I have just learned a fascinating term…gaslighting.
In 1944, there was a film called “Gaslight” starring Ingrid Bergman. In it the antagonist, to accomplish his devious goals, sets the gaslights to flicker on and off. Then when she voices her concern and reacts, he tells her that she is seeing things. It all starts adding up and in the end, she is driven insane.
From this, mental health professionals have coined the phrase, “gaslighting” for anyone who uses emotional manipulation to convince someone else that they are overreacting or acting crazy about a wrong that they have committed against them.
It usually involves phrases like,
“You’re so sensitive.” “You’re acting crazy.” “You’re being over-dramatic.” “Why are you being so emotional?”
One person trying to convince the other that they are not seeing reality correctly or that they are but crazy because they are reacting to it they way they are. Both take away something extremely valuable in relationship: VOICE!