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Chantel Brink
Chantel Brink
May 14, 2024 ·  5 min read

20 Common Gaslighting Phrases Used to Manipulate and Confuse You

Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation where an individual seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted person or in members of a targeted group, making them question their own memory, perception, or sanity. It’s a subtle yet potent tool employed by manipulators to control and confuse their victims. In this article, we delve into 20 common gaslighting phrases used by manipulators to achieve their nefarious ends.

“You’re Overreacting“:

gaslighting phrases "You're Overreacting"
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Gaslighters often attempt to invalidate your emotions by dismissing them as exaggerated or unwarranted. By doing so, they undermine your feelings and make you doubt the legitimacy of your reactions.

Read More: 13 Signs Of Gaslighting In Your Relationship, Beware!

You’re Just Being Paranoid“:

"You're Just Being Paranoid"
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This gaslighting phrase aims to make you feel irrational for suspecting something is amiss. Gaslighters exploit your insecurities and fears, labeling them as baseless paranoia to discredit your concerns.

You’re Imagining Things“:

gaslighting phrases "You're Imagining Things"
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When you express doubts or suspicions, gaslighters may resort to this tactic to make you question your own perception of reality. By trivializing your observations, they aim to maintain control over the narrative.

“That Never Happened”:

"That Never Happened"
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Gaslighters frequently deny past events or conversations, causing you to question your memory. This tactic is designed to make you doubt your recollection of experiences, making it easier for the manipulator to distort the truth.

You’re Just Too Sensitive”:

gaslighting phrases "You're Just Too Sensitive"
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By labeling you as overly sensitive, gaslighters shift the blame onto you, making it seem like your reactions are unreasonable. This tactic aims to undermine your self-confidence and make you doubt your own judgment.

You’re Making a Big Deal Out of Nothing“:

"You're Making a Big Deal Out of Nothing"
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Gaslighters minimize your concerns by portraying them as insignificant. This tactic diminishes the importance of your feelings and experiences, reinforcing the manipulator’s control over the situation.

Read More: When Manipulation Erases Your Reality: How to Survive Gaslighting

You’re Always Playing the Victim”:

gaslighting phrases "You're Always Playing the Victim"
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Gaslighters accuse you of playing the victim to deflect attention away from their own harmful behavior. By painting you as the one seeking sympathy or attention, they avoid accountability for their actions.

“You’re Just Trying to Start Drama“:

"You're Just Trying to Start Drama"
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This phrase is used to discredit your attempts to address issues or conflicts within the relationship. Gaslighters portray you as the instigator of drama, deflecting responsibility for their role in escalating tensions.

You’re Just Being Difficult”:

gaslighting phrases "You're Just Being Difficult"
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Gaslighters label you as difficult to manipulate you into compliance. By portraying you as the obstacle to resolving issues, they avoid addressing their own problematic behavior.

You’re Misinterpreting What I Said”:

"You're Misinterpreting What I Said"
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Gaslighters twist their words to confuse and deceive you, then blame your misunderstanding for any resulting conflict. This tactic allows them to avoid accountability while continuing to manipulate the narrative.

“You’re Crazy/Insane“:

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Gaslighters resort to personal attacks, questioning your sanity to undermine your credibility. This tactic is designed to erode your self-esteem and make you more reliant on the gaslighter’s version of reality.

“You’re Just Being Jealous“:

"You're Just Being Jealous"
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Gaslighters use jealousy as a weapon to undermine your confidence and assert control. By framing your concerns as mere envy, they dismiss your valid feelings and maintain power in the relationship.

Read More: Emotional Manipulation: 7 Lines That People Use To Control Others You Should Be Aware Of

“You’re Forgetful“:

gaslighting phrases "You're Forgetful"
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Gaslighters exploit minor lapses in memory to cast doubt on your reliability. By framing you as forgetful or unreliable, they erode your confidence in your own capabilities.

You’re Just Being Stubborn“:

"You're Just Being Stubborn"
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Gaslighters accuse you of stubbornness to manipulate you into compliance. By portraying your refusal to concede as a character flaw, they exert control over your choices and decisions.

You’re Always Making Things Up”:

gaslighting phrases "You're Always Making Things Up"
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Gaslighters discredit your assertions by labeling them as fabrications. This tactic aims to make you doubt your own truthfulness, further empowering the gaslighter to manipulate the narrative.

You’re Just Too Needy“:

"You're Just Too Needy"
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Gaslighters exploit your vulnerabilities by labeling your emotional needs as excessive or burdensome. This tactic aims to diminish your sense of self-worth and make you more dependent on the gaslighter for validation.

“You’re Just Being Controlling“:

gaslighting phrases "You're Just Being Controlling"
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Gaslighters project their own controlling behavior onto you to deflect attention away from their actions. By accusing you of control, they evade accountability while maintaining dominance in the relationship.

“You’re Always Looking for Problems“:

"You're Always Looking for Problems"
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Gaslighters portray you as overly critical or pessimistic to undermine your credibility. By framing your concerns as unfounded negativity, they dismiss valid issues and maintain the status quo.

Read More: 10 Red Flags That Someone Can Not Be Trusted, According To Science

You’re Just Trying to Manipulate Me”:

gaslighting phrases "You're Just Trying to Manipulate Me"
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Gaslighters flip the script by accusing you of manipulation to deflect from their own manipulative tactics. This gaslighting phrase aims to confuse and disarm you, making it harder to address their harmful behavior.

“You’re Just Being Unreasonable“:

"You're Just Being Unreasonable"
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Gaslighters dismiss your opinions or requests as irrational or illogical. By labeling you as unreasonable, they invalidate your needs and preferences, reinforcing their control over the relationship dynamics.


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Gaslighting is a pervasive form of psychological manipulation that can have profound effects on its victims. By familiarizing yourself with common gaslighting phrases, you can better recognize and confront manipulation tactics in your relationships. Remember, trust your instincts and seek support from trusted friends or professionals if you suspect you’re being gaslit. By reclaiming your reality and asserting your boundaries, you can break free from the grip of manipulation and reclaim your sense of self-worth.

Read More: Don’t Ignore These 44 Signs of Abuse


  1. 28 Examples Of Gaslighting + Phrases To Look Out For, From Relationship ExpertsMind Body Green
  2. Harvard psychologist shares 9 toxic phrases ‘gaslighters’ always use—and how to respondCNBC
  3. 35 Common Gaslighting Phrases in Relationships and How To Respond, According to TherapistsParade