From gaslighting – sociopath’s manipulation. at http://iluvjah.wordpress.com/, this hypothetical discussion might seem slight, but imagine the same conversation with many different details coming at you from many different angles, day in and day out. The aim (fully conscious in my opinion) is to pull the target into the morass, destabilize their footing, leave them in confusion.
John and Mary are a couple and live together, Mary does not smoke cigarettes, John does. Mary has nothing against John’s smoking in the flat, but one day she gets ill, has some breathing problems and the cigarette smoke starts to irritate her. On Monday, Mary, because of her illness, asks John not to smoke in the flat but to go outside. John agrees and when smoking, he goes outside. Friday evening, John, sitting next to Mary in the living room, lights up his cigarette, the argument starts.
M: John, I asked you not to smoke here, I do not feel good with that.
J: (already with a pitched voice) What? You didn’t say that you do not want me to smoke.
M: Yes, On Monday I asked you not to do that.
J: (almost shouting) No, I do not remember this discussion, but you told me yesterday – you were to buy the toiled paper and you did not do that. (gaslighting starts to work now).
M: Yes, I already did that – check the closet, but It was three days ago.
J: No, it was yesterday, and there is still no paper (still repeating that there is none, even if Mary assures him there is the paper)
M: No, It was on Tuesday, remember – it was when my friend came, she went to the toilet and could not find the paper – then you told me to go and buy.
J: (Mary shows the paper) That friend of yours is stupid, and I am sure it was yesterday… (cigarettes or paper?, no, there was nothing about smoking. Go on Johny – tell Mary how stupid is her friend…)
The story is made up, a little absurd and peculiar, but this is more or less how being in a relation with a sociopath looks like, and how pointless the arguments are.
Mary should feel guilty, John did nothing wrong… anyway he must stay in control. Depending on the situation – the aggressor ends up with a triumph on his face or just looks angry and pity. If he does not succeed he will be behaving like offended – he was the victim here and that was Mary who was his aggressor.
Thanks to many articles and experience, I learned how to recognize when the gaslighting is taking place and what to do when it happens – it is not easy… sometimes it is hard to feel that moment and you get into the argument – pointless argument in most cases. Those quarrels, in many cases start when the victim is trying to explain some difficult matter or defend against the aggressor and the aggressor feels the moment to put his sociopathic skills into work.
Once being a victim, after the realization moment, one should calm down and use the anti-sociopath formulas to get out of the argument:
– I will not quarrel with you, this is pointless.
– You make no sense, I will not continue this discussion.
– Please, stop, you make no sense, I will not talk about that any more now. http://iluvjah.wordpress.com/2014/09/04/sociopaths-time-manipulation/