The Personality Type To Avoid Dating At All Costs

It's toxic, no matter how you justify it to yourself.

Woman unsure of herself after being gaslit, keep lying out of relationship Dean Drobot, rafafernandezphotos | Canva

"Avoid gaslighting in your relationship," is simple relationship advice. But do you know what gaslighting even is? It is all about lying. It is about convincing one partner they are wrong or crazy. It happens all the time in controlling relationships, relationships where someone is having an affair, and addiction/alcoholism. It is a type of mental control/abuse. The gaslighter plays with stories, distorts memories, and creates an environment where their partner doubts his/her perceptions, beliefs, and sanity.


In the 1944 mystery-thriller, Gaslight Ingrid Berman played a woman being gaslit by her new husband. The man used the gas lights in the attic to search for treasure thus dimming the rest of the house lights; when his wife comments on the dimming he insists she is imagining things. That's where the name comes from. There are three main places where Gaslighting will occur, but it can occur elsewhere.

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Here are the 3 main places where gaslighting occurs:

1. Gaslighting often happens when a person is having an affair

The cheating partner will deny and belittle any facts or proof you find. They say, "You are just making this stuff up" or claim it is circumstantial evidence. The cheater will say, "It means nothing." They will have plausible reasons for what you see and will make you doubt yourself.


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2. Someone who is struggling with addiction/alcoholism

If they steal something to support their addiction they tell you it was misplaced or convince you that you gave it away. If they are out on a bender they will insist they were in their room sleeping, you just didn't see them. The lies and deceptions mount.

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3. Someone who is controlling is most likely to gaslight

By keeping you off balance and unsure they can keep the control they crave. They also isolate you to keep you from a reality check. When you are isolated (from friends and family) you will easily doubt yourself and start to believe your controlling partner. The problem with gaslighting is the lying is subtle and the explanations given are often plausible. Even when it becomes less subtle, you have bought in so far you won't want to challenge what is going on. There are a few key events that happen in gaslighting:

  • When you defend yourself and your ideas, the gaslighter dismisses you as crazy, uptight, or irrational. 
  • The cheater/controller/addict first makes you think you may be incorrect and your thinking distorted. 
  • Then he/she gives you his/her version of the truth. You let the other person define your reality for you.

That’s not a relationship, it is a sickness. Don’t let yourself fall for gaslighting. Here's what to do: 

  • If your gut is telling you something, then pursue it. 
  • If you doubt yourself, go seek professional help to untangle your thoughts. 
  • Keep a journal of your perceptions so that when your partner explains them away you can review your ideas without pressure. 
  • Don’t let go of friends and outside support. They can be your reality check. 
  • Remember you are not "sensitive" "crazy" or "uptight" if your reactions are in response to things you see happening. 
  • Recognize this as a power play and defense by the gaslighter to protect him/herself (often from dealing with him/herself.) It isn’t about you; however, it does affect you and it is not healthy. 
  • Get away before you end up in the asylum like Bergman’s character almost did.

If you think you may be experiencing depression or anxiety as a result of ongoing emotional abuse, you are not alone.

Domestic abuse can happen to anyone and is not a reflection of who you are or anything you've done wrong.

If you feel as though you may be in danger, there is support available 24/7/365 through the National Domestic Violence Hotline by calling 1-800-799-7233. If you’re unable to speak safely, text LOVEIS to 1-866-331-9474.

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Kim Leatehrdale is an expert relationship coach for business and personal relationships. A well-known therapist, presenter, and author, she has spoken for Fortune 500 companies, colleges, and state and national groups.