7 Signs Of Inadvertent Gaslighting Everyone Should Be Aware Of In 2023

Gaslighting is a big turn-off and below re the signs to be cautious of.

1. Invalidating or Minimizing Someone Else’s Feelings
Invalidating or minimizing someone else’s feelings happens when you dismiss, belittle, ignore, or trivialize the emotions and experiences of another person.

The minimization of emotions often occurs due to a disagreement or a conversation in which the other person expresses their feelings in a vulnerable moment. Invalidation can take many forms, such as telling someone they are being dramatic, saying that their emotions are unwarranted, or simply ignoring what they are saying.

2. Blaming Others for Your Actions
Blaming someone else for your actions or mistakes is a classic gaslighting tactic.

By shifting the responsibility onto the other person, the gaslighter attempts to make the victim question their own memory or perception of events. Blaming others can shift the attention away from the actual problem.

People often use this tactic when they are unable or unwilling to take responsibility for their wrongdoing. And they may unconsciously project this onto others if they haven’t addressed their own unresolved issues.

3. Overgeneralizing Someone’s Emotions or Experiences
Assuming that we know how someone feels or what they have experienced without listening to them can be a subtle form of gaslighting.

Overgeneralization invalidates individual experiences and emotions and can lead to losing trust in oneself. If someone can’t listen actively to others and acknowledge their unique emotional experiences, they may unintentionally generalize another person’s experience.

4. Dismissing or Ignoring Someone’s Perspective

Refusing to consider someone else’s opinion or belittling it may seem like a healthy debate, but it can be a sign of subconscious gaslighting.

Someone may constantly try to add counterpoints to the conversation or point out the flaws in the other person’s argument.

Instead of being a logical and even debate, this situation can easily turn into a one-sided conversation, where the gaslighter doesn’t take the other person’s perspective into consideration.

5. Using Someone’s Vulnerability Against Them

When someone shares their vulnerabilities with us, we need to honor their trust and respect their experience.

Gaslighters often use vulnerabilities as ammunition, weaponizing them to hurt the person later or undermine their credibility. And the most problematic part of this is that the gaslighter may not even be aware that they are doing it.

6. Overly Criticizing Someone

Nobody likes to be criticized, but many people have been raised and conditioned to accept it as normal. These individuals don’t see themselves as being overly harsh; rather, they may think they’re helping improve the other person’s character. However, since we all react differently to criticism, this kind of behavior can be seen as gaslighting when it becomes excessive or out of context.

If someone is constantly trying to fix or change the other person, it may be a sign that they are unconsciously making a person feel less than they are.

7. Questioning Someone’s Memory or Perception of Events

It’s normal to have a fuzzy memory when it comes to the past. We actually remember much less than we think we do, and we have highly biased memories as well.

So when someone asserts that their recollection of events is the only valid one, they are actually questioning the other person’s memory or reality.

This form of unconscious gaslighting can feel like a simple discussion of what happened but may have a deeper and disempowering meaning for the person being gaslit.

7. Using Language That Suggests Someone Is Overreacting

Have you ever tried comforting a friend by telling them they’re overreacting? Perhaps you did this to try to de-escalate a situation, but it can also be a form of gaslighting.

When someone implies that the other person is too emotional, they may actually be ignoring the other person’s request for emotional support and understanding.

So even if someone is simply trying to provide comfort, they may be engaging in a form of gaslighting if their words belittle the other person’s feelings.

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A prolific love author who specializes in creating love stories often focused on the romantic connections between people which readers can identify with.