Gaslighting: Recognize Manipulative and Emotionally Abusive People -- and Break Free

Gaslighting: Recognize Manipulative and Emotionally Abusive People -- and Break Free

by Stephanie Moulton Sarkis PhD


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A mental health expert sheds light on "gaslighting"—the manipulative technique used by sociopaths, narcissists, and others—offering practical strategies to cope and break free.

He's the charmer — the witty, confident, but overly controlling date. She's the woman on your team who always manages to take credit for your good work. He's the neighbor who swears you've been putting your garbage into his trash cans, the politician who can never admit to a mistake. Gaslighters are master controllers and manipulators, often challenging your very sense of reality. Whether it's a spouse, parent, coworker, or friend, gaslighters distort the truth — by lying, withholding, triangulation, and more — making their victims question their own reality and sanity. Dr. Stephanie Sarkis delves into this hidden manipulation technique, covering gaslighting in every life scenario, sharing:

  • Why gaslighters seem so "normal" at first
  • Warning signs and examples
  • Gaslighter "red flags" on a first date
  • Practical strategies for coping
  • How to coparent with a gaslighter
  • How to protect yourself from a gaslighter at work
  • How to walk away and rebuild your life

With clear-eyed wisdom and empathy, Dr. Sarkis not only helps you determine if you are being victimized by a gaslighter — she gives you the tools to break free and heal.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780738284668
Publisher: Hachette Books
Publication date: 10/02/2018
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 59,815
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Dr. Stephanie Moulton Sarkis is the author of five self-help books on the subject of ADHD in adults. Dr. Sarkis is an American Mental Counseling Association Diplomate and Clinical Specialist in Child and Adolescent Counseling (one of twenty in the US), National Certified Counselor, Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Qualified LMHC Supervisor, and Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Mediator and Circuit Civil Court Mediator. She is also a blogger for the Huffington Post and Psychology Today. She has a private practice in Tampa, Florida.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

1 Is It Me, Or Is It You Making Me Think It's Me?: Portrait of a Gaslighter 11

2 Love-Bombed, Hoovered, Devalued, and Discarded: Gaslighting in Intimate Relationships 27

3 Passionate, Confident-and Out for Control: How to Avoid Falling for a Gaslighter in the First Place 45

4 Saboteurs, Harassers, Off-Loaders, and Thunder Stealers: Gaslighters in the Workplace 63

5 You, Too: Sexual Harassment, Violence, Domestic Abuse, and Gaslighters 81

6 Mad for Power: Gaslighters in Politics, Society, and Social Media 95

7 Beware the Man Behind the Curtain: False Messiahs, Extremist Groups, Closed Communities, Cults, and Gaslighting 115

8 The Ones Who Really Get Under Your Skin: Gaslighters in Your Family 131

9 With Frenemies Like These: Gaslighting in Friendships 157

10 Your Ex, Your Kids, Your Ex's New Spouse, Your New Spouse's Ex: Gaslighting in Divorce and Coparenting 179

11 Who, Me?: What to Do When You Are the Gaslighter 203

12 Getting Free: Counseling and Other Ways to Get Help 217

Resources 237

Acknowledgments 241

References 243

Index 249

About the Author 261

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