Nowadays however, we use the term 'gaslighting' to describe people that use manipulative or specific patterns of behaviour to keep themselves on top or in control of other people. In short, a gaslighter doesn't want people doing anything without their say so or approval and they will use very sneaky and highly effective methods to keep themselves on top by making others doubt themselves or look incompetent.
Gaslighters can turn up anywhere, you could even be married to one and not even realize it! They are usually in positions of power and they will most definitely want to keep things that way. Gaslighters can be men or women of any age, religion or nationality. They do often go undetected because their attempts at manipulation are slow, sly and exceptionally secretive. This can make them especially hard to identify in the workplace where they can happily push a lot of their own agenda or mask their cynicism by labelling it as necessary growth.
Basically, gaslighters love the spotlight so they will happily claim other people's work or effort as their own, imply that other people's level of work is subpar or irrelevant and will openly push back any adverse behaviour that presents any kind of jeopardy to their own perceived power status. Ever had a boss say something like "Oh, I don't think that's true, maybe it's just how you choose to see it" when you try to present an issue to them? Well that soft manipulation technique is actually a form of gaslighting. So be aware, if your boss is always on the other side of all of your issues or giving you any reason to doubt yourself, your capabilities or your sense of reality, then odds are that you've been prey to a gaslighter.
A gaslighter will micromanage others to the point of ridiculous in an attempt to stay in control. They will say things that make you doubt your own ability, they will make you feel like you aren't good enough and they will make it look like you are the one with the problem not them. Gaslighting is a form of narcissism, so you can bet that a gaslighter will vocally point out how successfully they once did the job that you are doing now - only better of course, and probably found it all a lot easier as well. They always lack the ability to put themselves into the shoes of another and therefore they lack empathy, which means that they will struggle to make deep connections with people, unless of course it will be of great benefit to them; then suddenly they will be hyper vigilant!
Psychotherapist and owner of Mind Balance , Rose Lawrence has sighted the following traits to keep an eye out for when trying to spot a gaslighters:
- Someone that uses their great humour and people skills to say things that sound innocent, but what they are really saying is underhanded and passive aggressive.
- Someone that listens long enough to collect information from you, but is not fully engaged in the listening process to show signs that they authentically care about what you are saying.
- Lie and make you feel like it was your fault that they had to lie; gaslighters have zero accountability.
- Take information and twist it around to their advantage or use it against others.
- Gossip to gain more ammunition.
- Appear confident but if you observe them closely they are actually deeply insecure.
- Leave you feeling like you are not enough.
If you do suspect that you are being gaslighted, make sure that you document any interactions as evidence. Setting up clear boundaries around what you will not tolerate will help you to document and identify when someone is gaslighting you. You will need very good evidence if you are going to try and out a gaslighter. Remember, gaslighters are sly, manipulative and methodical so you will need to be ahead of them at every step if you want to gain the upper hand or expose them.
Also, don't forget to reaffirm your own self worth and what it is that you are good at. Doing this will help to combat any lingering doubts about your skills or sanity that a gaslighter might have tried to instill in you, and please seek support if you cannot manage this on your own. Remember, gaslighting is real and effective, that's why manipulative people use this method, so don't downplay the severity or the implications around it. Call it out, talk about it and stamp it out, gaslighting is nothing more than adult bullying and no-one should have to put up with it!
Release Date: 2000
Rating: R 18+
Running Time: 89 mins
A British-Spanish crime drama and a spectacular directing debut from Jonathan Glazer, who went on to direct Birth and Under the Skin, both of which are also on my genre lists because they are brilliant. This tale about Cockney, ill-tempered gangsters completely reeled me in. I was shocked to see Ben Kingsley playing such a convincing villain, we've all seen Ray Winstone being bad before, but Kingsley? New ground indeed.
An ex-con and retired safe-cracking gangster (Winstone) is forcibly coerced away from his idyllic villa and adoring wife to perform one last job for a brutal gangster named Don Logan (Kingsley).
Why Ben Kingsley didn't get an Oscar for his performance here is beyond me, this role was so unashamedly ruthless and he carried it off with 100% conviction, completely altering my view of him as an actor forever after. This is a crude and intense crime drama, and for that reason it may not be to everyone's tastes, but for those of you that can handle a little more 'R' in your 'R' rated movies, don't miss this one.
FINAL SAY: I won't let you be happy, why should I?
3.5 Chilli Peppers