The Terrible Gaslighting Twenty

You are familiar with gas lighting where we twist reality over and over again in order to create doubt. You begin to question yourself, doubt your recollection and feel like you are losing your sanity.

It is an insidious tactic and one which we always use in order to destabilise you and maintain our control and the upper hand. We change history, re-write what has happened and we will do so even when faced with what you think is incontrovertible truth and evidence. Our confidence and certainty in the way we approach this, combined with the patronising appearance of caring about your tired and failing mind is especially bewildering. Our aim is to cause you to question your reality so you much more readily accept the false reality that we create and operate in.

The Greater Narcissist consciously does this. We know what we are doing, why we are doing it and want the outcome of fuel and control – it is a calculated response on our part. Our narcissism compels this behaviour and our increased awareness allows us to plan it and revel in its success as we witness its impact on you. We know it is regarded as wrong, but we do not care and we see it is as necessary and justified to achieve our aims.

The Lesser and Mid-Range Narcissists do not calculate. It is an instinctive response borne out of their altered perspective. Their narcissism compels this behaviour although they do not see that they are doing anything wrong – indeed, their narcissism causes them to see what they are doing as a natural response to the antagonistic behaviours of the victim. It is the victim who is the problem, who is twisting reality and being awkward. The Lesser or Mid Range Narcissist truly believes their response is correct, right and justified  – it is the victim who is manipulating, going mad or is forgetful and misremembering.

Here are twenty of our favourite phrases which are used to gas light you and in some instances allied with other forms of manipulation.

“It never happened.”


“You are lying.”


“You imagined it.”


“You haven’t remembered it correctly.”


“Yes, you did do it because I remember distinctly.”

(Blameshifting/Assertion of Superiority)

“Are you calling me a liar?”


“If I look for it you had better hope I don’t find it. Oh, what’s this? Just where I said it would be.”


“I never told you to do that, why would I ever say that?”


“Your dad wouldn’t do that to you.”


“You are suffering from delusions, I think we need a doctor for you.”


“You like to cause an argument out of nothing don’t you?”


“You twist my words, I did not mean it like that.”


“You never told me that at all, I would have remembered.”

(Blameshifting/Assertion of Superiority)

“Nobody likes you, they’ve all told me this.”


“You need help, it is caused by your anger problem.”


“Why are you inventing things again? You are such an attention seeker.”


“That never happened.”


“Dear me, you always make things up, you’ve done it ever since you were a child.”


“We are just friends, you are reading too much into it.”


“That couldn’t possibly have hurt you, why are you saying it did?”


23 thoughts on “The Terrible Gaslighting Twenty

  1. C.M. Pelle says:

    I am and have been trying to raise awareness on gaslighting for so long; I published what I believe is the first memoir on narcissistic Abuse, and it has not been easy, since my story is far from over. It is draining, and basically had to redo my whole blog again since my “narcissistic psychopath,” is prone to cyber stalking and sabotaging anything that threaten to reveals what lies beneath the mask. But, it’s nice to know I am not the only one. There need to be more of us!

  2. S. Grace says:

    Some things my ex narc said:

    “Stop trying to control me!”
    “You need mental help.”
    “I told you this already. ” “You just don’t remember.” (Said with his lying grin.)

    “She is much more academic than you were at her age.” (I was almost 50 years old, being triangulated with a 14 year old he was giving way too much attention to.)

    Somewhat belittling smirk and tone: “This doesn’t taste like my mom’s cooking.” (Newly married.)

    Said with contempt and sarcasm…You aren’t the same person I knew at 15! (years of age.) After 25 years of marriage.

    “I get so disgusted at the commander having an affair with his subordinate’s wife on this” (Ex narc was having an affair and triangulating it/me with fictional characters)
    After comletely ignoring me at a social dinner of people he mostly knew and I barely knew (and I felt so alone that I cried afterward)…Narc said with a smirk …”I had to give (15 year old) Amy all my attention” “I need to help her build her self esteem.”

    When I accused him of screwing with my self esteem a few years later his nasty retort was. “You are in charge of your own self esteem.” “That is why it’s called SELF esteem.” “Don’t blame me.”

    Looking back, I had no idea what narcissism was. I was by then a fading person, getting by on heavy doses of antidepressants and a somewhat mundane existence.. He was slowly suffocating me with his emotional abuse. Had I not found the resources to divorce him and move far away, I am not sure how much longer I could have taken his twisted manipulations.

    Time, support, and education are great healers of deep wounds.

  3. Kelly B says:

    Look at you and how your reacting.”I can’t be with someone like that”. And the “you like to argue don’t you.” And ” you need help, you have a anger problem.” Also accusing me of a having a boyfriend. I never saw or slept with anyone else.

  4. cb says:

    Wow You’re to the very last T quoting my mum.
    Feels so weird in the gut reading this, as I didn’t really fully grasp before today that it is all crazymaking.

    Could you explain, HG, how they do the “magic trick”?

    “You had better hope I don’t find it here! What’s this? Just where I said it would be! You stupid thing!”

    Did she put the lost item there herself before raging at us?

    1. HG Tudor says:


      1. cb says:

        Thanks Creepy thing to digest. She screamed so much at her mother, grandmum when “taking care” of her the last years.

        And probably tortured my dad a lot his last years. He had ‘only me’ coming over when I could. My kids were babies then

        I have to live the rest of my life knowing how her gaslighting wore him out.

        “It’s right over here on the table you silly!!” which she used a couple times a week really shook me through the years.

  5. Cindy says:

    How are you hurt by that? I’m just being honest. Why are you reacting like this? You are way too sensitive, I can’t say anything to you. Crybaby.

    He liked using these statements best. He threw them at me during every single argument. What a dick face.

  6. DoForLuv says:

    What does it mean when a devauled primary source is told to stop trying and just find someone else ?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Do you mean that this is happening in devaluation or a devalued and disengaged former IPPS?

      1. DoForLuv says:

        Former IPPS , but not disengaged anymore .

        1. HG Tudor says:

          You are being told to stay away as the narcissist wants the golden period with a new IPPS to proceed without your interference as you are painted black and are viewed as the enemy.

      2. DoForLuv says:

        After agreed no emotional response deleting the narc start a 3 day indirect electronic hoovers . Disengement again blocked 1 day not blocked and vanished for 5 days

      3. DoForLuv says:

        Thats a free ticket out off narcville I guess haha . Thank you for your time to give me answers . Very much appreciated

  7. Anm says:

    What is up with this situation?
    My daughter father will send a message like this:
    ‘You are court ordered to pay half of daycare, in the amount of $400 a month, will you have that by Tuesday ?’
    I will then respond something like
    ‘I was to pay $100/weekly, and will do so the end of the week. Its in the order, so there is no need to discuss this further.’
    He doesn’t need the money, but will suddenly become annoying and desperate, sending over 20 messages/emails the very same day with:
    ‘so you will not pay the $400?’
    ‘You are not going to pay anything, are you?’
    ‘You know our child needs this money’
    ‘You have no business being a parent’
    ‘Will you at least have $100 by Tuesday?’
    ‘You wont pay at all’
    ‘I just notified my attorney and told her you just said you wont contribute’
    ‘You are violating the order’
    ‘i cant believe you’
    On and on and on. What is a narcissist feeling when they harass like that? Does he feel like I am screwing him over even though I am not? Is he trying to make me feel bad/nervous? He will do this all day and not realize it is harassment

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Your responses are either wounding (thus igniting his fury and therefore his repeated texting is an attempt through hoovering you to gain fuel from you to address the wound you have caused) or challenge fuel (whereby you provide fuel but you are challenging him in some way, so therefore his texting is his method of seeking to assert his superiority over you). The wounding and Challenge Fuel can be intermingled.

      1. Anm says:

        Thank you, HG. I am trying to not do either one. It seems just breathing is challenging fuel/wounding.

  8. K says:

    Brilliant HG.
    I like how you put the manipulation in parenthesis. I find that very helpful. when translating NarcSpeak.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Thank you.

  9. Mai says:

    My ex- narc could seemingly gaslight for hours. For my sanity, I would sometimes record it ( always telling him of course, his response would be., “ Well good Honey…. you’ll be able to hear what a crazy bitch you are! ).

    It’s actually proven quite useful in my recovery. Incredibly hard to listen to, more so because he is so.damn.angry.and.bitter.

    All the examples above were used often.

    He would often slam out of my hotel room and escape and I would lie there in peace thinking wtf just happened?

    I knew I was been gaslighted, as I’d had the misfortune to have an affair with a greater narc 10 years prior.

    I never suspected my current partner was a narc. He was too needy, too boring, too unworldly, too unsuccessful, too pathetic.

    Seems they come in all shapes and sizes.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Your first paragraph shows a useful example of coming up against the second line of the Narcissist’s Twin Lines of Defence by the provision of evidence so that denial (the first line) will not work, so you have deflection and projection instead.

      1. Mai says:

        Indeed HG. He was a master of both. I actually thought that I had the upper hand the entire relationship, because I didn’t actually like him, his personality, his values, his life…. I just enjoyed the sex and attention.

        Oh how wrong I was.

  10. Christopher Jackson says:

    I have definitely heard a couple of these and still do…

  11. flutterbymorpho says:

    I’ve said some of those? Not my favourite phrases and only said them to him,
    in the circular conversations/arguments going nowhere. I keep wondering about myself.. some of those are normal surely ? e.g.. ‘I never said that’ if you didn’t.. ‘you imagined it ‘ when stuff is made up.. ‘you are delusional ‘ because he is!!

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