The different stages of gaslighting
So, let's say that you've established there is some form of gaslighting occurring in your relationship. While coming to terms with this is important, it is also crucial to know how far the gaslighting has made it into your relationship, and what stage it is in.
Stage 1: Disarm
The partner who is gaslighting will belittle or degrade their partner to an extent that the partner will no longer feel comfortable expressing thoughts that the perpetrator does not approve of.
Stage 2: Repeat
Repetition is frequent in gaslighting tactics, so be on the lookout for patterns.
Stage 3: Fight
The gaslighter is always ready for a fight, and often will use it as a way to decrease their partner's self-esteem, making the control of power easier.
Stage 4: Tire
Regardless of how dedicated someone is to making a relationship work, eventually the effort will become tiring, maybe seemingly impossible. This is good for the gaslighter, as they want their partner to be too exhausted to oppose them.
Stage 5: Exclude
Those who gaslight often desire codependent relationships without others involved. So, it is important to pay attention to how much time you are spending with your partner as opposed to your other friends and family.
Stage 6: Trick
If it gets to the point where acknowledging the gaslighting is necessary, the perpetrator will often trick their partner into believing it is over.
Stage 7: Dominate
Unfortunately, if it has reached stage 7, the perpetrator has attained their goal of domination. However, it's never too late to remove yourself from the situation.