Simon and Cindy have been going to the same restaurant, ordering the same food, for 3 years now. One day, Simon decides to get a different meal. When Cindy makes a comment about the change up, Simon acts like he has no idea what she’s talking about, and tells her she’s losing it.
After the two of them finish dinner, they begin to walk back to their apartment. Every time the pair share a dinner together, Simon always buys vanilla ice cream after.
This time he buys chocolate. Cindy makes a comment about the change, and Simon denies ever having vanilla ice cream, then calls her crazy.
With nothing but her memory to back her perception of reality Cindy feels extremely disoriented and becomes consumed with self-doubt. She can’t trust her own perception of reality anymore.
Gaslighting has a major role in the continuation of many narcissistic relationships. The example above was a very basic example of gaslighting. Gaslighting in narcissistic relationships usually circulates around both physical and emotional abuse.
Whether it be the minimization of the victims feelings or denial of physical abuse, gaslighting is an extremely manipulative tactic that can be done by the narcissist or narcissist enablers.
9 Things a Narcissist Will Say to Gaslight You
- This is why nobody likes you!
- Everyone thinks you’re crazy!
- That’s not what happened! You have a terrible memory!
- No one else would ever love you like I love you! It’s your fault I cheated!
- If you really cared about this relationship, you would…
- You’re too sensitive!
- You can’t take a joke!
- You’re the only person I’ve had these problems with.
- Why would you think that? What does that say about you
7 Things Flying Monkeys Or Enablers Will Say to Gaslight You
- Every relationship has rough patches
- He/she is a good kid I know he would never mean to hurt you
- Are you sure that’s how that happened
- I’m sure you guys will work it out
- If it’s as bad as you say it is, why don’t you just leave? It sounds like you’re being dramatic
- Well I’ve never had a problem with him/her
- Give them a break, he/she is probably just stressed out
Gaslighting can be detrimental to an individual’s emotional stability. In fact, many of the participants who I interviewed weren’t even sure that what they were experiencing was abuse because because of how severely they’d been gaslighted.
Family of Origin
Not for everybody, but for some people, growing up in an abusive environment corrupts their perception of a healthy relationship. Unfortunately when this happens, the individual accidentally equates love with abuse.
Without any therapeutic guidance, the individual could be drawn to an abusive relationship in adulthood, simply because it’s familiar.
Under these circumstances, there’s no logical way to predict the duration of their abusive relationship. What will most likely happen is that the narcissist will extract all of the narcissistic supply they can, and discard them when they choose to do so.
THIS INFORMATION IS FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND IS NOT INTENDED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR CLINICAL CARE.
IF YOU’RE IN THE UNITED STATES AND ARE SUFFERING DOMESTIC ABUSE, PLEASE CONTACT THE NATIONAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HOTLINE AT 1.800.799.7233 OR YOU CAN VISIT THEIR WEBSITE FOR MORE HELPFUL CONTACT METHODS.