Gaslighting

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Ingrid Bergman from the 1944 movie Gaslight

Gaslighting is a slang for "making someone question their own reality".[1][2]

The word also describes a person ("gaslighter") who uses words and sometimes tricks to make others unsure of what is real and what is not real. This can be very upsetting. Gaslighting is only possible when the other person is vulnerable person, for example when the gaslighter is a powerful person or if the person being gaslighted is fearful that not believing the gaslighter will bring them grief. Sometimes, people don't know they are gaslighting others.[3]

The term "gaslighting" is comes from the 1944 movie Gaslight,[4] which is a story about a husband who uses trickery to convince his wife that she is mentally ill. He does this in order to steal from her.

Gaslighting is different from genuine relationship disagreement which is both common and important in relationships.[5]


References[change | change source]

  1. "APA Dictionary of Psychology". APA.org. American Psychological Association. Retrieved 7 July 2021.
  2. "Definition of gaslight (Entry 2 of 2)". Merriam Webster.
  3. DiGiulio, Sarah. "What is gaslighting? And how do you know if it's happening to you?". nbcnews.com. NBC News.com. Retrieved 13 July 2018.
  4. "Gaslight". oed.com. Oxford English Dictionary. Retrieved 25 October 2021. Etymology: the title of George Cukor's 1944 film Gaslight
  5. Stern PhD, Robin (19 December 2018). "I've counseled hundreds of victims of gaslighting. Here's how to spot if you're being gaslighted. Gaslighting, explained". vox.com/. Vox. Retrieved 3 January 2019.