by Kiri Blakeley
Kudos to a man who wrote an essay about how he used to gaslight women — by calling them “crazy.”Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse where someone routinely invalidates your feelings or observations.
Signs you are being gaslighted include being told you are “too sensitive” or are “overly emotional” or just simply that you are “crazy” and “paranoid” and shouldn’t be feeling what you are feeling. Dating coach Harris O’Malley writes:
I noticed my tendency towards tossing “crazy” out as a verbal short cut … It’s a habit that we men need to break; it’s damaging to relationships, trivializes genuine mental health issues, and — most importantly — hurts women as a whole.
While women can also gaslight men — there is a long history of men using invalidation to subdue women. It wasn’t that long ago that women could be put into insane asylums for defying their husbands. Here are 15 times a guy might accuse you of being “crazy.”
1. You want to talk about the relationship and he doesn’t.
2. You have become more emotionally attached to him than he wanted and he begins to feel overwhelmed and guilty.
3. You are demanding relationship boundaries, such as asking him to cut ties with an ex or call you if he’s going to be late, and he doesn’t want those boundaries.
4. You want to push the relationship forward, he doesn’t.
5. He hurt your feelings in some way and you let him know it.
6. You want to hold him accountable for an action he doesn’t want to be held accountable for.
7. You catch him or suspect him of cheating or disrespecting the relationship and confront him.
8. You want sex when he doesn’t want it or vice versa.
9. He broke up with you and you’d like an explanation for it.
10. You become emotional, raise your voice, or become angry.
11. You confront a woman he’s sleeping with or otherwise being disrespectful with.
12. Your behavior is too aggressive, assertive, or your words too opinionated for what is convenient for him to deal with.
13. You stand up for yourself in a way that makes him feel threatened or uncomfortable.
14. You want him to do his fair share of child caring or housework and he doesn’t want to.
15. You want to work on or improve the relationship and he doesn’t.
Obviously, there are times when all human beings overreact and may even become violent. But these extremes — and there are laws for them — should not preclude women from expressing their opinions or feelings or asking for accountability. No one should ever be called “crazy.”
Read more in The Stir
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.