The phrase “gaslighting” owes its origins to a movie made in 1944 entitled “Gaslight,” featuring Ingrid Bergman, Charles Boyer, and Angela Lansbury. In this psychologically suspenseful movie, a controlling and manipulative husband gradually isolates his wife from social circles, causing her to doubt her memory, perception of reality, and causes her to gradually lose her mind.
In today’s podcast, I sit down and talk with Christiaan Funkhouser, who uses this movie to explain the social phenomenon of gaslighting, how you can recognize it when it happens to you, and what can be done to combat individuals in your life that you believe are trying to gaslight you.
Additionally, Funkhouser shares his own experiences of gaslighting in the context of corporate America, in addition to gaslighting experiences he suffered as a minister in a church.
Gaslighting Definition (Per Urban Dictionary)
- A form of intimidation or psychological abuse, sometimes called “Ambient Abuse” where false information is presented to the victim, making them doubt their own memory, perception and quite often, their sanity. The classic example of gaslighting is to switch something around on someone that you know they’re sure to notice, but then deny knowing anything about it, and to explain that they “must be imagining things” when they challenge these changes.
- A more psychological definition of gaslighting is “an increasing frequency of systematically withholding factual information from, and/or providing false information to, the victim – having the gradual effect of making them anxious, confused, and less able to trust their own memory and perception.”
- Example: Your spouse begins telling you things that never really happened. For instance, he says that last week he told you he was going to go to the bar with his buddies this Monday night, but you never remember him telling you that.
Interview: About Christiaan Funkhouser
Christiaan Funkhouser is a former pastor, philosopher, and theologian by day, and a writer and gamer at night! Christiaan has his M.Div in Christian Education and his bachelor’s in Political science and all of that merges for some interesting content on his blog www.funkhouser.io where you can find his musing on philosophy, theology, and pop culture. On social media and everywhere else you can find him as @MrFunkhouser