victim’s physical appearance so that the victim ends up feeling wrong about their body image.

14. You’re frigid and bad in bed.

25 Gaslighting Phrases in Relationships You Should Not Ignore (4)

Apart from physical appearance, this is another favorite target area of attack where gaslighters make victims feel bad about their sexual health, sexual preferences, and sexuality as a whole.

In addition, this phrase is often used to get away with unacceptable sexual behavior or cheating.

15. Your friends are idiots.

As mentioned earlier, isolation is a common consequence of being gaslighted. Family and friends can usually identify gaslighting activities even before the victim realizes this.

Therefore, gaslighters use this phrase on victims to raise questions about the latter’s rationality and sow seeds of self-doubt and isolate the latter by saying this phrase.

16. If you loved me, you would….

This phrase is used tactfully to put the victim in a challenging position to feel obligated to forgive or excuse the gaslighter’s unacceptable behavior.

17. It’s your fault I cheated.

This stems from a place of the unwillingness of the gaslighter to accept their fault . They just can’t admit to the fact that they cheated and it’s all on them.

Because gaslighters ignore their guilt by never admitting to their mistakes and hiding them behind their partner’s insecurities.

18. No one else would ever love you.

When the relationship turns very sour, this is one of the most commonly used Gaslighting Phrases.

(Video) How to Spot the Hidden Signs Someone Is Gaslighting

Say the victim musters the courage to propose a breakup. A gaslighter may take that opportunity to attack the victim’s self-worth directly. This phrase may make the victim feel like they’re unlovable or broken.

19. If you’re lucky, I’ll forgive you.

This is one of the most common narcissistic sayings.

For example, after a narcissistic gaslighter successfully manages to shift the blame on the victim, the victim may start apologizing profusely for forgiveness.

But when the gaslighter does end up forgiving the victim for something that the gaslighter did, they say this phrase to make the victim feel worse about themselves.

20. You’re supposed to love me unconditionally.

This is another one of those Gaslighting Phrases that abusers use when the relationship may be the breaking point to use the victim’s fundamental beliefs about love against them.

21. I remember you agreed to do that.

This phrase is another major red flag where the abuser tries to distort the victim’s memories about a situation concerning the latter.

22. Just forget about it now.

The non-confrontational nature of abusers leads them to use this phrase often to sidetrack pertinent issues about the relationship.

23. This is why no one likes you.

This phrase is another jab at the victim’s self-esteem and self-worth to create a sense of dependency on the abuser and isolate the victim.

24. I’m not angry. What are you talking about?

The silent treatment is a common tactic used by narcissistic gaslighters by using this phrase to confuse the victim.

25. You’re gaslighting me!

Gaslighters use this phrase to buy some time for themselves. Unfortunately, they do this by distressing the victim by using this phrase.

Remember these Gaslighting Phrases, and please be careful and protect yourself.

Related Reading: How to Deal with Gaslighting

Conclusion

Basically, if you even have a doubt that your partner is gaslighting you, please look into it. Being a victim of a gaslighting situation can lead you to depression and you might lose your sense of sanity.

It can get worse by day, please take care that the situation doesn’t get out of hand. If you think that your partner will reason with you, you can take the help of a professional to deal with the situation.

FAQs

What phrases do gaslighters use? ›

Common phrases gaslighters may use:
  • "I never said that."
  • "I did that because I love you."
  • "I don't know why you're making such a huge deal of this."
  • "You're being overly sensitive."
  • "You are being dramatic."
  • "You are the issue, not me."
  • "If you loved me, you would..."
  • "You are crazy."
12 Jul 2022

What is 7s gaslighting? ›

Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation in which the abuser attempts to sow self-doubt and confusion in their victim's mind. Typically, gaslighters are seeking to gain power and control over the other person, by distorting reality and forcing them to question their own judgment and intuition.

What is gaslighting examples in relationships? ›

Gaslighting happens when an abuser tries to control a victim by twisting their sense of reality. An example of gaslighting would be a partner doing something abusive and then denying it happened. Gaslighters may also convince their victims that they're mentally unfit or too sensitive.

How do gaslighters apologize? ›

“A gaslighter will often make you beg for their forgiveness and apologize profusely for any 'wrong' you committed, even if it's something they did,” Stern says. Sometimes you may not even know what you're apologizing for, other than they're upset and it's your responsibility to calm them down.

What are 10 signs of gaslighting? ›

10 Signs of Gaslighting Behaviour
  • Blatant Lies. You know the person is lying, often and with ease, yet they say they do not recognise this in their behaviour. ...
  • Deny, Deny, Deny. You know what they said. ...
  • Using What You Love Against You. ...
  • Losing Your Sense of Self. ...
  • Words Versus Actions. ...
  • Love and Flattery. ...
  • Confusion. ...
  • Projecting.
15 May 2019

What are the 11 signs of gaslighting? ›

👓 11 Warning Signs of Gaslighting | Psychology Today
  • They tell blatant lies.
  • They deny they ever said something, even though you have proof.
  • They use what is near and dear to you as ammunition.
  • They wear you down over time.
  • Their actions do not match their words.
  • They throw in positive reinforcement to confuse you.
4 Oct 2018

What are subtle signs of gaslighting? ›

Signs of gaslighting
  • insist you said or did things you know you didn't do.
  • deny or scoff at your recollection of events.
  • call you “too sensitive” or “crazy” when you express your needs or concerns.
  • express doubts to others about your feelings, behavior, and state of mind.
  • twisting or retelling events to shift blame to you.

How do you destroy a gaslighter? ›

The best way to destroy a gaslighter is to appear emotionless. They enjoy getting a rise out of you, so it's frustrating to them when they don't get the reaction they expected. When they realize you don't care anymore, they will likely try convincing you they'll change, but don't fall for it.

What is a simple example of gaslighting? ›

In relationships, an abusive person may use gaslighting to isolate their partner, undermine their confidence, and make them easier to control. For example, they might tell someone they are irrational until the person starts to think it must be true.

Can you give me an example of gaslighting? ›

Examples of Gaslighting in Relationships

If someone says, "You know I only do it because I love you," or, "Believe me, this is for the best," when doing something you perceive as abusive, controlling, or wrong, they are probably gaslighting you.

What are the four types of gaslighting? ›

There are four primary types of gaslighting behaviors: the straight-up lie, reality manipulation, scapegoating and coercion.

How do you outsmart someone who is gaslighting you? ›

How To Deal With Gaslighting & Exactly What To Say, From A Therapist
  1. Know how to recognize when gaslighting is happening.
  2. Stand firm in your truth.
  3. Write things down.
  4. Keep the conversation simple.
  5. Be willing to leave the conversation.
  6. Don't worry about trying to "outsmart" the gaslighter.
16 Apr 2021

What is a passive aggressive apology? ›

Im sorry, Im sorry, Im sorry. This is a passive-aggressive apology done to silence the other person and move onto a different topic. It minimizes what the other person has experienced. Im sorry but But is a qualifier. If a person cannot say sorry without adding a but, then they are not sorry.

What is a manipulative apology? ›

These manipulative apologies are a type of blame-shift apologies that blame the victim. Instead of taking responsibility for what they did, they make the entire thing your fault and demand an apology from you.

What causes someone to become a gaslighter? ›

“There are two main reasons why a gaslighter behaves as they do,” Sarkis explains. “It is either a planned effort to gain control and power over another person, or it because someone was raised by a parent or parents who were gaslighters, and they learned these behaviors as a survival mechanism.”

Do gaslighters know they are gaslighting? ›

Convincing someone to question their reality gives a gaslighter a sense of power and superiority. Despite all this, gaslighting often isn't so obvious. Many gaslighters may not realize they're gaslighting, and many people who are being gaslighted also fail to recognize it at first.

How do you tell if you're being Gaslighted in a relationship? ›

If you feel like you are constantly having to apologize to your partner in order to keep the peace (whether or not you think that you have actually done something wrong) then this is a red flag that your partner is gaslighting you.

What gaslighting sounds like? ›

It sounds like you feel strongly about that, and my emotions are valid too” “I feel like I'm not being heard, and I want some space” “I understand that this is what's best for me” or “I know what's best for me” “This is what I want and what I need right now”

What is positive reinforcement in gaslighting? ›

“Part of gaslighting is throwing in positive reinforcement or compliments and praise, and then cutting the person down when they start feeling good,” says Dr Sarkis. “That's the way the gaslighter gets control.”

What are three red flags in a relationship? ›

13 red flags in a relationship to look out for
  • Overly controlling behavior. Overly controlling behavior is a common red flag. ...
  • Lack of trust. ...
  • Feeling low self-esteem. ...
  • Physical, emotional, or mental abuse. ...
  • Substance abuse. ...
  • Narcissism. ...
  • Anger management issues. ...
  • Codependency.
1 Feb 2022

What are gaslighting tactics? ›

Today, we use the term gaslighting to describe someone who tries to manipulate another person by making them question their reality. This type of emotional abuse is designed to make the victim doubt themselves and their own experiences.

Can a relationship heal from gaslighting? ›

Luckily, Kelley emphasizes that recovery from gaslighting is absolutely possible. “Practicing self-compassion and patience is essential, as the healing process can take time,” she notes. The tactics used by a gaslighter are meant to deconstruct the victim's sense of self, and it can take time to rebuild and repair.

What does mild gaslighting look like? ›

They Do Not Take Responsibility For Their Behavior

Anytime you bring up something that is not working for you, they seem to sidestep having anything to do with it, and find a way to lay the blame or reasoning on someone else. An example might be feeling upset that your partner repeatedly cancels dates.

Am I being Gaslighted or am I gaslighting? ›

Gaslighting is an emotionally abusive strategy that causes someone to question their feelings, thoughts, and sanity. If someone gaslights you, they'll attempt to make you question reality. The purpose of gaslighting is to convince you that you can't trust your thoughts or instincts.

What is it called when someone turns an argument around? ›

They turn the story around to make it seem like you are at fault, deflecting attention and blame away from them to make you feel guilty. This type of emotional manipulation is called gaslighting.

What to say to shut down gaslighting? ›

Phrases to shut down a gaslighting in any situation
  • "We remember things differently."
  • "If you continue to speak to me like this I'm not engaging."
  • "I hear you and that isn't my experience."
  • "I am walking away from this conversation."
  • "I am not interested in debating what happened with you."
9 Oct 2019

Who do gaslighters target? ›

Gaslighter's Victims

People who are most susceptible to being victims of gaslighting more often exhibit characteristics of ADHD, anxiety or depression, said Sarkis. Gaslighting is present in about 30 to 40 percent of the couples she treats, where such disorders are more commonly represented.

How do you defend yourself from gaslighting? ›

3 strategies for how to defend yourself against gaslighting behavior
  1. Pay attention to the signs. People who gaslight you are prone to being deceitful. ...
  2. Be assertive. ...
  3. Consider letting go.
27 Apr 2021

What is silent treatment in relationships? ›

The silent treatment is a refusal to communicate verbally with another person. People who use the silent treatment may even refuse to acknowledge the presence of the other person. People use the silent treatment in many types of relationship, including romantic relationships.

What does gaslighting look like in a friendship? ›

Gaslighting friends enjoy conflict and often rile people against one another. Often, this motive comes from a place of profound jealousy. This friend may instigate rumors just to see how people respond. They often hope that others will be “grateful” for their truth.

What is narcissistic gaslighting? ›

Narcissistic gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse that involves intentionally manipulating or distorting the truth to instill self-doubt in someone. 1,2,3. Gaslighting is a form of narcissistic abuse that involves tactics that cause a person to question their sanity and doubt their perception of reality.

Is telling someone they are too sensitive gaslighting? ›

Gaslighting Tell #3: You're Convinced You're “Too Sensitive” Gaslighters insist that their victims are paranoid and hyper-sensitive. If you've been told that enough times about yourself, odds are you'll start to believe it. Abusers will often use gaslighting as one of many abuse tactics.

What is an example of manipulation in a relationship? ›

Some of the most common include: Using intense emotional connection to control another person's behavior. For example, an abusive person may try to manipulate a person by moving very quickly in a romantic relationship. They may overwhelm their victim with loving gestures to lower their guard or make them feel indebted.

What happens after you've been Gaslighted? ›

The long-term effects of gaslighting may include anxiety, depression, trauma, and low self-esteem. Gaslighting often appears in abusive relationships but also takes place in other contexts. People from marginalized groups are especially vulnerable.

What is another term for gaslighting? ›

What is another word for gaslighting?
manipulatingtricking
deceivingduping
finaglingfooling
hoodwinkingmisleading
swindlingbamboozling
19 more rows

What are gaslighting techniques? ›

Gaslighting is a slow form of brainwashing that makes a victim question their reality. Typical gaslighting techniques include denying something when there's proof, projecting onto others, and telling blatant lies.

What are subtle signs of gaslighting? ›

Signs of gaslighting
  • insist you said or did things you know you didn't do.
  • deny or scoff at your recollection of events.
  • call you “too sensitive” or “crazy” when you express your needs or concerns.
  • express doubts to others about your feelings, behavior, and state of mind.
  • twisting or retelling events to shift blame to you.

How do you outsmart a manipulator? ›

6 ways to disarm a manipulator
  1. Postpone your answer. Don't give them an answer on the spot. ...
  2. Question their motivations. Manipulators often hide their real motivations because they don't like to take responsibility for their own actions and behaviors. ...
  3. Show disinterest. ...
  4. Impose boundaries. ...
  5. Keep your self-respect. ...
  6. Apply fogging.

How do you tell if someone is manipulating you in a relationship? ›

13 Signs You're Being Manipulated In A Relationship
  1. Your Partner Crosses Boundaries. ...
  2. They Won't Take No For An Answer. ...
  3. They Make Dramatic Statements. ...
  4. They “Cry” On Key. ...
  5. They Maintain Home Court Advantage. ...
  6. They Want You To Prove Your Love. ...
  7. They Expect You To React A Certain Way. ...
  8. They Use Emotional Blackmail.
3 Aug 2021

What is a master manipulator? ›

These are people who habitually engage in cunning, calculating, and conniving behavior. Master manipulators are Machiavellians, or “High Machs,” as I previously explained.

What are the four types of gaslighting? ›

There are four primary types of gaslighting behaviors: the straight-up lie, reality manipulation, scapegoating and coercion.

What is narcissistic gaslighting? ›

Narcissistic gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse that involves intentionally manipulating or distorting the truth to instill self-doubt in someone. 1,2,3. Gaslighting is a form of narcissistic abuse that involves tactics that cause a person to question their sanity and doubt their perception of reality.

What are the 11 signs of gaslighting? ›

👓 11 Warning Signs of Gaslighting | Psychology Today
  • They tell blatant lies.
  • They deny they ever said something, even though you have proof.
  • They use what is near and dear to you as ammunition.
  • They wear you down over time.
  • Their actions do not match their words.
  • They throw in positive reinforcement to confuse you.
4 Oct 2018

How do you identify 5 tactics of gaslighting? ›

8 gaslighting tactics to be aware of so you can properly protect yourself
  1. Reality distortion. ...
  2. Telling you different things at different times. ...
  3. Name-calling. ...
  4. Pitting two people against each other. ...
  5. Love-bombing. ...
  6. Intentional changes in behavior. ...
  7. Deflection. ...
  8. Scapegoating.
15 Feb 2022

What is a gaslighter personality? ›

Gaslighting is a form of psychological abuse in which a person or group causes someone to question their own sanity, memories, or perception of reality. People who experience gaslighting may feel confused, anxious, or as though they cannot trust themselves.

How do you destroy a gaslighter? ›

The best way to destroy a gaslighter is to appear emotionless. They enjoy getting a rise out of you, so it's frustrating to them when they don't get the reaction they expected. When they realize you don't care anymore, they will likely try convincing you they'll change, but don't fall for it.

What does mild gaslighting look like? ›

They Do Not Take Responsibility For Their Behavior

Anytime you bring up something that is not working for you, they seem to sidestep having anything to do with it, and find a way to lay the blame or reasoning on someone else. An example might be feeling upset that your partner repeatedly cancels dates.

Am I being gaslighted or am I gaslighting? ›

Gaslighting is an emotionally abusive strategy that causes someone to question their feelings, thoughts, and sanity. If someone gaslights you, they'll attempt to make you question reality. The purpose of gaslighting is to convince you that you can't trust your thoughts or instincts.

Videos

1. Gaslighting | Gaslighting Phrases • Techniques • Tactics
(The Divorce Sanctuary)
2. Your Reality | Award-winning short film on Gaslighting
(Tatjana Anders)
3. 25 - WHAT IS GASLIGHTING? DO YOU THINK YOU HAVE TRAUMA CAUSED BY GASLIGHTING? WHAT CAN YOU DO?
(Dr Karol Darsa - Reconnect Center)
4. Gaslighting is ABUSE #shorts
(Sarah Pacaro - Toxic Relationship Healing Expert)
5. 6 Key GASLIGHTING Phrases a Narcissist USES AGAINST YOU and WHY they CHOOSE THEM/Lisa Romano
(Lisa A. Romano Breakthrough Life Coach Inc.)
6. 10 Toxic Phrases That Are Red Flags In Any Relationship
(Common Ego)

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