by Lisa A. Romano
The Gaslighting Narcissist
Abuse by a narcissist often takes the form of gaslighting, which is a type of emotional abuse. This word comes from the 1944 film Gaslight, in which a husband tries to make his wife think she's going crazy by making her question reality.
The gaslighter creates an intense feeling of confusion in their victim by manipulating what they say and what they do, then denies everything or makes light of their feelings afterward. These actions make gaslighting one of the most difficult types of emotional abuse to recover from because victims start to question their own sanity.
So, why do narcissists gaslight?
There are a few reasons. For one, it allows them to control their victim. If someone is constantly doubting themselves, they're more likely to rely on the narcissist for guidance and support. Gaslighting also allows narcissists to project their own flaws onto their victim - if you're convinced you're crazy, you're not going to be accusing the narcissist of being manipulative anytime soon.
Gaslighting also provides narcissistic supply - attention and adoration that feeds their ego. When victims doubt themselves, they often turn to the gaslighter for reassurance, which gives the narcissist exactly what they want.
So, who do narcissists target with gaslighting?
The answer is anyone they see as weak or vulnerable - people they think they can easily control. This might be someone who is already insecure or has low self-esteem. It could be someone who is going through a tough time in their life or who is grieving the loss of a loved one. Or it might be someone who is new to a relationship or job and still trying to find their footing.
What to do if you think you are being gaslit by a narcissist?
If you feel like you're constantly being gaslighted, it's important to take steps to protect yourself.
First, it's crucial to be aware of the signs of gaslighting.
These can include feeling like you're constantly second-guessing yourself, feeling isolated from friends and family, or doubting your own memories and perceptions.
If you notice any of these signs in yourself, it's important to reach out for help. Talk to a trusted friend or family member about what you're experiencing, and see if they can provide support and perspective. To help heal from gaslighting abuse, If you feel like you're constantly being gaslighted, it's important to take steps to protect yourself from any further form of psychological manipulation.
Awareness is KEY!
Watch this video to better understand some of the key phrases narcissist uses to create cognitive dissonance.