7 gaslighting phrases people use to silence you – Times of India


Has someone ever said something to you that made you question your thoughts? Or your memories? If yes, then there is no doubt that they are gaslighting you. A very common psychological abuse, gaslighting often goes unnoticed. It makes a person question their sanity, perception of reality, or memories. Also, people experiencing gaslighting often feel confused, anxious, and unable to trust themselves. Even more importantly, it’s the subtlest of phrases that people use that gaslights you. Below mentioned are 7 such phrases people use to silence you.

1. “You are crazy and need help”
People who gaslight often play doctors to their victims. They would rather you question your own sanity so you believe that the problem is really you, rather than their own deceptiveness and manipulation. So as long as you are the one who needs “help”, they will never have to take responsibility for changing their own ways of thinking and behaving.

2. “You must work on that”
Such phrases play with our emotional well-being. It’s usually used when you react or behave in a way someone doesn’t like in order to make you think the behavior is problematic. However, the truth is that it is only problematic for the other person because it doesn’t fit into the box they want to keep you in. It’s a way of asserting dominance over your mind.

3. “You are just insecure and jealous”
This is their way of planting seeds of insecurity and doubt in your mind about your personality, attractiveness, and personality. This allows people to have control over you. Also, they do so to avoid suspicion and to continue to reap the benefits of multiple sources of attention and praise.

4. “You are too sensitive/you are overreacting”
Such a phrase proves that the person gaslighting you doesn’t care about your emotions at all. As per experts, claiming that victims are overreacting or over-sensitive to emotional abuse is a popular way for people to override your certainty about the severity of the abuse you experienced.

5. “Maybe that’s what you heard in your head, but it’s not what I said”
This phrase denies your reality, your feelings, and asserts control over you. By saying this, the other person makes it clear that they haven’t done or said anything wrong. It is you who is making things up in your head.

6. “It was just a joke”
Disguising cruel remarks, negative comments, etc. as “just jokes” is a popular tactic of people to gaslight you. They can engage in acts of name-calling, taunting, belittling, and contempt while escaping the responsibility of issuing an apology.

7. “You are the problem here, not me”
It’s common for abusive partners to call their victims narcissists and abusers, and to dump their own qualities and behaviors onto their victims. This is a way for them to gaslight their victims into believing that they are the ones at fault.

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