5 Little Things A Gaslighter Will Say To Make You Feel 'Crazy'

How they're making you feel worthless without them.

Close up face of thoughtful blonde Dikushin Dmitry | Shutterstock 

Are your friends telling you that you're in a relationship with a gaslighter? You might not even be sure that it's true. You're not entirely clear what gaslighting is and how to spot it. But if your friends are worried, it is worth paying attention.  Gaslighting is a form of abuse, and we all deserve to feel safe, loved, and respected in relationships. A gaslighter is someone who controls and abuses their partner by "manipulating someone by psychological means into questioning their sanity."


In other words, a gaslighter will do what they need to do so that you can no longer tell what's true or not and what's right or wrong. People gaslight for a variety of reasons. They might be narcissistic and refuse to take responsibility for anything. They might need to control you. They might want to get something from you and destroying your self-esteem — or even your sanity — is the best way to get it. Either way, gaslighting is incredibly destructive.

Many people who are in relationships with someone who's gaslighting them just don’t see it, primarily because they've been manipulated into believing they're too stupid to recognize anything. If you're being gaslit, you've been convinced that you're out of touch with reality. You're questioning every choice you make. Fortunately, there are a few things that gaslighters almost universally say to their targets.


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Here are 5 little things a gaslighter will say to make you feel crazy:

1. "You're always wrong."

Does your partner always tell you that you're wrong? If you walked outside and observed that the sky was blue, would your person tell you that you were wrong and that it was red? If you share a memory about your relationship at a dinner party, will your person later tell you that it never happened? That you had made the memory up your head? The gaslighter intends to make you doubt yourself and question everything you say and everything you do. By doing so, your partner can dominate you and make you feel that you need them to function in the world.



2. "You have no friends."

It's a horrible thing to tell someone but this is exactly what a gaslighter will say. They will tell you, over and over again, that you have no friends, that no one likes you, that you're unlikeable, and that people are talking behind your back. They will claim that they are your only friend and are only around because they feel sorry for you.


Even if you have friends who show up for you and you see regularly, a gaslighter will tell you that those people are pretending to like you and are using you for their purposes so you shouldn’t trust them. Why do they do this? Because they want to separate you from the people who love you and support you. They want to be the only person in the world who you rely on and trust. By doing so, they can control you, which is the ultimate goal of gaslighters.

RELATED: 15 Signs He's Using You Because He Hates Being Alone

3. "You're worthless."

This one is key. Gaslighters will tell you over and over again that you're worthless. One of their goals is to destroy your self-esteem. To do so, they tell you that you're worthless, that you're a bad friend, parent, child, partner, etc. They tell you that you're not capable of career success or anything at all. If you believe yourself worthless, you will start to believe it. You start relying on the other person and they will control you. And if you're under their control, you will lose yourself completely, believing every day that you are, more and more, worthless.



4. "You can’t see the truth."

I have a client whose boyfriend always tells her that she can’t see the truth. He has been trying to win her back, again, and she is being, finally, very cautious. He reappeared at her door after 6 months, announcing that he loved her, wanted to move in with her, and get married. He expected her to jump back in his arms. And she didn’t.


Since then, he has vacillated back and forth between telling her he loves her and blaming her for the fact that they aren’t back together. "I jumped back in," he says. "really loved me, you would have done the same." I have to reassure her regularly that the truth of the matter is that she's being careful. His declaration of love is something that he does to pull her back in and then he walks away again. She has let him do that before because she does love him. But, she's not going to do it again. Even so, because he's a gaslighter, she's constantly struggling to see the truth in the situation.

RELATED: 15 Signs He Doesn't Care About You Or The Relationship

5. "Everything is your fault."

Does your person always tell you that you are at fault? If he comes home drunk, does he blame you for driving him to drink? If she runs up the credit card, does she say it’s because you're never home? Is a burnt dinner because you had to do something for them your fault? A gaslighter will take no responsibility for the dynamic between the two of you. Everything will be your fault.

Not only does that absolve them from any responsibility, but it also continues to undermine your belief that you're worthless and unloveable. Knowing what someone who's gaslighting you will say is the key to preventing or stopping it from happening. If you're in a relationship with someone who tells you you're always wrong, that you're friendless and worthless, and makes you doubt yourself in every way, you're most likely you are with a gaslighter. You may or may not recognize why this is happening to you but you mustn't trust what this person is saying and doing. Get away from them as soon as possible. Reach out to people who love you to help you escape from this person so that you can keep your sanity and have a happy life.


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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Mitzi Bockmann is an NYC-based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate who works exclusively with women to help them be all they want to be. Mitzi's bylines have appeared in The Good Men Project, MSN, PopSugar, Prevention, Huffington Post, and Psych Central, among many others.