The Gaslighting Associated with Narcissistic Abuse
by: Todd Doyle, International Author of Healing the Shattered: Surviving Narcissistic Abuse
Gaslighting is a form of psychological abuse in which the abuser manipulates the victim’s reality and makes them doubt their own perceptions and thoughts. Gaslighting is a common tactic used by narcissistic individuals in the context of abusive relationships, as it allows the abuser to control and dominate the victim by manipulating their reality.
During gaslighting, the abuser may deny or contradict the victim’s experiences, or they may manipulate evidence in order to make the victim doubt their own reality. The abuser may also use tactics such as triangulation, blame shifting, and mind games to further manipulate the victim’s perceptions and to keep them off-balance.
Gaslighting can be especially insidious, as it often occurs gradually over time, with the abuser gradually chipping away at the victim’s sense of reality. The victim may start to feel like they are going crazy or that they are overly emotional, and they may begin to doubt their own perceptions and thoughts.
The effects of gaslighting can be serious and long-lasting, including:
Low self-esteem and self-worth
Difficulty trusting your own perceptions and thoughts
Difficulty setting boundaries or asserting yourself
A constant need for approval and validation
Feeling isolated or disconnected from others
Difficulty making decisions
Depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues
If you suspect that you or someone you know is experiencing gaslighting in the context of a narcissistic abusive relationship, it is important to seek help and support. It is important to recognize that the abuse is not your fault and that you deserve to be treated with respect and kindness. It is also important to seek help from a trusted friend or family member, a mental health professional, or a domestic violence resource center. Remember that no one deserves to be abused, and it is never too late to seek help and to break the cycle of abuse.