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The Toxic Team: Gaslighting

Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation that seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or in members of a targeted group, making them question their own memory, perception, and sanity. Using persistent denial, misdirection, contradiction, and lying, it attempts to destabilize the victim and delegitimize the victim's belief. (source)

Imagine raising a valid concern like offensive, unjust, or illegal behavior, resulting only in hearing back phrases like: "you're too sensitive", "you're over-reacting", "it's not what (somebody else) meant", or being shrugged off.

It's gaslighting, a very nasty manipulation technique, focused on making you doubt yourself.

When this happen, you must take a step back and regroup. Usually offenders are not aware, and a very clear message of "I am unhappy with the way you dismiss my opinions" can resolve the situation. Otherwise, keep by your opinion, and make sure it's heard—sometimes people tend to shoot down opinions they do not understand immediately (topic for another time).

Remember that your intuition is honed to inform you of any hazardous situation, so trust your gut, and don't let anybody gaslight you!