If you are unaware what gaslighting is, it is pretty much a form of manipulation or abuse where the one party uses denial, lying, misdirection, and degradation to control the other.
Pretty much it is mental abuse.
But there is a difference between narcissism and insecurity.
If you'd like to read a good article about gaslighting, Psychology Today has one here.
And it doesn't just happen in romantic relationships, either. It happens in friendships, work relationships and within families alike.
I know of a few people who have used gaslighting against me, actually.
But when do you know if it's actually gaslighting, or just low self-esteem?
Of course, any projected insecurities are going to suck. No one should have to mentally "pay" for someone else's lack of self worth. But when and if it starts to become malicious, you are being gaslighted.
Per the article link above, a few signs that you are being gaslighted include:
-You are constantly second-guessing yourself.
-You constantly make excuses for the other person to friends and family.
-You feel like you can't do anything right.
-You're always apologizing.
-You feel you've changed: you're more on edge and less relaxed.
People use gaslighting to gain the upper hand; to belittle someone so much that they can pretty much control them. But gaslighting stems from the narcissist finding the other party a weak target--and using that to their advantage. Again, it's mental abuse.
Now, if you're significant other is insecure and a little overly-emotional, you may feel some of these things, too. But most people who aren't happy with themselves are not out to hurt others on purpose; they are simply jaded and have entirely different motives.
In my friend's situation, I feel his girlfriend is simply scared, unsure of herself and ( unfortunately ) pushing him away with her misdirected pessimism. Her fear of being alone becomes anxiety which then becomes irritability which then can cause strain in any relationship.
And if you or someone you know is truly being gaslighted, work to change the behavior or run as fast as you can! I've learned the hard way that, for the most part, narcissistic behaviors do
Stay informed, my friends!