10 Vicious Gaslighting Techniques To Beware Of

gaslighting tactics pinochio dummy

Are people in your life gaslighting you?

Gaslighting tactics, says Jackson MacKenzie, author of Psychopath Freeare used to manipulate people in relationships. Sadly such trickery is sickeningly common. And you might be a victim of it.

Here are the signs of gaslighting in relationships:

  • You feel like your relationships are insecure.
  • You apologise all the time
  • You feel like you can’t do anything right
  • You feel you always need to please people
  • You wish you could put yourself first

If you experience these symptoms, gaslighting could be the reason.

I’ll explain:

What Are Gaslighting Techniques?

Gaslighting techniques are a form of emotional manipulation that do massive damage to your self-worth [Read: Meditation for Confidencereate

They are a form of manipulation in which someone makes you question your reality.

Abusive people, narcissists, dictators and cult leaders all use these tactics as a way to manipulate people into doing what they want.

It’s an intentional strategy.

It’s done slowly.

The abusers gradually brainwash their victims while their unfortunate victims sit defenceless, unaware that they are being manipulated.

The name itself, “Gaslighting”, comes from a movie in which a husband makes his wife think she’s going out of her mind by manipulating her. [1]

This movie shows many of the painful tactics these abusive people use, a powerful form of manipulation you need to watch out for.

Take a look at the following warning signs.

Signs of Gaslighting In Relationships

How many of these signs of gaslighting are true for you?

  1. You constantly question yourself
  2. You ask yourself if you’re too sensitive
  3. You are easily confused.
  4. Making decisions is impossible for you.
  5. You cannot stop apologising for everything.
  6. You think you never do anything right.
  7. You think you’re not good enough for other people.
  8. You feel like every choice you make is the wrong choice.
  9. You think you don’t deserve to have other people in your life.
  10. You are unhappy and don’t know why.
  11. You’re always coming up with excuses for your boyfriend / girlfriend (husband / wife)
  12. You’re not as confident as you used to be.
  13. You feel uncertain about everything you do.

signs of gaslighting techniques being used

Gaslighting Techniques

1. Blatant lies  

They keep lying. You know they are lying to you. But they keep doing the same thing over and over.

This is completely intentional. They want you to know that they’ve told you a big lie because they want you to be uncertain. They’re destroying your faith and confidence in order to weaken you.

How to deal with it:

Call them out and do not let them talk their way out of it.

2. Fake news  

When you call out a person who gaslights, they will deny it outright.

It doesn’t matter how much proof you have; they will deny it anyway, like Donald Trump when he rejected the allegations his female victims made.

They do this to make you wonder if you’re just straight-up mental. Because the second you think you’re mental, you will become dependant on them (especially if we’re talking about your boyfriend, girlfriend, or boss).

How to deal with it:

Have faith in yourself. Stick to your guns. Trust that you are right.

3. They use your kids against you

People who gaslight know how important your family, your friends, and your career are to you.

  • Your boss knows how important your job is.
  • Your boyfriend, girlfriend, husband or wife knows how important your kids are to you, and vice-versa your daughter/son knows how important they are to you.

Gaslighters will use all these sacred things as a bartering chip. And they will attack them.

Your boss might make you question whether you’re good enough for the job. Family members may make you question whether you deserve your family.

Sadly, this is one of the most painful tricks. Because when they mess with your family or job you obviously feel rocked, which is precisely what they want.

Confidence is key. You have to know you’re good enough for your job and your family. Problem is these evil people may have made you believe the worst in yourself.

If we’re talking about gaslighting at work, be confident that your company needs you and that if they actually did fire you you would get another job at a better company.

It’s harder when it’s a family member gaslighting you. Your son / daughter / husband / wife have the most potential to hurt you. So what do you do?

Here’s the deal:

You will be terrified of losing your family. Obviously. I get that. Family is the most important thing in the world. But you have to trust that you will not lose them. Gaslighters bluff a lot. And even though it is scary as hell, sometimes the best thing is to call their bluff

How To Deal With It

I recommend talking to your other family members and friends before doing anything.

4. You’re knackered

This is awful and especially if you’re an empath. Gaslighters target empaths. Why? Because empaths keep being manipulated. And they are easily worn down.

When we deal with a smart manipulator, they know what they are doing. And they will employ their techniques gradually.

A lie here, a comment there… problem is you let them all go because they don’t seem that bad at the time. But they add up. And when you look back, you realise that all those little lies and comments add up to a big deal.

How to deal with it

Look back a few months. Have little lies and comments here and there added up to knock you down? If so it’s got to change. Don’t let them get away with little lies or comments. Call them out on it.

5. All words, no action

Words are cheap. Actions aren’t. Simple. Do their words align with their actions? It’s a classic gaslighting technique. They’re acting in a way that you would call them out for, but at the same time they’re saying all the right things, so they get away with it.

How to deal with it

Focus on their actions, not on their words.

6. Just when you’re going to call them out, they compliment you

Most manipulators are not stupid people. Hell, a lot of them are evil geniuses. They know what they’re doing. And they also know how you’re reacting to it.

When you go to call them out, they will sense a change in your demeanour. And at that very moment, they will throw out a compliment.

That compliment is designed to make you think Huh? Maybe they’re okay after all.

No. They’re not okay. They are still playing you.

How to deal with it

  1. First off, know that the compliment is probably false and is actually being used as subterfuge.
  2. Secondly, stick to your guns. If you were going to say something or do something before the compliment, go ahead and do it anyway.

7. You’re just so darned confused

Gaslighters know that the more confused you are the less likely it is that you’ll do anything against them. They want you to question everything. They want you rocked. Unconfident. Confused. Because then you will be dependant on them.

How to deal with it

In the excellent book Psychopath Free: Recovering from Emotionally Abusive Relationships With Narcissists, Sociopaths, and Other Toxic People [AMAZON],  Jackson MacKenzie says:

I will trust my gut. If I get a bad feeling, I won’t try to push it away and make excuses. I will trust myself.

Have the confidence to trust your gut instincts. Make use of your intuition. If your intuition is telling you something is up, something is up. Go with it. Trust yourself.

Have confidence in your thoughts and feelings. The more confidence you have in yourself, the harder it will be for them to confuse you.

8. Gaslighters Love Hypocrisy 

One of the most obvious signs that someone gaslighting you is this: they’re a hypocrite.

  • Maybe they chat to members of the opposite sex all the time, but when you do it they accuse you of cheating.
  • Maybe they bully you for drinking too much while they’re downing tequila.

They do this so that you focus on defending yourself. Because when you’re focused on your mistakes you’re not focused on theirs.

How to deal with it

Tell them you believe in equality, and that you will try to do (whatever the action they’re talking about is) as much / as little as they do. If they accuse you of drinking, say, “Okay. I’ll drink the same as you”.

9. They force other people to take sides

Gaslighters want to get as many people as possible on their side. Because people are both peer pressure and evidence. 

Think about it. If one person tells you you drink too much, you’ll probably ignore them. If ten people tell you…? Different story, right?

How to deal with it:

This is one of the cruelest tricks to deal with. The social pressure can have a serious effect. The trick is to know that those people have been manipulated too, and ignore them, even if there are lots of them.

10. You CRAZY!

A manipulator’s favourite gaslighting tactic is to tell you you’re crazy. Because if you believe you are crazy, you will listen to them instead of listening to yourself.

How to deal with it:

Have self-confidence. Trust that you are right and that there is nothing wrong with you.

Say no to Gaslighters!

There are severe long-term and short-term effects of gaslighting. In the short term, a victim of gaslighting can be manipulated into acting in ways that are harmful to them.

The long term? They can be dragged into an abusive relationship (at home or at work) that they then cannot get out of. We’ve got to stop these manipulative gaslighting A-holes from getting away with it.

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By Paul Harrison

Paul Harrison BSc is a qualified meditation teacher who believes in genuine, authentic meditation. He has more than 15 years experience in teaching meditation and mindfulness both to individuals and to corporations.


  1. take a step back debbie for a few days, dont go online,take some time out for you, do something you love, its shit when its like that but it will pass and pray for help

  2. I’m a victim of a GASLIGHTER and a Ghoster. Nine months down the road Okori
    is still abusing, insulting, belittling and humiliating me verbally and through quotes ontop of telling lies to my family.
    I’m totally depressed and scared for the rest of my life.

  3. Iam a victim of gaslighting. Up to now. the problem is i let her do it with me without me doing any actions or saying things that she’s too much. It is hurt you know.

  4. The article is helpful.

    Hopefully! It would also have been in Hindi language.
    We will be very grateful to you.

  5. I was expecting to read – go to counseling or a therapist. You can’t always work through this on your own. I realized that the responses for what to say to people who try to manipulate you would just escalate arguments with gaslighters. This is one to leave to the professionals. Get help.

    1. Well done. A great article. Thankz a lot. Before reading this, i ve never heard anything about gaslighting. I m lucky because there aren t any gaslighters in my life. But it worths to know about them.

    2. I felt exactly the same way and stopped reading right then. I’m like, “Wait, what? Trump?” Isn’t THAT gaslighting? Lost all credibility when you threw that good ol’ agenda in there. 🙁

  6. There is some valuable information here. It appears more credible when basic editing is done. The drop off sentences and incomplete ideas distract from the message which is quite good.

  7. These comments are ridiculous. This article is very helpful and I have experienced most of the points. The Trump thing is not political, it’s an EXAMPLE.

    1. Why use a political example when there are countless others that would work just as well if not better?

  8. The article ceased to be relevant when you accused President Trump of gaslighting the women who accused him of sexual assault! What proof do you have of that? Maybe, you are the one gaslighting, or, those women might be lying! Grow up my dear. Amazing how you are doing exactly what you’re criticizing!

    1. He did it. He’s a typical gas lighter. Turn off Fox News and pay attention to reality. Or stay a victim. Your choice.

    2. What has the RIGHT been doing right? Hypocrisy is one of the symptoms. Example: a leader claims not to be racist but states that their were good people on both sides when the racist kills a women with his car. They claim to be christians and then hang around with people like Epstien and treat women like a piece of meat, and states that you can grab their private parts whenever you feel like it. You claim the sanctity of marriage and then cheat on three of your wives. You kiss up to despots like ‘ Rocket man’ and praise commie leader but claim to be a democratic patriot. Their are none so blind. I’ll send you a cane and sunglasses.

      1. Lataina There is NO left or right wing … SAME CORRUPT BIRD….. Let go of false paradigms…. They are where they are NOW because they have sold out…. They are many Pedophiles as well. That is the vein that runs thru our WORLD…. WE THE PEOPLE need to run them ALL OUT and start over again and stop worshiping False Idols… Bless You

  9. Trump is current. Clintons are history. No problem here with using The Donald as an example. The acceptance of DJT’s unrelenting abuse is a perfect example. His relentless abuse of morality, ethics, decency, is incomprehensible to me. My personal situation: mental, verbal, emotional, sexual abuse, has been magnified by the current political abuse. We are all victims of this Sociopath and his behavior is affecting every aspect of our lives. DJT is the perfect example of emotional immaturity or abnormality. He, like my abuser, doesn’t value other human beings feelings. No respect for the suffering they cause. Thank you for your web site.

  10. I found it to be a very interesting article until you got on your pulpit and made it political. Why not include Hillary lying about the emails, Benghazi, rigging the entire electoral process for the DNC side. Bill saying he didn’t have sexual relations with that woman. Your trying to enlighten and help people but I guess it’s only the lefties that are worthy of it. Way to go!

  11. Sadly, many people who need to read this won’t see it or, like me, won’t finish reading it because you had to bring Trump into it. That was a very unprofessional and childish thing to do. (My conservative side wants to ask why not use Bill Clinton as an example because his accusures were vilified and abused by him and his wife, but that would also be unprofessional and uncalled for here). You really should do some self-analysis and figure out why you need to hurt your own credibility with your personal political opinions. Perhaps some editing would be in order.

    1. Hardly. Trump is the clearest example of a gaslighter and clearly illustrates the point. My apologies if your political bias prevents you from seeing the truth.

      Here is a PsychologyToday article about how Trump is gaslighting America, for those interested in the truth: https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/mind-in-the-machine/201808/trump-is-gaslighting-america-again-here-s-how-fight-it

      And one on USAToday: https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2018/10/03/trump-classic-gaslighter-abusive-relationship-america-column/1445050002/

      1. Trump is the best example of Gaslighting on grand national scale. Half the country is smart enough to see through his tactics and the other half have been gaslighted. A real leader does not divide his or her country.

  12. Brilliant article, but leave your personal political aggender out of it…all politicians have their flaws.

    Keep up the good work.

    1. There was no AGENDA. I read an example given to emphasize the information of a very informative article. Oh the sensitivities of the ego.

  13. My boyfriend is using this on me right now and for the last 10 months. He also sends me articles on the subject and accused me of being the gaslighter. I guess in a way i am because I just turn his own crap around on him. And yes there is no arguing with him it just goes in circles. It began with him accusing me of having an affair with my ex husband. I am not. He has no grounds of proof but still insists it is true. I’m not sure why he has made this up and ruined a 14 year relationship but it breaks my heart and I wish I could do something to fix this. We had always been happy together, I am just at a loss.

  14. All was good until I got to number 2! You went political, why? One could view your comment about Trump as a form of Gaslighting or manipulation..Sneaky, most gas lighters are! You briefly distracted the reader with your Personal feelings about Trump, interesting! Gaslighters like to get off topic to confuse their victims! Nice try tho ?? ? im not confused about the real gaslighters in Washington or the Main stream media!

      1. Even so, why include a comment that you know will offend part of your audience? There are other examples you could use that are not inherently charged with political overtones. If you are truly an expert on the subject of gaslighting, you will have a well-stocked resource compartment/file of examples that are neutral to subjects that spark controversy. You know, politics, religion, sex, and money. Trump is not the only political example of gaslighting. By choosing him, you chose sides. Since this is not a political article but rather a self-help piece, why not begin with baby steps until your readers grasp the concept? There are too many comments that focus on your Trump comment and not enough on how your main idea affected them personally.

        1. Trump perfectly elucidated the concepts of gaslighting and is the best possible example. Regardless of political leanings, there is no other individual whose gaslighting tactics are so well known.

  15. Very good, thank you…..all true.
    But I wish you had not brought in the political note. Trump. It did not need that ! Please you are good at this just leave that out. Use a different example. Thanks you have good info.

    1. You can tell who has been gaslighted in the comments. They don’t want to see Trump as the Grand Gaslighter since Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin.

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