Relationship-Damaging Gaslighting Phrases

"You're crazy."

Dr. Hairston believes gaslighters often use this to evade accountability. The victim doubts their judgment, sanity, and reality.

“So-and-so thinks you’re crazy.”

Gaslighters use general terms like “everyone thinks there’s something wrong with you” or “all our friends know you have problems." 

“That didn’t happen.”

Sarkis calls covert gaslighting telling a victim something never happened or happened differently. It produces confusion and self-doubt.

“Nothing happened.”

Sarkis calls gaslighting a sneaky, passive-aggressive method of doubting your memory or truth. Saying something didn't happen minimizes someone's sentiments.

“I didn’t mean that.”

 Gaslighting often involves discrediting someone's perspective, experience, trustworthiness, or intellect.


If you cared about me, you would

Gaslighters may exploit their partner's love to justify their terrible conduct in romantic relationships.

"You always exaggerate."

Sarkis calls absoluteisms "red flags" of gaslighting. Victims feel that their judgment is biased when accused of overreacting.

“That’s why you don’t have friends.”

This comment is aimed to devalue someone and isolate them from others, making them more reliant on the gaslighter. 

“Don’t overreact.”

Douglas thinks that saying a victim is insane or overreacting diminishes their intellect, emotions, and credibility. 

“You can’t laugh.”

Gaslighters say this to avoid harsh remarks. To normalize, they may joke about painful situations. This sentence may make you question your responses and views.

“You don't know _____.”

Manipulators blame others for marital issues to avoid responsibility themselves. Gaslighters may claim, "You have no idea how to manage money," Sarkis explains. We owe you.” 

“You forced me.”

Gaslighters may accuse their victims of intentionally provocation and then blame them when they become furious.

“I’m solely responsible for this relationship.”

The American Sociological Review reported a lady whose spouse stole her money and then accused her of being "careless" with it. 

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