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

how to respond to DARVO

How to Respond to Darvo: 7 Powerful Ways to Shut it Down

Would you like to know how to respond to darvo that bullies use to discredit you when you report their bullying or speak out against it? Here are the most powerful ways you must know.

how to respond to DARVO

The DARVO method that bullies use is tricky. Many victims of bullying are at a loss as to how to respond to it. As one who has had this method used on me, I am giving you the most powerful ways to respond.

You will learn about how to respond to DARVO properly and the the best responses that will shut this method down for good.

After learning these points, you will be extra prepared the next time a bully uses this evil technique against you.

This post is all about how to respond to DARVO tactics that bullies use. This is important information every victim of bullying, even narcissistic bullying, should know.

How to respond to darvo:

1. learn what darvo is and how bullies use it.

The first step in learning how to properly defend yourself against any bullying tactics is to learn exactly what each of those tactics is.

What is DARVO?

DARVO is an acronym which stands for Deny, Attack, and Reverse Victim and Offender.

Realize that this is a classic reaction bullies make any time the victim calls out their bad behavior.

If you are a victim of such tactics, it is imperative that you educate yourself on them.

Additionally, you need not only memorize the definition and textbook description of it. You must also know what DARVO looks like as it is happening.

For instance, a narcissistic bully may attack you and you may call them out on their rotten behavior. The bully reacts by telling you, “it’s no big deal.” Or, he may say something to the tune of, “you’re making something out of nothing.”

Understand that these are classic DARVO comebacks because they invalidate reality and make you out to have over-reacted. Don’t fall for it. You know what they did and that it was wrong. Therefore, continue to stand strong and stick to your guns.

the bully will project.

Moreover, the bully will become extremely aggressive and attacks your character and credibility. They may even attack your motives and intentions.

The bully may also dissolve into a puddle of tears or begin yelling in anger while attacking you. Bullies are expert at turning on emotions to achieve a desired result, which is to make it look like you instigated their abuse. In other words, they make it look as if they were only reacting to what you did to them.

Also, the bully may use insults, threats, and gaslighting to discredit your description of their abuse. Moreover, they will swear up and down that they’re being unfairly accused and that you are making false accusations against them to cover your bad behavior.

Put simpler, they will accuse you of doing to them the very same things they, in fact, did to you. This is classic projection and you should call it out as such.

As another attempt to deflect, bullies will also try to justify their evil behavior by shifting blame to you.

Understand that bullies do all this to reverse the roles and in hopes that others will see them in a more positive light. Bullies hope that others will see their abuse of you as a reaction to something you must have done to them first. All the while, they are continuing to inflict more abuse onto you.

2. whatever you do, stay calm.

This is an absolute must because your bully is hoping and praying that you will lose your cool. But don’t!

Why? Because bullies will use your emotions as confirmation that you are either cuckoo or a bad person. And, believe you me, they’re masters at this!

Also, they will misconstrue your emotions (crying, etc.) as a sign of guilt. Instead, remain calm and the bully is more likely to be the one flipping out because they can’t shake you.

I have found that by remaining calm and cool, you will drive them completely insane with anger. Therefore, you force your bullies to expose themselves.

Remember the quote in Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War.”

“Let the enemy destroy themselves.”

Again, your calm demeanor will arouse not only the bully’s anger, but also their fear. Your bully will be flabbergasted as to why you’re so calm. This will throw them off balance.

Moreover, they’ll flip out and begin yelling, shouting, and cursing. Don’t let this behavior intimidate you because his is what you want them to do to expose and embarrass themselves.

Remember that bullies have big egos and an image to protect. Also, they have an intense need for control. And they will do everything they possibly can to preserve their egos and maintain not only control, but also the image they have long ago crafted for themselves.

Although staying calm can be difficult when bullies abuse you, it can also be most effective in getting your bullies riled and bringing their true natures out in the open. The calmer you are, the crazier your bullies will get until they unwittingly expose themselves through their own behavior.

3. How to Respond to DARVO: Call the behavior out by name.

This is why you must first know what DARVO is, as well as the names of all the behavior that goes with it. This way, you can call it out by name and won’t sound as though you’re rambling.

Rambling makes you sound crazy and less believable. But naming the behavior and stating your case in a clear and concise manner makes you look more credible and makes the bully look unhinged. This is what you want.

For example, if the bully is projecting and accusing you of the very behavior they directed at you, Call it by name. Tell the bully in front of an audience that they’re clearly projecting to try and make themselves look like the good guy and that you are onto them.

If they are trying to justify their behavior, again, call it out. Say to the bully, “Don’t try to justify your behavior because there is no justification for it. Be an adult (or if it’s a child, you can say, ‘be a big girl/boy’) and take responsibility for your actions.”

4. Document, document, document!

This cannot be stressed enough! You absolutely must document everything in detail. Keeping a bullying journal is of the utmost importance, not only if you have a bullying partner at home but also if people bully and harass you at work or school.

Keeping documentation helps you to keep a record of bullying in a more clear, concise, and organized manner. Moreover, it is admissible in court and during tribunal at work or school board meetings.

When you document, always use the 5W Method (What? Who? When? Where? and Why? Also, if possible, How?) This allows your story to make more sense. Also, it effectively calls out any perpetrators and produces possible witnesses.

In other words, write down what happened, who was involved, who was around to see what happened (the names of any bystanders and witnesses). Also, write down when it happened (the exact date and time of occurrence).

Additionally, include where it happened (did it happen in the school locker room? The workplace parking lot?) and if you know, why it happened (was it because you reported your bullies’ abuse of you?) Be as detailed as humanly possible when you document!

How to Respond to Darvo: do your own investigation!

This is how you gather your own evidence. How to respond to DARVO doesn’t include waiting for anyone else to do anything you can just as easily do for yourself.

Never rely on the school or your workplace to conduct their own investigation. This is where many victims get screwed because when entities do their own investigations (if they do them at all) it will only be to their advantage and your detriment.

The reality is that schools, workplaces, or any entities for that matter, usually side with bullies. Why? Because not only are bullies expert at covering their behinds, but also, they are usually stars in the who’s who at school or higher-up in the workplace or organization.

Therefore, always do your own investigation. Documenting is the most effective way to gather your own evidence.

Also, depending on the laws in your state or jurisdiction, you could secretly record the bullying you suffer. Again, make sure the laws in your state allow recordings.

In other words, If you live in a two-party consent state, you must also have the permission of anyone you record. However, if you live in a one-party consent state, you only need your own permission. Therefore, you are FREE to record!

Again, make sure you know the laws in your state before you do this. The last thing you want is for your bullies to have grounds to sue you for invasion of privacy. And you just know they would salivate over that opportunity. So, don’t give it to them.

5. practice self-care

In other words, be kind and compassionate to yourself. Make daily affirmations to yourself. Make I AM statements, “I AM a good person,” “I AM not wrong for standing up for myself,” “I AM lovable,” “I AM deserving of friends, family, and people who love me,” ” I AM worthy of God’s love because He loves me anyway, regardless of what I’ve done in the past,” etc.

And when you make these affirmations, believe them with all your heart.

Practicing self-care also means spending time with the people who love you and who want what’s best for you. Keep company only with those who lift you up and avoid people who bring you down. This is how you nurture your self-esteem and mental health.

Indulge in a good soak in the bathtub with bath bombs or treat yourself to a day at the spa.

Self-care is essential when dealing with this form of abuse.

this post was all about how to respond to darvo so that you can better protect yourself against this insidious form of abuse.

Related posts you will enjoy:

1. Setting Boundaries: 3 Powerful Practices to Hold Your Ground

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

3. Defending Yourself from Bullies: 11 Best Defenses

Bullying Is All About the Bully, Never the Target

Any form of bullying is always about the Bully, it’s never about the target. So, if you’re a target of bullying, it’s about your bullies, not you.

Let’s  break it down:

It’s about THEIR mental health issues.

Its about THEIR feelings of inferiority.

It’s about THEIR insecurities.

It’s about THEIR incompetence.

It’s about THEIR ignorance.

It’s about THEIR lack of intelligence.

It’s about THEIR cowardice.

It’s about THEIR jealousy.

Its about THEIR feelings of self-loathing.

Its about THEIR self-doubts.

It’s about THEIR false bravado.

Its about THEIR over-inflated but fragile egos.

It’s about THEIR overall pathetic-ness.

Remember that your bullies see you as a threat.

They’re afraid you’ll expose THEIR weaknesses and shortcomings.

They’re afraid your talents and gifts will outshine THEIRS.

In their efforts to make you feel inferior, they only make themselves more inferior.

Always remember that.

Distraction- A Powerful Weapon for Bullies

toxic

“The essence of deception is distraction.” – Robert Greene

The bully uses distraction, often called deflection, when they use the target’s imperfections to distract other people’s attention away from their own shortcomings. It is the reason that so many people in authority, bystanders, and witnesses unjustly label targets as bullies and troublemakers.

Because bullies are highly skilled at deflecting their misdeeds onto others, people will falsely accuse innocent victims of being the instigators of arguments or fights, and perpetrators of bullying behaviors.

bullying bullied labeled

Here’s how the bully does it:

He extends acts of kindness and shows honesty in front of everyoneeveryone except his victim. He does this to charm and disarm authority and potential bystanders and witnesses. The bully fools them all into believing that he’s such a fine young man and would never mistreat another person. And he ultimately wins everyone else over to his side.

What this elaborate display of (false) kindness and authenticity does is soften everyone outside the bully/victim relationship and turn them into allies. People hungrily eat up any affection the bully extends to them. She (the bully) then sweetens the deal by inviting them out to do lunch or to hang out.

narcissist bully

But understand that she only pours on the pleasantries and charm to everyone else to trick them into feeling obligated in the event she must ask them to do some dirty work for her against her target.

If you’re a target of this type of bullying, I want you to know that your bullies don’t do this because they just happen to like everyone else but you, they do it for the sole purpose of gaining favor and loyalty from them! Realize that the bullies only see everyone else as tools and worker bees.

Have you noticed how most bullies suck up to teachers and managers?

The bully will then slyly bait her target by pushing their hot buttons and triggering them into an emotional reaction. And she will make sure that everyone is around to see the target’s breakdown or outburst.

bullying distraction pot calling the kettle black

He will also accuse the target of the same behaviors that he’s guilty of or of having the same flaws he has.

But understand that this is all part of the distraction. The bully aims to give others the illusion that you are the bully and he is the target.

Remember that most bullies can be very charming and alluring and they’re good at this game. You must know the tactics in detail, so you can call them out to protect yourself from being abused and blamed, then ultimately labeled.