Gaslighting: a dangerous emotional manipulation

in blog •  11 months ago 

The mental manipulation technique par excellence, gas lighting is to question your victim of his own mental health. How does the aggressor work? How to protect yourself Christel Petitcollin, coach in communication and personal development and author of several books on the subject, enlightens us.



What is gas lighting?
Victims gifted for happiness
Gaslighting in a private environment with impunity
Strong repercussions for the victims
gaslighting-emotional manipulation

  • Gaslighting, you know? Behind this curious name hides a technique of mental manipulation that consists of asking a question to his victim of his reason. The term comes from the film "Gaslight" launched in 1944 with Ingrid Bergman. In this American film, the husband causes his wife to doubt her actions so much that she ends up worrying about her sanity.

  • What is gas lighting?

For Christel Petitcollin, a trainer in communication and personal development and author of many books on management, "gaslighting is a very insidious evil destined to pass to the other madman." The manipulator says things without her, denies the facts And then, sometimes, he congratulates his victim, congratulates her, thinks he was wrong, and that this person can not want to hurt her, manipulation also goes through the nonverbal, to hide or break objects to make people believe that the other loses his memory ... ", explains the expert.

She remembers one of her patients who was harassed by her office manager. She had taken off her glasses in her absence, but said it was not her and that it was ridiculous to accuse her. It's hard to complain to anyone. And why would she steal them? In fact, his superior did not seem to have anything to envy: he had a better job, a family life, a house ... What did the employee doubt?

  • Gifted victims for happiness

According to Christel Petitcollin, these are high-level manipulators who are fully aware of what they are doing. "These people are" passive-aggressive ", that is, they are full of anger, but hide their hostility, they advance masked, through small revenge, small aggressions, practiced in all environments with more or less finesse," says the specialist. She describes these manipulators as immature people, like children in the playground, who enjoy mistreating others. And if their victim unmasks them, far from stopping, they rejoice and become jubilant because they are untouchable.

Your favorite goal? "Humanist people, open, kind, who do not see evil, enjoy helping others and fleeing from conflict, but these manipulators hate optimistic people, gifted for happiness and joy, because they are incapable," Christel Petitcollin. A profile that corresponded to the clerk harassed by his superior.

  • Gaslighting in a private environment with impunity

The gas light can also take place in the private sphere where the attacker has carte blanche. Charlotte knew it with her ex-boyfriend. "It was good between us, Antoine was nice and we loved each other, but soon after we moved together, I started having doubts about myself, about my memory, I often lost things, I had to wait for him in a cafe, but he never came in. she said that she had dreamed that she did not have a date Sometimes Antoine told me that she had asked her to go see a movie of this type in the cinema when she did not remember her, she said things to our friends that were wrong: that she was thinking of changing work, I had seen that girlfriend the other day ... I was completely lost, and because of the evidence, I realized that I had a problem and I left before going crazy ". Remember the young woman.

  • Strong repercussions for victims

Depending on the situation, gas lighting can have significant repercussions. "Victims can develop symptoms of post-traumatic stress that worsen over time, they can have sleep disorders, diet, anxiety, tachycardia, back pain ... It is destructive to the organization," warns Christel Petitcollin.

The solution for these manipulations to cease is, according to the expert, cut the ties. "The aggressor is intoxicated by his abuses that become a drug for him, he feels almighty and that can only get worse," says the specialist. The victim may feel alone in front of this manipulator. This advance generally masked, the entourage does not perceive the problem.

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