So in my “how to be a better man” series I give advice to heterosexual men. I cannot speak to other genders, identities, or sexual orientations, as I don’t live that life. So please take this advice as it is intended, it is not intended to offend but to help. So if you are a heterosexual male and you are out there dating it’s time to be very blunt about something, gas lighting.
First let us be clear what gas lighting is. Gas Lighting is a form of psychological manipulation in which the abuser attempts to sow self-doubt and confusion in their victim’s mind. Typically, gas lighters are seeking to gain power and control over the other person, by distorting reality and forcing them to question their own judgment and intuition.
So how does that manifest itself in a relationship between a man and a woman? It’s actually very simple to detect, here are a few examples. When a woman tells you, it’s your fault that she does something. Now remember context is important so here is an example “You have been working so much and ignoring me, so I went out with my girlfriends and flirted with a guy”. So in that example she chose to flirt with another man, she I telling you it’s your fault, is it really?
Another example of gas lighting is when you confide in your partner some of your insecurities or issues. As an example maybe you had a horrible experience with your grandparents as a child and you reveal this to her. In disagreements in the future, she uses this information to help affirm her arguments and or minimize yours. Now people do this often, it’s not just females that do this but the point here is how do you as a man deal with gas lighting when you are in a relationship?
The first time this happens, you tell her point blank “You are gas lighting me, and that’s not acceptable”. This puts her on notice that you know what she is doing. Gas lighting is a way to manipulate other people, it’s that simple. This declaration to her is notice that what she is doing is unacceptable. What is key here is her response. A defensive response suggests she understands exactly what she is doing and is troubled that YOU know what she is doing.
That may be the end of it, and that is cool. What isn’t cool is if the gas lighting continues. If it does this is a woman you must break it off with. Someone who gas lights you wants control, and control often leads to abuse. This happens to women all the time some men are abusive but they use physical intimidation. Some women use gas lighting to affect the same outcome, a dominant position within the relationship. If that is something you want fine, you do you. However if you do not, address it the first time and do not let it continue under any circumstances. It will lead to resentment and a lot of wasted time.
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