10 Signs Someone is Gaslighting You

Gaslighting is the cruelest and most damaging aspect of narcissistic abuse.

To deprive somebody of their own reality is to steal the very essence of them overtly – and narcissists are geniuses at knowing how to do that.

Over time of course, the feeling of being gaslit gets worse and worse. Identities can be fully eroded. The time spent wondering if you are the problem is the time the narcissist walks away laughing.

Spotting when a narcissist is gaslighting you is key in creating future defense.

These ten signs will help give you the clarity you need right now.

#1 Your Truth is Fading

When someone gaslights you, often the first sign you notice is the overwhelming feeling that your reality is slipping away.

When you say how much you love a new TV show, and the narcissist scoffs and says, “Really? You usually hate these dramas!” you might think little of it.

Over time, though, your reality is stolen piece by piece. 

It didn’t happen that way.

Are you sure you’re okay? You Seem to need to rest or sleep your way through your stress instead of taking it out on me. 

You sound crazy. 

These little comments, the way they’re delivered to you (usually out of pseudo-concern) and the regularity all contribute to huge portions of manipulation. You suffer from it.

Imagine stealing from a shop that never gets replenished. You take one item a day. It could take weeks or months, or even years before anybody notices, but soon enough – the shop looks almost empty.

This is how a narcissist gaslights. Little by little, they take your reality. Eventually – you awaken to it. 

#2 The Charm

The charm might not sound dangerous all by itself, but the narcissist never travels alone! When you are out with others, it’s common to see a totally different person than the one you know behind closed doors.

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They will laugh and mingle, compliment and listen. They will charm the pants off anybody willing to come near them—all the while leaving you feeling completely confused.

Do you imagine their behavior at home? Is it you, and all this time you’ve blamed them for being the problem?

Of course it isn’t you, and you are not imagining the 2 faces of the narcissist either. 

#3 Where Are Your Boundaries?

It is possible for the narcissist to literally pick up your boundaries and throw them away if they aren’t strong enough.

It’s also very possible for them to deny they did it, or deny your boundaries were even there in the first place. 

Enough to make anyone feel as though they’re going insane – this is gaslighting at its finest. 

#4 The Enablers Get To You

Oh come on, they’re not that bad.

They’re doing/trying their best.

They do a lot for you, you should try being more appreciative. 

Flying monkeys say the worst things, and they rarely have time to listen to your side of the story. That’s because the narcissist’s (fake) side has been brutally indented into them.

I can’t stress enough how this is equally not your fault – but it is enough to make you wonder if you’re imagining the narcissist’s manipulation.

I’m here to tell you that you aren’t.

#5 Watch How They Treat Others 

Narcissists will have people within their golden circle. These people are often the ones they want to impress the most. They will shower them with compliments and even possibly throw money at them, such as paying for the entire meal on a night out.

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This is a way to gain the recognition they want, while somehow simultaneously treating others like dirt.

Watch how they treat people like servers, or car valeters. Perhaps even store workers or people who might cut them up in traffic. It’s not uncommon for demeaning phrases to escape the mouth of a narcissist, and then immediately switch back to kindness or charm with you.

It’s fake – and confusing.

#6 Second Chances Given Away Freely

You give the benefit of the doubt to the narcissist necessarily because they deserve it, but because they demand it. 

Second chances are easier than further conflict in a narcissistic relationship. The narcissist would make your life difficult if you constantly questioned their motives – however ill intended they may be. 

That’s why a sign of being gaslit is simply overlooking all the wrong things they say or do and convincing yourself that they were perhaps having a bad day or moment. 

#7 You Fall For the ‘Rich and Successful’ Talk

Riches and success come hand in hand with a narcissist when they are keen to impress. The question you should ask yourself is, why would anybody be so keen to impress? Healthy personalities are just themselves. Although there may be the odd fragment of insecurity in some, for the majority, we just live as ourselves. 

The narcissist can’t have that. They love to express how much things cost, or show off their latest phone or car. They want that admiration. They want to lure you in and tell you you can be a part of it. 

It’s gaslighting at its finest, as it convinces you of a reality that doesn’t exist. 

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#8 Smart and Educated Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Nice 

Falling for the charm of somebody based on their skillset or education is the biggest mistake to make. 

I’m not saying all educated or smart people are narcissists, but narcissists can hide behind these as some smokescreen. They will use their certificates to wave in your face and tell you that you are wrong, even if you’re right. 

Don’t fall for it – and continue to own your reality instead. 

#9 People Good for the Soul Become Sparse

Yes, those people you once saw frequently will begin to be people you bump into in the street after weeks or even months of not seeing them. That’s because the narcissist will see your circle and decide who they want to get rid of.

Why do you see them? They always bring you down.

You’re better than those people.

You do so much for them with little in return.

These kinds of comments will be enough to work the narcissist magic and see that you pull away and isolate yourself. This way – the narcissist gets to control more of you without anybody questioning them.

#10 The Tell Signs

Learning the tricks of the narcissist will give you a little step back into your reality. It’s always been there, but its been covered by the reality of the narcissist who is trying to cover up your power with their own. 

If you can spot the comments, silences, conflict, and, most importantly, those moments when you feel confused, you can dig deeper.

Understanding the individual narcissist in your life will help you strengthen your reality once more. 

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