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"I can't remember it, therefore it didn't happen"

(11 Posts)
AtlanticaBlue Tue 25-Mar-14 22:16:45

Has anyone experienced this?

I'm not sure it's gaslighting (or is it?)

For context, this is a male friend (bit more than friends but not a boyfriend/other half), who, for example, has told someone a lie about me which he himself then told me about. Some months later when brought up again by me, he then claims he can't remember doing it or telling me he did it, therefore it can't be discussed, and that it happened is simply my "opinion" , not a fact.

This is just one of hundreds of similar examples with this person.

It goes without saying I shouldn't be in contact with him, that's not really my question, it's more this behaviour of his makes me feel so so frustrated and at times, angry, and wondered if anyone can relate to what I'm describing?

mammadiggingdeep Tue 25-Mar-14 23:28:42

That's gas lighting in my book...

Dahlen Tue 25-Mar-14 23:42:31


Yes it's gaslighting. There are only two solutions: no contact if possible, communication in verifiable form only if not. Anything else will drive you crazy.

DioneTheDiabolist Wed 26-Mar-14 00:04:58

Absolutely gaslighting. Saying "I don't remember that" takes away your power to challenge him or the friend about lying. It also gives a get out when the truth is eventually discovered.

It is a nasty tactic used by manipulative people.

LettertoHermioneGranger Wed 26-Mar-14 00:08:42

Yes, gaslighting.

I don't remember being born but I'm 100% sure it happened. It's one thing to genuinely not remember a conversation - it does happen, and can be frustrating, but saying something didn't happen because you can't remember it is incredibly manipulative.

YNK Wed 26-Mar-14 00:10:25

Yup, classic gaslighting! Oh dear, I think you need to re evaluate your friendship!

Wh0dathunkit Wed 26-Mar-14 00:13:14

If either of my parents had said it, these days I'd not even bother arguing the point - they are both quite good at remembering things completely differently from how I remember things. However, that's possibly due to the fact that we generally only talk about things from 20 + years ago. If it were any other situation, especially where I specifically remembered having a conversation with someone, then I would be very suspicious about the persons' motives.

EBearhug Wed 26-Mar-14 00:14:10

There's a difference between saying, "I don't remember that," but accepting it may have happened, and saying, "I don't remember that" - and then denying it can have happened, as they don't remember it.

The former is annoying, but we do all forget some things, and as long as they don't refuse to talk about it, it's just one of those things. The latter is manipulative, implies you're the one making things up, and as has been pointed out, means you can't challenge it. You're also left suspicious that they do actually remember and are just blocking you; they're compounding the original lie - this is why you feel angry and frustrated. It is gaslighting.

Lweji Wed 26-Mar-14 02:27:08

Memory is a tricky thing, and he could sincerely accuse you of lying if his memory is not good for his own behaviour.

Still, if you remember and know in your heart that he lied, then the problem is not so much his memory or what he says he remembers doing, but what he actually did and dump him.

SheMovesWiththeSparrows Wed 26-Mar-14 03:09:26

I had a huge row with my MIL once, (or at least she had a row with me, I was doing my best to leave the room before it got out of hand but she wouldn't give it up until she's said her piece, which was mostly about a ton of stuff that was none of her business anyway.) But she overstepped the mark and I bit back with a few home truths myself.

She was pissed, (she's famous for starting on people when she's pissed) which is why I didn't want to have the discussion with her. But in the morning she was all hurt and wounded and huffy because she remembered all of the stuff I'd said to her, but funnily enough she remembered NONE of the stuff she said to me, which started it. hmm She was adamant that I was lying to her.

noslimbody Wed 26-Mar-14 05:45:28

my h (stbx) does this whenever he doesn't want to explain something, usually when he knows he can no longer get away with lying about it.
Gaslighting for sure.
Infact op, are you involved with him, I am sure he has been seeing someone....

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