You might have heard gaslighting described as an emotional abuse tactic in relationships. But the use of gaslighting — when someone convinces someone else that they're being delusional or irrational in order to gain power over them — goes beyond intimate partner violence. It's used on a much larger scale to make women feel as if their perceptions of reality can't be trusted and they should listen to men's instead.
"When a woman speaks out about her concerns about anything from sexism to how she feels about poor treatment from a partner, people may tell her she's being 'too sensitive,'" Dr. Susan Edelman, psychiatrist and author of Be Your Own Brand of Sexy: A New Sexual Revolution for Women, tells Bustle. "Often, this may lead her to doubt herself and wonder if she is being unreasonable. In some cases, a spouse may try to hide his cheating by telling her that she is suspicious or crazy when she voices her concerns about infidelity. When she believes the gaslighting, she may even think she is losing her mind. It's always wise to take it with a grain of salt when someone tells you that something is all your problem. Ideally, someone who cares about you would be concerned about your feelings, whether or not they think your feelings are accurate."
Here are some ways women are gaslighted on a daily basis that you should look out for.