gaslighting quotes

60 Gaslighting Quotes – Ignore These Toxic Quotes

Is someone always saying one or more of these phrases to you?

  • You’re overreacting
  • Stop blowing things out of proportion
  • You’re too sensitive
  • I never said that
  • You’re just being dramatic

It doesn’t matter whether they are your significant other, friend, family member, or co-worker ― if someone often says these things to you, they might be gaslighting you and may be emotionally abusive people! 

A gaslighter is a psychological manipulator whose goal is to make you doubt yourself so they can control you. This is a form of abusive relationship.

This collection of gaslighting phrases will help you understand the manipulator’s tactics and empower you to regain control while learning to recognize manipulative behavior.

Gaslighting Quotes: Defining Gaslighting

couple arguing in the bedroom

  1. “Gaslighting qualifies as a form of emotional abuse that involves denying a person’s experience and making statements, such as ‘that never happened,’ ‘you’re too sensitive,’ or ‘this isn’t that big a deal.’” – Ramani Durvasula
  2. “Gaslighting is mind control to make victims doubt their reality.” – Tracy Malone
  3. “Gaslighting is a distorted alternate reality.” – Tracy Malone
  4. “Gaslighting is a subtle form of emotional manipulation that often results in the recipient doubting their own perception of reality and their sanity. In addition, gaslighting is a method of manipulation by toxic people to gain power over you. The worst part about gaslighting is that it undermines your self-worth to the point where you’re second-guessing everything.” – Dana Arcuri
  5. “Gaslighting is a slow unconscious loss of reality.” – Tracy Malone
  6.  “In terms of gaslighting, I define it as ‘to implant false and/or distorted narratives that are specially designed or formulated to manipulate a person into a destructive web of deception, loss of control, and the surrender of personal freedom and beliefs of self-worth, self-value, self-esteem, and productivity.’” – Ross Rosenberg
  7.  “Gaslighting, brainwashing, cults, hostage situations, and totalitarian propaganda have a common basis. They use similar techniques to confuse, intimidate, and disempower people. These methods are used by abusers of all kinds for the purpose of controlling other people and promoting the abusers’ interests.” – Linda Hatch
  8. “Gaslighting is an attempt to change the truth.” – Tracy Malone
  9.  “Gaslighting is the systematic attempt by one person to erode another person’s reality by telling them that what they are experiencing isn’t so ― and, the gradual giving up on the part of the other person.” – Robin Stern
  10. “Gaslighting is implanted narratives cloaked in secrecy.” – Tracy Malone
  11. One important side effect of gaslighting is having your memory ‘black out’ after a fight (because your brain is trying to protect you from the cruelty of the abuse), which results in not being able to remember how an argument started. You may start to internalize the idea that there is something wrong with you and that you did something to provoke the situation as you’re increasingly beaten down and confused.” – Shannon Weber
  12. “Gaslighting is mind control to make victims doubt their reality.” – Tracy Malone
  13. “Emotional abuse is designed to undermine another’s sense of self. It is deliberate humiliation, with the intent to seize control of how others feel about themselves.” – Lorraine Nilon
  14. “Emotional abuse can leave a victim feeling like a shell of a person, separated from the true essence of who they naturally are. It also leads to a victim feeling tormented and tortured by their own emotions.” – Lorraine Nilon
  15. “Gaslighting can only work if the victim is manipulated into a covenant of secrecy. Such is implemented when the victim is convinced that the outside world, or formerly trusted people, have a vested interest in hurting them.” – Ross Rosenberg

Gaslighting Quotes to Help You Identify a Gaslighter

man talking to an annoyed lady

  1. “The narcissist loves playing mind games with you. They are clever to conceal who they are.” – Dana Arcuri
  2. “Let us not get scooped up by gaslighting manipulators stealing our emotions and taking possession of our inner child to carry out their dark agenda. Let the light of our intuition guide us subtly and wisely along the path of trust and suspicion.” – Erik Pevernagie
  3. “Gaslighting is when you don’t remember things the same as they do.” – Tracy Malone
  4. “Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation and emotional abuse. The gaslighter avoids responsibility for their toxic behavior by lying and denying and making you question facts, your memory, and your feelings. Basically, the gaslighter makes you feel crazy and confused.” – Karen Salmansohn
  5. “You tried to gaslight me. You pissed on my foot and told me it was raining.” – Helen M. Pugsley
  6. “It frightens me because I feel vulnerable to attacks, an easy target for gaslighting. Phrases like ‘No, I didn’t say that!’, ‘You don’t remember,’ and ‘You must have forgotten,’ start rattling my brain and making me jittery.” – Ankita Sahani
  7.  “Narcissists are consumed with maintaining a shallow false self to others. They’re emotionally crippled souls that are addicted to attention. Because of this, they use a multitude of games in order to receive adoration. Sadly, they are the most ungodly of God’s creations because they don’t show remorse for their actions, take steps to make amends, or have empathy for others. They are morally bankrupt.” – Shannon L. Alder
  8. “It starts with a lie. Each day the lies amplify. Time goes by; the lies turn to gaslighting. Eventually, the lies become smears about you.” – Tracy Malone
  9. “Whenever someone is not seeing, accepting, owning and expressing their actual personal truth, it will automatically become a gaslighting situation.” – Teal Swan
  10.  “It is not OK for someone you like to treat you poorly and then pretend it didn’t happen, making you question your own grasp on reality. This dynamic is called gaslighting. It’s a common tactic of abusers to shift the focus of the blame from their bad behavior onto the person they are victimizing.” – Shannon Weber
  11.  “The aim of gaslighting is to make you feel bad about something you need not feel bad about. Gaslighting is emotional abuse… happens in the real world and on social media, too.” – Vikram Karve
  12. “Remember, someone that does something bad to you will always try to control the narrative, and they generally get out there first and spin the story to anyone who will listen. I always like to watch the quiet one. You are not alone.” – Maranda Pleasant
  13. “Invalidation is crazy-making, and it is also at the root of gaslighting, where victims’ feelings are purposely denied or manipulated in order to make them question their sanity.” – Samantha Rodman
  14. “Gaslighting is confusing because they switch to intermittent concern.” – Tracy Malone
  15. “When you broke out in anger and lashed out at me, for a moment, I believed that there was something wrong with me. Luckily enough, well before the belief turned into self-hatred, it dawned upon me that your anger was a reflection of your own messed-up self. And just then, I knew I was fine. I was alright, but not with you.” – Nagashree KC
  16.  “Some people don’t want to be fixed because being broken gets them attention.” – Unknown
  17.  “Changed behavior is the only apology; otherwise, it’s just manipulation.” – Maranda Pleasant
  18. “Most people are good and occasionally do something they know is bad. Some people are bad and struggle every day to keep it under control. Others are corrupt to the core and don’t give a damn as long as they don’t get caught. But evil is a completely different creature; evil is bad that believes it’s good.” – Karen Marie Moning
  19. “Toxic people be like, ‘How dare you set boundaries and not allow me to control and manipulate you?’” – Wingheart
  20. “Gaslighting is lying with a purpose to confuse and control.” – Tracy Malone
  21. “The malignant narcissist has a split persona. They are like Jekyll and Hyde. One minute, they are sweet as sugar. The next minute, they fly into an uncontrollable seething rage! The narcissist loves playing mind games with you. They are clever to conceal who they are. Wherever there’s a narcissist, you can find a false mask plastered upon their face.” – Dana Arcuri
  22.  “Narcissists have been planting the seed that you are crazy from day one.” – Tracy Malone
  23. “Someone who gaslights you is trying to talk you out of your experience to alleviate their shame and responsibility to an issue. It’s a tool to control and manipulate you.” – Dr. Henry Cloud
  24. “Gaslighting their partners into believing the abuse isn’t real by denying, minimizing, or rationalizing the abuse. This includes deflecting any conversations about accountability using circular conversations and word salad in order to avoid being held accountable for their actions.” – Shahida Arabi
  25. “People who harm you will blame you for it. Remember, an abuser will generally always play the victim, spin a story, tell everyone, and they generally call you crazy.” – Maranda Pleasant
  26. “These predators prey on susceptible individuals who believe in their false altruism, affection, and promises of protection. Gas-lighters are most successful when they believably cast themselves as loyal and dutiful protectorates who are unconditionally invested in defending and caring for their beloved gaslit victims.” – Ross Rosenberg
  27. “Toxic people create chaos, point fingers, shift blame and avoid taking responsibility.” – Dr. Anne Brown
  28. “There is nothing called being ‘too emotional.’ If anyone makes you believe that you are a sensitive person and probably you should change that habit, remember they just want you to be their way. They don’t want to be held accountable for their own behavior. Don’t fall into that trap.” – The Lost Phoenix

Gaslighting Quotes to Take Reclaim Your Power

silhouette of a lady by the beach during sunset

  1. “We teach people how to treat us.” – Dr. Phil
  2. “One of the first steps in freeing yourself from a gaslighting relationship is to acknowledge how unpleasant and hurtful you find this emotional apocalypse.” – Robin Stern
  3. “Keeping bad company is like being in a germ-infested area. You never know what you’ll catch.” – Frank Sonnenberg
  4. “Letting go of toxic people in your life is a big step in loving yourself.” – Hussein Nishah
  5.  “Toxic people will pollute everything around them. Don’t hesitate. Fumigate.” – Mandy Hale
  6. “Toxic people will make you feel like you’re holding a grudge. No, dude. That’s a boundary” – Sheikh Mehmet
  7. Like arsenic, toxic people will slowly kill you. They kill your positive spirit and play with your mind and emotions. The only cure is to let them go.” – Denisse Lisseth
  8. “It’s one thing if a person owns up to their behavior and makes an effort to change. But if a person disregards your feelings, ignores your boundaries, and continues to treat you in a harmful way, they need to go.” – Daniell Koepke
  9. “If you walked away from a toxic, negative, abusive, one-sided, dead-end low vibrational relationship or friendship — you won.” – Lalah Delia
  10. “The less you respond to negative people, the more powerful your life will become.” – Robert E. Baine, Jr.
  11. “It’s so nice when toxic people stop talking to you. It’s like the trash took itself out.” – Unknown
  12. Losing will not always amount to a loss; sometimes you have to lose those toxic relationships and bad habits to create a space for better things.” – Gift Gugu Mona
  13. “While you can’t control someone’s negative behavior, you can control how long you participate in it.” – Anonymous
  14. “Letting go means to come to the realization that some people are a part of your history, but not a part of your destiny.” – Steve Maraboli
  15. “We don’t get to choose our family, but we can choose our friends. With courage, we can weed out narcissistic people. We can focus on those who do appreciate us, love us, and treat us with respect.” – Dana Arcuri
  16. “When you notice someone​​ does something toxic the first time, don’t wait for the second time before you address it.” – Shahida Arabi

We tend to ignore the red flags during the initial stages of a relationship, especially in romantic relationships. However, it is important to pay close attention to the subtle messages from potential partners. Don’t rush into a relationship because your biological clock is ticking or someone is pressuring you.

Remember that gaslighting can also happen in work relationships and friendships, so don’t let a colleague or so-called friend victimize you into believing you’re out of touch with reality.

If you forget every other gaslighting quote, always remember this last one by Hans. F. Hasen:

  • “People inspire you, or they drain you. Pick them wisely.” – Hans F. Hasen
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