|photograph by Matt Mahurin|
My wife and I were having a conversation over dinner last night when she suggested that somebody or other was gaslighting. "Gaslighting," I said, "I'm unfamiliar with the term." She suggested that I look it up.
The only gaslighting I personally remember involved a zippo lighter and an old pair of bluejeans at an infamous motel room in Glendale that I will leave for others to recount.
So what exactly is gaslighting?
Wikipedia has an even better definition. Says it is a favorite tool of narcissists and sociopaths. And most everybody is familiar with it apparently but me.
Clinical psychologists suggest that one's will to resist the manipulation is related to one's ability to trust in their own judgement.
Gaslighting is a form of manipulation through persistent denial, misdirection, contradiction, and lying in an attempt to destabilize and delegitimize a target. Its intent is to sow seeds of doubt in the targets, hoping to make them question their own memory, perception, and sanity. Instances may range from the denial by an abuser that previous abusive incidents ever occurred up to the staging of bizarre events by the abuser with the intention of disorienting the victim. The term owes its origin to Gas Light, a 1938 play and 1944 film, and has been used in clinical and research literature.I predict that this word is going to soar in our new post truth, alternate fact, drumpfian reality. Wish I could put money on it.
Learn something new every day!