In Light of Abusers Trying to Make Internet Come Backs
SOME THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND
Gaslighting is a pattern of deceptive manipulation aimed at diminishing another person’s perception of reality to serve the abuser’s agenda. Gaslighting is when someone tries to convince you to do what your intuition tells you not to do and to believe untruths for some hidden agenda of the abuser. The agenda can serve a variety of purposes from covering up an affair or addictive behavior to gaining access to the victim’s job or money to covering up their own insecurities. The abuser may employ character assassination as part of the strategy to achieve their ends. Relentlessness, firmness of insistence, charm or anger, and subtlety are used to incite self-doubt of the victim’s ideas, memories, perception, feelings, and opinions. In time the victim can become depressed or in extreme cases, doubt his/her own sanity.
Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse that employs a wide variety of verbal abuse types: forgetting, denial, lying, criticism, blocking and diverting. The abuser may make a hurtful remark and then accuse the victim of being too sensitive, unable to take a joke, misperceiving the meaning of the remark, or flat out deny the comment was ever made. Another tactic is to hyper focus or exaggerate or invent shortcomings of the victim, while denying their own shortcomings. The abuser may rage at the victim for not believing the lies and shame the victim for being mistrustful. In short, Gaslighting involves denying the reality of the victim to serve a hidden agenda of the abuser.
Guilt tripping is an attempt to make someone feel guilty for the purpose of getting one’s way; restricting another person’s behavior for selfish reasons; or for instilling doubt and confusion in another person to keep him/her submissive. Healing involves recognizing that it has nothing to do with the principle of the issue and everything to do with the security, pleasure, prestige or power the abuser feels in dominating the victim or getting his way. The moral arguments or lofty principles employed in guilt tripping can sound very convincing and valid. You will need to notice whether the rationale is used to get his/her way; are impractical or inconvenient for you; or whether the abuser is ever satisfied. A big clue is when you go along with his desire and he still criticizes you or you do it right a dozen times, but are criticized, often harshly, for the one time you don’t (even when the real life consequences for not doing the task are minor). Abusers are masters at manipulating a tender conscience. However, the conscientious person will have great difficulty getting an abuser to admit to any wrong doing.
Manipulative: to maneuver a social interaction to one’s advantage over another, to harm another person, or to get one’s way
Trivializing is referring to another person’s accomplishment, opinion, experience, or feeling in a way that diminishes its significance.
Undermining is a comment aimed at weakening, discouraging, or halting another person’s interest, enthusiasm or good spirits.
Prejudice: a negative judgment or opinion formed before knowing the facts; detrimental or injurious; an irrational bias against a group of people different from your own. Prejudiced comments reflect the negative preformed judgment or irrational bias.
Judging: condemning, denouncing, or appraising a person’s character in a rejecting manner. Judging in this sense is to be unfair. To judge in this sense is the opposite of discerning or the normal definition of judge: to form an opinion about through careful weighing of evidence and testing of premises (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/judging). Judging comments often begin with you or s/he.
Lying and other patterns and other patterns of deception are a cornerstone of many emotionally abusive relationships. Lying effectively blocks the goals of assertive communication: informing, cooperating, equitable problem solving, understanding and intimacy. It also creates an uneven playing field if the other person believes the lies and remains open, and thus vulnerable to exploitation. White lies are not included, unless the lies become hurtful.
Malevolent Abuse is a deliberate pattern of emotional abuse aimed at undermining or destroying another person’s success, relationships, or health.
Name calling or Labeling: Name calling is what most people think of as verbal abuse and includes swearing at someone. It is using a word in a way that is derogatory. Labeling is the use of psychological jargon to negatively describe the other person rather than identifying the problematic behavior.
Fake Forgetting has two forms. One is when someone claims s/he forgot when the agreed behavior was not done because it was inconvenient, unpleasant, etc. (a pattern has to be established before you will know someone is faking). The other form of fake forgetting is when the other person breaks an important promise or forgets an important date and claims that s/he has forgotten even though there was significant discussion. You will probably not get a sincere apology. Fake Forgetting is different from the type of forgetting someone does when s/he has ADD or dementia in that Fake Forgetting is purposeful.
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