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The Gaslight Effect

How to Spot and Survive the Hidden Manipulation Others Use to Control Your Life
Written by: Dr. Robin Stern
Narrated by: Nan McNamara
Length: 9 hrs and 34 mins
5 out of 5 stars (7 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Are You Being Gaslighted? 

Check for these telltale signs: 

  • You constantly second-guess yourself. 
  • You wonder, "Am I being too sensitive?" a dozen times a day. 
  • You wonder frequently if you are a "good enough" girlfriend/wife/employee/friend/daughter. 
  • You have trouble making simple decisions. 
  • You think twice before bringing up innocent topics of conversation. 
  • You frequently make excuses for your partner's behavior to friends and family. 
  • Before your partner comes home from work, you run through a checklist in your head to anticipate anything you might have done wrong that day. 
  • You buy clothes for yourself, furnishings for your apartment, or other personal purchases thinking about what your partner would like instead of what would make you feel great. 
  • You actually start to enjoy the constant criticism, because you think, "What doesn't kill me will make me stronger." 
  • You start speaking to your husband through his secretary so you don't have to tell him things you're afraid might upset him. 
  • You start lying to avoid the put-downs and reality twists. 
  • You feel as though you can't do anything right. 
  • You frequently wonder if you're good enough for your lover. 
  • Your kids start trying to protect you from being humiliated by your partner. 
  • You feel hopeless and joyless. 

Your husband crosses the line in his flirtations with another woman at a dinner party. When you confront him, he asks you to stop being insecure and controlling. After a long argument, you apologize for giving him a hard time. 

Your boss backed you on a project when you met privately in his office, and you went full steam ahead. But at a large gathering of staff - including yours - he suddenly changes his tune and publicly criticizes your poor judgment. When you tell him your concerns for how this will affect your authority, he tells you that the project was ill-conceived and you'll have to be more careful in the future. You begin to question your competence. 

Your mother belittles your clothes, your job, your friends, and your boyfriend. But instead of fighting back as your friends encourage you to do, you tell them that your mother is often right and that a mature person should be able to take a little criticism. 

If you think things like this can't happen to you, think again. Gaslighting is when someone wants you to do what you know you shouldn't and to believe the unbelievable. It can happen to you and it probably already has. 

©2007 Dr. Robin Stern (P)2018 Random House Audio

What the critics say

"Compassionate and honest in equal parts, The Gaslight Effect is like a sturdy, truth-telling friend in difficult times. Robin Stern will show you you're not alone in your toxic relationship, and she'll also help you identify your role and how to change - and be a stronger, wiser person as a result." (Rachel Simmons, best-selling author of Odd Girl Out)
"An essential survival tool. In a clear, comforting, and sophisticated voice, therapist Robin Stern takes her psychologically abused readers on a step-by-step journey that will help them take control of their lives and their destinies." (Phyllis Chesler, PhD, author of Woman's Inhumanity To Woman)
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Very insightful

I totally enjoyed this book. Narrator did a great job telling the stories. This book helped me a lot with the future decisions I'll be making. Understanding my situations and what I could possibly do to make it better.

1 person found this helpful

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  • A. Demas
  • 2018-08-14

Tough topic but important

This is so prevalent but important to read. It isn't the most enjoyable book but one to read for great awareness.

8 people found this helpful

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  • jalmquist
  • 2019-11-13

Women's book

This is completely from a women's perspective. This book, in itself, is gaslighting every man that reads it. Men, do not read or listen to this garbage.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Concerned nurse
  • 2019-05-17

I prefer writers who don't politically polarize

Russian collusion & pretending not to spy while spying are also gaslighting. Politics are rough and should stay out of these kinds of books. I'm surprised she didn't balance the political climate or better yet, leave it out. I feel gaslighted. Such a wonderful opportunity to address real emotional safety to all of us in all walks of life.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Sharon
  • 2019-08-01

This book is very bad.

This book is very bad. I can’t even get through it. The premise is wrong. Instead of teaching about gaslighting as abuse and that verbal abuse is wrong, it attempts to shift the blame onto the victim. “It takes two to tango.” This is absolutely wrong.

I feel sorry for every person who listens to this book and isn’t strong enough to recognize the abusive message. I’m very glad I was far enough into my recovery from emotional and verbal abuse to recognize that this book is far from the mark. I really tried to give it a chance, but I simply couldn’t listen anymore to this misguided and wrong advice.

There are far better resources out there on verbal abuse and gaslighting. This book is not helpful. Stay away.

16 people found this helpful

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  • Courtenay
  • 2018-12-20

I loved it because its harshly honest and needed

nothing has come close to explaining my issues better. its honest and impactful. happy I found it

3 people found this helpful

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  • Matthew R McGee
  • 2018-11-03

Great introduction to the concept of Gaslighting

The term 'Gaslighting' is common vernacular in today's society. It can be heard on comedy TV shows as well as the nightly news, but most pop culture sources offer few specifics of what the phenomenon is. Dr. Stern coined the term 'Gaslighting' to create a construct to, more easily, define emotional and psychological abuse. There are many books on the subject. I don't recommend you stop with this one, but, perhaps, Dr. Sterns plain language and pioneering efforts make this book a great place to start a journey of understanding.

2 people found this helpful

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  • K
  • 2018-03-28

Political stuff... really?

I didn’t get this book to listen about the “gaslighting” of the Trump administration. Just irritated me.

47 people found this helpful

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  • Norman
  • 2019-11-26

Great Book!

I love that it has a lot of different examples of what gaslighting can look like! i also enjoyed the steps to turn off the gas if you find yourself being gaslighted.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Cyndi Holder
  • 2019-02-12

Very Helpful

This book was very enlightening.. it was informative and helpful. I loved it from beginning to end.

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  • twinkids
  • 2018-12-30

Solutions, Strategies & Hope

I learned so much from this book. I went from being a confused victim to learning how to empower MYSELF and stop the dance. One of the best books I've ever read !! Unstuck now

1 person found this helpful

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  • Irene
  • 2019-12-05

Eye- opening

I have found myself in many situations described in this book. I have found it an eye-opening for me. I kept on listening to it in my weak moments or just to remind me how strong I am becoming.