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The Gaslight Effect: How to Spot and Survive the Hidden Manipulation Others Use to Control Your Life
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The Gaslight Effect: How to Spot and Survive the Hidden Manipulation Others Use to Control Your Life

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  430 Ratings  ·  55 Reviews
Are You Being Gaslighted?
Check for these telltale signs:
You constantly second-guess yourself.
2. You wonder, “Am I being too sensitive?” a dozen times a day.
3. You wonder frequently if you are a “good enough” girlfriend/wife/employee/friend/daughter.
4. You have trouble making simple decisions.
5. You think twice before bringing up innocent topics of conversation.
6. You f
Hardcover, 269 pages
Published May 1st 2007 by Harmony (first published 2007)
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Jun 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The Gaslight is a 1940's film starring Ingrid Bergman. In it, she plays a woman whose husband seeks to gain control of her finances by convincing her, and everyone else, that she has gone mad. He moves things and insists that she moved them. He makes constant reference to her psychological frailty. He dims the lights and acts as though he doesn't see it. He's older, handsome, charming. She idealizes and is anxious to please him. Slowly, subtly, systematically he undermines her faith in her own p ...more
Dec 27, 2013 rated it did not like it
Hmmmmm. I can certainly see the need for a book about recognising emotional manipulation in one's life. But the author tries to group together all sorts of emotional abuse and calls it all 'gaslighting' (stretching the definition to the point of meaninglessness). Feels a bit like a gimmick, to be honest. (I guess 'The Emotional Abuse Effect' isn't so catchy a title, huh?)

I can't even say the author's advice on overcoming emotional abuse is all that helpful, either. It mostly comes down to "be mo
Tim Ponygroom
This is a detailed look at a con game played far too often by people with a passion for controlling others.

Gaslighting happens on the job, sure, but the most devastating effects come in our most intimate relationships.

I knew about this pattern before this book was written. I hadn't seen the movie. I saw this unfold in the life of a friend who was temporarily taken in.

I saw the movie, Gaslight, after reading about it in the book. I was amazed it was available for free!

Dr. Stern has done the wo
Jul 08, 2015 rated it did not like it
I have so many issues with this book... That I was really hoping to like. First of all, the author is completely downplaying and the majority of the time mis-using the term "gas lighting". If you replaced the term with abuser, abusive, or unhealthy relationship this book would be more appropriate. The author should also rewatch the movie "gaslight" as she failed to see the active sociopathic and premeditative behaviors in it. Second, there are a lot on inconsistencies in regards to victim-blamin ...more
Katya Kean
Dec 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
I've read a hundred pages today. This book is fantastic. I was a little worried that it would be another "you're a victim, poor you, you should run away" books, but I'm finding that it's really balanced and proactive. It seems really honest about how it takes TWO to tango. It honors both sides, while having really reasonable and creative solutions. Also, it's totally readable, almost story-like. It's compassionate and comforting without being indulging or patronizing. I've learned a lot about wh ...more
Apr 02, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, 2009
I think that almost everyone could benefit from reading this book. My only major complaints are that it's a bit repetitive, and the gender-studies bit of my brain doesn't like that Stern chose to use "he" for those guilty of gaslighting and "she" for people who have been gaslighted. Granted, that might be the way she's often seen the situation, but I can see it being a deterrent for men who might be interested in the subject.
Feb 05, 2011 rated it liked it
I think this book is a good read for people with low self esteem who either attract bad relationships or are stuck in one. However, I think there are other books out there that get to the root of why people get stuck in this type of "Codependent No More" or "Healing the Shame that Binds You."
Aug 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone in a relationship
Shelves: self-help
A nice read to finalize the nailed coffin after 30 years of trying to please. I get it now, really.
May 07, 2017 rated it it was ok
I have to say I had a hard time finishing this book. Not well written, repetitive, narrative style and neutrality just good enough for Oprah's Winfrey shows but not what I've expected from a Ph.D. licensed psychoanalyst. To me it seems more of an unleash of personal gender frustration than an objective approach of gaslighting practice. The author thinking appears to be "my needs are the only that matters and if not fulfilled it must be because my partner is gaslighting me" .
In ex when talking ab
Jun 19, 2012 rated it liked it
This book was very insightful to me. I had never heard of the concept of the "gaslight effect" before, and found this author's view to be very helpful and applicable in some areas of my own life. It is always nice, when going through tough times, to know that there are others out there that have gone through the same things as you. This book neither plays the "gaslightee" up as a "victim" nor blames them for the situations they are experiencing. It is very explanatory without being confusing and ...more
Sep 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book explains every rotten relationship, friendship, professional connection, and acquaintanceship that you've probably ever had. I spent years reading self-help books about toxic people, narcissists, commitmentphobes, avoidant attachers, passive aggressives, and bullies, and somehow this book describes them all -- not all of these personality types/disorders, but the unhealthy relationship dynamics that lead to emotional abuse. The author gives concrete steps you can take to diffuse or imp ...more
Jun 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book CHANGED MY LIFE. If you take on all the blame in your relationship even though you know something is not quite right, READ THIS BOOK. If you are a human being who has contact with other human beings, read this book! This hidden manipulation is there in plain sight and it is HURTFUL! This book will help you uncover the TRUTH. Set yourself free from guilt and self-hatred. Read this book!!!
Jun 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I need to buy my own copy so I can highlight and mark and underline everywhere. This is an excellent book! It helped me identify areas where I have lost control of my own life and gives practical and simple (do not read EASY, read simple) ways of taking it back.
Dec 18, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Kind of repetitive but insightful nonetheless.
Jul 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book make sense in explaining all issues related to emotional abuse how to know you are in it and how to get out of it. It also make sure to explain its not all you fault in the same time it is not the abuser's completely as well. It is a dance between too. Relationships are very complicated, and if you notice that there a repetition in the way you have been treated, this is the book for you. It helps you know where did you go wrong and how to take your life forward. It does not provide all ...more
May 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Playing clean up

If you've been in a gaslight relationship this books serves as the cleanup crew. Finally I no longer felt crazy and realized this is not normal.
Jul 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Interesting approach to conflict; to domineering individuals in one's life.
A, Know Your Emotions
B, Visualize Your Relationship
C, Take Care of Yourself
Nov 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
As someone who has read many self-help books on how to deal with 'difficult' people, I was pleasantly surprised how much I got from this book, The Gaslight Effect. I had expected the book to be a rehash of ideas that I had already read, and some small parts were, but I also found that many parts of the book still resonated with me.

The book is solidly written, with thorough descriptions on the different stages and types of gaslighting that gaslighters might employ on their gaslightees. It also ha
Jul 01, 2016 rated it liked it
Written as a self-help book for individuals who feel they may be suffering in a gaslighting relationship, this text helps identify when such relationships are indeed present and how to resolve or extricate oneself from such a situation with appendices and worksheets on the matter. It wasn't as helpful for my research into the field as more academic sources, but it does identify the "gaslight tango" as it exists between two individuals who enable one another to continue and exaggerate the relatio ...more
Gayle Francis Moffet
Feb 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
I've been working with a therapist for about 18 months, and the first part of the work was deciding to leave a gaslighting relationship. Once my therapist and I had come to what we felt was a good conclusion on that, we moved onto other things, but recently we've been delving into my past relationships, and gaslighting plays a major part in quite a few of them. I found this book on my own and found it extremely helpful. Yes, I could say I'd been gaslighted and have a working definition of what i ...more
Sarah Drosendahl
Oct 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
I found this book really enlightening. The primary message I got was to learn to be secure in yourself and more comfortable disagreeing with others without needing them to think you're right. There were things about the book that seemed a bit victim-blaming to me, even though it does say that another person trying to gaslight you isn't your fault, it pretty much says if you don't resist the gaslighting by making other choices, that IS your fault, which I disagree with. It's natural to want to de ...more
Greg Cruthers
Sep 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
My only real criticism of the book is that it could have been slightly shorter. That said, it was on a topic I had only become aware of over the past year. I like the way she expanded on what I had previously researched with real life examples. It was easy to relate, especially to the marital examples, for me. I feel like this information, self-examination and suggestions will help me now and in the future.

I read a couple reviews criticizing the Stern for framing everything as if the Man were t
Jul 23, 2008 rated it really liked it
I want everyone to like me all the time.

This, as we all know, is impossible. I stumbled across this book at the library. It was a quick read and a powerful resource for letting go of the tendency to give into emotional bullying- both giving and receiving.

The most compelling portion for me was the exploration of gaslighting relationships at work. Having just worked for a boss that was the master of manipulation, I felt like I am now better equipped if I should find myself in a similar situation.

Apryl Anderson
Sep 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Excellent! I thoroughly appreciate the author's point that it takes two to tango, and I'm grateful that this book is a guide to changing the dance from destructive to constructive. I wish I were quicker at recognizing when those lamps are starting to dim, but I trust that I'm getting better with practice. This is recommended reading for anyone stuck playing the victim, and needs to learn healthy, mature alternatives.
Nov 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
It was repetitive at times, but it works so that gaslightees can learn to feel affirmed. Although i've been gaslight-free for sometime before finding this book, it helped to reinforced what I learned when I left several toxic environments a year ago. Although the book doesn't go over it, I think maybe a future edition should cover the non-profit organizations or academia because ironically, those two industries can actually be more abusive and toxic than actual corporations at times.
Jennifer Daniel
Jan 19, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I picked this up thinking it was going to be a more vauge look at society and not a personal self-help book. Wow, was I wrong and I didn't even realize I was in need of so much help! It was very illuminating to see all my feelings and symptoms listed as being someone who was being "gaslighted". I've broken free from that but it was still helpful to know what I was going through was not all in my head and this wasnt' my fault.
Nov 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I liked that the book brought objectivity in the relationships that involve gaslighters and provided a solution focused method to handle various situations. I do think it could have been more concisely written by narrowing down the characters in book, however, the expansion of each makes it a thorough read involving various relationships.
Apr 22, 2009 rated it it was ok
I did like this book and was interested in the topic, but the way it was written made it slightly less attention-grabbing, hence the two starts. I think the author does a fine job of showing and explaining gaslighting, and I think the concept is something everyone should be aware of for their own sakes. It gave me a lot of insight in to some of my past relationships.
Carissa Weibley
Mar 16, 2009 rated it really liked it
This book is fabulous for anyone who wants to learn more about manipulative people...the people who are not outwardly this way, but more subtle about things. It applies to relationships, friendships or the dynamic in the workplace. It provides guidance on how to assert yourself if you are caught up in a manipulative dynamic, and how to change the situation, or how to know when to walk away.
Oct 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
An amazing and necessary book for anyone who has ever found themself on the receiving end of this pernicious kind of emotional abuse. It's been a godsend for me, even though my gaslighting relationship is over.
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“I think this point is so important, I'm going to repeat it: You should never listen to criticism that is primarily intended to wound, even if it contains more than a grain of truth.” 37 likes
“Paradoxically .. the very feminist movement that gave women more options also helped create pressure on many of us to be strong, successful, and independent—the kind of women who would theoretically be immune to any form of abuse from men. As a result, women who are in gaslighting and other types of abusive relationships may feel doubly ashamed: first, for being in a bad relationship, and second, for not living up to their self-imposed standards of strength and independence.” 13 likes
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