Abuse: Signs of Gaslighting in an Emotionally Abusive Relationship
By: Julia Taormina
An emotionally abusive relationship can sometimes go undetected, as there is no physical evidence of abuse. Thus, it is important to be aware of signs that can indicate you or someone you know is in an emotionally abusive relationship. One of the most unnoticed signs is gaslighting.
As defined by the National Domestic Violence Hotline, “gaslighting is an extremely effective form of emotional abuse that causes a victim to question their own feelings, instincts, and sanity, which gives the abusive partner a lot of power.” Gaslighting is typically gradual throughout the course of a relationship, making it easy to go unnoticed in the beginning stages. It can start out with small comments such as: “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” or “you’re too sensitive,” and leave you questioning yourself. Listed below are multiple gaslighting techniques an abusive partner may use:
Withholding: pretends not to understand or refuse to listen
Countering: questions the victim’s memory of events
Blocking / Diverting: changes the subject or questions the victim’s thoughts
Trivializing: makes the victim’s feelings appear unimportant
Throughout the gaslighting techniques, there is a consistent theme of an abusive partner invalidating the victim as a whole. The victim may find they are constantly second-guessing themselves, feel as if they are going crazy, constantly make excuses for their partners’ behaviors, cannot do anything right, and overall feel that something is wrong in the relationship but cannot quite put it into words. If you feel any of these may apply to your relationship, you are not alone.
If you or someone you know is seeking therapy, please contact our psychotherapy offices in New York or New Jersey to talk to one of our licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively, at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, please visit http://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com/
During the stay-at-home orders mandated by Covid-19, many of us likely expected that domestic abuse cases would skyrocket. Instead, emergency calls related to domestic abuse dropped in some areas more than 50%. Why? It’s not because domestic abuse is declining (as we hoped) but rather that people feel more unsafe calling emergency numbers, since their abusers are always home with them. Once the stay-at-home orders are lifted, there may be a surge in domestic abuse calls at emergency call centers.
One in four women and one in ten men experience domestic abuse, whether it’s sexual, psychological, physical, or emotional. Domestic abuse can hit communities of color harder than other communities, as many people in these communities are afraid to call the police on their abuser due to high rates of police brutality. In addition, many victims of domestic abuse may have lost their jobs during the pandemic and/or are financially dependent on their abuser. This makes leaving very hard. To make matters worse, many shelters have closed their doors to people in need, so even if the victim were to leave, they might not have anywhere to go. If you or someone you know is suffering from domestic abuse, get help right away, and if you or someone you know has faced domestic abuse in the past, therapy can be very helpful in healing from these past traumas.
If you or someone you know is seeking therapy for a victim of abuse or an abuser, please contact our psychotherapy offices in New York or New Jersey to talk to one of our licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively, at (201)-368-3700 or (212)-722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, please visit http://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com/
We have all felt, in one way or another, like we weren’t good enough or even felt embarrassed after making a mistake at work. This is healthy in that we are expressing sadness or just reflecting on a situation that could have been handled differently, but we move on and eventually feel valued and confident again. However, for some, that feeling of shame and guilt never goes away. Some believe they are inherently flawed, worthless, and inferior to everyone else. These negative emotions and lack of self-esteem are largely rooted in repeated childhood and adolescence trauma that is often left unprocessed. Internalization of this emotional abuse leads to a conditioning of sort, usually by the primary caregiver, that the negative emotions constantly felt reflect who one is as a person. This person comes to genuinely believe that he or she is a bad person, unlovable, never good enough, and deserves to be treated with disrespect.
The constant shame is also accompanied by a constant feeling of guilt. Everything is his or her fault, regardless of the context. There is a sense of unjust responsibility for other people’s emotions and the outcome of all situations. Its no wonder why low self-esteem can manifest itself in anxiety, self-harm or poor self-care, or on the other extreme, narcissism and antisocial tendencies. Here are some behaviors that can be a manifestation of low self-esteem:
Lack of healthy self-love: poor self-care, self-harm, lack of empathy, and inadequate social skills
Emptiness: loneliness, lack of motivation, and finding distractions from emotions
Perfectionism: this is often a behavior that manifests as adults because of the unrealistic standards these children were held to by their parents and were punished for not meeting
Narcissism: grandiose fantasies of who they want others to perceive them to be; even if they do succeed however, this protective personality doesn’t numb the negative emotions they truly feel.
Unhealthy relationships: people with low self-esteem are incapable of building and maintaining a relationship with others, largely because they don’t know what a healthy relationship looks like. Both parties are usually extremely dependent.
Susceptibility to manipulation: the constant self-doubt, shame and guilt make it too easy to bend a person with low self-esteem to an experienced manipulator’s will.
If you or someone you know is struggling with self-esteem, the licensed psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy can assist you. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively, at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, visit http://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com/
According to PsychCentral.com, there are a few trademark signs of a narcissist that are pretty hard to miss. They all think the world revolves around them and are very much preoccupied with themselves, their preferences, needs, success, and, most importantly, how they are viewed by other people. Even more important still, their aesthetics.
Narcissism usually stems from a major attachment dysfunction, whether from parents or primary caregiver, and that dysfunction is attributed to a major emotional trauma or a culmination of repeated trauma or neglect. This separation or attachment trauma stunts emotional capacity and maturity, usually from an age of adolescence. Because the emotional pain is too much to bare, the child than creates a false persona in order to cope and have the world perceive them to be better off than they actually are. On the other hand, narcissism can also be attributed to overindulgence from parents when their child does the bare minimum.
Here are 5 major signs a narcissist exhibits:
False Humility: A narcissist may put him or herself down on purpose and bait you into complimenting them. They are attention-seeking and have a need for their ego to be stroked constantly.
Lack of Empathy: Because they are only interested in fulfilling their own agendas, narcissists often see people as things to be used. Once you have given them what they wanted, emotionally or physically, they discard you and don’t feel guilty about it. Narcissists are selfish and their relationships are very much one-sided as they are expecting of others to constantly serve them and give nothing in return.
Immature Responses: Narcissists are extremely reactive and highly sensitive people. The slightest criticism can be perceived as the highest of offenses. They blow perceived or actual threats out of proportion and often blame others for their reactivity. Narcissists will also often become passive-aggressive when dealing with a situation that angers them or engage in childish bullying.
Simplification of Other’s Needs: In short, narcissists don’t care about your problems, only their own. They will find a way to minimize any situation that isn’t worth their time in order to brush it off as stupid or useless. Belittling emotions and deflecting in order to blame others is also a common tactic.
Inability to Listen: Narcissists will often give generic advice if forced to speak and not ask questions during a conversation in order to keep dialogue to a minimum. They don’t care about your emotions or what you have to say unless it benefits them.
If either you or anybody you know may be suffering from narcissistic personality disorder, the licensed psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy can help you. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively, at (201)-368-3700 or (212)-722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, visit us at https://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com/.