How to tell if someone is gaslighting you (or if you’re just dating a jerk)

You’re not ‘crazy’, you’re not ‘overreacting’, you’re not ‘blowing this out of proportion’ and you’re not ‘remembering it wrong’.

You’re being gaslit.

Statements like this flow effortlessly from a gaslighter and when they do, you’re not only interacting with a jerk, you’re engaging with someone who has the potential to inflict some serious emotional damage.

Gaslighting is a term coined from a behaviour in which an individual intentionally makes statements that make you question what you believe to be true. For example:

Telling you that you’ve remembered things incorrectly

It’s important to remember that gaslighting isn’t a behaviour that’s exclusive to relationships, it can occur in the early stages of dating which is why it’s so important to know the signs before investing in a relationship that’s certain to make you feel inadequate, and like you’re always the problem.

What are some clear signs of gaslighting that you need to look out for?

Their lies are obvious – You know what happened because you were there or you know what they said because it was written via text, yet when you bring it up, they tell a completely fabricated story or new version of events.

Their denial game is strong – You’re explaining how they’ve hurt your feelings and they’re denying it even took place with the force of a thousand lions.

They tell you your emotions are an overreaction – You’re upset because something they’ve said was hurtful, you tell them to only receive a ‘you’re overreacting’ in response.

They try to convince you you’re being/acting crazy – You share your feelings about them or your relationship to only be belittled into thinking your delusional.

They blame you for things going wrong – They spill coffee on their shirt, it’s your fault for making it too hot. Their phone isn’t charged, it’s your fault for not reminding them to put it on the charger. Whatever negative situation befalls them, they find a way to make it your doing.

You might also recognise the emotional fatigue and trauma of being gaslit, such as (but not limited to):

You’re defeated because you always feel to blame

You’re convinced that you’re ‘too sensitive’

Your confidence has disappeared

You apologise for everything, all the time

You’re walking on eggshells in the relationship and frequently experience anxiety when it comes to having conversations.

This is why it’s important to identify any and all behaviours when they occur and to take the necessary steps to either leave the date/relationship or to commence the inner work on addressing the root cause of the behaviours so you can eliminate them.

If all of this sounds painfully familiar and you can sadly say “I’ve been there”, don’t fret. Getting back
into the dating scene with the confidence and knowledge that you can spot a gaslighter before they
even have the chance to tell you you’re crazy, is easier than you might think. Keep these tips in mind and
seek out open and honest dating apps such as Hello Tiger that focus on genuinely connecting and portraying a real representation of the person you’re interested in. With video call technology (getting that awkward first meet out of the way and gauging the chemistry from the get go), as well as profile pics that have to be snapped on the spot (minus the editing), you can farewell catfishing and other dishonest behaviour.

Bottom line? Gaslighting is more than a jerk move and is something that nobody deserves to experience. Ever.

ABOUT MEGAN LUSCOMBE

Megan Luscombe is a certified Australian life and relationship coach, assisting individuals, couples, and corporates to navigate the complexities of self and love. Her latest adventure has been stepping into the role of Hello Tiger Relationship Expert, helping singles to find their significant other via the wild world of digital dating. Megan’s areas of expertise include dating, relationships (platonic/romantic), confidence, communication, and boundaries.

ABOUT HELLO TIGER

Hello Tiger is the new dating app encouraging Aussies to pursue real connections, with real people, in real time. Scrapping the swipe mechanism, Hello Tiger has embedded a video function to up the ante, eliminate the fake, and inspire more personal connections on the platform.

Singles get ready to show your stripes, the Hello Tiger dating app offers even more adult adventure by reinventing the way we connect in the wild world of online dating.  

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