Manipulating people into doubting their understanding, perception and experiences has become a trendy phenomenon in today’s society especially among couples. While some do this to gain power and control others find fun in these acts. But in all Dr Cortney S. Warren a clinical psychologist for Harvard University says Gaslighting is just a human way.

The Five Toxic Statements Mostly Used By Couples To Manipulate Their Partners

1-Being too sensitive/ overreacting or Crazy

This is the most popular statement. This literally means what you say is not that important and makes no sense.That is, you’re just making a mountain out of a molehill. It’s ok to feel emotional and all but it’s also ok for your feelings to be communicated and understood than ignored, hence making you doubt yourself.

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This is the best way to answer this this is to let your partner know that as much as they think you’re just over reacting, that’s how you feel at the moment. Take a breathe and explain what’s really eating you up. You won’t argue about your feelings and you would listen to your partner, but they have to respect your feelings.

2- I’m Just Joking
This usually comes after something harsh and hurtful has been said like mean things or critical comments.

According to Dr Warren, answer by letting your partner know it was an expensive joke which isn’t funny and really got your feelings hurt.

3- Everyone Agrees With Me Except You
This happens when your partner wants to make you feel like your a problem not just to them but everyone. So they’ll tell you how your family, friends neighbors and even colleagues agree with them and not you.

The answer to give them here is to let them speak for themselves and not everyone.

4- You made me do this, it’s your fault

This is the height of manipulating because you blame others for your actions even when apologizing, it’s never sincere. Imagine being beaten for cooking late and then then the apology is like, if you had cooked early I won’t have beaten you, I’m sorry. This is so tricky and insincere. In this case, Dr Warren advices that you should know you are never responsible for somebody’s actions.
5- If you love me you’ll do this while I do that

Watch out y’all. This is duping. This should be done out of love and genuinely and not out of manipulation and pressure, just so you can prove your love. Love doesn’t come with conditions, but rather willingness and sacrifices.

This form of gaslighting is to make you lower your standards and boundaries so they can use you for their selfish reasons. Worst of all they make you feel guilty as though you’re too stubborn and not submissive.
Dr Warren says when faced with this, let them know you will not do it, not because you don’t love them, but because of your values, principles and what you believe in. You can’t control what they demand, but you can control yourself not to do what they want if it does not sit right with you.

How To Know When Your Are Being Manipulated
Most of the times, these people cannot even tell they are being fooled. According to Dr Warren, author of “Letting Go of Your Ex: Skills to Heal The Pain Of A Breakup And Overcome Love Addiction” one way to know you’re being deceived is when someone tells you something that makes you insecure and you start questioning yourself.

According to Her, when something toxic is said to you, pause abs and follow these three steps: Awareness, evaluation and Action. The ultimate here is to build a solid self esteem that can withstand gaslighting.

                                                                                              Kwatika Pamela, Editor

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