Relationship E.Q.: 4 Common Gaslighting Techniques

Posted On: May 5, 2024

Relationship E.Q.: 4 Common Gaslighting Techniques

What Is Gaslighting?
Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation in which the abuser attempts to sow self-doubt and confusion in their victim’s mind.

Gaslighting typically takes place in abusive relationships like this, and is closely associated with other types of emotional and physical abuse. While gaslighting is most common in romantic relationships, it can also occur within family or workplace relationships.

1 of 4 Common Gaslighting Techniques: Compulsively Lying

Gaslighters are commonly pathological liars who are fundamentally narcissistic. Habitually lying and distorting reality are the hallmarks of gaslighting behavior. Even when it’s obvious they’re lying, they can be very convincing. If you’re in a relationship with someone like this, you will ultimately end up questioning yourself.

2 of 4 Common Gaslighting Techniques: Love-Bombing

Psychologists warn that love-bombing is a huge red flag in a new relationship. It also happens to be one of the easiest gaslighting techniques to spot because people instinctively feel that things are moving way too fast.

Gaslighters often love-bomb with material goods, like expensive dates, elaborate home-cooked meals, or constant gifts. If you get the sense you’re being gaslit via love-bombing, and it feels off, or you don’t reciprocate those feelings, it may be best to slow things down or even end the relationship.

3 of 4 Common Gaslighting Techniques: Scapegoating

Scapegoating as a gaslighting tactic is when the other person makes you believe that something that happened is your own fault.

Scapegoating can take advantage of a partner’s desire to be open to receiving feedback from their spouse and willingness to be responsive by distorting and exaggerating what is true. This can be very confusing, and partners can find themselves taking responsibility for things that are not actually problems or that at the very least are not problems that validate the cheating behaviors.

4 of 4 Common Gaslighting Techniques: Name-calling

If a gaslighter knows the person they’re gaslighting isn’t feeling their best, especially if they’re aware that person has low-self esteem as is, name-calling can be an effective and dangerous gaslighting tactic.

Gaslighting works because it confuses you and shakes your confidence. If you show that the behavior doesn’t bother you, the person trying to gaslight you may decide it isn’t worth it. In addition to lies and misdirection, gaslighting often involves criticism and insults. Calling these out — calmly and assertively — shows them you won’t accept the behavior.

What You Can Do

1. Don’t be over-responsible. The person gaslighting you is making a choice to behave this way. They are responsible for their actions. Nothing you did caused them to make this choice, and you won’t be able to change what they’re doing.

2. Do Self-Reflection. Give yourself permission to feel what you feel. Acknowledge that what you feel is what you feel so that you can take whatever action you need to take to feel better.

3. Get counseling. With counseling, you can learn how to make healthy choices and set boundaries with the person who engages in gaslighting. Ultimately, you may reach a place where you feel ready to move on from the relationship.

If you need help navigating any aspect of your sexual life or sexuality, please reach out to a qualified Relationship Counselor and Clinical Sexologist like myself for support. Contact us here!


  1. Brierley, S. M., MA. (2022, March 21). Know the Gaslighting Techniques Used to Control Others So You Can Avoid Falling Victim. Linkedin.
  2. Camacho, N. A. (2022, February 15). 8 Gaslighting Tactics To Know About So You Can Protect Yourself From Dangerous Manipulation. Well+Good.
  3. Mays, M. (2021, February 11). The Four Types of Gaslighting Behaviors: Part 2. PartnerHope.
  4. Raypole, C. (2022, June 21). Think You’re Being Gaslit? Here’s How to Respond. Healthline.
  5. Ways to Tell If Someone Is Gaslighting You. (2022, July 25). Verywell Mind.
  6. Wharton, C. (2022, May 4). How to Tell If Someone Is Gaslighting You. Newport Institute.


About Dr. Martha Tara Lee

Surrounded by friends who were sexually inhibited and struck by dire lack of positive conversations around sex and sexuality in Singapore, Dr. Martha Tara Lee set out to make a positive difference in embarking on her doctorate in human sexuality before launching Eros Coaching in 2009. Today, she remains dedicated to working with individuals and couples who wish to lead self-actualised and pleasure-filled lives.

She also holds certificates in counselling, coaching and sex therapy, and her fourth degree – a Masters in Counselling in May 2018. In practice since 2009, she is the only certified sexuality educator and certified sexuality educator supervisor by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) in Singapore.

Often cited in the media, Dr. Lee is the appointed Clinical Sexologist for Singapore Cancer Society. She was recognised as one of ‘Top 50 Inspiring Women Under 40′ by Her World in July 2010, and one of ‘Top 100 Inspiring Women’ by CozyCot in March 2011. She has published four books: Love, Sex and Everything In-BetweenOrgasmic YogaFrom Princess to Queen and {Un}Inhibited.

Martha works with individuals and couples in private coaching sessions, and conducts her own workshops. She takes prides in making sure all her workshops are also fun, educational, and sex-positive. This comes easily to her because even though she is extremely dedicated and serious about her work, she fundamentally believes that sex is meant to be fun, wonderful, amazing and sacred. As such, this serious light-heartedness has shone through again and again. For her full profile, click here. Email her here.

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