Gaslighting, according to the National Domestic Abuse Hotline, is a form a emotional abuse whereby someone distorts facts, evidence, and memories in order to get the victim to question their own instincts, feelings, and sanity to the point where the victim no longer trusts themselves. It is a form of confidence erosion that empowers the abuser and disempowers the victim. The victim may become actually mentally unwell due to the abuser, further empowering the abuser to gaslight more, or even commit long-term psychiatric abuse against the victim.
Notable institutionalized forms of gaslighting occur through psychiatry and CBT (DBT etc). Gaslighting also occurs a lot by politicians and political pundits to the public. With respect to incels, the media and feminists will frequently tell incels that they are imagining the global rise in sexlessness, that they are also imagining the dating difficulties they are going through, and that they are imagining it causing them suffering. In other words, gaslighting.
Inceldom from selfish father hypothesis
In pop psychology, gaslighting is explained as arising from extreme selfishness born from low self esteem, known in psychiatry as a variant of narcissistic personality disorder. Certain prominent incels have had fathers with clear narcissistic traits. For example, Elliot Rodger's father implied on ABC that Elliot may have commited his murder due to jealously of his fathers "good looks". Selfish or vain parents may play a role in the lack of confidence seen in incels, but this has yet to be studied. The admin of Braincels.org cites himself as a victim of a selfish/exploitative/grandiose father. MRAs tend to blame poor male functioning on a lack of a strong or healthy father figure in general.
Techniques of gaslighters
is one technique where the abuser pretends not to understand the victim
where an abuser will vehemently call into question a victim's memory in spite of the victim having remembered things correctly.
"Blocking" and "diverting"
are gaslighting techniques whereby the abuser again changes the conversation from the subject matter to questioning the victim's thoughts and controlling the conversation.
is another way of gaslighting. It involves making the victim believe his or her thoughts or needs aren't important
Abusive "forgetting" and "denial"
can also be forms of gaslighting. In this technique, the abuser pretends to forget things that have really occurred; the abuser may deny or delay things like promises that have been made that are important to the victim. This denying or delaying, while everyone does it, in the gaslighter occurs on a regular basis in the absense of real external limitations. The gaslighter may make up or create artificial barriers to allow him/herself to deny or delay that which is important to the victim.
An example of this would be having hundreds of thousands in assets, but spending all disposable income before using the income on someone who is dependent on that income. Simultaneously verbally stating they wish to financially help the victim but for years saying they are 'out of money'. This may extend to sexual matters as well.