Posted in life, psychology

What is Gaslighting

In my previous post, we talked about manipulation and sampled the character of Jin Mu from Alchemy of Souls. Fact check, we meet a gaslighter in real life sometimes unaware of it, and so before falling to their trap let me show you ways to spot a gaslighter.

Gaslighting is a colloquialism, loosely defined as making someone question their own reality. The term derives from the title of the 1944 film – Gaslight. The term may also be used to describe a person (a “gaslighter”) who presents a false narrative to another group or person, thereby leading them to doubt their perceptions and become misled, disoriented or distressed.

Wikipedia

Gaslighting is a favorite tool of a toxic person. It is a form of abuse and psychological control. A gaslighter will start with small lies, eventually misinformation increases overtime. Anyone can be a victim of a gaslighting and the most effective gaslighter is the hardest to detect.

Gaslighting can appear in various ways. Here are examples or techniques they use (from Medical News Today);

  • Countering: This is when someone questions a person’s memory or recall. They may say, “Are you sure about that? You have a bad memory,” or “I think you are just forgetful.”
  • Withholding: Pretending they do not understand the conversation, or refusing to listen, to make a person doubt themselves. For example, they might say, “Now you are just confusing me,” or “I do not know what you are talking about.”
  • Trivializing: This occurs when a person belittles or disregards how someone else feels. They may accuse them of being “too sensitive” or overreacting in response to valid and reasonable concerns.
  • Denial: Refusing to take responsibility for their actions. They may do this by pretending to forget what happened, saying they did not do it, or blaming their behavior on someone else.
  • Diverting: With this technique, a person changes the focus of a discussion by questioning the other person’s credibility. A great tactic and often use by personalities to divert the attention from them.
  • Stereotyping: A person may intentionally use negative stereotypes about someone’s gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality, nationality, or age to gaslight them. For example, they may say that no one will believe a woman if she reports abuse.

From the examples listed, you maybe able to detect a gaslighter. As a disclaimer, this behavior becomes toxic based on intentions. And we may accidentally use the phrases sampled above without really intending to gaslight someone. It’s all in the intention or motives of a person.

It is different from Manipulation though. Manipulation is a key part of gaslighting, it’s a common tactic. Can be used in marketing strategies, politics, institutions, etc. But gaslighter, they are very rare and much more toxic.


Gaslighting can be psychologically devastating. According to Psychology Today, it violates trust, upends a person’s view that people are generally good, and can make them suspicious of everyone who is close to them. Falling victim to a gaslighter also erodes a person’s trust in themselves and may make a victim never want to be part of a relationship again.

There are ways to protect yourself from this form of abuse. First to simply gather evidence, write journals, take photos, etc. and use them as your proof. You may also talk to someone trustworthy and if needed, leave that toxic relationship.

Posted in kdrama, motivational

Toxic Manipulator spotted in Alchemy of Souls

Warning: this post may contain spoilers.

We’re done watching Season 1 of Alchemy of Souls and boy what a great ending! Massive cliffhanger and intense drama, though many people died 😦 and revelations were all shocking.


Thought of posting about the character of Jin Mu – the main villain of this Kdrama. He did well in this series, I must say he is one effective villain. I’ve seen other dramas with him as the antagonist and he is really a good actor. This post is not about him as an actor but will talk about his role in Alchemy of Souls.

Jin Mu

In Psychology, a toxic person is most likely to manifest a manipulative behavior. And it was evident all throughout the series. Jin Mu has manipulated the main characters for his own benefit. His dream has always been to be a Kingmaker or a very powerful head of Cheonbugwan. So he manipulates Naksu who lives in Mu-deok’s body using spells that shaman Choi left behind.

As per Merriam-Webster the meaning of MANIPULATIVE is of, relating to, or performed by manipulation; especially : serving or intended to control or influence others in an artful and often unfair or selfish way.

Manipulation refers to strategies and behaviors a person uses to gain power or influence over another. These tactics often include attempts to damage another person’s emotional and mental well-being. And for those following this series, Mu controlled and destroyed the lives of many characters like Jang Gang and his friend (the father of Naksu), Naksu, the queen (shaman), and list goes on.

Ep 20 stills – Crown Prince (Go Won) & Jin Mu

A manipulator like Jin Mu will show the following behavior;

  • Lying
  • Denying
  • Passive-aggressive behavior
  • Gaslighting
  • Silence
  • Criticizing
  • Withholding important information
  • Blaming

He has used lies to control and influence other people in the story – Go Won that’s why he would be confused and troubled all the time. Fighting between his stand as a student of Mu or a kind-hearted prince. He promises to help Go Won kill Jang Uk and reveal his great secret. Won claims that Uk is now powerless and would soon be an outcast so he asks Jin Mu to confess and come clean but again with the manipulation Mu insists that Jang Uk might just be hiding his power and that everyone was deceiving Go Won (lie after lie, tsk).

Jin Mu also showed gaslighting, blaming and endless lies to other characters like Lady Jin who was already desperate to find her long lost daughter.

Manipulative behavior can also serve the following purposes;

  • Cause doubt and confusion 
  • Help them avoid conflict
  • Conceal their true intentions
  • Allow them to avoid responsibility for their behavior

This destructive behavior has caused the tragic ending of season 1. And though we are aware of second season coming this December, I just can’t take my mind off the dispecable role of Jin Mu. He is the evilest among all evil as one blogger said.

In reality, we may be living with a manipulator and it only takes knowledge and understanding to spot one. They don’t need spells to try to control and influence us for their own gain. We should be wise enough to deal with them so we won’t fall victim to their main act which is manipulation.

(season 2 pls, pls)<3