Trial Attorney Explains How To Outsmart A Gaslighter

The next time someone tries to accuse you of being crazy, remember these three smart tips.

couple arguing on the street Ekateryna Zubal / Shutterstock

Getting into an argument with a gaslighter is tough, no doubt about it. Even when they're wrong, it feels like the conversation always goes sideways, and you end up getting blamed for everything.

So, how can you take back control and outsmart a the exhausting manipulation of a gaslighter instead of letting it eat away you?

Attorney Jefferson Fisher lays out the top three ways you can do just that.



How To Outsmart A Gaslighter, According To A Trial Attorney

1. Think on the argument, not in the argument.

Never dive into the details with a gaslighter; that's exactly what they want. Instead, keep things simple and focus on the main issue.


When we get caught up in the details we lose the plot. Arguing about the minor things in between, we allow our emotions to get the better of us. This works out perfectly for the gaslighter as confusion is a tool they wield to avoid accountability.

And as the Middle Georgia State University writes, “It is better to remain calm and indifferent. Not engaging with them or revealing emotion shows that you have self-confidence and self-control.”

Be sure to remain calm during these arguments and redirect the conversation when it inevitably gets off track. Trust yourself and don't allow yourself to be controlled by your emotions.


Do you find yourself constantly arguing with a gaslighter? Be sure to journal what is said after each argument. Doing so will help reassure you, keeping you confident in your truth.

RELATED: 4 Less Obvious Signs Of Gaslighting Most People Miss

2. Disengage until you feel comfortable.

Fisher explains that gaslighters want you to get caught in the argument, asking questions that let them twist the situation in their favor. This is why the best move you can make is to disengage completely.

Walking away is the best antidote for keeping your peace and ensures you're not being emotionally manipulated.

If you can't walk away, the next best thing is to remain neutral. Say things like, "Oh really," to throw them off, writes psychologist Melanie Greenberg.




By keeping it simple you ensure there's no room for discussion, promptly ending the conversation in its tracks.

After that, do your best to minimize contact. Avoid them at family events and don't converse with them longer than necessary.

RELATED: 6 Life-Saving Strategies For Surviving An Abusive Gaslighter


3. Go talk to someone.

One of the best moves is to reach out for help. Gaslighters often count on isolation to keep you in their grip and stir up chaos, says Fisher. Seeking help from others can destroy their manipulation and help you see things as they truly are.

Talk to a friend or loved one about their behavior. Keep the conversation quiet and ask them for their perspective.

woman talking to a friendPhoto: / Shutterstock


If you don't have anyone you trust then try seeking professional help. Getting counseling can help you break down their manipulation and start your healing journey.

By understanding how to outsmart a gaslighter you can prepare and defend yourself against their manipulation.

RELATED: 8 Things Gaslighters Do Without Even Realizing It — And How To Respond

Marielisa Reyes is a writer with a bachelor's degree in psychology who covers self-help, relationships, career, and family topics.