The term gaslighting comes from the play Gaslight, which in the 1940s was made into a movie where the husband sent the wife insane.
What is gaslighting? ￼
Gaslighting is to manipulate someone by any psychologically means possible into doubting their own reality, their feelings, their intentions, their behaviour and their memories, so they no longer trust themselves and often turn to the narcissist for a reality check.
Why do narcissists Gaslight?￼
The narcissist does this because they feel entitled. There is one rule for them and another rule for everybody else. They do this with many forms of manipulation as they feel entitled to protect their ego any way they can. They lack the empathy to care for those that they hurt. They are arrogant within the belief they can exploit us to meet a need of their own because they believe they are special. They are preoccupied with their own agenda. They wish to gain control of those around them to prove that they are right and all of us are wrong to escape accountability and not to be held responsible for their behaviour.
How gaslighting can make you feel. ￼
Gaslighting leaves you feeling full of self-doubt, confused, sometimes turning into a detective to try and work out what has happened in your reality and then like you’re stalking the narcissist and if you go to the narcissist with any information you find they will double whammy by saying “don’t you trust me?” Being gaslighted all the more leaving you feeling guilty, questioning yourself more, isolated, full of fear, Silenced, scared, always saying sorry, second-guessing yourself, feeling guilty, feeling lonely and feeling crazy￼.￼￼￼￼￼
Why it’s so easy to fall for gaslighting.￼
How do we fall for gaslighting?
- We have no idea about gaslighting.
- You are a caring person understand that people make mistakes. Forgive people want to give people chances.
- Fear of reactions if you call out their behaviour, from past experience.
- Raised by a narcissist,￼ so then you accept other peoples gaslighting behaviour as normal because you don’t know any different. ￼
How do narcissist’s Gaslight?
The narcissist will leave out facts saying things to you like “I would have told you, but you can’t handle the truth.” This is one of the ways that almost gets us turning into that detective because our instincts will be telling us that something isn’t quite right, but as the narcissist will not tell us what’s happening we can turn into a detective to try and claim our reality back.
They are downplaying or minimising their behaviour￼￼.￼
To distract you from what they’re up to so you focus on your feelings, they will downplay or minimise their behaviour they will say things to you like. “After all I’ve done for you, don’t be so sensitive, I put a roof over your head.” to make you feel grateful for the things that they have done and forgotten about the things that they haven’t done to make you question how you feel rather than questioning how their actions have made you feel.
Similar to omission, but this is where they might tell you part truth, so if you go to ask them a question about something, they’ll let you know half the story or “I’m not talking to you about this today.” or they will say something like ”I’m going here with Sam.” when they could be going somewhere they’re just not going where they said they were going, or with who they said they were going with.
This is where they will completely deny your reality, so if you ask them about something or bring something up that they promised and haven’t delivered, you will get things like. “It’s all in your head, that didn’t happen, I never said that, you said.” so if they plan something without you they’ll turn it round that you said that you didn’t want to go to excuse their behaviour￼￼￼￼￼. Even if you never said it.
Breaking the promises.
They’ll promise you something to distract you from the reality of what’s happening in the presents, and this even occurs in the idealisation stage to distract you from who they indeed are they will sell you all the dreams and create that future that you would like and then further down the line when they break those promises to you they will gaslight with sentences such as ”you must be mistaken, ” or they will say ”if you hadn’t” to make you work harder to please them to create that false hope that around the next corner will be that thing that they promised only when you get there when you get around that corner it’s not there and to distract you from the pain at present they will say to you ”you must be mistaken, if you hadn’t, I’ll talk about it in six months.” to keep that hope alive within you all while they slowly sink you.
To distract you from what is actually currently happening in the present time or how they’ve hurt you in some way, this is when they say things like ”if only you.” so that you question yourself and not what they’re doing they will create feelings of jealousy within you and then call you jealous to distract from what they are actually doing so you focus your attention on your reactions, on your feelings, ￼￼to distract you from their actions their behaviour so they escape accountability because you’re busy focusing on your feelings your actions and your intentions and not theirs, when they hurt you with intent, Then say “I’m only joking.” to make you question how you feel rather than how they acted the same when they come at you with “you’re too sensitive.” when you’re not too sensitive these are normal feelings through how somebody is treating you￼￼￼￼.
Using your flaws against you.
This will be when they bring something up from the past that you may have told them in the strictest confidence. They will try to break down your Boundry by saying things like, “what would your mum think if I told them this? what would your friend think if I told them,” they will use your mistakes against you anything you told them with confidence they will use against you to distract you from what they are doing so that they can exploit you to meet a need of their own.
Narcissists triangulate to gain control to meet a need of their own they will say things like. “Everyone thinks you.” So that you question who you are as a person they will say that other people think that you’re crazy, so you doubt yourself they will tell you what others haven’t even said about you, so you question who you are as a person and not realising that the narcissist is using divide and conquer to gain their control over you further.
This is where the narcissist will have often done something that hurts your feelings. Then they will turn round and claim that it’s your fault that your feelings are hurt. They will say things like. “I’m sorry you feel that way. I didn’t hurt your feelings. Nobody can make you feel anything. I’m only joking. You should take a joke, stop exaggerating.” They say these things to distract you from how their behaviour has hurt you, has impacted you so that you question your reactions to their actions, and you don’t pay attention to the root cause of your pain. You are lead to believe that you’re at fault for your pain and not their hurtful actions towards you. The narcissists silent treatment is also a form of gaslighting as they lead you to believe you’ve done wrong, and they withhold support.
What do you do if someone is gaslighting you?￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼
- Don’t try to defend yourself or explain yourself to them.
- Don’t try to change their reality to the truth. They take this as you are gaslighting them, and they’ll go to their defence mode to project rage and gaslight you all the more￼.￼
- If you can￼ go no contact block and delete them on everything; otherwise, limited contact, avoid them and grey rock.￼
- Stay in your reality internally process your emotions, your thoughts, your feelings don’t allow them to take over your reality stay in your truth you do not need to defend yourself to them understand within your own mind that they are lying to you, they are gaslighting you and stay in your reality.
- Don’t share any personal information with them. They will use this against you often they already have by the time we realise this, so then it’s a case of working on our insecurities our mistakes our flaws so that narcissist can no longer use these against us.
The narcissists gaslighting.
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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.