Did You Know This is Gaslighting?

Have you ever had your reality denied?

You’re being too sensitive.

You’ve no right to feel this way.

It didn’t happen the way you’re describing.

I wish I could point out every single gaslighting phrase – but knowing what it means can help you spot the signs when you next feel you’re in the presence of a narcissist.

Don’t get me wrong, the narcissist is charming. They remember people’s names. They hold chairs out. They compliment. They smile. They remember tiny details that make you feel important.

So imagine when gaslighting really shifts gears.

You’re not ‘lucky’ because you’re with them. 

The reason why is that this is gaslighting.

The Change

Gaslighting can sometimes be more covert, and happen when you least expect it. More so – it can happen right under your nose – in front of untold people who are oblivious to what’s happening.

Narcissists are great at painting a picture, not just of a scene, but also of themselves. 

Putting on a Show

The narcissist will put on a show for everybody, including you. You’re out with friends. You see them laughing and joking along with everybody, throwing a smile your way every now and then for good measure, and generally treating the night with respect and confidence.

It makes you feel wonderful.

Seeing them be the center of attention, lapping every compliment, question and pat on the back.

They may be helping somebody across the road, or paying a check at the dinner table. 

They are in narcissistic heaven.

What happens next is enough to send anybody wild with confusion, as it is the most untalked-about form of gaslighting. 

It’s time to bring the change to light. 

The Warmth Runs From Their Face

The moment you step into the car to drive home, or enter your home together, the charming mask slips right off their face, and reveals the true character of the narcissist. 

The smile you’ve been manipulated into creating by their false facade is fading fast. 

That person who seemed perfect to everybody else mere minutes ago—the person who everybody tells you you’re so lucky to have—has gone.

The compliments have gone.

The empathy has disappeared.

The warmth has drained from their entire body.

You might ask what’s wrong, and what’s happened to cause this change. 

The narcissist can go from helping somebody pack their shopping at a grocery store to criticizing you for the color dress you’re wearing all within the space of a minute – and as they do – your reality becomes heavily distorted. 

Emotional Whiplash

The back-and-forth architecture of the narcissistic relationship is enough to give you emotional whiplash. There is a level of confusion that your brain just cannot fathom.

How can they be so different? 

It’s like your relationship takes 4 steps forward, and 5 steps back, but the narcissist has trained you to only focus on the steps forward that you take. They do that by coating the good moments in gold, and doing all they can to keep you bouncing back there whenever you go through conflict together.

You Are Always Falling Behind

What people stuck in narcissistic relationships fail to see is that they are always a step behind. They aren’t necessarily focusing on that, because they rely so much on moving forward, even if you aren’t actually getting anywhere. 

This is heartbreaking. 

Eventually, you blame yourself, because again, the narcissist will not allow any blame to lay at their feet.

Jekyll and Hyde

It leaves many victims of narcissistic abuse feeling as though they are with a Jekyll and Hyde-type person. In fact, this is in my experience how many people I’ve met describe their narcissistic partner. 

There is a nice side, but it seems to be there to please everybody else and prevent them from seeing the more covert and abusive reality.

Then there is the side you see that they deny entirely when you so much as mutter any of the narcissistic traits they reveal. 

Guess what?

The ultimate gaslight is in action, because everybody sees and falls for the charm as they are unable to either understand or recognize narcissists.

Others Note the Charm and Invalidate You

To further the gaslighting effect, your reality will only be for you and you alone. YOu can’t even rely on people you thought you could see through the charm, because how could they, when all they’ve witnessed is the allure of the narcissist, failing to see or notice the  darker, more coercive side to them.

This is left only for you to see on purpose – so you feel as though you are the one going crazy.

And that is how the narcissist has you cornered.

This is gaslighting, and the narcissist will put on a show to get the supply they need, even if that means putting you in a strong place to be invalidated by anybody. 

You are Not the Problem

The mask of the narcissist doesn’t take long to slip off, which is why you usually see an immediate change in them as soon as they are away from their adoring crowds. 

The shame the narcissist feels from pumping so much supply in public causes a tension within them that they simply cannot deal with. So they get rid of it by making you the problem and emotionally, sometimes even physically attacking you as a result. 

The charm of the narcissist isn’t exclusive to partners – it can also come in the form of friends or parents, so if you grew up seeing your own parents as people who could effortlessly float through life in public being everybody’s source of admiration before seeing the real them in private – you will know how it feels.

You are not the problem.

The More You Speak Up – The Worse it Gets

This is an awful and confusing way to live.

The gaslighting is so real, because it leaves people questioning their own reality, and what is not real. It’s almost as if they are imagining it, and the change of character of the narcissist occurs so quickly, that it can happen any time.

Anxiety-inducing? Yes!

Depressing? Absolutely.

Uncertain of what will happen next? You bet.

The more you speak up about who you know in private, the more the people who they know in public will think you’re the crazy one.

This is the most insidious form of gaslighting and is definitely one to watch out for when you discover your partner has narcissistic traits that are running toxicity through your relationship. 

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