Tuesday, November 17, 2020


The one thing that completely does my head in is gaslighting. I didn't even know there was a word for it until about six or seven years ago and as soon as I heard the definition of the word, I had something to explain several relationships that I've had in my life. Crystal clear.

Whenever you come across something in a person that you don't understand, you normally try to think yourself into their situation, see things from their perspective, and get some sort of idea about how they feel and why they behave in a certain way. Gaslighting, I can't understand at all: does the person know they are doing it, and they simply don't care? Is it deliberate? Or are they fooling themselves, as much as they are trying to convince other people?

Somewhat like Sherlock and his three-pipe problems, I try to sort things out in my head but by walking rather than smoking pipes. Since September there have been a number of five mile problems, at least one six-miler, and quite a lot of three-milers as I try to work it all out. I still can't fathom why people do it, although I have tried to stretch my mind to the sky and beyond. I had therapy once, and felt that I'd been taught to tidy difficult things on to shelves in my head. The most recent gaslighting episode is going to have to go into one of those cupboards, although it's monstrously large and it will be difficult to shut the cupboard door on it. I'm trying, though.

1 comment:

Wilky of St Albans said...

I don't think there was a word for it until 6 or 7 years ago. Coercive Control was a good enough phrase, just not quite as soundbite friendly. But if you know it's being done you can always use it to your advantage.

Cats are pretty good at gaslighting.