The Art of Gaslighting

Uduak Asuquo
2 min readJul 8, 2021

Gaslighting is one of the worst crimes to be committed against a person's sanity. Of all the plethora of tricks that sociopaths love to spring out of their portmanteau of despicable acts, I dread gaslighting the most. Gaslighting literally makes you doubt your reality and encourages you to create an alternate reality for yourself because someone else said so.

My experience with gaslighting sociopaths did not begin recently, on the contrary, all my life, I have been a victim of severe gaslighting. I never paid attention to it, until I became older and more aware of myself and my environment.

Gaslighting seems to be the go-to weapon for a lot of reasons these days because it’s more convenient to ignore the elephant in the room than to attempt to do something about it.

The government of Nigeria is an archetype example of how gaslighting can be harnessed in the most ruthless and mendacious ways. Governments all over the world have been known to tow the path of plausible deniability when things go wrong. This is usually done in the most subtle of ways, painstaking efforts made to make sure that the element of gaslighting is as subtle as it can be.

In Nigeria, the government has perfected the art of gaslighting, and they do it with shocking recklessness and absolute impunity. From the events that led to the epochal ENDSARS protest, to how the government handled the aftermath, our elected and appointed government officials wielded gaslighting like a weapon.

I find it disturbing the amount of consistent hard work and efforts funneled into making people believe that something they actually experienced was a lie. Every morning we wake up to one disheartening news or the other, and the government is always there, like a sociopathic guardian, to give us a whole different version of the story altogether. Their efforts seem to be paying off, as the amount of confused Nigerians seems to have doubled since 2015.

They no longer remember how they brayed for Jonathan’s blood when the Chibok girls were kidnapped. According to the UN, 950 pupils have been abducted in Nigeria since December 2020. Under the present dispensation, school children are now a soft target for kidnappers, but the mendacious people at the helm of our affairs are always ready with an alternate story to counter the reality we are all experiencing.

If only they could have channeled half the efforts they expend on perfecting gaslighting, to institute productive policies and systems, the denizens could actually see real development that is not only visible on some data-sheet in the NBS(National Bureau of Statistics).



Uduak Asuquo

Freelance Creative Writer. Avid Reader. Closet Introvert. I want to tell stories that ruin your day in a good way.