Gaslighting is when someone attempts to change reality by changing the facts. Pretending something is true that isn’t true, or pretending something that’s happening that isn’t happening. Is there someone in your life who insists things happened that didn’t happen, or has a completely different version of events in which you have the facts? It’s a form of mind control and is very common among families dealing with substance and behavior problems. It can also be politically useful. It’s more than spin. Making something that is happening seem it isn’t happening is gaslighting.
Alternate Facts Put You Off Balance
It happens like this in daily life. You find the car has been damaged after you loaned it to a loved one or friend. That loved one happens to live in an alternate universe where everything is always someone else’s fault (preferably yours). He/she had an accident today while driving and later insists the scratches and dents were already there when he/she took the wheel. In other words, you did it. He won’t stop insisting you did it even if you present a photo of the car in perfect condition when you handed it over. He’ll insist on alternate facts to prove you’re wrong, evil, mean, and anything else he can think of. He’ll throw in that you’re also a bad driver.
You are distressed because Items go missing, like pills from your prescription, or money from your wallet. The person living in an alternate universe insists nothing actually went missing. You’re just an idiot. You can’t count your pills. You spent that money yourself. You’re making it up. Or worse, you’re evil for calling him or her a liar. You simply cannot win. Do you get the drift?
Alternate Facts Control The Story
The person presenting alternate facts does this to control the story, the situation, and you, in order to make himself look innocent, or fair, or good, or kind, or popular, or successful, whatever that person wants to be. That person will say anything at all to get you to give up your views, your opinions, your dignity, your self esteem.
Alternate Facts Make You Think You’re Crazy
The person who lives in an alternate universe will engage your mother, your best friend, your trusted adviser, your boss, every authority he/she knows to support his version of reality against yours. And if he/she is not successful in that, he will destroy whoever who defends you. By lying about them.
Presenting Alternate Facts Is Hallmark Of Untrustworthy People
Gaslighting, presenting alternate facts, shutting down lines of communication, denying people critical information, plus a few more hostile acts I could mention, are all signs of someone who can’t be trusted to tell the truth in any situation. What do you do about it? Be sure you have others around you who can verify the truth. Gaslighting can only work if you let it. If it happens at work, find reliable people to get the truth out. If it happens in government, keep the pressure up to tell the truth. Truth has no party, no good or bad side. Truth is just truth, and we need it to survive.
Reach Out Recovery Exclusive by: Leslie Glass