“That never happened; you must be imagining it.” “Everyone agrees with me—you’re overreacting.” “Wow, what’s it like to be insane?” If these sound like a familiar refrain, you may have been the target of "gaslighting," a term blowing up like, well, a lighter thrown into a puddle of gas. A form of emotional abuse, gaslighting is dominating the headlines, is all over Twitter, and has been thrown around by everyone from pundits to columnists to late-night comics.
What is Gaslighting?
The term comes from the 1944 movie "Gaslight,"starring Ingrid Bergman, who, in a spooky “everything is connected” moment, won a Golden Globe for her role. In "Gaslight," Bergman plays a wife, Paula, whose reality is slowly being undermined by her supposedly devoted husband Gregory. His nefarious goal is to have her institutionalized so he can gain access to her fortune.