Yes yes yes. I was a victim of this with my ex girlfriend. She did all of these things to me.
I finally started questioning my sanity or memory of events when she would gaslight. Before I knew the official term for it I just called it her "revisionist history tactic". I'd make a statement regarding something and if she didn't like what I said she'd immediately tell me I said something entirely different and that it hurt or offended her (0_o??), making me out to be the bad guy. Then I'd spend so much time and energy trying to convince her that I hadn't *just* said what she was accusing me of, that after a while I was so exhausted and frustrated that I didn't care to change her mind.
Eventually I started keeping records of texts (screenshots) just for proof to end her gaslighting...a bit extreme, I know. But the crazy thing is, she'd still deny the proof! :0
But great post Geraldine. I'd add, a few more warning signs to look out for are:
- Beware of those who quickly place you on pedestals (e.g. "you are perfect; the most wonderful man/woman in the world."), it's most likely a setup and manipulative tactic to gain control of your self-esteem so that when necessary they can crush it by calling you the cruelest person they've ever known. Admiration of your SO is normal but excessive over-exaggeration of how great you are is suspect.
- Beware of those who accelerate through the relationship very quickly (e.g. [week 2 of knowing them] "we are soulmates! I think we should get married!"), telltale sign of trying to control the relationship. Ask yourself why they're trying to rush things
- Beware of triangulation: intentionally comparing you with an ex/"friend"/potential suitor they know who's trying to pursue them; passively threatening to go to them to receive what you're apparently not providing.
- Beware of those who change the rules on you frequently (e.g. "I want to marry" then weeks later "Marriage isn't for me. I'd feel caged; trapped" then weeks later "we need to marry"). This one is primarily a tactic of Narcissistic or Borderlines meant to keep you guessing as to how to actually please them. Everyone at their core is a certain way, and in the natural course of a relationship your significant other will/should begin to learn you; to get to know you better. But those seeking to emotionally/psychologically abuse you don't want you to know them at their core so that you will always be in error.
- Beware of those who admire abusers or bullies in their past, praising how well they were bullied and abused by them. We typically emulate those who we admire.