Sunday, October 21, 2018


Gaslighting by Stephanie Moulton Sarkis
Da Capo Press: 10/2/18
eBook review copy; 272 pages
paperback ISBN-13: 9780738284668

Gaslighting by Stephanie Moulton Sarkis is a highly recommended examination of the titular technique that is used, often by those with personality disorder, to manipulate others to gain control.

Gaslighting is a term that has been used more frequently lately and it would benefit everyone to know what it means and how a gaslighter operates. "The word frenemy was probably invented for gaslighters." Gaslighters are masters of exerting control and psychological manipulation in others. Their manipulation is often slow as they begin to have you questioning your memories,  sense of reality, self-worth, and perception. The name comes from the 1938 stage play Gaslight, and became more common after the 1944 movie starring Ingrid Bergman, Charles Boyer, and Joseph Cotton. According to Sarkis, some gaslighters meet the American Psychiatric Association's DMS criteria for several Cluster B Personality Disorders (including Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Antisocial Personality Disorder, and Borderline Personality Disorder).

Sarkis organizes her well-written and informative book in a logical fashion. There are many examples and quotes from people who have experienced gaslighting first hand and Sarkis provides examples of warning signs along with practical tips and strategies for those who have or are experiencing this behavior from others. (And perhaps will help some identify some of the traits of a gaslighter in their own life.) Ultimately, the goal is to help people break free and heal from their experiences with this toxic behavior.

Chapters are organized to cover: 1) A look at the various ways gaslighters manipulate people. 2) Help you identify if you are in a gaslighting relationship. 3) A look at the red flags to look for on a first date. 4) Gaslighting in the workplace. 5) An examination of different types of abuse and if they apply to your relationships. 6) Gaslighting in politicians and dictators. 7) Gaslighting in cults and extremist groups. 8) How to deal with a parent who is a gaslighter. 9) Gaslighters in friendships (or emotional vampires.) 10) Copeing with a gaslighting ex or ex's new partner. 11) Guidance for anyone who thinks they have been gaslighting others. 12) Counseling and treatment for protecting yourself and healing from a gaslighter’s behavior. At the back of the book are numerous resources to provide further help to anyone who is interested.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Da Capo Press.

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