“There’s also coercion, where the behaviour ranges from charm offensive [the abuser is overly charming in order to manipulate], to pressure and manipulation and even bullying or violent behaviours,” says Masokoane.
While some other forms may take place in a rather subtle manner, gaslighting has various detrimental effects, both short-term and in the long run.
The short-term effects include irritability, feeling tense, a loss of focus and concentration, as well as frustration from constant arguments and even pushing back against friends or family members who show concern.
In the long run, victims of gaslighting may experience psychological trauma, depression, isolation and anxiety. Gaslighting can also affect one’s confidence and how they see themselves.
“This form of manipulation can wear down your self-esteem and self-confidence, thereby leaving you dependent on the person gaslighting you.”
According to relationship coach Lindelwa Notshweleka, gaslighting can also affect one’s efficiency and even lead an individual to gaslight themselves.
“You will gaslight yourself because if you’re constantly being told you take things too personally and you’re over-sensitive, then those thoughts will be constantly in your head.
"You lose your sanity. You get confused, which then leads to trauma, depression and you then give up, ultimately becoming suicidal,” she says.
Additionally, being a victim of gaslighting can lead to poor and extremely unhealthy boundaries.
“If you’ve been constantly told that people are reluctant to engage you due to your overly-sensitive nature, you’ll most likely relax your boundaries and people end up playing with you anyhow.
“You become this unhappy person. It’s even worse if your emotional abuser is your partner, your friend or even the people that you live with every day,” says Notshweleka.