17 Genius Phrases to Stop Someone From Gaslighting You

In a perfect world, we wouldn’t need to worry about narcissists or other toxic people attempting to manipulate or gaslight us. But unfortunately, this is a reality many of us have to deal with. Here are 17 phrases you can use to stop someone from gaslighting you.

“Please stop invalidating my feelings.”

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This one is short, sweet, and to the point. You can cut through to a gaslighter’s true intentions and actions by calling them out for invalidating your feelings and politely asking them to stop. If they refuse to acknowledge or change this behavior, it might be time to leave the conversation or relationship.

“Respect my reality and experiences.”

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People who gaslight will frequently dismiss or distort your reality and experience, which can sometimes start making you question your own reality. You can simultaneously affirm your reality and call out this behavior with this simple yet effective phrase.

“I am not overreacting; my experiences are valid.”

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Gaslighters will turn your normal emotional reactions into overreactions and say that you’re being unreasonable. Stand up for yourself and your valid emotions by stating what you know to be true—that you aren’t overreacting and that your experience of any situation is real and valid.

“Your behavior is hurtful and damaging.”

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It can be difficult to get gaslighters to acknowledge the reality and harmful effects of their toxic behavior. However, it’s certainly worth a try, and pointing out the damaging effects of their actions will also help you reaffirm the importance of your own experience.

“I will not accept your silent treatment.”

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One common toxic tactic of narcissists and gaslighters is the silent treatment. If they can’t get their own way or are upset with you failing to meet their expectations, they may attempt to manipulate you by refusing to interact. In these instances, you can set a boundary by telling them that if the behavior continues, you’ll leave the situation or relationship.

“I know what I saw and experienced.”

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It’s common for gaslighters to say you didn’t see what you saw, hear what you heard, or experience what you experienced. But if you know in your heart that your experience was real and valid, you can advocate for yourself by telling them so.

Stop trying to confuse me.”

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It can be extremely confusing when you’re dealing with a manipulator or narcissist, as they’ll intentionally make situations more confusing than they need to be to make you question your reality. This phrase calls out that behavior in no uncertain terms.

“I am not crazy or mistaken.”

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If you’ve dealt with a gaslighter before, it’s very likely that you’ve heard them tell you that you’re wrong, crazy, or mistaken. Don’t allow them to make these labels a reality for you; tell them clearly and firmly that you won’t allow them to make you seem crazy or unreasonable to boost their own ego.

“Your silent treatment will not silence me.”

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This is another good phrase to use when a gaslighter is attempting to manipulate you by giving you the silent treatment. Even if you don’t want to say it to them directly, it’s a good thing to say to yourself to remind yourself that your voice and feelings still matter in the situation.

“I won’t change my opinion for you.”

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It can be easy to become worn down by gaslighters to the extent that you start to question or change your opinions to match theirs. Avoid this toxic outcome by emphatically telling them that you won’t change yourself for them and stick to what you know is right for you.

“Your jokes are hurtful and not funny.”

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Gaslighters will often make “jokes” that are really just partially disguised jabs at you and your sense of worth. Call out these attacks by directly telling them that their jokes aren’t funny and hurt your feelings.

“I feel unheard; listen to me.”

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Another common behavior among narcissists and gaslighters is failing to listen to you or your perspective. This can look like them ignoring you, dismissing you, or not taking you seriously. When you’re feeling this way, tell them and ask them to listen to you. If they refuse to do so, it’s perfectly okay to leave the situation.

“I know what’s best for me.”

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Sometimes toxic people will try to manipulate you by implying that you don’t know what’s best for you. Honor yourself and your own gut instincts by asserting that you do know what’s best for you and acting in accordance with that fact.  

“I’m not responding to that accusation.”

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If someone is accusing you of something you know you didn’t do or have nothing to be sorry about, it’s a good idea to refuse to engage in the discussion. If you do, it’s possible they may eventually wear you down into apologizing for something you didn’t do.

“Your dismissal of my experience upsets me.”

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It’s unfortunately very common for gaslighters to dismiss your experience, which can naturally be very emotionally damaging. Force them to face this emotional impact by bringing it to their attention. If they refuse to see or apologize for their behavior, it may be time to reconsider the friendship or relationship.

“This is what I need right now.”

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Narcissists and gaslighters will frequently prioritize their own needs over anyone else’s. In these cases, it can be very difficult to get your needs heard or met. Advocate for yourself and your needs by directly communicating what you need in the situation or relationship. If they refuse to listen, it might be time to end the relationship.

“I deserve better than this manipulation.”

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People who gaslight others can often make you feel worthless and unlovable. However, you can remind yourself that this is far from true by acknowledging that you deserve better. This will also show the gaslighter that you’re serious about leaving if they continue manipulating you.

If you or someone you know is facing the effects of a gaslighter, text the Crisis Text Line at 741741 anytime. CF

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