Trial Attorney Shares 3 Phrases That Shut Down A Gaslighter

Stop a gaslighter in their tracks by knowing what to say in response to their attempts at manipulation.

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Handling a gaslighter is challenging, as it makes you doubt your reality and sanity. And knowing how to respond to a gaslighter can be tricky, especially since they often try and turn the tables on you.

So, how do we respond to a gaslighter while maintaining our self-confidence? Trial attorney Jefferson Fisher offers three smart phrases you can use to turn the tables on a gaslighter and stop their manipulation.




3 Phrases That Shut Down Gaslighting

1. "That’s what I heard."

When you’re in an argument and a gaslighter denies saying something you know they did, it’s best to avoid using phrases like, “Yes you did,” or, “Then tell me what you said.” If you do, you’re giving them room to manipulate the situation in their favor, says Fisher.


Instead try slowly saying only, “That’s what I heard.”

RELATED: The #1 Way To Know You're Being Gaslighted By A Toxic Partner

This allows them the opportunity to clarify without allowing them to flip the script.

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2. "I need someone who is helpful."

The goal of a gaslighter is to make you feel insane. They’ll throw around phrases like, “You need help,” to insult your character to bring you down.


"So, instead, try flipping the script," says Fisher, by calmly saying in response, “And I need someone who is helpful.”

This powerful response allows you to take your power back.

RELATED: 4 Less Obvious Signs Of Gaslighting Most People Miss

3. "I do not imagine facts."

Have you ever brought something up with a gaslighter only for them to say, “You’re imagining things,” or, “That never happened.”

"This go-to phrase is a way to avoid accountability for their actions," says Fisher.

In response, he suggests you assertively say, “I do not imagine facts."

This is a powerful statement as it allows you to stand your ground and remain firm in your beliefs.


If you struggle with this then try talking with a friend or family member.

By speaking to others, you’re able to gain a different perspective and confirm facts. If you can, try to collect evidence before you have a conversation with your gaslighter.

It can be keeping a journal or saving emails and texts. When all else fails don’t be afraid to walk away. Remember, sometimes walking away is the best way to protect your emotional health. And never engage with a gaslighter longer than necessary, as it can drain your energy.


Take care of yourself and recognize when you need to stand up for yourself and when you need to step down for yourself.

Figuring out how to handle a conversation with a gaslighter is no walk in the park. However, by using these three phrases and methods in your talks, you’ll be able to stop a gaslighter right in their tracks.

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

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