If you're a girl and you're with a man, you should know all the ways to deal with gaslighting. Why? Because sometimes a relationship takes a bad turn, but you won't see it coming at the beginning. Gaslighting is when your partner starts planting seeds of doubt about things you've said, seen or done in the attempt to make you think you're losing your mind. It might sound like you'd know when it happened, but that's not necessarily true.
All relationships have their ups and downs, but recognizing and escaping this form of emotional abuse can keep you safe and sane. So, here are the best ways to deal with gaslighting.
1. Reject Non-constructive Criticism
"Honey you've got something in your teeth", is slightly embarrassing but an ultimately helpful observation because the purpose is to help you correct a small problem. "Honey you're not pretty when you make that face", is an attack that can lower your self esteem and make you self conscious about expressing yourself naturally. When someone tries to criticize you this way, take the control back. Stop what you're doing and look them dead in the eye without saying a word. How they respond to that will inform you if they have bad intentions or not. Rejecting criticism that isn't designed to help you is one of the best ways to deal with gaslighting.
2. Reject False Claims of Flawlessness
Gaslighting perpetrators spend a lot of time pointing the finger at everyone but themselves. If a flaw does come to light they make excuses and may lash out in many ways, including citing the flaws in others. These are tactics used to guard any threat to their unearned status. Recognize this behavior for what it is and choose not to give it an audience. It's a lot harder to make false declarations if no one is listening.
3. Sorry Not Sorry
You constantly say, "I'm sorry" to someone you haven't done anything wrong to. You need to stop doing that right now. That one change can make all the difference in what comes next. They aren't sorry all the time, so why are you? It's a bad habit and, FYI, your relationship is already toxic. Saying "I'm sorry" all the time is not going to stop more bad things from happening. Get rid of this crutch and keep the "I'm sorry" for when you truly are, and for people who deserve it.