The Terrible Gas Lighting 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?”
9 thoughts on “The Terrible Gas Lighting Twenty”
Mom’s love language: “You are twisting my words.” After I would stone-cold repeat her words back to her verbatim.
“Your brain must have been atrophied. You did insult me. Don’t you remember? You already have amnesia”- by family member
“There is no smoke without fire”
“He is highly respected person”.
“You are narcissist.”
“You are the problem.”
“You are too young to be able to understand it. When you reach my age, you will understand me.”-oh really? haha
“But you are still alive. Why are you complaining”
“Don’t you know yourself, you are vindictive monster” -well at least this one is true. I almost always fight back.
Wow I have definitely heard this shit before probably about 15 of them depending upon the relationship I have had with narcs over my life especially the one about if I go look for it that shit made me cringe I turned my phone off and came back read the rest if them damn hg another one right on money.
“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.”
If this is accurate and they think they are correct and justified then why immediately apologize and change the tune when called out by admitting that they were wrong?
This happens to me all the time with Piano Boy. He will say things to me and when I tell him he is wrong he then backtracks it. Why do that if his defenses insist that he insist that his reality is the accurate one? I hope you understand what I am trying to ask here.
Because control is needed and therefore if achieving control is to offer an apology it will be done. It is not offered out of remorse, it is offered to control you and thus is not genuine and you have just been manipulated again.
Part of the push and pull then.
HE was the one who offered up a phone call. I agreed. Then he backpedaled by questioning me: “Are you sure you want to talk today? You seem anxious and upset with me. If you are going to yell at me again and give me a hard time we should wait on talking”
Me: “You asked me to talk and I want to talk. Why ask me to talk if you are going to question me about it? Also, when have I ever yelled at you on the phone? I have never done that.”
Him: “You’re right, you haven’t but I am picking up something from you here and it is making me anxious. I am worried you are going to lash out at me. Perhaps I am just projecting my own insecurities onto you. I am sorry, please forgive me. I love you and have missed you and I really do want to talk to you…”
Fishing for validation and contradicting. That is what he does.
Ha! I remember about two years ago, after an insanely intense two weeks of hoovering, which I resisted, we eventually spoke about it and I said something like “the pressure you put me under (to go back and have sex) was intense” and he replied “No, it wasn’t, it wasn’t that bad”. It was….constant messaging almost 24 hours a day, with suggestions of what we could do together, and where, etc. Blah, blah, blah. I dreaded my phone tinging. I KNOW how bad it was, but I remember just looking at him when he said that and just thinking “wow”. I didn’t bother to argue, I knew there was no point, but I was chuckling inside ( another HG truth became true in real time in front of me).
Re: gas lighting. Do some MR’s not deny? If I pointed out something to Piano Boy that HE did wrong, he never denied it. He used to minimize it or point it back to me like it was my fault but he NEVER was so blatant where he denied it.
If he outrightly blamed ME for something that was false I would point out to him that he was wrong and remind him that I had not done that and then he would then say “I am sorry you are right, I know you haven’t, please forgive me.”
He definitely did many of the other stuff you mention (minimizing, deflecting, saying I am the problem, saying I overthink or overreact) but he never denied things. He seemed to live in a reality where he did not “re-write” reality.
Lastly….re: projecting. He admits to me that he projects all the time. I will call him out at the start of an argument and ask him why he is being a jerk, I will remind him that I never did X Y or Z and so on. He will apologize and then say “I am sorry, I am projecting my own anxiety and insecurities onto you, please forgive me for that”.
And he is right. He is projecting his own shit onto me. And he admits it to me!
HG I know you recommend getting rid of photos, emails, texts, etc. I have kept mine although they are locked up and not reviewed. I realized this is a result of almost 5 years of horrific gaslighting and it’s one of the ways I finally escaped, I had confidence that I was correct, I was no longer questioning my sanity. The narcissist breaks down your confidence in your own mind. I am so afraid of forgetting reality again And slipping into ET.