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'Gaslighting': One of the most overused phrases on MN

38 replies

SpicyRibs · 20/12/2019 21:21


I'm seeing this phrase used more and and more regularly on MN. This is typically (as expected) in the Relationship section, often describing the (bad) behaviour of the 'D' H or P.

No doubt gaslighting exists as a recognised phenomenon ("to manipulate (someone) by psychological means into doubting their own sanity"). However, I think this term is being banded around too freely in situations where there seems to be no evidence to suggest anything of the sort.

Through it's overuse, imvho I think it takes away from those genuine situations where someone is truly experiencing this terrible form emotional abuse.

Dare I say it appears the most fashionable (for want of a better word) term to use of late.

AIBU to think this is one of the most overused phrases on MN?

I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

140 votes. Final results.

You are being unreasonable
You are NOT being unreasonable
AnneLovesGilbert · 20/12/2019 21:22

Not as much as narcissist/narc.

QuillBill · 20/12/2019 21:24

Yes it's one of them.

Spa day to solve absolutely anything.
Tinkly laugh even though any person on the receiving end of one would just think you were a lunatic.

Igotthemheavyboobs · 20/12/2019 21:29

I have seen multiple threads asking 'am I being gaslighted?' or words to that effect. Every single time the answer is no.

I think people have heard the phrase, not really got the actual definition then apply their understanding to their situation. I think it is often thought to be the term for behaviour that is not quite abuse (if that makes any sense!)

slipperywhensparticus · 20/12/2019 21:31

Seriously? its barely used you need to make something up try something that actually exists

Tyersal · 20/12/2019 21:31

Yes and all men are narcissistic

Scarsthelot · 20/12/2019 21:32

Yes it is.

I notice often that unless the ops partner/parents/mil etc agree with their exact version of events, its gas lighting.

Where usually, it's just that 2 people have a different point of view of what happened.

There seems to less room for people to have differing opinions without being called gas lighting.

Scarsthelot · 20/12/2019 21:33

I have seen multiple threads asking 'am I being gaslighted?' or words to that effect. Every single time the answer is no.

Yes, I have noticed this too

PixieDustt · 20/12/2019 21:35

Yes and unhinged and give your head a wobble and one that really pisses me off is PFB

OverthinkingThis · 20/12/2019 21:35

Limerance seems to be getting more and more popular too.

ChristmassySpice · 20/12/2019 21:41

Depends. I was properly gaslighted by my DD's Dad. It was my Mum who eventually alerted me to this. She's 75 so it's definitely not a modern term. I genuinely thought I was going mad. And 7 Years later, I wake up every day feeling so happy that he isn't in my life anymore.
I don't tend to bother myself with 'overused phrases' because sure as hell, some folk will actually be living the nightmare of the real meaning.

helpfulperson · 20/12/2019 21:41

In these situations i always think of a take that stong that started 'there's three versions of this story, yours and mine and then the truth '

Apparently from rare occasions of gaslighting this is normally the case.

Barnseyboyo · 20/12/2019 21:45

Narc is worse. Hardly anyone gets diagnosed as it’s so hard but everyone’s in-law is one on here.

ffswhatnext · 20/12/2019 21:56

So many armchair medics on here.
Your partner is a lazy sod who decides to do nothing. He’s too up his own arse to empty bath water... sounds like he’s depressed.

It’s like everything has to have a label. It cannot simply be because the person isn’t a nice person.

mousemousse · 20/12/2019 22:03

I read an article that said telling your children something like a worm isn't scary (when it isn't) is gaslighting and going to ruin them forever Hmm you are supposed to acknowledge how scared they are of the worm and thus legitimise their feelings. I decided this was utter rubbish, sometimes kids just look to adults to provide a guide and a worm isn't at all scary so get on with it and stop being silly Confused perhaps I'm the worst parent

Butchyrestingface · 20/12/2019 22:05

Spag bol

My top five.

purpleme12 · 20/12/2019 22:10

Yes it is. I got accused of it on here 😆 but then narcissist is as well
Why people label things I don't really know

Homemadearmy · 20/12/2019 22:11

Gaslighting is awful to experience. Like @ChristmassySpice I thought I was losing my mind. I've been free for over 11 years. But I've been left with lasting trust issues and even now I have a hard time believing that it wasn't my fault and that I didn't deserve to be treated like that.

AnneLovesGilbert · 20/12/2019 22:14

Surely the people who’ve experienced serious gaslighting as the people who get annoyed at it being bandied around willy nilly?

Anxiety is another hugely popular word on here and people with diagnosed anxiety have often posted their irritation about it.

purpleme12 · 20/12/2019 22:16

Mmm I think anxiety is overused in real life too.
Whereas I haven't yet heard people in real life talking about narcissists and gaslighting although I guess it might start

Ohyesiam · 20/12/2019 22:18

It’s not a phrase.

Gwenhwyfar · 20/12/2019 22:27

"Anxiety is another hugely popular word on here and people with diagnosed anxiety have often posted their irritation about it."

People who have been diagnosed with anxiety don't own the word any more than anyone else.

Doyoumind · 20/12/2019 22:32

I agree. People think any differences in remembering a situation or lying is gaslighting. Having experienced real gaslighting it's so different to that. It's like a denial of everything you know to have happened, to have been said, to be true. It's devastating.

Butchyrestingface · 20/12/2019 22:33

People who have been diagnosed with anxiety don't own the word any more than anyone else.

To me, there’s a difference between saying “I am anxious about x/y/z” and “I have anxiety”. The latter I think sounds like the person is claiming to have a medical condition, in much the same way that one might say “I have asthma/arthritis”.

Appreciate others may interpret it differently.

BlackCatSleeping · 20/12/2019 22:38

Wow, as someone who was gaslighted by an abusive Ex, I find this thread really depressing. Just another stick to beat women with. Gaslighting is a real thing and unfortunately too many women are in emotionally abusive relationships. I hope this thread doesn’t make them doubt that and seek the help they need. Sad

TrainspottingWelsh · 20/12/2019 22:40


I was once accused of it by another poster because we were debating a factual topic and I wouldn't agree with them.

And sn. Where anyone behaving like an arse probably had sn. As though nt people are all wonderful and being a knob is a symptom of neuro diversity. More ridiculous because the posters suggesting it seem to think they are right on and inclusive when they're just being fucking insulting to those with sn.

Annie yy to the anxiety.

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