20+ Gaslighting Phrases In A Relationship

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“I guess you are overreacting, dear.” “You might need help.” “You’re being insecure.” Do you often hear such phrases that make you introspect and get anxious? If yes, then you could be a victim of gaslighting.

Gaslighting is psychological abuse that could make you feel irrational. It hides the reality from you and manipulates you such that you can go ‘crazy.’ Abusive and narcissistic partners often use the strategy to trap their significant other in a confused zone and do what they want inside and outside the relationship. If you sense that your partner is gaslighting you, then knowing some common gaslighting phrases can help you. Once you are certain of their behavior and feelings, you can take action accordingly.

20+ Gaslighting Phrases In A Relationship

1. ‘You are too emotional.’

One of the characteristics of a gaslighter is apathy. Your responses to their conduct could be right, but they proclaim that you overreact. At times, you might wonder if you are really overthinking, which is how the gaslighter manipulates you.

2. ‘Stop misunderstanding me.’

When you accuse your partner of something, they might smartly turn the tables on you, saying you always misunderstand them. They use this strategy to divert your attention and emotionally manipulate that you are hurting them.

3. ‘You are ungrateful.’

When you get a slight hint that something is wrong with your partner, they twist the circumstances against you. For example, they may assert they have sacrificed things for you, and you are unappreciative. Eventually, they blame you and escape from the situation.

4. ‘You don’t love me as I do.’

When things start turning sour for them, they play the victim card to gain sympathy from you. They might say, ‘you don’t trust me,’ or ‘you don’t love me.’ Such gaslighting phrases might make you doubt that you are not a good partner.

5. ‘You make me upset.’

A gaslighting partner can take you on a guilt trip by using common gaslighting phrases such as ‘you don’t understand me,’ or ‘you make me look bad.’ Though you are unhappy due to their actions towards you, they snappily make you the culprit for their emotions.

6. ‘Your friends make fun of me.’

A gaslighter wants you to stay isolated. Hence, they try to turn you against your friends or family. They might tell you that your friends do not behave well or are trying to weaken your bond. This tactic helps them rule over you when you are alone and without support from your loved ones.

7. ‘You imagine things.’

They may try to make you look foolish using white lies. It is common for a gaslighter to show you in a bad light, making you a victim of something untrue. They might tell you are overanalyzing things so that you doubt yourself.

8. ‘Don’t damage my personality.’

No, it’s not you. Their actions damage their personality and your relationship, but they accuse you of doing so. Remember, people are responsible for their character, and nobody else can make or break it. If they have been disrespected for their behavior by their friends or colleagues, they try to make you feel responsible and fall in agony.

9. ‘You have gained weight.’

Narcissists and abusers criticize their partners and try to look superior to them. If your partner has been making you feel bad by saying, ‘You look bad in that outfit,’ ‘You eat too much,’ or ‘You should lose weight to look like my friends,’ they are trying to pull you down.

10. ‘Don’t makeup stories.’

Your partner has done something wrong, and you caught him red-handed. Instead of accepting, they tell you that you are making stories to show them in a bad light. For example, you found them talking to someone outside of the relationship, and when you question them, they say you are cooking up things.

11. ‘You are jealous.’

Whenever your partner says you are insecure and too possessive, know that they are up with something. Instead of consoling you and answering your questions, they transfer the blame to you and your actions.

12. ‘Everything is your fault.’

Arguments and disagreements are common in a relationship. But if your partner condemns you for everything you do and never appreciates you, then they are gaslighting you. A loving partner would not say that you are completely wrong and try to balance the situation. But a gaslighter would shift all the immoral things towards you.

13. ‘You always argue.’

It’s common for couples to fight. But if your partner says that you are always ready to fight and that your family is unhappy because of you, then it is wrong. They are trying to deploy tactics that make you look bad and show them as a generous person.

14. ‘You disrespect me and my family.’

You have always been congenial to your partner and their family. But to bring you down and indict you, your gaslighting partner says you are disrespectful, which is a false statement. They want you to feel guilty and sorry most of the time by saying so.

15. ‘You do not make sense to me.’

One of the common gaslighting signs is to make you analyze your experiences to doubt yourself. For instance, if you tell your partner they have done wrong, they may bring up a past incident when you were wrong and puff about it until you feel bad about your behavior.

16. ‘Don’t be so paranoid.’

When you catch your gaslighting partner doing something, they refuse to accept what you say. Even when you state your proofs, they disregard them and shift the attention towards you, saying you are assuming unrealistic things and disrupting their life.

17. ‘You make me do things.’

Does your partner censure you for their behavior or actions? For instance, they start flirting with others, and when you question them, they express that you are no more fun. Someone who doesn’t love you anymore and is gaslighting you are such harsh allegations put.

18. ‘That was just a joke.’

Do you feel your partner mocks you in private and social gatherings? That is not funny, and it means they are punching you down. It is unacceptable if they insult you and tell you it was a joke and move away.

19. ‘You always break my heart.’

Your partner keeps hurting you with gaslighting phrases, and when you confront them, they pass the buck and tell everyone that you keep breaking their heart with your accusations and merciless statements.

20. ‘There are so many problems with you.’

Do you often get to hear statements such as, ‘you create problems,’ ‘it’s difficult to be with you,’ or ‘you are such a problem?’ Instead of resolving the situation, if they keep labeling you for something that is not you, they are playing shrewd.

21. ‘You need some help.’

A loving partner will help you even in complex circumstances but will not tell you to seek help from a professional unless the issue is from both sides. A gaslighter keeps on indicting you until you surrender and get into depression. It’s important to understand your boundary line and stand up for yourself.

If you have been encountering such phrases from your partner that are hurting you, you should know that they are gaslighting you. Instead of sulking and getting depressed, understand the situation and be firm in your questions. In case you figure out that they don’t love you anymore, think about putting an end to the relationship and move on. However, if there are issues between you and your partner that you may want to resolve, you can talk it out and help each other.

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Shikha Thakur

Shikha is a writer-turned-associate editor at MomJunction. Her core interest lies in writing articles that guide couples through their courtship to marriage and parenthood. She also specializes in baby names. Being a postgraduate in Human Resources, she likes understanding people and their relationships. This reflects in her relationship articles, where she deals with both the rosy and the grey side... more