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Gaslighting

There’s a saying that goes something like this: “If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes accepted as the truth.” 

The term gaslighting comes from a 1944 film called “Gaslight,” starring Ingrid Bergman. In it her husband (played by Charles Boyer) will do anything to keep his dark secrets hidden, as he tries to convince his wife she’s insane by causing her to question herself and her reality. 

The concept of gaslighting is diabolical at its core. It’s manipulation, it’s about control, and it preys upon insecurities. It is intended to be persistent to wear out its victim. In its worst state it can constitute psychological abuse, causing the recipient to lose their own sense of self-worth and identity. 

Increasingly we seem to see it from our politicians. On a more personal level, it can appear in our relationships or even at work. 

If something doesn’t feel right and you think it may be happening to you, fight back by grounding yourself in your own reality. Write down what happened and re-read it later after you allow yourself some time to separate from it. Also talk to a friend or support network like family. They can help counteract the effects and ultimately regain the truth. 

Has anyone tried to gaslight you before? What happened?

 

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