Thank you for a insightful response.
I enjoy examining things from all angles, so it was great to read your pov.
The movie is from the late 30's or early 40's I believe ? Psychological reference to gaslighting was coined about the 70`s.
A quick sweep of my favourite search engine, tells me :
' A little known, form of abuse. Gaslighting, is an emotional abuse technique in which one individual creates self-doubt in another.
The most complete, and basic explanation (paraphrased)I found was ;
' Letting someone else twist and define your own reality.'
I think the author in the link, used a simplified story, to explain how confusing gaslighting can be. The fact is, who knows if those people asking for rides were being malicious or not. There is evidence pointing both ways.
And that,..is how gaslighting drives people crazy. There is usually no proof, just a feeling. In fact physical evidence to the contrary, is usually what keeps the victim moving in the direction of the manipulator.
The people in the story, could of been doing this to many folks, to keep getting 'free rides' without ever coughing up gas money. ( no pun intended). There are little clues to that, by how quickly they go from just being 'grateful' to having expectations.
Or they could of been ignorant, and clueless,...who knows ?
The other point I`d like to make, is that like many other forms of manipulation, gaslighting starts off small,..and the 'big things' come later.
How this ties into poly ?..you hit the nail on the head Mr.FFR, with your example.
There are many cases of confusion from both newbies and experienced people, where they cannot tell if what their spouse or partner wants, is a reasonable request, or 'right'. I see many times, people worry about the moral and ethical evaluation, and forget that it could possibly be the manner in which their spouse is going about getting what they want, that is the real problem.
There are many forms of manipulation. Blackmail, passive-aggressive tendencies, gaslighting, etc. If people are to be their own primaries, then this starts with keeping themselves educated and safe.
We just can't sit here and TELL people we think their spouse is wrong, and expect them to do better simply because we said 'We wouldn`t put up with that.' It would be nice if we gave them a bit more information to look into.
* - www.associatedcontent.com
**- Are you being gaslighted ? - Psychology Today.