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A Psychologist Offers 3 Strategies To Stop A Gaslighter In Their Tracks

NWRatCon

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I came across this article and thought it might be relevant to our experiences here. Lord is it ever true that we constantly deal with gaslight at DP.

A Psychologist Offers 3 Strategies To Stop A Gaslighter In Their Tracks (Forbes)​

Unfortunately, the article is limited-access, and really isn't very good. But, conceptually, it is helpful, so I'll summarize: "By causing someone to question their sense of judgment and reality, gaslighting undermines victims’ sense of agency and righteousness." That's the premise. The strategies to counter these efforts follow. "In this article, I’ll talk about three strategies you can employ to protect yourself against this noxious relationship tactic."

"Research published in The Journal of Sexual Aggression suggests that gaslighters share some common personality traits such as being emotionally unavailable, withdrawn, irresponsible, impulsive, distractable, and lacking in common sense and self-awareness." Because our interactions are entirely online, it is difficult to see these characteristics, but I'll bet you recognize some of them. The author's suggestion is to "#1. Identify the warning signs early". Once someone starts posting aggressive nonsense, that's a warning sign.

"Often, their tactics revolve around:
  • Invalidating your feelings (“You are so insensitive.” “You are overreacting.”)
  • Devaluing your worth (“You are stupid.” “You cannot possibly understand…”)
  • Denying the truth (“Are you sure this has happened? You don’t remember things clearly anyway.”)
  • Blaming you for their actions (“Don’t get upset over nonsensical things and I won’t get angry at you.”)"
Boy doesn't that sound familiar?

Next, "#2. Speak up and be assertive" - name it. "Since gaslighters often don’t know the extent of their malicious behaviors, communication may make them aware of their actions." But don't belabor it. We don't have access to resources to discourage/modify such behavior. Point it out, but when they become persistent,
#3. Set firm boundaries and possibly let go.

We have an ignore function. It's useful. Not for every disagreement, of course, this is a discussion board after all. But "Often, abusive partners will not give up the power they feel they have. You can start by taking the following steps:
  • Set limits around the usage of certain words and behaviors
  • Try to make them aware of the patterns of their toxic behavior
  • Direct them towards counseling and therapy"
The last one should not be invoked on the board! Even if it is a valid concern. These are tips for domestic relationships, not for conversation partners. But the other suggestions have value. "If your partner is unwilling to change despite your persistent efforts, re-evaluate your relationship’s worth and consider letting go."

Finally, remember, "Manipulation is never okay."
 

JMB802

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I always thought this was a good analysis of some of the Trump apologist behavior we see in DP.


The flying monkey may use gaslighting tactics, open aggression, and guilt-tripping in order to make another person feel bad and weak, whilst shoring up the narcissist. And they’re often involved in pleading the case of the narcissist.
 

NWRatCon

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I had to read that twice to get the joke :)
I thought it was brilliant, and quick! I love subtle humor.

My dad was a master of it. "People keep asking me where they can buy inexpensive records." Things like that just kill me.
 
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tacomancer

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I understand what you're saying. Personally, I've been saying something like: "You're starting to sound like Marjorie Taylor Greene or Matt Gaetz"
I just hammer them to provide evidence until they give up with something like “you would just argue about that evidence anyway” to which I just remind them about the word debate

Also, I let them know I expect quality evidence, not some random ass blog or known biased source. Usually from here I get back something that doesn’t support their argument.

Lately I ignore or point out manipulative language. To me this means they are unlikely to have a fact based argument or are overcome with their own emotion, so I treat them as such.
 
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Crovax

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Yes but how do you stop someone from calling everything they disagree with "gaslighting"?
 

Evilroddy

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I was smiling as I read this article because as I got to the following section, some pop-up ads started appearing. The section in question was:

Manipulation is never okay. One of the best ways to sieve out manipulative behaviors is by routinely reflecting on the state of your relationship and by talking to a mental health expert who can offer an unbiased perspective on the situation.

What health expert can exorcise advertising (commercial gas-lighting) from my computer? But when it comes to making money "In Gas We Trust" - the basis of fiat currency, advertising and public relations. None of it is actually real but the effects of all of these accepted phantasms are all very real. Welcome to the money-matrix and the black holes of the, "Hawking Universe".

Cheers and be well.
Evilroddy.
 

Deuce

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Yeah listen I don’t think rational discussion is something that fixes a fundamentally irrational and deceptive person. Flat earth people don’t get convinced by pictures of Earth being round. A gaslighter wants to manipulate you, that’s their goal. If “don’t manipulate me” was going to work, they wouldn’t have been doing it in the first place.
 

NWRatCon

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Yeah listen I don’t think rational discussion is something that fixes a fundamentally irrational and deceptive person. Flat earth people don’t get convinced by pictures of Earth being round. A gaslighter wants to manipulate you, that’s their goal. If “don’t manipulate me” was going to work, they wouldn’t have been doing it in the first place.
I completely agree. It's akin to, "you can't fix stupid." But, what you can do is not engage with that person anymore. I remember in my first grade class there was a kid who was very disruptive. The counselor came to class and basically advised all the rest of us to ignore him and he'll stop misbehaving. It is funny that we still have to deal with first grade psychology.
 

ataraxia

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I just can't believe people think there was a movie called "Gas Light."
It’s just another piece of fake news from the lame stream media, like climate change science and CDC recommendations during a deadly pandemic.
 

Cardinal

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It’s just another piece of fake news from the lame stream media like climate change science and CDC recommendations during a deadly pandemic.
Oh ffs, there was no pandemic.
 

Channe79

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Gas lighting is a sociopathic trait - most often found in the left.
This is because they do not have self awareness and are led by emotion instead of morality or logic.
 

Mr Person

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Yes but how do you stop someone from calling everything they disagree with "gaslighting"?

I heard you can just call them and everyone like them groomers. That should shut 'em up.
 

Crovax

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I heard you can just call them and everyone like them groomers. That should shut 'em up.

You seem to be obsessed with "groomers" and "grooming"

I wonder what a psychologist would say about that
 
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