This year’s word of the year?
For those who aren’t sure, gaslighting is the act of convincing someone that what they’re experiencing is fantasy.
The aim is to get them to question their own senses, which isn’t as difficult as it sounds — because our experience of the world is our perception of the world, not the world as it really is.
I can’t tell you what the world is really like, I can only say what I think it is like, based on my experience.
The reason gaslighting works is that humans want to be accepted more than they believe in their own senses.
That seems ridiculous.
Surely red is red?
Hot is not cold.
Two lines are either the same length or different lengths.
One would think.
But two or three? Not so much.
When in a group, more than 35% of people will defy their own senses or values to conform to the loudest opinion.
Even when they can see with their own two eyes that the opinion is wrong — people would rather not cause a fuss.
Dangerous stuff, if you know how to use it.
More dangerous still, if you don’t.