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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Jade Merrihue


Different flavors of gaslighting...

Gaslighting can happen in any relationship.

It comes either already engrained in a person via their early development or family history…


It can be co-created.

It doesn’t have to be deliberate.

Can become a gradual relationship “habit” that leads to a shitty dynamic.

The simplest way to explain this dynamic- one person believes it’s acceptable to disregard or override another persons reality or feelings - at first, when they feel threatened, and after as a habit.

After this “habit” is formed, the side effects of gaslighting feed off each other and domino into place organically, for both parties.

Gaslighting happens when a partner feels threat. Whether real or perceived.

There is a difference b/w manipulation and gaslighting, though they often get confused.


☄️Direct/ indirect threats made to influence another persons behavior.


☄️Most people engage in this from time to time. Doesn’t always have a negative effect on someone or their life.

☄️Can degrade self esteem OR drive someone to be better.

☄️POSITIVE MANIPULATION: bribing your kids to study with brownies.

☄️NEGATIVE MANIPULATION: Your partner tells you he doesn’t trust guys so you shouldn’t hang out with your guy friends because it hurts him.


💥Instead of using threats or criticism to influence an outcome or a persons behavior, this uses threats or criticisms aimed at WHO someone is, at their character, at their being.

💥Can influence sense of self and self esteem.

💥Is always negative.

💥Will hurt your trust in yourself and your experience of reality.

💥A gaslighter doesn’t just need to be right, he or she needs you to believe they are right.

💥Can start out as disapproval and evolve as a character assassination. “You’re weak”, “You’re too sensitive so everything you feel is not my problem”…


⚡️Gas lighting isn’t always angry or intimidation based.

⚡️This is when your person showers you with special attention but never actually gives you what you need.

⚡️Can sometimes put you on a pedestal but aren’t there for you.

⚡️Might get angry at you when you feel emotions.

⚡️Might get angry when you need a shoulder to cry on.

⚡️Might get angry when you are feeling sensitive.

⚡️After awhile you don’t understand why you feel hollow and lonely.


✨The gaslighter becomes a victim when ever you bring up a problem, you end up apologizing to them.


👯‍♀️ Can be the most destructive.

👯‍♀️ This is why cult abuse is so difficult to recover from.

👯‍♀️ Can lead to a complete breakdown of someones personality.


☀️Consciously or unconsciously manipulative (Promise to want kids one day so partner doesn’t leave, even though they know for sure they hate kids).

☀️Starts acting loving or kind, acts remorseful (when really isn’t).

☀️Person being gaslit starts believing things are getting better, maybe the gaslighter, or the experience of being gaslit, isn’t that bad.

☀️The yo-yo-ing between gaslighting and kindness creates an addictive pattern of disconnection and reconnection that feels like drugs to the brain.

☀️Inconsistent rewards are like brain-crack fueling the belief that if you just do better you can keep things good permanently.


⭐️To lose chunks of memory after fighting with someone who is gaslighting you

⭐️It’s hard on your brain and memory

⭐️Sometimes you can start the fight in one place and then find yourself in another

⭐️You will forget things


▪️Person 1 brings up a feeling or issue to Gaslighter.

▪️Gaslighter has strong reaction - far bigger than anticipated.

▪️This scares person 1 who then tries to back track and try to make things better and figure out what they said that was wrong.

▪️Gaslighter will then accuse of Person 1 of being inconsistent.

▪️Person 1 explains that they were just trying to understand more and communicate better.

▪️Gaslighter then says it’s because person1 is lying or wrong.

▪️Person 1 defends self but starts questioning if their memory is correct or working properly.

▪️Gaslighter takes Person 1’s doubt as concrete evidence that Person 1’s memory cannot be trusted.

▪️Person 1 gives up, issue never gets resolved or talked about again (until next trigger).

▪️Person 1 ends up crying hysterically, going numb, or feeling lost and confused.


It can be scary and confusing and terrifying to go through this alone.

If this sounds familiar to you…

Send me a message.

If you’re not sure but something about this pulls at you…

Send me a message.

If you relate to any of these or are unsure if they apply to you but want to know more

Send me a message.

Let’s get you better informed.

The most important element around the human experience is to feel supported and in connection as you navigate dark waters.

I offer 1-1 coaching and have personal and professional experience around shifting these dynamics successfully.

For an opportunity to work together, reach out to me if you feel:

... your relationship is beyond repair and you think leaving might be the best option for you but have no idea where to start or how you will survive through it.

... you love your partner and have no interest in being with anyone else but the dynamic mentioned above is familiar in one too many ways.

... you want to stay but you want to change the dynamic, and you want to change it fast.

... you love your relationship but you can tell that it’s headed in this direction. Maybe something happened that broke the trust a little and you don’t know how to recover it.


... you had no idea what gaslighting was...some crazy dude manipulating his wife centuries ago or something. But as you read this you know you’ve said the sentences above to your partner and that she/he went from a confident and shiny person to a more meek and indecisive person. ... you fear maybe you’ve had an unintentional negative effect on your partner and you want more information on how to shift things for you and your partner. ... you thought this was the normal way everyone treats each other and this article sounds ridiculous. But you love the people you love and want to shift your impact on them, if this really is what happens to them.

We aren't born knowing how to communicate with each other or navigate the complexities of human relationships.

We live and we learn and then teach each other.

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