Episode 48: All About “Gaslighting” (And How to Know If You’re Doing It)

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What is “gaslighting,” and why is your estranged adult child accusing you of doing it to her?

Named after the 1944 movie “Gaslight,” the term refers to the behavior deployed by the nefarious husband, played by Charles Boyer. He convinces his wife that she’s insane through a calculated, relentless campaign of disinformation.

But what on earth does that have to do with your behavior? You have no desire to drive your child insane. What is he getting at, and why is he accusing you of something so diabolical?

Parents can think of “gaslighting” as just a fashionable term for “invalidating.” And this is something parents do frequently to children young and old, without even realizing it. We do it to ourselves, too, by the way — no evil intended.

In this episode (use the player below to listen), Tina suggests an effective response when you’re accused by your child of gaslighting him.

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