Welcome to The Gaslight Effect Podcast. I'm Robin Stern, co-founder and associate director of the Yale Center For Emotional Intelligence and author of the best selling book, The Gaslight Effect. I'm an educator and a psychoanalyst, but first and foremost, I'm a wife, a mother, a sister, aunt, and healer, and just like many of you, I was a victim of gaslighting. Please join me for each episode as I interviewed fascinating guests and explore the concept of gaslighting. You'll learn what it truly means to be gaslighted, how it feels, how to recognize it, and how to understand it, and ultimately how to get out of it.
Before we begin, I want you to know that talking about gaslighting can bring up challenging and painful emotions. Give yourself permission to feel them. Some of you may wanna go more deeply with your emotions. While some of you may hold them more lightly, no matter what you're feeling, know that your emotions are a guide to your inner life. Your emotions are sacred and uniquely you respect and embrace them for they have information to give you. If you want to listen to other episodes of The Gaslight Effect Podcast, you can find them at robinstern.com or wherever you listen to podcasts. Thank you for being here with me.
Hi, I'm Robin Stern. I'm an author, educator, psychoanalyst, and the world's leading expert on gaslighting. Welcome to The Gas Light Effect Podcast, Gaslighting. It's become a popular term that many love to use like this, your gaslighting me or that's gaslighting, but it's clear to me that sometimes what is being called gaslighting is just straight up abuse or an uncomfortable disagreement or a simple manipulation or just a way to deflect a conversation. The term gaslighting has been around since the 1930s. Gaslight was the title of a mystery thriller, then made into a 1944 movie about a trusting wife whose diabolical husband gaslighted her by moving household objects and telling her that she was forgetful and crazy until in fact she began to think she was crazy and doubt her own sanity. I wrote The Gaslight Effect in 2007 after years of hearing deeply disturbing gaslighting stories from patients and friends who were in every other aspect of their lives, successful and confident, but strangely couldn't hold onto their own reality with their gaslight, and I myself experienced the effect of gaslighting.
Hence, I coined the term the Gaslight effect. The term became prevalent in popular discourse and in the news during the run up to the election in 2016, Gaslighting was everywhere. The Gaslight Effect was re-released in paperback in 2018. Nowadays, we hear it in the news, in music and see it on tv. In simplest terms, to Gaslight means to intentionally seek, to undermine another's confidence in their own reality by denying facts, the environment, and even feelings by switching a conversation into a force of powerful criticism of the gas, it's character or reputation or adequacy. Does any of this sound familiar? Have you experienced it? Have you witnessed it? You probably know the term because many mainstream platforms are talking about gaslighting. They've turned it into TV shows, movies, and music, a testament to how prevalent this concept has become in our daily lives. Have you ever heard of inventing Anna the Tinder swindler, and what about Bad Vegan or Gas lit, the TV series, and how about the album Gaslight by the Chicks?
It's everywhere. Gaslighting is front and center, and it's only the beginning. I've decided to launch this podcast because I want you all to understand what gaslighting truly is and what it isn't, how you can recognize it, what it feels like and what's underneath it, and how to figure out why you're in it and why other people do it to you. Let's do a quick activity. Let's turn our attention to ourselves and ask, Do you apologize for things that you shouldn't be apologizing for? Have you defended somebody's behavior even though you know it's unacceptable? Do you often ask yourself, Am I too sensitive? How many times a day do you ask yourself that question? Do you often feel confused and even crazy in your relationship? Do you have trouble making the simplest of decisions? Do you frequently make excuses for your partner's behavior? Do you have trouble remembering the last time you felt joy?
If you answered yes to some of these questions, there's a good chance you're in a gaslighting dynamic. Am I a hundred percent certain? Of course not, but these are common symptoms I see in relationships that do involve a gaslighting dynamic. One important caveat, gaslighting doesn't only occur in romantic relationships, although that is the pairing I saw most often in my clinical practice for the last 30 years. Gaslighting is a dynamic where one person with more power manipulates another person with less power, with the intent not only to shift focus or influence perceptions, but to undermine the gas it's confidence in their reality. As a licensed psychoanalyst, I've worked with individuals, couples, and families for over 30 years. I've seen it all, and I'm creating this podcast to reach people all over the world who may be having trouble naming just what's wrong with their relationship when sometimes that thing is called gaslighting.
Over the next several episodes, I will talk to guests about their gaslighting experiences and explore to understand what truly happened, and of course, not only to understand how they got into it, but how to get out of it and to avoid it in the future. I want you to know that this journey is not simple or easy or pain free. Gaslighting is a complicated process that includes several stages. It happens over time. Those who are deep into the Gaslight effect went through those stages and just as they got into the Gaslight tango, they and you have the power to get out of it. Given the right support and tools, I also want you to know that there's always light at the end of the tunnel. I'm extremely hopeful and in fact, confident about your ability to act on your own behalf. Once you have the awareness and the how to. Living gaslight free is possible to my gas. Its out there. My hope is that this podcast will help you realize you're not alone. I will inspire you to read my book to learn more about gaslighting, to get the tools you need to free yourself and stand up for your reality. I hope you'll continue to join me.
Thank you for joining me for today's episode. I hope you found today's podcast helpful and meaningful. If you want to listen to other episodes of the Gaslight Effect podcast, you can find them at robinstern.com or wherever you listen to podcasts. You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter with the handle at Dr. Robin Stern. The Gaslight Effect podcast is brought to you by The Gaslight Effect Production Company. This podcast is produced by Ryan Changcoco, Mike Lens, and me. The podcast is supported by Mel, Yellen, Gabby Caoagas and Omaginarium Marketing