In its milder forms, gaslighting creates a subtle but inequitable power dynamic in a relationship, with the gaslightee subjected to the gaslighter’s unreasonable, rather than fact-based, scrutiny, judgment, or micro-aggression. At its worst, pathological gaslighting constitutes a severe form of mind-control and psychological abuse.
It should be noted that not all gaslighters are intentionally malicious, or even conscious of their harmful conduct. Some bought into the negative social norms and prejudices of their family, peer groups, community, or society at large. Other gaslighters, however, are perfectly aware of their coercive tactics, as they deliberately seek to establish imbalance and power over other people’s lives.