6 Gaslighting Phrases You’re Probably Guilty of Using

  1. “You take things too personally”

This is a classic gaslighter sentiment that, similar to “You’re too sensitive,” can diminish and invalidate your partner’s feelings. Sometimes a statement like that can come from a person realizing that he or she may have pushed the argument too far.

  1. “I’m not upset, you are.”

Saying this gaslighting phrase, you might think that you’re trying to be rational and even bring some calm to the situation, but what you’re actually doing is making your partner question the world around them and forcing them to go on the defensive.

  1. “I don’t even know what I did wrong.”

A lot of people use this phrase, even if they know full well what they did wrong, as a means of either shifting the blame or trying to minimize their actions, as if to say, “Was it really that bad?”

  1. “You can’t take a joke.”

This is a common gaslighting tactic, in which the gaslighter says something hurtful or offensive, and when their partner calls them on it, they turn it around and claim they were only teasing. It’s a classic method of invalidation and blame-shifting.

  1. “You need to calm down.”

The intention behind this sentiment might be a good one. You might be trying to get your partner to take a breath and gain some perspective. But phrasing it this way can make it sound like you’re talking down to your partner and making it sound as though they’re being hysterical or irrational.

  1. “You’re lucky I put up with you.”

You might think this is kind of a light-hearted, playful jab, but it is actually very harmful. It suggests to its recipient that they are not lovable or worthy of love from anyone else, and that they should be grateful that you are even deigning to spend your time with them.