gaslighting phrases

Gaslighting Phrases: 7 Most Common Statements to Be Aware of

Would you like to know gaslighting phrases so that you can see and hear gaslighting as it happens? These are the most common statements bullies will use to make you doubt yourself.

gaslighting phrases

When bullies hurl gaslighting statements your way, it can be twice as hurtful. Why? Because they victimize you a second time after you call out the initial abuse. As one who’s personally experienced this kind of behavior, I’m giving you the top gaslighting phrases to keep an ear out for.

You are going to learn the most common gaslighting phrases bullies use against their targets.

After you learn about all these statements, you will be better prepared with the proper comebacks to shut these creeps down. Moreover, you will have a greater chance of taking back control of your life.

This post is all about the most common gaslighting phrases that every target of bullying should watch for.

Gaslighting phrases:

Before we begin with the seven most common phrases used by gaslighters, I will mention the definition and goal of gaslighting for anyone who is new to this topic.

So, what is gaslighting?

Gaslighting comes from the 1940s film, “Gaslight,” in which an abusive husband exploits his wife by trying to convince her that she is going crazy. Another word for this type of abuse is “crazymaking.”

Gaslighting is a form of abuse that bullies and abusers inflict by saying things to cause their victims to doubt themselves and their own personal experiences. Moreover, the goal of gaslighting is for bullies to wield more power over the victim while diminishing their account of the abuse they suffer.

It is a sick and perverse mind game abusers play with their targets. So, what are the most common gaslighting phases bullies use and what do they sound like?

1. “You’re only imagining things.”

Bullies and abusers use this phrase to get you to doubt your own reality and question your own sanity. Furthermore, they aim to discredit you and to prompt bystanders and witnesses to question you as well. It’s so easy, it shouldn’t work.

But it does work, perhaps, a little too well!

By using this phrase (usually in front of an audience) the gaslighter attacks your ability to remember things accurately. Just as they do with the first statement, they discredit you by making you seem paranoid to others around them.

Moreover, they use this phrase to humiliate and silence you. Bullies hope that by doing this, they can silence you by making you so afraid of looking crazy that you’ll keep your mouth shut.

In short, this phrase has many goals: To discredit, embarrass, intimidate, and silence you.

This is why so many victims of this tactic eventually stop talking, while bullies and abusers only continue and escalate the abuse.

2. “That Didn’t happen.”

This is another deceitful response bullies and abusers quote to discredit you. This statement is also designed to make you look as if you have a faulty memory and can’t keep your story straight.

Moreover, when bullies make this statement, they make sure to look confident when they say it. They also say it with conviction. Here’s one thing you should know right now!

Abusers know that confidence (even false confidence) and conviction are THE two ingredients that will make any lie believable to bystanders.

So, be sure to keep this last bold sentence in the back of your mind! Always!

3. “You’re crazy!”

This is, perhaps, the worst of all gaslighting phrases.

Yep. There’s that crazy label again. Attacking your mental stability is the worst thing your bullies and abusers could ever do to you. The reason is that society believes those with mental illness the least, discredits them the most, and treats them the worst.

Moreover, hardened criminals and former prison inmates get better treatment than people who are believed to be mentally unstable. The reality is that people will take the word of a bank robber, rapist, or even a murderer over that of someone society has labelled mentally ill.

Bullies and abusers instinctively know this. And when they attack your sanity, they immediately shove you down to the bottom of the societal hierarchy. Furthermore, tearing off this label is the most difficult thing to do.

It’s much easier to exonerate yourself from accusations of a heinous crime than it is from the label of insanity or mental defect.

Additionally, your abusers only set you up to face a plethora of hate, discrimination, and prejudice in the future. Why? Because society, as a whole, even today, fosters an intense hatred of the mentally ill.

those perceived to be mentally ill are treated worse than hardened criminals.

And the hatred is so much so that even the mere perception that you are imbalanced can bring hatred to your doorstep. In fact, you may very well be the most sane and stable person on the face of the earth.

However, all it takes is for one person to paint you as “crazy,” spread the word to enough people, then kick back and let the court of public opinion take it from there. It’s that easy.

¬†As a result, your reputation will fall like a meteor. ‘You see? The sad thing is this:

Although it’s true that no one can ever prove that you are, in fact, crazy, there’s also no way that you can prove that you’re not. Mental defect OR fitness is, pretty much, impossible to prove.

Again, bullies and abusers are fully aware of these things, which is what makes the crazy label itself especially brutal. It has totally ruined the lives of many good, honest, and hardworking people.

4. “this is why nobody likes you.”

Bullies and abusers are masters at isolating their victims. They very skillfully use smear campaigns to turn friends, and yes, even family members against their targets. Bullies do this by reversing the roles and claiming to everyone that they are the one who has long suffered from your abuse.

The reason your bullies slander you to anyone who’ll listen is because it gives them the confirmation they so desperately need that you are a bad person.

Moreover, it breaks down the support system you once had, which gives your attackers a green light to continue and intensify the bullying and abuse. Bullies can now abuse you more freely without fear of anyone butting in and trying to interfere.

In other words, they don’t have to worry about any of your friends/family trying to rescue you.

This is why bullies despise it when you have friends and people who love and care about you. It undermines their power and control over you.

With that said, once your controller has succeeded in isolating you, this is one of the main gaslighting phrases you will hear them say. You bullies will say this to make you feel devalued and to drive the point into your head that you aren’t lovable, wanted, worthy of friendship… take your pick.

The goal here is to break your confidence and lower your self-esteem. Understand that this, or any other gaslighting statements are meant to condition your mind over time.

The process of gaslighting is gradual and slowly wears you down until you feel totally powerless.

5. “You Bring It all On Yourself,” Is another one of the most obvious of gaslighting phrases.

This evil and self-serving statement is meant to take responsibility off the bully/abuser and place it onto the victim. In other words, bullies refuse to take accountability for their bad behavior and, instead, blame the target.

In doing this, they re-victimize the target and blame them for being bullied and abused. Other such gaslighting phrases abusers may use are:

“It’s your own fault.”

“You got what was coming to you.”

“You made me hurt you.”

NOTE: “You made me” statements are especially obvious gaslighting phrases. You should see them as such and cut ties with the gaslighter immediately if possible. If this isn’t possible right away, you may need to plan your exit slowly and carefully while waiting and watching for the opportunity to get out.

6. You’re over-reacting” or “You’re being too sensitive”

Gaslighting statements like these are used to trivialize reality, your feelings, and your response. Understand that bullies are experts at trivializing their bad behavior along with your feelings and responses to it.

The goal here is to undermine your voice and your word in front of an audience and convince others not to take you seriously. If your bullies can cause others to call you into question and perceive you as paranoid, they can bleed you of any outside support.

7. “Everyone is on my side!” or “Everyone Agrees with me!”

This is also one of the top 3 worst gaslighting phrases. The reason it’s so bad is because it makes you feel outnumbered and out-voted. In other words, by making this statement, the bullies want you to feel as if everyone is ganging up on you.

Therefore, the more people you think side with the bullies, the more likely you are to doubt and question your own judgement. Abusers hope you do because if you doubt yourself, it’s easier for the people around you to doubt you too.

In conclusion, if you want to preserve your self-esteem and mental health, it is imperative that you know who you are and what you experience. Stay strong and never doubt what you see, hear, and experience no matter what mind games and tricks your bullies play.

Also, if possible, you must leave the environment (the company, the school, the relationship) if you expect to begin healing and take back control of your life.

Remember that people have left their home countries to escape oppression. That’s what gaslighting is, it’s a form of oppression as is other kinds of bullying and abuse.

It won’t be easy. In fact, it will be tough for a while. But it will be worth it in the end! I promise!

This post is all about the most common gaslighting phrases to help you see gaslighting for what it is and find a way out of any bullying environment!

Related posts you’ll enjoy:

1. Signs of Gaslighting: The 7 Signs You Must Know

2. How to Respond to DARVO: 7 Powerful Ways to Shut it Down

3. Gaslighting at Work: 5 Surefire Indicators to Watch Out for