The Impact of Gaslighting in a Relationship

2 minutes Written by Nicole Franco

What is Gaslighting?

You’ve prepared what you’re going to say and are ready to talk with your partner about something that’s been bothering you. It could be small or big but either way you know that communication is key in a relationship. But as soon as you start the discussion, your partner immediately becomes defensive, angry, and blames you. You start to doubt yourself and no longer feel confident in what you were going to say. You think your partner is probably right because you’ve been told these things by others before. You think you’re probably wrong because you’ve been to couples therapy and it didn’t help. You’re overreacting and making things up…again. How did it get so turned around?

If the above sounds familiar, it’s possible you are experiencing gaslighting in your relationship. Gaslighting is a term used to describe psychological and emotional manipulation experienced in a relationship where one person makes another person doubt their sanity or reality. Gaslighting is used to make you second guess yourself, question your own memory, and often give in during conflict.


Examples of Gaslighting

If your partner or family member frequently says:

“That never happened.”


“You’re too sensitive.”


“You never remember things correctly.”


“You’re gaslighting me.”


“Don’t get so worked up.”

“You know you always do this. ““I’m sorry you think I did that.”

Gaslighting is a technique often used by individuals with Narcissistic Personality Disorder or Narcissistic traits. Please note that gaslighting is harmful whether a diagnosis of NPD is present or not. If you’d like to seek clarity as to whether gaslighting is taking place in your relationship or if you want help recovering from the doubt and confusion gaslighting has caused you, I can help. I provide therapy in Brentwood and Nashville, Tennessee for individuals recovering from narcissistic abuse or emotional abuse in their romantic of family relationships.

How Therapy Can Help

  • Decrease your confusion and self-doubt
  • Learn to recognize gaslighting
  • Increase self-esteem and confidence
  • End, heal, and move forward from a gaslighting relationship
  • Recognize internalized gaslighting

Please contact me to learn more about how therapy can help you recover from narcissistic abuse.

Avatar Nicole Franco

Written by Nicole Franco

Nicole Francois a therapist in Georgia and Tennessee who specializes in individual therapy.