Gaslighting defined as

Gaslighting is a form of manipulation that seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or in members of a targeted group, hoping to make them question their own memory, perception, and sanity.

Now, in the case, someone has a certain perception of their situation, and you think you have the objective perception. Is it wrong to try and persuade the person to realize that their perception is actually false?

More concretely, say I was making a scene, for taking offense to some joke. Now, three others are laughing immensely at this joke, and I am told, that I am overreacting and should calm down. Since overreaction is relative to the appropriate reaction, or in some sense, the expected reaction, the others perceive to have the objective perception. When they say I am overreacting, they plant a seed of doubt in my own perception, but not in an attempt to deceive me, but to enlighten me. Is this (still) called gaslighting?

The intention of gaslighting is not described as being part of its definition. If this is not gaslighting, how so? If this is actually bad behavior, how so? Or is the gaslighting, but also correct behavior?

I got to think of this because someone called someone out for gaslighting, and thereby dismissing what was being said.

closed as unclear what you're asking by Joseph Weissman Nov 29 '17 at 0:39

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    @Not_Here, Granted, I chose my definition, because it seemed to be the definition used the example that got me to write the question, i.e the bit in small. So I would like an answer based on the definition that I provide. Alternatively, I can go IPS and ask how to tell someone you aren't gaslighting them. :) – Chris Wohlert Nov 28 '17 at 13:57
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    I understand that but the issue is that definition is lacking clarity. Again, the answer to the question "is this gaslighting" is no because it does not meet the actual definition of the word. The phrase was popularized by a film where it is very clear that gaslighting has to do with the intention of making somebody feel insane. The online Oxford Dictionary says the same thing, that there is intent. Telling someone they're wrong in an argument is not gaslighting. – Not_Here Nov 28 '17 at 14:01
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    The reason I quoted the definition, was because I know it isn't the standard dictionary definition, but it is the definition I see in use. The way I see it, from the point of view of the victim it will always appear as gaslighting. But I get it, if gaslighting is to convince sane people that they are insane, and not insane people that they are sane, my example is a poor fit. I might actually bring it to Interpersonal then, to see how to deal with someone thinking they are being gaslighted. Thank you for your input Not_Here. – Chris Wohlert Nov 28 '17 at 14:08
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    According to which ethical system? Utilitarian? Aristotelian? Existentialist? Confucian? I ask, because here questions of right and wrong are usually closed as opinion-based unless referenced to a specific system of ethics. The reason is different systems often have quite different answers, and there's no one universally endorsed system. – Chris Sunami Nov 28 '17 at 17:29
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    Maybe what you want to ask is "Is there an ethical system that would help me make sense of a distinction between malicious and non-malicious gaslighting?" It seems like your question might really be more about the role of intention in ethics, rather than the specifics of this practice. – Chris Sunami Nov 28 '17 at 17:36