Gaslighting, according to the National Domestic Abuse Hotline, is a form a emotional abuse whereby someone distorts facts, evidence, and memories in order to get the victim to question their own instincts, feelings, and sanity to the point where the victim no longer trusts themselves. It is a form of confidence erosion that empowers the abuser and disempowers the victim. The victim may become actually mentally unwell due to the abuser, further empowering the abuser to gaslight more, or even commit long-term psychiatric abuse against the victim.
Notable institutionalized forms of gaslighting occur through psychiatry and CBT (DBT etc). Gaslighting also occurs a lot by politicians and political pundits to the public. With respect to incels, the media and feminists will frequently tell incels that they are imagining the global rise in sexlessness, that they are also imagining the dating difficulties they are going through, and that they are imagining it causing them suffering. In other words, gaslighting.
Techniques of gaslighters[edit | edit source]
- "withholding" is one technique where the abuser pretends not to understand the victim
- "countering", where an abuser will vehemently call into question a victim's memory in spite of the victim having remembered things correctly.
- "Blocking" and "diverting" are gaslighting techniques whereby the abuser again changes the conversation from the subject matter to questioning the victim's thoughts and controlling the conversation.
- "Trivializing" is another way of gaslighting. It involves making the victim believe his or her thoughts or needs aren't important
- Abusive "forgetting" and "denial" can also be forms of gaslighting. In this technique, the abuser pretends to forget things that have really occurred; the abuser may also deny things like promises that have been made that are important to the victim.