In a new YouTube video on her channel, WayLand, Crayon Pop star Way revealed the stories of how she was gaslighted by her company and her ex-boyfriend—and gave a trainee some advice on how to escape toxic relationships.

One of Way’s viewers asked her for advice in a recent ASMR “counseling” video. The viewer, who also happens to be a K-Pop trainee, explained that one of her fellow aspiring idols at the company has been gaslighting her, using her, and even dating their manager. While the situation may seem extreme, Way had some great advice for the fan—because she’s faced gaslighting herself in the past.

| 웨이랜드WayLand/YouTube

I really feel this person because I’ve seen a similar situation so many times with people around me. I’ve even experienced a similar situation like this.

— Way

As Way explained in her video, the term “gaslighting” refers to a type of psychological manipulation in which someone intentionally makes another person doubt their own memory or perception, leading to cognitive dissonance (stress caused by conflicting beliefs), low self-esteem, and trauma. The term comes from the 1938 British play Gas Light, in which a man convinces his wife that she’s going insane through actions such as dimming the gas lights in their home and insisting she’s imagining it.

Gaslight (1944)

First, Way revealed that she was gaslighted by someone she was dating as an idol. Whenever she’d have any schedules or activities with another boy group and photos were taken, her boyfriend would overreact. Way shared that he would say things like, “You saw that guy, why didn’t you tell me beforehand?” or “Did you guys have something?” According to the Crayon Pop star, it went beyond reasonable jealousy and led her to doubt herself.

| 웨이랜드WayLand/YouTube

Way also shared that her significant other would even interfere with her outfits. He didn’t want to let her show any skin and was so serious about it that he would go to her stylist and get her outfits changed. Just recalling the situation to share it on YouTube, Way found herself getting stressed.

| 웨이랜드WayLand/YouTube

Once you get gaslighted…. All your thoughts are focused on that person. You feel like if there is peace in this relationship, then your day today is well spent.

— Way

Thankfully, Way decided to end the relationship because of the toxic behavior. However, this wasn’t the only time she experienced gaslighting in her career. Thinking back, Way realized she may have been gaslighted by her company, Chrome Entertainment, too.

| 웨이랜드WayLand/YouTube

Even the company. Now I think about it, I think I was gaslighted.

­— Way

The singer and YouTuber revealed that every action, from her voice to the way she talked, was condemned by the company. On top of that, Way explained, “I didn’t even get paid right [and] I couldn’t even go out.” Even worse, Way says that if someone hit her or cursed at her, she was always the one who had to say sorry. At the time, as a rookie idol, Way shared that she believed she was the problem.

| 웨이랜드WayLand/YouTube

At that time, you don’t know. At that time, what I thinking was that it was all something natural. If I say no, or even saying that this is not right, was just something I couldn’t even imagine.

— Way

Looking back, Way says it seems like the company was gaslighting her. She also found herself succumbing to the “good kid illness“—a tendency to hide any negative emotions and do everything she was asked to please the company.

| 웨이랜드WayLand/YouTube

When I think about it now, I feel bad for myself. I should’ve escaped from it earlier. I think like that.

— Way

When it comes to dealing with gaslighting and toxic relationships, Way’s advice to the trainee was to “escape” from the situation. Way warned the trainee to beware of “dangerous” behavior from her fellow trainee—for example, false compliments like “How can I live without you?” that only pull you deeper into the toxic relationship. Ultimately, Way told the viewer she needs to be brave and cut the friend off—or, alternatively, give them a taste of their own medicine.

Watch Way’s video for yourself with English subtitles here: