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Gaslighting Definition (All You Need To Know)

What does Gaslighting mean?

How do you define Gaslighting in simple terms?

What’s essential to know?

Keep reading as I have gathered exactly the information that you need!

Let me explain to you what gaslighting means once and for all!

Are you ready?

Let’s get started!

What Does Gaslighting Mean

Gaslighting is a term used to refer to a form of psychological manipulation or abuse that is extended over a period of time leading to the victim having doubts about their own thoughts and beliefs and ultimately affecting the victim’s emotional stability.

In essence, you can consider gaslighting to be a type of emotional abuse where the abuser attempts to manipulate the victim by creating a false sense of reality resulting in confusion and loss of self-confidence in the victim.

Urbandictionary.com defines gaslighting as follows:

A form of intimidation or psychological abuse, sometimes called Ambient Abuse where false information is presented to the victim, making them doubt their own memory, perception and quite often, their sanity.

When the term “gaslighting” is used, this is the most common understanding of its meaning.

Gaslighting Origin

The term gaslighting is the present participle of gaslight.

This word has derived its meaning based on a 1944 film called “Gaslight” where a husband played mental and emotional tricks on his wife to convince her that she was mentally not well.

In today’s popular culture, gaslighting refers to a person using mental and emotional manipulations to lead a victim to question their sense of reality.

However, the word “gaslighting” is also commonly used in different disciplines.

Keep reading as I will provide you with the main definitions of gaslighting you should know about.

Gaslighting Synonyms 

Here are a few synonyms of the word gaslighting that can provide you a good understanding of its meaning:

  • Bamboozling
  • Beguiling 
  • Biasing
  • Biassing
  • Bilking
  • Bluffing
  • Cheating
  • Conning
  • Contriving  
  • Deceiving
  • Defrauding
  • Deluding
  • Duping
  • Entrapping
  • Finagling
  • Fooling
  • Hoaxing
  • Hoodwinking
  • Impressing
  • Jockeying
  • Manipulating
  • Misleading
  • Outmaneuvering
  • Outmanoeuvring
  • Scamming
  • Snookering
  • Stiffing
  • Suckering
  • Swaying
  • Swindling
  • Trapping 
  • Tricking
  • Wangling

Gaslighting Definition Politics

The definition of gaslighting in politics refers to a person holding a public officer or a position of power rewriting history or changing the facts in such a way as to manipulate the people, provoke certain people, or discredit the opposition.

Gaslighting by those holding a high position of power can be more effective and lead to either good or bad outcomes.

Gaslighting Definition Psychology

How do you define gaslighting in simple terms?

According to Verywellmind.com, referring to Breines J. Call me crazy: The subtle power of gaslighting. Berkeley Science Review. April 2012, gaslighting means:

A covert type of emotional abuse where the bully or abuser misleads the target, creating a false narrative and making them question their judgments and reality.

This is a good definition of the term gaslighting as it is:

  • A form of emotional abuse (or psychological abuse)
  • Where there’s a bully
  • Creating a false narrative 
  • Making the victim
  • Question reality 

Gaslighting Definition Philosophy

The definition of gaslighting in philosophy refers to individuals who cannot accept criticism or do not tolerate dealing with others having opposing views.

As a result, to avoid being criticized or to avoid having to deal with disagreements, some will gaslight others to effectively alter their world views or change their perception of reality aligning it with their own.

Gaslighting Definition Examples

Let’s look at a few examples of gaslighting so we can better understand its meaning.

Gaslighting is a form of psychological abuse where the abuser attempts to cause the victim to doubt reality, get confused, and lose self-confidence.

Here are a few examples of tactics used by gaslighters to alter their victim’s sense of reality:

  • Constant lies
  • Discrediting of the victim
  • Distracting the victim
  • Minimizing the victim’s feelings
  • Shifting blame on the victim
  • Abuser denying any wrongdoing
  • Abuser using compassionate words when appropriate
  • Abuser altering the facts

Things that gaslighters will often say are:

  • That never happened
  • You’re too sensitive
  • You have a horrible memory 
  • You keep on forgetting
  • You’re crazy
  • You don’t know what you’re talking about
  • You’re the only one that thinks it’s true
  • You should have known this 

Gaslighting Meaning Takeaways 

So there you have it folks!

What does the term gaslighting mean?

Looking for gaslighting definition and examples?

The meaning of the term gaslighting, as we commonly know it today, comes from the 1944 movie called Gaslight where the husband used mental tricks to have his wife feel that she was unwell so he could steal from her.

Over the years, the term gaslighting has been used to refer to people who distort the truth, use mental, emotional, and psychological tricks on others to get them to be confused or alter their sense of reality.

In extreme cases, victims of gaslighters may eventually lose their mental stability and sanity.

In recent years, gaslighting has been used to refer to political figures who attempt to distort reality, alter people’s perception of facts and truth, and manipulate others to achieve their end.

I hope I was able to answer the question what is gaslighting, provide an overview of the different gaslighting definitions, and what it means in today’s English.

Good luck!

Big lie
Borderline personality disorder 
Confidence trick
Emotional abuse
Gaslight paper
Gaslighting behavior 
Insecure attachment
Mind games
Narcissist gaslighting 
Narcissistic personality disorder
Nervous breakdown 
Political spin
Psychological manipulation 
Psychotherapy issues
Romantic relationship 
Superiority complex

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