Narcissists use many everyday phrases to distract you from your reality, to convince you that they’re right, that you didn’t see something, didn’t hear something, that there’s nothing wrong with their mistreatment of you and everything wrong with your emotional reactions towards them.
A narcissist wants to convince you that what you see, hear or feel isn’t true, so they can manipulate your thoughts into believing your reality isn’t real, that whatever you’re feeling or experiencing isn’t real, so the narcissist can work events to their advantage, use your emotions to work in their favour and so the narcissist can get away with their behaviour.
A narcissist wants to convince you that your emotional reactions to their actions are the problem to distract you from the fact that their actions are causing those emotional reactions within you.E.S.
Our emotions are strong feelings we have depending on our mood, circumstances, environment, and relationships.
Our feelings are physical or emotional states of awareness.
Our instincts are an intuitive way of thinking or feeling, depending on the environment we are in and the people we are around. Just knowing something without knowing what we truly know.
Narcissistic people will happily set the environment to provoke an emotional reaction from you, to use it against you. They will downplay our emotional feelings if it works in their favour to do so. They will invalidate our instincts. They will criticise, ridicule and mock our reactions. They will deny our reality, claiming something isn’t happening when it actually is.
A Narcissist will call you crazy for something you later find out to be true.
A Narcissist will take something that happened to us and leave us questioning if it ever happened at all. They will hide things that we see. They will deny things that we hear, all while claiming that we are imagining things.
We end up questioning ourselves and not the narcissist. We lose sight of their behaviour, we lose sight of their motives, we lose sight of our instincts, and we lose sight of our reality. Due to the narcissist’s hidden phrases, the narcissist hides what they are doing to us through the narcissist’s gaslighting of our reality.
The more a narcissist gaslights us, the more we focus on our memory being wrong, our feelings being wrong, our experience being wrong, and our thoughts being wrong, as gaslighting leads to confusion within our minds, second-guessing ourselves and others, doubting ourselves and our intentions, blaming ourselves and relying more on the narcissist more.
When it comes to life, we have to pay close attention to what others accuse us of feeling, especially when we do not even have those feelings, if the person provoked those feelings within us to mock us, or having those feelings more when around a certain person accusing us of feelings we don’t usually feel. Those accusing us of intentions we do not have, not seeing something we could have sworn we saw. As more often than not, those who accuse you of intentions you don’t have, have those intentions within themselves, of doing things you have not done, are doing those things to you, of feelings being too much are trying to downplay their behaviour, of emotions you do have, are trying to provoke those feelings within you.
Those who are envious of you often seek to destroy you and will go all out to provoke feelings of jealousy within you, their defence mechanism to make themselves feel better for being envious of you and make you feel worse for doing or having something they want. Narcissists want to twist the story. A narcissist will blame you, shame you, criticise you, judge you, mock you, and then claim you’re the one who can’t take a joke when it’s the narcissist’s ego that can’t take the pain. When a narcissist isn’t getting the attention they believe they’re entitled to from you because you are talking to a family member, the narcissist will go all out to impress a stranger. Getting attention from the stranger which often creates those feelings of jealousy within you. When you go to communicate your experience and your very valid feelings with a narcissist, they’ll turn it around and claim.
1. “You’re jealous.”
When a narcissist accuses you of being jealous, this shuts down any two-way conversation, it gets you explaining yourself to them, questioning and doubting yourself, rather than them explaining themselves to you for their behaviour, and you don’t recognise what they are doing, a narcissist will not say, “I’m sorry you weren’t giving me the attention I’m entitled to, so I got attention over there which made me feel good, while I punished you which made me feel even better.” A narcissist might say, “I’m sorry if you’d had paid me more attention. I wouldn’t have gone elsewhere.” Again the narcissist is trying to lay all the blame at your door. Those who are cheating on you will often accuse you of cheating on them or claim.
2. “You have trust issues.”
You’re going to develop trust issues around those with lying issues, so when you start having trust issues around someone you should be able to trust, you need to pay more attention to what your instincts are telling you and less attention to the narcissist who is gaslighting you. When you are with a trustworthy person, they’ll not bring out trust issues within you if you have a vulnerability about trust from your past. A genuine person will go all out to reassure you. Those who are cheating on you will want to discredit your feelings and blame you. Those who care about you will try to understand and reassure you. People who are manipulating your reality, your feelings, your experience, manipulating your life, and manipulating your thoughts are going to accuse you of overthinking.
3. “Your Overthinking.”
Every time you go to communicate with them because they lead you to believe they care, their arrogance comes across as confidence, so they seem to have it all together. It’s effortless to go to them for reassurance, not realising they’re going to invalidate your experience. They’re going to pull you down, so they can feel superior to you, avoid getting found out by you and continue their manipulative behaviour. You are going to start ruminating around those who keep changing things on you, denying reality to you, lying to you. It’s very valid and most understandable that you’ll begin to overanalyse things and question things because you’re trying to get to the truth of the matter. Being led around a maze with no centre, you feel confused and disoriented. You’re going to start thinking so you can begin to find truthful answers as to what you’re experiencing.
As you know, your thinking when they accuse you of “overthinking.” which matches what’s happening to you. You have that thought validated by them and trust them, not your instincts. Then a narcissist has you right where they want you. The narcissist will provoke you to question things and then accuse you of overthinking when you do. Those who provoke you to gain an emotional reaction from you, so when they get it, they can stand back all calm and ask, “what’s your problem.” or claim, “Don’t you think you’re overreacting.”
4. “You’re Overreacting.”
Narcissistic people often rely on reactive abuse so that they can feel better about their feelings and their mistakes. By focusing on yours, as they see themselves as better than you, they will twist anything they do to you over you and find a way to blame you. “If you hadn’t.” “You made me.” as a narcissist will play the victim oh so well, yet when they provoke an emotional reaction from you, they’ll stand back all calm and ask, “what’s wrong with you.” Or claim, “see, this is why I didn’t tell you. I knew you’d overreact like this.” Reactive abuse is when you react to the narcissist’s abuse of you, and then the narcissist blames your reactions to their actions as being the problem to deny your reality that their actions are causing your reactions. A narcissist doesn’t want you to see what they’re doing, so they’ll downplay what they’re doing to you while gaining a response from you, which they can exaggerate and blame you for “overreacting.” when your reactions are perfectly normal to their actions when we pay attention what you often notice is, it is the narcissist who’s into dramatics as they play the victim to gain sympathetic attention, that are the very people most likely to exaggerate your reactions and downplay their actions, while you downplay their actions. “They had a bad day.” As narcissists provoke you into raging at them, you believe you’re the problem and are grateful to them for putting up with you, often backed up with more of the narcissist’s lies of “after all I’ve done for you, no one would put up with you as I do.”
A narcissist creates an environment of instability, insecurity, confusion and fear. They withhold attention, affection and support. They get you repressed and depressed, anxious and living on the edge that you become more and more emotionally reactive to those provoking emotions within you. Those lying to you are going to accuse you of being crazy when you catch them out on their lies towards you.
5. “You’re crazy.
When they’re cheating on you, and you walk in to see something that doesn’t belong to either of you, they might claim it’s theirs, or some have been known to claim it’s yours and say. “You really are losing your mind.” Or they might move the item when your not looking and say, “what item?” “You’re imagining things again.” Or if you pick it, the narcissist, might say, “where have you got that from? No, it wasn’t there who gave that to you.” To get you defending and explaining yourself to them so they no longer have to, to you. As they’re invalidating you, gaslighting you and distracting you from the truth of the situation. When a narcissist feels hurt that you called them out if you don’t agree with them, if you say no to a narcissist, or the narcissist is envious of you, so they’re seeking to punish you. Then once they’ve got you all in your feelings, when you go to communicate your feelings with them, the narcissist will accuse you of being too sensitive.
6. “You’re too sensitive.”
Those who purposely hurt your feelings are incredibly insensitive people who lack the empathy to care for you. If you go to communicate your feelings with them, the narcissist will accuse you of being too sensitive. When you’re feeling sensitive, it’s easy to buy into the narcissist’s lies, as you are left to question your feelings to their behaviour and not the root cause of your feelings, their behaviour. Just like liars that accuse you of being crazy, emotional manipulators accuse you of overreacting or being too sensitive being jealous, and those who are trying to hide things from you will accuse you of imagining things.
7. “You imagine things.”
A narcissist doesn’t want you to see the things they’re doing to you. They want to hide these from you. They want to downplay how you feel and distract you from what’s happening to you. They want to manipulate your reality to serve them. They want to get you on the defensive by explaining yourself to them. They want to get you to blame yourself, apologising and making it up to them for the things you don’t realise they’re doing to you. So the narcissist can get away with their mistreatment of you, so they can continue exploiting you.
We have to stop going to those for reassurance who continue to invalidate how we feel.
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, and 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; they 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.” 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 defend yourself or rationalise to the narcissist. This only gives 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 provoke 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, and 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 and 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.
If you say. “It was like this”, the narcissist will say, “you’re wrong.” to frustrate you, to gain a reaction from you, to blame everything on you.
If you have to respond. “That’s ok; I know you, and I think differently, my opinion is for me, and yours is for you.” Then leave it at that.
Click on the links below to join Elizabeth Shaw – Life Coach on social media, for more information on Overcoming Narcissistic Abuse.
The online courses available by Elizabeth Shaw.
For the full course.
For the free course.
To help with overcoming the trauma bond and anxiety course.
All about the narcissist Online course.
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.