I was recently interviewed by Carrie Borzillo for an article appearing in the current edition of Dame magazine about “Gaslighting.” It’s a really good article, written by someone who’s “been there” so to speak, so I thought I’d share the link to: My Husband Convinced Me I Was Insane!
In the article, some differing views are offered by different experts about just what “gaslighting” is, who does it, what makes a person want to engage in this kind of covert-aggression/manipulation, etc (The term comes from the stage play “Gaslight” and movie by the same name in which a husband who wants to get rid of his wife tries to make her think she’s going insane). As you might expect, there’s one expert who offers the fairly conventional notion that gaslighters are “generally people who were narcissistically wounded early in life—through emotional abuse, psychological abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, inconsistent parenting and the like” whereas I assert that most gaslighters are not necessarily wounded souls but simply aggressive narcissistic personalities – disturbed and disordered characters “who are out to dominate, manipulate, and control; and will use any means necessary, including gaslighting (trying to make you feel crazy when they think you’re onto them and their schemes and lies) to further their ends.” It’s a particularly popular tactic among serial cheaters. And I make the point I do because so often victims end up unnecessarily prolonging their abuse because they buy into the notion that their abuser must be coming from a wounded place and that only patient love and tolerance (and lots of misguided therapy) will help them heal.
I hope you enjoy reading the Dame article. And I hope you share both the magazine article and this post with friends and acquaintances you think might benefit from them. You can find more on the manipulation tactic of gaslighting in my articles: Another Look at Manipulation Tactics, Manipulation Tactics: A Closer Look – Part 2, Gaslighting as a Manipulation Tactic: What It Is, Who Does It, and Why, and Gaslighting Revisited: A Closer Look at This Manipulation Tactic). You can also find an expanded discussion on the topic in the latest reprint of my book In Sheep’s Clothing. And, as the article in Dame mentions, you can find a different perspective on what really makes certain characters do the hurtful things they do in Character Disturbance.
I’d also like to announce a planned “webinar” on understanding and dealing with (and seeking appropriate therapy for) manipulative and other character-disturbed people tentatively set for September 24, 2015 with discounts available to subscribers to this blog. It’s important to get a fair idea of the likely size of the internet audience, so anyone reading this who thinks they might want to go online for the seminar should contact me through the “Contact Dr. Simon” feature and indicate their interest. Further details will be posted about the program, teaching objectives, and registration in the coming weeks.
Character Matters will again be a live broadcast this Sunday, so calls can be taken.