New Delhi: Gaslighting. A term used so frequently by millennials and a concept that has been growing in popularity. So, what is 'gaslighting' you ask? It is a form of manipulation that happens in personal relationships. It is also considered emotional abuse as the abuser makes the victim question their reality. The victim wonders if they are going crazy by reacting a certain way to things done by the abuser.
Gaslighting is turning the tables around and not taking any responsibility for your actions.
When you have been 'gaslighted', one may not know the signs or even be aware that this is happening to them. Some of the signs that you should pay attention to include; using something dear to you as ammunition, lying, blame-shifting, confusing you, turning people against you, and making you think you are crazy.
If you are being 'gaslit', call the person out on it. Relationships are hard work as it is and communication is key. Both partners have to always take responsibility for their actions to truly understand each other and nurture their bond. Explain to your significant other that you are not going to stand for this and are completely entitled to your emotions. Every action causes a reaction.
Sometimes we find ourselves in relationships that can't actually grow. I believe that being 'gaslit' is a huge red flag. This would mean that you are dating someone who is okay emotionally abusing you, which then translates to taking you for granted and not caring about you. If you find yourself in a situation like this and if healthy communication is not possible, then perhaps it is time to accept that this may not be the partnership for you.
Life is too short to be anything but happy. Do not get stuck in a commitment to someone who doesn't allow you to feel like your best self. If you find yourself in the midst of constant manipulation, I would hope that you would remember, every relationship has a door. It is up to you if you want to stay in the room and lock it or open it and walk through. You are not stuck. Because, the key to that door? Well, that's always been with you.