What is Gaslighting?
Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation that often occurs in abusive relationships. This is a type of emotional abuse in which the bully or abuser misleads the target, creating a false story and causing them to question their judgment and reality. 1 Eventually, they begin to feel insecure about their perception of the world and even wonder if they are losing their sanity.
Gaslighting mainly occurs in romantic relationships, but it is not common in friendships or between family members. People who anger others may suffer from mental health disorders. They use this type of emotional abuse to use the power of others to manipulate friends, family members, or even co-workers.
The term gaslighting comes from a 1938 play by Patrick Hamilton, known in the US as “Angel Street” and later developed into Alfred Hitchcock’s film “Gas Light”.
In the film, a manipulative husband tries to make his wife think she is losing her mind by making subtle changes to her environment such as slowly extinguishing the flame on a gas lamp. word and regularity. Not only did he disrupt her environment and make her believe she was insane, but he also abused and controlled her, cutting her off from family and friends.
As a result, the wife begins to speculate about herself, her feelings, perceptions, and memories. In addition, she feels neurotic, oversensitive and out of control, which is the goal of Gaslighting – leaving the target feeling unbalanced and unsure of what is real and what is fake.
Because this movie accurately depicts the controlling and malicious actions manipulators use, psychologists and counselors began to label this type of emotional abuse as “abusive behavior.” emotional use”.
What is Cyber Gaslighting?
Internet devices in the home are increasingly becoming an integral part of our daily lives. By 2025, more than half of all homes across the country will be smart homes – homes equipped with electronic devices that can be controlled remotely using a phone or computer. Many of us are buying internet-enabled personal assistants, air conditioning controllers, door locks, dimmers, and kitchen appliances. These devices bring us many benefits, most notably the ability to save time by remotely accessing our homes and controlling multiple systems through an interface on our phones. At the same time, there is a growing awareness that, like all technologies, smart home devices also carry risks. Most of the attention so far has focused on the privacy risks from personal assistants like Alexa and Google that can eavesdrop on your everyday family or phone conversations. , even if you’re not talking to the device. Last year, however, the New York Times highlighted a serious risk that has gone unnoticed: a person can use smart home devices to track and harass others.
The concept of psychological harassment is not new. The term “gaslighting,” referring to the use of denial, misdirection, contradiction, and lying to destabilize a victim, originates from a 1930s stage play in which the husband tries to convince his wife that she is crazy by manipulating the psychological factors on her. Now imagine the following situation: A husband regularly abuses his wife verbally and physically. He finally got an order from the court and made him move out of the house. He is angry. Sitting in his makeshift apartment, he realized that his phone had apps that let him control the temperature in the house, turn the lights on and off, and control the volume of the stereo. He decided to do some pranks by randomly turning on the house lights all night. He also turned on the sound when he knew his wife was coming home. In the end, he played the game with temperature: alternating between sweltering heat and freezing cold. After a week of this behavior, he sent his wife an email telling her that if she didn’t let him back home, he would take action to make her pay for what she did. she has done.