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?”
29 thoughts on “The Terrible Gaslighting Twenty”
I don’t trust anyone to be real anymore. Everyone is now a potential narc. I can be happy alone without someone f*cking with my head. That’s where my journey has taken me. 😢🤷🏻♀️ Done.
I understand what you are saying. This experince has made me a lot more negative as well. And unfortunately…. it’s accurate. Even people
Who aren’t narcs generally only want to talk to me when they Are wanting something from me (curse of being an empath)
I am slowly but surely learning to put up appropriate boundaries. And people being the way they are… sure give me lots of practice.
I like this poem from napoleon hill
by Napoleon Hill
Life, you can’t subdue me because I refuse to take your discipline too seriously. When you try to hurt me, I laugh — and the laughter knows no pain. I appreciate your joys wherever I find them; your sorrows neither frighten nor discourage me, for there is laughter in my soul.
Temporary defeat does not make me sad. I simply set music to the words of defeat and turn it into a song. Your tears are not for me, for I like laughter much better, and because I like it, I use it as a substitute for grief and sorrow and pain and disappointment.
Life, you are a fickle trickster — don’t deny it. You slipped the emotion of love into my heart so that you might use it as a thorn with which to prick my soul — but I learned to dodge your trap with laughter. You tried to lure me with the desire for gold, but I have fooled you by following the trail which leads to knowledge instead. You induced me to build beautiful friendships — then converted my friends to enemies so you may harden my heart, but I sidestepped your figure on this by laughing off your attempts and selecting new friends in my own way.
You caused men to cheat me at trade so I will become distrustful, but I won again because I possess one precious asset which no man can steal — it is the power to think my own thoughts and to be myself. You threaten me with death, but to me death is nothing worse than a long peaceful sleep, and sleep is the sweetest of human experiences — excepting laughter. You build a fire of hope in my heart, then sprinkle water on the flames, but I can go you one better by rekindling the fire — and I laugh at you once more.
You have nothing that can lure me away from laughter, and you are powerless to scare me into submission. To a life of laughter, then, I raise my cup of cheer!
I echo your sentiments 😔
Luv Bubbles xx 😘
Heard it all before great one hg especially talking about the mid range and lesser they regard themselves as always fucking right about something when they really are overbearing and manipulative and impatient and also very micro analytical.
In my case the gas lighting comes in the form of stalking. My narcissistic stalker knows exactly what he is doing; how could someone follow another person without consciously knowing that he is doing something abnormal (and even criminal)? My stalker is consciously misleading and gas lighting me. There is no impulsivity involved, since he has to wait for hours and hours before I finally leave my house. He is planning everything. He makes sure to appear without warning, and to disappear within seconds – it is like a flash: one moment, he is in front of me, and in the blik of an eye he has vanished. It is like magic.
For four months, he followed me around town in his car. At that point, I was not ready to accept what was happening to me – the gas lighting had me confused and I started doubting my own sanity. When I finally realised that I was not going crazy, I changed my evening walk-routines. I escaped to the park, where he could not follow me in his car. I also started making my walks in broad daylight, which made it harder for him to hide. Within a week he had tracked me down and jumped out of the bushes, only to disappear within a split second. Was that really him? Well, of course it was him, and of course he would re-appear an hour later, on another spot, dressed in different clothes, because that is the game he wants to play: ‘So you thought you saw me in the park? Well, think again, honey.” He was consciously deforming my reality.
He has been stalking me for almost a year, now. For the first time, I am realising that I might be in danger after all. We never had a relationship. We are distant friends, we liked each other, but since I am married and I did not want to cheat on my husband, we never got to the point of really getting to know each other. When I started to take my distances, he began stalking me.
For the last two months, I have been abroad. It was wonderful to have some peace of mind, and to find my freedom again. But now that I am back, the stalking continues. Every day. It is madness. He has never been violent, and in the past, that made me feel safe. But why?! It has been a YEAR. There must be something in it for him, I guess. What would that be? We never speak. I never acknowledge him when he is stalking me, I pretend not to see him. Still, he follows me in the park, in the streets, in the shops, he even has the nerve to emerge – in a flash, as always – when I walk in the park with my husband.
Why have I never told my husband what is happening to me? Because I value my own safety. It would be too dangerous to tell my husband, because he would confront the narcissist (whom he knows and likes, so he would probably try to talk some sense into him – as if). Or maybe my husband would go to the police. But what could he tell them? I have no proof whatsoever. There is only one person who knows what is happening to my reality, and that is the narcissist, who is resourceful, devious, manipulative, quicker than water. And I do not want to provoke him.
I never walk in the dark anymore. I know he is somewhere, I just can’t see him (until I do see him, of course, in a flash). I am hyper-vigilant and alert. From afar, I scan every stature with my eyes (is it him, o god, is it him?), I wear sunglasses all the time, in other words: I am afraid. I think a have to start talking about it. Thanks to HG Tudor, I have more understanding of the whole narcissistic (and psychopathic) universe, so I believe that I will be able to explain to my husband what is happening to me, and why he has to sit on his hands for some time, because we have to be careful. We have to figure out a plan.
I am grateful to you, HG Tudor, for having informed me about narcissism. It is also thanks to you that I finally understand that I might be in danger. Before, I always kept telling myself that his non-violent behaviour was a good sign, but that is emotional thinking. A normal person would never kill someone. But we are not talking about a normal person, are we now? A normal person would never intimidate and gaslight someone, and since this man is totally unpredictable, I cannot take my chances.
I am contemplating a plan. I am ashamed to even say the words out loud, it is so ridiculous, but here we go: I want to hire a private detective. It is my only way out, as far as I can tell. Together with my husband, I want to take the necessary steps to feel safe again. I need to know how the narcissist operates. How he stalks me. Where he spies on me. What routes and escape routes he takes. If he operates alone, or with the help of others. What devices and vehicles he uses. I can’t do this myself, because I have virtually no idea where to start. He is invisible, a magician. But a private detective might be able to track him down, to follow him, to collect proof and to make my life safer. Maybe I can bring the narcissist down, if I gather enough proof. I hope so. But it would already be great to have answers to all the confusing questions, and to use them to alter my routines and make my daily life a bit safer.
I will take my time, I want to think everything over and I would appreciate input and ideas from everyone on this forum. I really do not want to engage in this B-movie scenario, but what other options have I got?
You have raised a lot of detailed matters here and therefore the most appropriate forum is a consultation.
“In my case the gas lighting comes in the form of stalking.”
You’re right about the gas lighting aspect of stalking, it can begin to affect your reality…I know what you mean and I’ve only experienced very mild stalking. Your situation would drive me batty – being on constant high alert in expectation that he’s going to just pop out of the bushes – I hope you consult with HG and find some form of resolution.
I’ve been ambushed (now twice) by mine recently and had to take steps to make the owners of my building aware of the situation – which I HATED doing because it meant engaging a conversation about him and I’m really enjoying my “no contact.”
I am not on constant high alert like you but now I’m often thinking I see him when I don’t…or I am uncertain because I never looked directly at him during ‘ambush encounters’ so I can’t verify that it’s actually him (he changes his look and it’s 10 months since I have had to be in the same room with him)…so this is wreaking havoc (a little bit) with my brain. But I’m well schooled in how to react – or *not* to react in these situations, which brings me peace of mind.
HG – what is it in these situations that makes the fuel worth it? Just the thought fuel of someone on constant alert that the narc will show up? If the targeted person is wearing sunglasses and doesn’t speak – there cannot be much else, can there? Does nervously fumbling for one’s phone, in reaction to the sight of the narc, offer any fuel?
There is a lot more I can write in response to what you have explained and if you wish to understand more, do organise an email consultation, briefly :-
1. Thought Fuel is gained but the main purpose is control and the receipt of Proximate Fuel (including the expectation of Proximate Fuel)
2. Body language, stance, gait will provide fuel.
3. Nervous fumbling will provide fuel, yes.
These labels that HG uses,so for example “We are just friends, you are reading too much into it.” the label here is (Triangulation).
When you use this ”labeling” at the moment it occurs,it will have the minimum of negative affect on you. In order to do this, you need to take a step back in your mind,take your time and stay calm,also to give minimum amount of fuel. And the label gaslighting is indeed unnecessary since its all gaslighting,focus on the rest.
I found out that when i do this its actually me who’s gaining fuel. Because im doing something good for myself,and for others when there are others around witnessing what i’m doing. It raises my self confidence and i assert control,over myself, in these situations.
Empaths also need fuel,for those who didn’t realise this yet. When we help someone out it gives us a good feeling,that’s fuel ! We also perish when we are alone and never able to do any good to others. It’s the opposite from what a narcissist does,still its fuel,in my ever humble opinion lol
This is a great article HG.
It’s thoroughly explained and makes the subject easier for us to comprehend.
Gaslighting is a thorny branch of painful entanglement by which the N gains fuel and control.
I like the new header artwork.
The bleakness and sense of altered perception created by gaslighting is captured well.
It’s the gradual and conditioned disconnection from your intuition to survive, especially when it begins in childhood, the creeping self-doubt and the vacillation that intensifies the cognitive dissonance.
It’s the Empath’s hardwired traits to want to, and be able to see the other person’s side, that is hijacked and used against them, and so begins the unravelling of the Empath’s sanity.
Not being listened to, being shouted down, being made to feel bad or defective, and disloyal, for a differing opinion, having your feelings or thoughts invalidated, the fear of spiteful retribution, the withdrawal of affection, all serve to compound the problem.
You are able to move your body after feasting on sea creatures I see. Congratulations.
Thank you. I’m very talented.
Oh my.. I’m glad you have such talents.
Shouted down !! Well said!! Arggggggrrrrrrr!! Kid dad would overtalk me, repeat some inane question over & over but not let me answer it (usually a question to do with dragging up the past)
Just utterly hostile communication designed to shut me down and up.
i heard rumors HG would discuss Jeffrey Epstein and how he did gaslighting to royalty in uk. anyone else been hearing these rumors???
what’s the best way to react to gaslighting/ I started laughing at my ex narc and he stopped.
l could now see through his games and it was just hilarious what he was saying…
Hello again…sorry but I have a question. If the lesser and mid Ranger do not know what they’re doing yet they mirror us then how is it possible they do not KNOW. We do not gaslight them because it’s wrong so does that mean they do know and enjoy it? Just trying to understand what caused my pain – they mirror just our positive traits and make up their own horrible ones? Thank you!
It is an unconscious act. You struggle to grasp this not because you are unintelligent but because of your emotional thinking and the fact that you impose your own worldview on others, you expect us to operate in the same way as you do, but we do not.
Oh. You are correct – I do that!! Worse still I do that with everyone – I never thought about that!! Thank you!
HIM: “This is what happened, and it’s all documented.”
ME: “yeah. Sure it is.”
Boy is that on point! Here is what I call “every conversation with the Narc” (outside of when they are hoovering):
That never happened
And if it did, it wasn’t that bad
And if it was it wasn’t my fault
And if it was, you deserved it
One of the fights with the narc:
Me: Are you gaslighting me right now? Are you trying to tell me what I remember experiencing didn’t happen… well isn’t that clever of you.
Me: You see… you think are so conniving and so incredibly smart, like no woman could ever catch on!
Well… you, have met, your match!
Narc: And that’s why I am so crazy about you
Hahahaha. That charming prick.
I know! They think we’re stupid. You did a great job. If you’re not no contact at least feel better by calling the shit out.
I did the other day.
I am no contact. That fight was a long time ago.
I called him out on lots of narc patterns before actually understanding what it all meant in a larger context.
He won that argument though in so many ways. Ended up hoovering me back.
I am smart and strong but sometimes addiction is stronger.
Glad to be out now. Truly. Once I drop my last sphere of influence that is still open there will be no turning back.
A lot of Elementary Education majors must be malignant narcissists. Witnessed or experienced every single one of these in school. Used to envy the parochial students who just got whacked with yardsticks and told they were going to Hell.
No wonder narcs don’t trust the empaths who claim they “just want to help.”
I’m not sure I understand your full comment. But I am very sorry your experince in school was abusive. That’s definitely not how it should have been.