Self-doubt after narcissistic abuse.
Narcissists will use very similar phrases to Gaslight and blame shift. When we don’t understand what they are or why they are doing it, we end up questioning ourselves, blaming ourselves and doubting ourselves, when in reality, our instincts are correct. The narcissist is just trying to keep us as far from the truth as they can, making us believe that we are the ones going Crazy, not understanding they are the ones who drove us that way. Gaslighting is a hideous form of mental abuse that drives us out of our minds, so we actually feel like we are going crazy and that “No one will love us as they do.” “That no one will believe us.” as many a narcissist will try to instil into their targets, causing Cognitive Dissonance within our minds.
A narcissist is never accountable for their own actions if you have any issues with a narcissist if you ask a simple question. They will twist it into being your fault. A narcissist believes it’s always someone else’s fault, for someone else to fix, to a narcissist it’s always someone else’s fault, and with that simple question from you, they will word salad, Intimidation, twist the story, take you off-topic, project, stonewall, Provoke us for a reaction so they can talk about our reactions and not the original question, triangulate us with others, and many more
They’re never sorry they hurt you. They only feel sorry for themselves if they get caught out, and they fear there might be consequences to their actions.
The narcissist holds no sense of accountability due to them lacking in Cognitive Reflection skills, often meaning once they’ve made their reasoning, rationale and mind upon about a situation or an event that had happened, to them, this is then often is their reality. They will not look back to reflect on any part they played. Once they’ve decided someone else is to blame for their behaviour, they believe that the other person should apologise to them, often why they will sulk or give the Silent treatment, as they feel entitled to do as they please they will look back on what they perceive others to have done to them. As one of the traits of the disorder is an entitlement, they believe they have the right to do what they want, when they want, with whoever they want. So they don’t think they need to Apologies, yet as they blame-shift through their gaslighting of “If you hadn’t, I wouldn’t.” They often believe others should apologise to them for things the narcissist actually did.
“No one throws a bigger tantrum than a narcissist been shown facts and evidence of something they definitely did do.”
Another trait is that they have low levels of Empathy. They don’t have the emotional empathy to care on a genuine level, only the cognitive empathy to see how others would precieve their behaviour, why they will offer a false apology if they believe they have some to gain by doing so. As they believe that they are special (which we are all special, the difference is they use their feelings of being special to exploit others, whereas kind people help others to feel special, ) as narcissists have that egotistical sense of entitlement the feeling of being above all others. They lack in empathy. They have no genuine feelings of guilt or remorse as to how they exploit those around them. They don’t have the emotional empathy to care to give them the feelings to offer a genuine apology. The false understanding that a narcissist has means if they’ve done something and have something to gain by using a fake apology, they will give one, however with their own twisted perspectives, they will do something to hurt another. Not only have no regard for what they have done to remove any feeling of shame, but they will also them gaslight and blame the other person.
So here are a few phrases you may have heard.
“It’s your fault.” Whatever they’ve been caught out on, whatever proof you have, they will always twist it straight back onto us, as they believe we did something to cause them to act the way they did as they don’t hold themselves accountable for their own behaviour. Why many of us in a toxic relationship, we say things like. “It’s because I.” We blame ourselves, change ourselves to suit them when it’s not us. They are responsible for their own actions; no one makes them do anything, and they gaslight those around them into blaming themselves.
“What do you want me to do about it.” with this, they blame no one directly, but they’re not going to take any form of responsibility, so they will claim it’s nothing to do with them, that we are the ones who need to sort it out. Narcissistic people walk around, causing drama and expect those around them to pick up after them.
” You’re insecure.” No, your instincts are screaming at you, but thanks to the narcissist’s manipulation, you’re not sure what they are saying. Always trust your instincts. Even when you don’t know what they are saying, they are usually right. A narcissist tells us we are insecure to escape the accountability of whatever their behaviour is making us feel that way, and blame our normal feelings towards their behaviour for the problems within the relationship, so again we look to change ourselves, rather than see their behaviour is unacceptable and walk away.
“Not my problem.” They believe they are entitled to do as they please. It’s up to us to sort everything out. They withhold support to destroy our mental health.
“You’re too sensitive.” No, you are not. We will usually have got a perfectly good reason to be upset, and the narcissist who doesn’t care will not accept blame, leaving us to question if we are overreacting, so we feel insecure, so we don’t ask them again. Therefore the narcissist can carry on with their hurtful toxic behaviour, and we stay through fear that it’s our fault they hurt us the way they do. It’s never your fault. They have a disorder. It’s who they are. You can not help them, as they don’t see any issues within their behaviour.
“No, I didn’t.” They did, but they’ll never admit to something they did. So they’ll claim they didn’t to leave us with more questions, then they will not answer honestly.
“If you hadn’t.” Finding fault with you, so again, the original question isn’t answered, and we are left wondering about your own actions.
“If you looked after me more, I wouldn’t go elsewhere.” Even though they’ve cheated on you, if you ask again about the affair, they’ll just respond with something like. “I’ve already told you why.” Again getting us to question ourselves and try harder to please.
“It’s only messages. At least I’m not cheating.” They probably are Cheating, but they’ll not admit that. They are definitely looking for a new source of supply. Cheating is whatever you believe is cheating. If you wouldn’t message someone because you believe it’s wrong, they are not the person for you and will continue to hurt you.
“You’re overreacting.” Actually, no, you’re not, and no, you haven’t. Again, they just want to shift the blame and accountability away from themselves.
“I love you.” They don’t even know how to love themselves, let alone others. They just want to use you for whatever you’ve got that they want or need.
“That didn’t happen.” Yes, it did. They just enjoy rewriting history and watching you doubt yourself more. Most will know the truth at the start. They just want to watch you go crazy, trying to prove it.
“That wasn’t my fault.” It was totally their fault, but remember, they can not be accountable.
“If you hadn’t, then I wouldn’t.” They probably got you so down or provoked you in some way when they intentionally use the things we care about the most against us, as these are the things we will most passionately defend, so we react, then they blame us. Again all to mess with our mind and escape responsibility for those things they actually do.
“If you loved me, you would.” The classic guilt trip breaks down our beliefs and boundaries, so we lose who we are, all to please them.
“They’re only a friend. You’re imagining things again.” No, actually, you don’t imagine, your instinct is telling you something if you end the relationship, they are spotted with, or they’ll have moved in with that friend you asked them about, soon afterwards. Let them keep them. If someone treats you like a choice, leave because you have a choice, it’s not easy, but it’s worth it. Use them moving on as your get out of jail free card.
“You’re too hung up on your past relationships.” Well, if you’ve dated a few narcissists, that could be true; either way, your instinct is telling you to run.
“I’d never hurt you.” Nope, they’ll just steal your mind, heart and health, possibly your home and children, then walk into the sunset with someone new, but to the narcissist, it’ll be all your fault.
“Why do you have to spoil everything.”You didn’t actually cause a problem, and they probably did something to get a reaction from you. Most likely, they were not getting the attention they believed they deserved, especially someone else’s special occasion. Hence, they sulk or tantrum, then as soon as you react, they’ll be happy again and blame it all on you.
“You make everything so difficult” oh, the irony of this one, just like “Why do you have to spoil everything.” Making things difficult, that’s usually when we’ve worked out what they are, the games that they play, and we’re no longer reacting how they want us to, we’ve stopped playing their games, we are only responding, and now they are struggling to get the attention they believe they deserve from us.
“That’s just like you.” When you’ve found your boundaries, and you’re sticking to them.
“You need a mental evaluation.” or ” You’re Crazy.” Again the irony of this one. No, you’re not crazy. You just needed to get away from the narcissist, to clear your head of the garbage they feed you, heal and recover.
“You’re selfish.” Again no, you’re not. They can just no longer guilt trip you; stick to your own boundaries. They are saying this to play on your empathy, so you forget who you are and give into them.
A Narcissist will hook us in with the Idealisation stage of the relationship, where they can act like genuine, honest people, then slowly devalue us without us even knowing. Through their many methods of manipulation, such as gaslighting, invalidating, isolation, intimidation and many more, then when they’ve got what they wanted they Discard for someone new, often Smearing our name, so if we speak up, we look crazy, jealous and match the narcissists toxic lies, when the new will one day find out just like we did it wasn’t us. It wasn’t the new. It’s the narcissist and their pattern of toxic behaviour.
How do you beat a narcissist at their own games? No longer play, no reaction, if you can go no contact do it. That’s the best revenge and karma on a narcissist, if not grey rock. It’s a learning curve. It gets easier.
A narcissist has the mentality of a young child, who’s been caught, with a bar of chocolate in hand, knowing they shouldn’t have it. Still chewing on some, with it all down their top, hands and face covered. When you ask the child, have you eaten chocolate before your tea? They may smile and say, “No.” A narcissist is just that, a child that never learnt why it’s wrong to lie blatantly. Most children lie out of fear, normal human childhood reactions, yet as they grow, they learn from mistakes, they learn and understand respect for each other and boundaries, and learn to say sorry, then change their behaviour so they don’t have a need to apologise for the same mistakes. Somewhere in a narcissists mind, they missed this step out and end up in an adults body, throwing major temper tantrums. Some are extremely dangerous, so always put your safety first.
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Elizabeth Shaw is not a Doctor or a therapist. She is a mother of five, a blogger, a survivor of narcissistic abuse, and a life coach, She always recommends you get the support you feel comfortable and happy with. Finding the right support for you. Elizabeth has partnered with BetterHelp (Sponsored.) where you will be matched with a licensed councillor, who specialises in recovery from this kind of abuse.