Have you ever heard of the term gaslighting? Sounds very new, doesn’t it?

“Gaslighting is psychological abuse and a form of emotional manipulation that’s mostly overlooked.”

Imagine this – Someone has done you wrong or has hurt someone you know. You try to sit them down and have a conversation on what they have done and why it affects you. Upon having this conversation, you may feel deceived and tend to develop thoughts of self-doubt and perceptions. You start feeling you’re on the wrong side. By now you’re confused.

Which is why unfortunately, gaslighting is difficult to spot. Don’t worry, you can always protect yourself by learning how gaslighting works and also become acquainted with how gaslighters function.

With that being said, let’s go through some phrases gaslighters often use to emotionally manipulate people.

1) “I don’t get you/ I have no idea/ I don’t understand what you’re talking about!”

Have you ever confronted someone, and they say the above-mentioned phrase, without hesitation? In such cases, you’re mostly taken aback and start to explain yourself once you understand they’re in denial. Hence, unreluctantly you feel the need to drop the confrontation, brush it off and passively apologize for making things awkward.

By now, you’re confused as they have planted the seed of self-doubt and also know how to take advantage of your naiveness in the future. Coz, all they have to do is stay in denial and convince you, it’s your fault.

2) “You’re being too sensitive/ I think you are overreacting.”

Has anyone ever told you you’re being over emotional and not thinking clearly? Or that you need to chill, when you call them up for something they said or did to hurt you?
Don’t feel bad and let these phrases take the best of you! Invalidating someone’s feelings by treating them as if the mistake is on their end, is inevitably a sign of manipulation. Gaslighters often use such tactics to pin the blame on someone and free themselves from the accusation.

3) “That not what happened! / Get your facts checked!”

Do you know what’s dangerous and psychologically disturbing about gaslighting? It can make us question our memory and the difference between the lie and the truth!
Sometimes, it goes to a point where we don’t know what to believe anymore and it all starts with, “I guess you don’t know what you’re talking about so let me tell you what actually happened!”

People who speak down to you this way are most likely trying to play the blame-game and have folded their victim card at you. Be careful with such people and remember there is a fine line between ‘letting someone tell you their side of the story’ and ‘letting them feed you something that’s far beyond the truth’.

4) “Do you even hear yourself right now?”

Whenever you debate or argue with a gaslighter, it’s nearly impossible to have your feelings validated. Such people don’t listen to understand, they listen to reply. They always have a point of defence to put forth to your argument. They will immediately turn the tables on you saying’ “you sound crazy” or “you need to hear yourself”. Such people manipulate you in a way that you become vulnerable to their nonsense. Gaslighters have a major expertise in making you feel paranoid, especially when they know you’re in the right and have no other way to gain upper hand in an argument.

5) “I think you’re exaggerating the situation a little bit. Could you stop?”

By now I think you have started to notice a pattern gaslighters use, to manipulate you.

They usually start with “You did this” or “you probably took it this way”, as if you’re the one the one causing this problem! Not them! Why do you think?

Because gaslighters will do anything to convince you that you’re wrong. They’ll often blame this entire issue on your imagination which is in turn making you paranoid. Eventually, you start to feel like your concerns are exaggerated.

6) “Tbh, I’m the one that should be mad at you.”

Remember how we discussed about how gaslighters love to flip the situation and blame you instead? Well, this is a perfect example of that! They will often act as if by calling them out and holding them responsible for their actions, you’re the one hurting their feelings. They will claim to be wrongfully accused like they did nothing wrong or play the victim card. Hence, the entire situation will be deflected on you and your perceptions now are highly manipulated. See how the rewrote the entire script?

7) “Do you seriously trust his/ her word over mine? So they’re more important now? Nice, well done!”

Oops! Out of all the words gaslighters tend to use, this is certainly the worst of all! When someone asks you, why would you believe someone else over them or why would you listen to a third person, you tend to feel perplexed. These are couple of phrases gaslighters use to keep you from trusting anyone who says there is something wrong and wants to help you. They want you to think there’s anyone else you can trust but them. But sadly, as truth hurts the most, they are are the ones you should have never trusted in the first place!

Have you ever heard such phrases or been gaslit by someone? Do let us know in the comments or send us an email to care@careme.health

Though some people are still unaware what gaslighting is or how dangerous it can be, it important that we take necessary steps to educate ourselves and the ones around us, so we will be able to recognise it.

If you or anyone you know has experienced gaslighting for a long time, please do not hesitate to seek help from a licenced professional. At CareMe, we offer personalised plans based on data evaluations on your past traumas and recent experiences. We are here to support and understand your issues and walk with you through this journey!

Grab this opportunity to our FIRST SESSIONS @ RS. 399/- ONLY!

This blog was written under the expert guidance and feedback from Ms. Prachi Sharma, Clinical Psychologist at CareMe Health

Edited and Coordinated by Arathi Nair


  • Prachi Sharma

    Prachi (she/her) is a Counseling Psychologist. She received her training and Master’s degree at Amity University, Noida concentrating in Clinical Psychology. She enjoys working with adolescents and adults. She has worked with a variety of clients and has experience in community mental health as well. She likes to provide an inclusive and affirming therapeutic environment. She is interested in working with clients needing support with depression, anxiety, grief and loss, relationship issues, trauma, stress and self-esteem issues. She aims to provide a relationship where the other will discover the capacity within themselves to grow, change and build an everlasting relationship with their authentic selves. She utilizes approaches such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Mindfulness, principles of Essentialism/Minimalism, NLP, Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy, Person Centered Therapy, Polyvagal Theory and Positive Psychology- making it eclectic, tailor-made and holistic for the clients. Prachi believes that merely through communicating, any individual can start the process of healing. She believes that with awareness of our struggles, one can work towards identifying and modifying behaviors one wishes to change. She is passionate about making our world a better place to live by her work and expertise. In her free time, you can find Prachi climbing the great Himalayan mountains, meditating, gardening and drawing mandalas.

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