Gaslighting

(20 Posts)

A male family member recently tried to say I was over reacting / hysterical / owed him an apology. Fortunately I've changed since being on mumsnet and was able to feel confident in the fact that not only was I completely calm but I was also none of the other things he'd claimed. Now, he is a great guy. We get along well. But it was clear that he knew he was in the wrong, didn't want me pointing it out so fell back on tried and tested technique to undermine the woman....Because we have never fallen out I'd never seen this before. It was fascinating actually because I was disengaged and confident dealing with him. DH looked at the texts and said "wow he's behaving like an abuser" which I though was interesting.

Another way we are subtly gaslighted but also complicit to this gas lighting - is when our partners talk about their exes. I've sat through so many moans from men telling me their ex was "mad" or "a total nightmare" "box of frogs" etc. It took me until my early 30s to disregard these comments and have nothing to do with the man making them.

WoTmania Mon 19-Aug-13 15:56:42

great article - my family have done this all my life. I the only girl and I've always been told I'm over-sensitive, overreacting, that they were 'only joking' (then why fucking say it?) but my brothers have never been subject to the same criticisms or comments.

Darkesteyes Sun 18-Aug-13 22:42:26
Anniegetyourgun Sun 18-Aug-13 18:35:41

If he really is shouting then it's not gaslighting, it's fair comment. If you were refusing to engage with him on the grounds that he was being loud/emotional/hysterical when he was none of these things, that's typical gaslighting. (Been there, accused of that, got the body buried under the patio t-shirt.)

Spottypurse Sun 18-Aug-13 18:28:09

Just had this with the ex in the last hour. I ended up in tears. Which means he thinks he's won. And DP has done it to me over something stupid. Which I still have to tackle him on.

WhentheRed Sun 18-Aug-13 18:24:22

I only became aware of the term "gaslighting" recently. However since ever I can remember I have moderated my behaviour to avoid being dismissed as an hysterical woman. I try not to raise my voice in any serious discussion, and I try to avoid use of "emotional" language.

My DH is a bit of a shouter when something upsets him. If it involves me, sometimes I shout back because I don't want to lose the immediate point and do not want to be silenced. However, my preference is to refuse to engage until he calms down. I don't consider my behaviour to be gaslighting him. It's more that he can be quite intimidating in full shout mode and that's no way to conduct any discussion.

GetStuffezd Fri 16-Aug-13 13:52:54

Found myself nodding along to so much of it. Especially the way women find themselves prefacing valid points with "Sorry, but.." or adding a smiley face next to text making any kind of criticism. I do this!

Boosterseat Fri 16-Aug-13 13:17:30

Thank you Moon, I have been trying to explain gas lighting to someone I work with, the article is excellent.

I've had this with a boss. It's awful, makes you doubt everything.

Bunnylion Fri 16-Aug-13 09:27:04

Bramshawhill sounds like a nightmare situation, but glad to read he's now "ex".

Good luck getting the co-habiting situation resolved soon so you don't have to deal with that kind of nonsense much longer.

kim147 Fri 16-Aug-13 09:06:40

I used to get that with my ex when my voice apparently got raised - even though I didn't think it was. My ex wouldn't engage with the thing that got me annoyed and upset until I had "lowered my voice". So my feelings were ignored.

scallopsrgreat Fri 16-Aug-13 08:57:12

I think we are all guilty of that to a certain extent Doctrine sad

BramshawHill Thu 15-Aug-13 12:44:35

My ex (currently co-habiting) does this to me, all the time. If we're discussing things and it gets a bit heated, he'll tell me I'm screaming at him, that the neighbours must think I'm hysterical, that he won't talk to me until I've calmed down and stopped going crazy.

Its an absolute brick wall - if I say I'm not screaming (because I will swear on my life my voice isn't above talking volume) he repeats that I am, if I try to continue but at an even quieter level, he just keeps repeating his 'calm down, calm down' and if I give up and stop talking, he sees it as a victory and goes about his day.

This article really resonated with me.

TheDoctrineOfJetlag Wed 14-Aug-13 18:32:29

It made me realise I do that to myself, scallops sad. But it's also the source of the "man up, grow some balls, don't be a big girl's blouse" type stuff.

scallopsrgreat Wed 14-Aug-13 15:15:20

Yes that is a good article. And I agree Doctrine. That last paragraph is the nub of the issue.

TheDoctrineOfJetlag Wed 14-Aug-13 07:35:21

That last paragraph really struck home.

YouMakeMeWannaLaLa Tue 13-Aug-13 22:21:52

Well it's definitely not news to me! I've been aware of this shit for too long smile

But I gather the website is aimed at men, hope lots read it smile

Facepalmninja Tue 13-Aug-13 22:01:20

Gas lighting, silly fingers!

Facepalmninja Tue 13-Aug-13 22:00:30

I truly feel that women need to find their own power, stand together and change the status quo. I can not believe humanity as a whole can be happy with one half putting down and controlling (galighting is one of the means employed) the other half. A book I recommend to women is 'women that run with the wolves' www.clarissapinkolaestes.com/women_who_run_with_the_wolves__myths_and_stories_of_the_wild_woman_archetype_101250.htm

A very good artical moon thank you.

mcmooncup Tue 13-Aug-13 21:37:21

goodmenproject.com/featured-content/why-women-arent-crazy/

Nice article about gaslighting.
Depressing but still worthwhile.
I agree it's an epidemic.

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