What is gaslighting?
Love Island + Emotional Abuse.
Now, there's a combination of words we've read a few times this week. Adam from reality TV show Love Island has been called out across the globe by viewers, similar organisations to Prepair NZ and magazines like Cosmo. Why? Because his behaviour demonstrates warning signs of emotional abuse and gaslighting.
We shared Cosmo's article on our Facebook page. It was super clear you babes were surprised by it. Some of you wrote in to ask us what gaslighting actually is. Don't worry babes. Here's everything you need to know.
What is gaslighting?
Gaslighting is a serious form of emotional abuse and a nasty way to hurt someone.
Gaslighting is manipulating someone into doubting their own reality, memories of events or sanity. It can make you feel like you’re ‘going crazy’ or there’s ‘something wrong with you’. You can start to lose trust in your own memories and perceptions.
‘No I didn’t do that babe. You’re imagining things’.
Girls, have you ever had a fight with someone who completely denied what happened, when you know damn well it did?
“No I didn’t kiss ____ , you’re seeing things”.
Maybe they questioned your memory or told you that you were crazy. Or they tried to pass the blame onto you, for something they did. Denying responsibility and making you question your own reality is gaslighting. Let’s be crystal clear here babe - it has absolutely no place in a healthy, loving relationship.
“That never happened. I don’t know what your talking about. You’re crazy!’
I wasn’t the only one who noticed Adam's behaviour on Love Island. Sadly, his behaviour is something many of us have witnessed or experienced. Thankfully social media wasn't going to stand for it. The tweets rolled in, organisations like Prepair called it out and gaslighting was brought to our attention. We love this! Girls, we've got to have each other’s backs here, we can't stand for this behaviour. We thought Rosie absolutely nailed it by calling Adam out with maturity and grace.
Did you miss the episode? You can watch it on this short clip here.
How to tell if you’re being gaslighted.
- They lie about what really happened.
- They deny what was said and take no responsibility for their actions.
- They blame you for what happened.
- They question your memory of events.
- They make fun of your feelings or try and laugh off the situation.
- They tell other people that you are ‘crazy’ or ‘irrational’.
- They call you a liar and tell people you're making things up.
You don't have to experience all of these. It may only be a couple. The deal is if someone is treating you this way when they've said or done something to hurt you - it's gaslighting. Period.
What to do if you're being gaslighted.
Gaslighting wears you down over time. If it's happening to you, you could feel tired, confused and lost. You might second-guess yourself; how you feel, your memories and start to wonder - am I really going crazy? (The answer is - NO.)
If someone you love is constantly questioning your sanity or version of events that's a warning sign. Being able to recognise gaslighting is the first step. Don't ever doubt yourself gal. Stick to your version of the events.
If you or someone you love is experiencing gaslighting, we encourage you to reach out for help. Chat to our friends via text at 1737 Need to Talk or speak to a trusted friend or family member. Don't handle this on your own babe.
No one deserves to be treated this way - ever.