In case you’re unfamiliar with the term gaslighting, I’ll tell you that it’s a form of psychological abuse in which a loved one presents you with false information and then doggedly insists it’s true, causing you, over time, to question your perception of reality and to blame yourself for the other person’s actions and any problems in your relationship with that person. Often, gaslighting behaviors are perpetrated by partners to cover up sexual infidelity, financial shenanigans, or some other ongoing bad behavior.One of the most disturbing facets of gaslighting is that everyone is vulnerable—even incredibly intelligent and emotionally stable individuals. In part this is because, as human beings, our natural tendency is to believe what the people we love and trust tell us. So rather than questioning a loved one, we tend to defend and make excuses for the person, even if the behavior we’re willfully ignoring hurts us directly.Moreover, gaslighting is just plain hard to spot because it tends to start slowly, with small lies and believable excuses. “I’m sorry I’m late, honey. I’ve got a big project at work and I lost track of time.” A loving spouse would hardly question that statement. Over time, of course, the lies get bigger and the excuses get flimsier, but we might not notice because the escalation is so gradual. In some ways, it’s like putting a frog in a pot of water that is set to slowly boil. Because the temperature increases only gradually, the frog doesn’t notice that it’s being cooked.