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What is psychological violence in the family and how to deal with it?


You doubt your adequacy, you are depressed all the time, and sometimes it seems to you that you're just going crazy?

If you have become an overly sensitive neurotic, you may be using a sophisticated form psychological manipulation - gaslighting.

Its purpose is to make a person doubt the perception of reality and undermine his relationship at work and in his personal life.

The term “gaslighting” was inspired by the films “Gas Light” of 1940 and 1945, where in the story the husband systematically manipulates his wife to make her feel like crazy.

Gazlighting is essentially a form of emotional manipulation that gradually undermines your ability to make decisions.

Such a person wraps all negative and destructive actions and words to his advantage, dodging guilt for his unseemly acts, and points to you at the same time.

This is done in order to make you too sensitive, paranoid, mentally unstable, stupid, and generally make you doubt yourself.

Gaslighting Examples

We all face gaslighting in everyday life, but we cannot always recognize it.

There are many examples of the application of such a manipulation technique.

for example, the boy’s father has a very quick temper. He constantly calls him a “fool” and other offensive names. When a son tries to object to such behavior, the father calls him “sissy” and “whiner."

Another example: a woman married with two children is trying to go to work. Her husband accuses her of not taking care of him and the children. To his wife’s objections, he starts up even more and claims that she is nervous and reacts too sharply to everything.

A person who has become a victim of gaslighting is in a state of anxiety and depression, and with constant pressure can reach a nervous breakdown.

Signs of gaslighting

How do you know if you are using gaslighting? There are several signs.

1. You constantly doubt yourself.

2. You often ask yourself if you are too sensitive and too keenly reacting to everything.

3. At work, you feel confused or go crazy.

4. You constantly apologize to your parents, husband / wife, friend, boss.

5. You do not understand why, despite everything in your life, you do not become happier.

6. You often apologize for the behavior of your partner to family and friends.

7. You hide information from your loved ones, so as not to explain or justify.

8. You feel that something is amiss, but you cannot understand what exactly.

9. You begin to lie in order to avoid comments and condemnations.

10. It’s hard for you to make even simple decisions.

11. You have a feeling that you used to be different - more confident, cheerful and calm.

12. You feel helpless and joyless.

13. You have the feeling that you can’t do anything right.

14. You doubt whether you are good enough for your partner, parents, employer, friend.

15. You have become afraid to express your opinion and express your emotions, preferring to be silent.

Gazliting: how people are manipulated

The gaslight uses various methods to undermine your faith in yourself and make you inadequate and nutty.

Puts you in a bad lightmaking others think that you are crazy, unreasonable and mentally unstable.

Uses a mask of confidence, perseverance and false empathyto make you believe that you are doing everything wrong. Thus, you will gradually begin to doubt yourself and will believe someone else's version of what happened before.

Changes the subject. A gaslight may evade the topic by asking other questions, or by stating something about your thoughts.

For example: "You come up with all this - this has never happened!”, “You're wrong, you don’t remember how it really was. ". “Did this mom / friend tell you this crazy idea?”.

Downplaying. By belittling your feelings and thoughts, the gaslight gains even more power over you.

Why are you so sensitive?”, “Do not be angry over such trifles”, “I was just joking, why react so seriously?”.

Denies and avoids. Refusing to recognize your feelings and thoughts, the manipulator makes you doubt yourself more and more.

For example, "I don’t remember this, you made it up”, “You're lying, I never said that”, “I have no idea what you're talking about.”.

Distorts and rotates. When the manipulator confidently and quietly paraphrases what has been said or done in its favor, it makes you doubt yourself, especially if it is accompanied by fake compassion.

For example, "I didn’t say that, I said ...”,”I didn’t hit you, I just touched you with my hand”, “If you remember, I tried to help you”.

How to resist gaslighting

Gazlighting makes you doubt your memories, perceptions and opinions, depriving you of emotional and psychological balance. How to protect yourself from gaslighting?

First of all, determine who, how and when you gaslight. Think about how a person makes you feel mentally unstable. Write down everything that comes to your mind. You need confirmation before you can move on.

Pay attention to the recognitionaki gaslighting, for example, the feeling that you are underestimated, belittled, manipulated by you. Breathe deeply, clear your mind and concentrate on yourself. Practice meditation more often to stay objective even in difficult situations.

Decide if you should continue the relationship or friendship with this person.. Try to evaluate if it makes sense to stay at work. If there is no way to leave, keep all contacts to a minimum until you feel confident enough.

Talk to a friend or loved onethat you trust. You can also contact a psychologist or other specialist.

Look at everything from a different perspective and imagine yourself not a victim, but a victor who has his own strength.

What is psychological abuse?

Violent acts of a moral nature are non-physical pressure on a person, which is carried out in four ways:

  1. Emotional control. This includes provocation and manipulation of the subject's experiences.
  2. Information control. The manipulator monitors through which information channels the victim receives data (music, books, news).
  3. Mind control. The victim obeys other people's attitudes, not his own thinking.
  4. Behavioral control. The manipulator controls the victim’s social circle and interests.

If you have been abused in a family or by another person, you should never blame yourself for what happened. Remember: the longer the pressure, the more the mind breaks down. In some cases, the consequences may be irreversible. The problem must be solved in stages:

  1. The first step is to realize: the victim must understand that guilt and anxiety are imposed by the manipulator.
  2. The second step is to find support. A depressed person needs understanding and sympathy.
  3. The third is new life. A victim of violence should minimize communication with the tyrant. If this is not possible, then you need to look at the world from a new angle. A number of meditations and hypnotic procedures will make the mind closed to manipulation.

These are ways to prevent side pressure. There are cases when the rapist and the victim are one and the same person. If you feel depressed, and there are all the signs of psychological violence being carried out on yourself, it is best to turn to a hypnologist for help. The specialist will figure out what are the reasons for such behavior and help to fix the problem.

Types of Psychological Violence

Research is based on a scale of conflicting tactics. In it, emotional violence is divided into 20 varieties. They are combined into three groups according to common features:

  • dominant behavior
  • zealous behavior
  • verbal aggression.

In addition to these categories, the manifestations of psychological pressure include actions that entail a change in human self-awareness. These include threats, killing pets, gas scoring, intimidation, destruction of personal items, etc.

Modern science does not consider a single incident to be moral violence, since the phenomenon, by definition, is systematic. It is intentional or unconscious.

Most often, close people affect the human consciousness. Children are influenced by parents, and spouses manipulate each other. Family moral pressure is ubiquitous, and its effects can be eliminated over the years.

Causes of emotional domestic violence

The psychological pressure of family members on each other can arise due to a number of factors. Sometimes one of them becomes a catalyst, and sometimes an aggregate. The reasons may be:

  • mental disorder. Sociopathy, narcissism, schizophrenia and other deviations can push a person to commit manipulations on relatives,
  • cowardice. People with this quality often assert themselves at the expense of others, through humiliation and bullying,
  • uncommunicativeness. A person who is unable to clearly express his thoughts, breaks down on the interlocutors,
  • lack of self-realization. People who have not found themselves in life will seek power within the family,
  • past experience. One spouse who has survived a painful relationship may unknowingly become a manipulator.

The psychology of the rapist is such that several violent actions, successfully carried out, will strengthen in his mind the thought of his own superiority, which will be difficult to eliminate. If you notice that one of your family members is a manipulator, talk to him. Sometimes a person himself is aware of the problem, but cannot cope with it alone. In this case, you need to contact a specialist, for example, a hypnologist-psychologist Baturin Nikita Valerievich.

The main signs of psychological violence in the family

All signs can be divided into three large groups (forms): dominant behavior, verbal emotional aggression, and others. Each form of violence manifests itself in different ways. Signs of dominant behavior (for example, a male manipulator):

  • surveillance. It begins by viewing the phone book, mail, or messages on social networks. In especially serious cases, it develops into round-the-clock monitoring of each victim’s action,
  • ban on communication. The manipulator begins to put pressure on the victim, depriving her of the opportunity to contact with colleagues, friends and even relatives,
  • constant presence. A man seeks not to leave his beloved for a minute. At the same time, he may be silent or pretend that he is busy with business,
  • shifting responsibilities. Not to be confused with gigolos, as they fall in love with a woman for the sake of obtaining material wealth, and, accordingly, they treat her well. This is also a manipulation, but it is not violence. Men who shift responsibilities to women behave rudely and defiantly, causing the victim a constant sense of guilt,
  • limitation of duties. The exact opposite of the previous paragraph. In this case, the manipulator becomes a tyrant, forbidding the victim to go about their business. Such a man can make a woman sit at home and minimize communication with the outside world.

Signs of verbal emotional aggression:

  1. Contempt. It manifests itself in mockery of the appearance, activity, hobbies and religious views of the victim.
  2. Criticism. This is a biased assessment of the actions and actions of women. These can be caustic remarks about mental abilities, figures, etc. The utterance is often accompanied by insults.
  3. Humiliation. Communication only through insults, in any, even everyday situations.
  4. Despotism. It is expressed in the arrogant behavior of the manipulator, which, instead of asking, pronounces certain instructions.
  5. Threats. Verbal intimidation often concerns children, close relatives, or simply things important to the victim. The manipulator threatens to harm them, sometimes threatens to commit suicide.

Psychological violence in the family over a woman whose signs belong to the third group (others):

  • self-praise. A man objectively or biased extols himself over his wife,
  • need for admiration. The manipulator deliberately flatter the victim in order to receive the same praise in his address,
  • oppression. It manifests itself in provoking feelings of guilt in the victim,
  • pressure. The manipulator does everything in order for a woman to begin to experience and experience a sense of anxiety: she lies, withholds information, is hypocritical, etc.

Remember that a single case of a symptom is not psychological abuse of a man or woman. You can talk about emotional pressure if it manifests itself for a long time.

The mechanism of development of psychological violence in the family

A similar phenomenon can go unnoticed for a long time. Neither the victim, nor even the rapist himself can notice the initial stage. This is especially true for young couples who at first live under the influence of strong emotions. After the end of the romantic period, subtle accusations against each other begin. They can be a starting point for the development of psychological violence, which will progress in stages:

  1. Increasing accusations against the partner. The rapist will blame the victim that she does everything wrong. If such actions are not opposed, the manipulator will perform them until the partner's self-esteem changes for the worse.
  2. Active suppression of personality. From accusations to serious statements that will make the victim feel completely worthless while still feeling guilty for every action. The partner will be depressed, depressed and broken, but the cause will be sought only in himself, increasingly driving himself into an emotional impasse.
  3. Full submission. At this stage, the victim is firmly convinced that she did not take place as an individual and as a partner.
  4. Break The final stage, which can last throughout the life of the family. The victim is completely disoriented and unable to soberly evaluate his own actions, she is completely subordinate to the manipulator.

Manipulation in the family, psychological violence in the interaction of people and other emotional pressure contributes to the development of mental disorders. And mental diseases, in turn, provoke physical ones. An oppressed person can “drown” problems in alcohol, suppress them with narcotic drugs, or suppress physical emotional pain (cuts, beating himself).

In extreme cases, a depressed person may attempt suicide.

Table of humiliation: problems of psychological pressure in the family

Far from always the rapist is guilty of humiliating his partner. If you look at the stories of the victims, then in almost every one of them there will be a moment when she lost sight of the “wake-up call”. Sometimes people in life play the role of a victim - this may be due to early emotional trauma or experienced shocks. It appears in the following:

  • the role of a martyr. She is incurred by the “rapist rapist”, who benefits from toxic relationships, causing the sympathy of close or unfamiliar people,
  • sacrificial role after experienced. It manifests itself in those who had a similar experience in childhood or in previous relationships,
  • saving role. The victim wants to save the tyrant from dangers (gambling addiction, drug abuse, joining a sect, etc.).

If the victim meets a tyrant at a critical moment in life (loss of a loved one, loss of work, accident), and he temporarily removes her from a depressed state, she can ignore violence against herself for a long time. This is due to the fact that the manipulator in her mind will be associated with positive emotions.

Features of resistance to emotional violence in the family: how to prevent it

Preventing the phenomenon in the first stages is easy enough. If a rapist gets a rebuff, he thinks about his actions and can change his behavior. Confrontation can begin with:

  • self-awareness. If the inner "I" is constantly in a depressed state, you need to think,
  • direct conversation. At the first stage, when the partner is just beginning to show dominant (or other) behavior, you can ask the question “head on”: why does he do it,
  • objective assessment of reality. We need to analyze the partner’s allegations and draw conclusions about how well-reasoned they are,
  • control over the situation. Tyrannical behavior must not be left to chance, it will not evaporate. It’s better to wait until the partner is in a good mood and talk with him about the problem,
  • demonstrations of their positive qualities. A spouse who is prone to family manipulation and psychological abuse needs to be reminded of how much good is in his soul mate. He should feel a person next to him.

What types of psychological abuse do you know? Can you say with confidence that loved ones do not exert pressure on you? In any case, remember that events develop gradually and very often imperceptibly for the victim and the rapist himself. The consequences of such actions may be inevitable. If you are faced with this phenomenon, remember that you can always seek help from a specialist. Он поможет выявить причины психологического насилия в семье, остановит дальнейшее течение манипуляций и поможет восстановить психическое здоровье.