Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse.
The term gaslighting comes from the 1944 psychological thriller movie Gaslight. The film is adapted from Patrick Hamilton’s play Gas light in 1938. The play is about a husband who slowly manipulates his wife into believing she’s going insane.
Gaslighting is psychological manipulation, In which the narcissist covertly plants seeds of self-doubt, so we end up questioning our memories, our opinions, our perceptions, our values, our beliefs, our judgment and our reality. ￼Causing things such as anxiety, codependency, ruminating, cptsd, memory problems, brain fog, lack of concentration, sleep deprivation, physical health problems, lack in confidence and cognitive dissonance, as we are living with two or more conflicting beliefs or realities, as we have the one we believe and the one the narcissist is psychologically manipulating us to no longer knowing what to believe.
Signs you’re being gaslighted.
Questioning if you’re too sensitive or insecure.
Feeling less confident about yourself.
Not feeling like yourself.
Feeling like you can not do right for doing wrong.
Always blaming yourself.
Afraid to speak up for yourself.
A narcissist can gaslight by.
Raging out of nowhere.
Lying about events.
Denying all knowledge of saying or doing something.
Playing the victim.
Shaming you for their behaviour.
Twisting the story onto you.
Refusing to talk to you (silent treatment.)
They will say or do something then deny ever doing it, even with facts and evidence.
Narcissists will use gaslighting phrases such as.
“Stop imagining things.”
“I never said that.”
“You must be confused.”
“That didn’t happen.”
“If only you hadn’t.”
“It wasn’t that bad.”
“Take a joke.”
Tactics they use gaslighting in.
- Baiting. “You’re imagining things. You’re overacting.”
• Idealisation. “I love you. I’ve never met anyone like you before. We were made for each other.”
•Future faking. “Let’s get married. Let’s have a child. We shall be together forever.”
• Mirroring. “I love that too. That’s exactly how I want my life to be also.”
•Devaluation. “Are you going to wear that? You can not do that. I wouldn’t do that if I were you. I was only joking.”
• Discard. “You’re bitter. You’re jealous. You’re insecure. You’re crazy.”
•Hoover.” I miss you. If you hadn’t, I wouldn’t. But I need you. It wasn’t my fault. I’ll go to counselling. Let’s start that family.”
• Invalidation. “You’re too sensitive. You’re not capable. That didn’t happen. Not my problem.”
• Intimidation. “I wouldn’t if I was you? Are you really going to do that? If you do, they I’ll. I was only joking.” That stare.
• The silent treatments. They might not be gaslighting us with their words, but they’re gaslighting us into finding fault with ourselves and to apologies/make it up to them.
• Triangulation. “They don’t like you. They interfere too much. They said this about you. My ex would. Your siblings can.”
• The smear campaigns. ” They’re crazy. They abused me. They took all my money.”
• Projection. “If only you. Why do you have to ruin everything? I’m not looking for an argument.”
• False apologies. “I’m sorry for you. I’m sorry but.”
• Provoking, using you’re weakness against you or falling silent on you, guilt-tripping you, emotional abuse.
How to handle.
With a lot of what the narcissist says, it often comes down to your word against their word, if you can keep communication with a third party present, via email or messages, so you have written evidence, if not especially if your at the start of learning about their manipulation games or might need proof, keep a written diary, so when they are making you doubt something they did or did not say or something you did or didn’t say, you can check this, especially when it comes to making any child care arrangements.
Your mindset is also crucial, they are not in charge of you, they are not in charge of how you feel, your mind controls your emotions, and you control your mind, take back control of your mind, every step of every day, until you are you, your life or who you want to be, so if they’re trying to confuse you. You know exactly what happened, look inward to yourself and give yourself the answer, do not respond or react to them, a narcissist will not suddenly say “Oh yes sorry, you’re right.” The best you’ll get is more gaslighting of ”I’m sorry you. I’m sorry but you.” and when they get what they want, they’ll no longer be interested in you. You have to learn to look to yourself and leave them be in their own false reality.
You do not have to explain, defend or rationalise yourself to the narcissist. This is only giving them more attention, more reactions and more ammunition to use against you, keeping their control over you and your mind, just know what you know and leave them be, the only person you need to answer to is yourself. When they try to trigger you, Retreat, Rethink and only respond if you need to do so.
When you do have to communicate with them, do your best to stay relaxed, do not show them any emotions, look just over their right ear. If they are reasonable, be reasonable back, if they are being harmful or hurtful, do not engage, just like two wrongs don’t make a right, two people locked in negativity, don’t bring either happiness. You can scream and cry let those emotions out once they have left. This is why it’s best to stick to limited contact, using messages and emails, especially at the start, some are dangerous so it would need to be no contact.
In-person when they’re blaming you saying, that’s just like you, why do you have to make everything so different respond with. reply with. ”Your opinions of me are not my responsibility.”
When they’re shaming you, telling you that you’re overreacting, criticising or judging you, ”you’re entitled to your perception of me.”
When they’re guilt-tripping you. ”I’m sorry, I can not help you.”
Remember their shaming of you is often projection, which is usually a confession of their real character or intentions, then they say. ” I just want peace, I don’t want to argue.” it means they don’t and won’t take responsibility for the things they do, and they will blame you for any conflict.
With any narcissist your best response is no response, stay in your reality and leave the narcissist to it, what they say about you is not for you, those who love and care for you would not treat you in the ways narcissistic people do.
The narcissists blame-shifting.
Click on the links below to join, Elizabeth Shaw – Life Coach on social media, for more information on Overcoming Narcissistic Abuse.