The term comes from the play “Gas Light” by Patrick Hamilton, first performed in 1938, and its subsequent film adaptations.

In it, a manipulative and narcissistic husband tries to make his wife believe she is going crazy through manipulations: denying facts, distorting reality, minimising her emotions, and even creating false evidence to support his lie.

So gaslighting is exactly that: trying to make the other person question their own sanity or perception of events through manipulations and lies. This behaviour is common (though not exclusive) in narcissistic individuals.

Gaslighting can have serious effects on the victim, including loss of self-confidence, confusion, and anxiety. It is important to recognise the signs of gaslighting and seek help if you find yourself in a relationship or situation where you are being manipulated in this way.

How to respond to a narcissist in a gaslighting situation?

• “We remember things differently”,
• “I hear what you’re saying, but that’s not my experience of what happened” / “That’s not what I heard/saw”.
• “I’m not interested in debating what happened with you”,
• “If you continue to speak to me like this, I won’t continue this conversation”,
• “This conversation is over”,
• “I’m open to us discussing how to fix it. But I’m not going to debate my emotions”.
• “Stop trying to confuse me. It doesn’t work”.


Leave A Comment