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Monday, April 19, 2021
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What is Gaslighting?
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The term originates in the psychological manipulation of a victim by her husband in Patrick Hamilton's 1938 stage play Gas Light.

In the story, the husband attempts to convince his wife and others that she is insane by manipulating small elements of their environment and insisting that she is : mistaken, remembering things incorrectly, or delusional, when she points out these changes. The abusive husband slowly dims the gas lights in their home, while pretending nothing has changed in an effort to make his wife doubt her own perceptions.

The wife repeatedly asks her husband to confirm her perceptions about the dimming lights, but in defiance of reality he keeps insisting that the lights are the same and instead it is she who is going insane.

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Today we are living in a perpetual state of gaslighting. The reality that we are being told by the media is at complete odds with what we are seeing with our own eyes. When we question the false reality that we are being presented, or we claim that what we see is actual reality, we are vilified as racist or bigots or just plain crazy.

To read the article, subscribe to the Greenhorn Valley View. Just $37.50 in Pueblo County. Call 719-676-3401.

Author Robin Stern, PhD, is the associate director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence where she works every day to make the world a more equitable and compassionate place for all.

Robin is also a psychoanalyst with three decades of experience treating individuals and couples.


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