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?”
13 thoughts on “The Terrible Gas Lighting Twenty”
One instance of gaslighting that I found totally preposterous: I had finished his box of extra-strong mint tea, so I bought him the exact same one to replace it. Same brand, same flavour, same everything – I had taken the empty box along with me so as to get it right. Then he said it wasn’t the same tea because he never took the “extra-strong mint” variety. I just said nothing and thought he was losing his mind, and he didn’t even know what was in his own home.
Then some time later he said he never drank tea because he hated it, and was “anti-tea”. Some weird “entity” he was, for sure. He had several varieties of tea at his place. I took it as a put-down or provocation becauae I like tea.
He still got no response from me.
What a useless appliance I was, hehe.
Ha ! I love “ Are you calling me a liar ?”
To Which my answer would always be a simple, unemotional :
😂 (I love being me sometimes )
Leela… heard all those! Def was like…. always wanted to “help” aka- tell everybody how to run their lives and what they’re doing wrong….. “here let me rewrite that… “ all the while making remarks about how wrong/un intelligent people are …
…or treating people like 5-year olds. That´s why “my” narc does! Behaving like a “daddy” who thinks he has to instruct the “little 5 year old Leela”. Disgusting!
Gaslighting is one of the favorite tools of “my” Mid Ranger Narc, so how about:
“You are being too sensitive.”
“You are overreacting. AGAIN!”
“You are reading too much into the situation”
“I didn´t mean it” (but no explanation how the heck he meant it)
“You totally misunderstood me” (again: no explanation, no clarifying the situation)
“I never said that”
“I don´t know what you mean”
“You´re acting irrationally”
“Why do you act so irrationally?” (again: no explanation, no clarifying)
“Trust me! I´m your friend” ( 😀 Yeah, sure! :D)
“I just wanna help you with your issues” ( 😀 Of course! 😉 )
“Stop acting so over-sensitively”
“What do you mean by that? I have no idea”
“I never said that! You better apologize for your accusation!”
“Stop making such a fuss”
“I really don´t wanna argue with you about that”
“I don´t want such a big fuss again. Do you think you can do that?”
“I would NEVER do that” (but words don´t match the actions)
“You got that totally wrong, I only wanted to do/say……..”
“Why do we have to argue about that again?”
Wonderful! Isn´t it? 😉 😀
You nailed it ……. to perfection
My narc was a mid ranger friend
Luv Bubbles xx 😘
So technically… Wouldn’t only the greater be gaslighting?
And the mid and lesser just reacting in defense since they’re not aware of what they’re doing?
But their defenses somehow feed them the same reply one would get from a calculating greater? I think I’m confused. It seems like the replies or responses would be different. The awareness concept is really complicated. I believed
that my ex kind of knew what she was doing?manybe- but not really?
And would totally deny it and definitely could not explain why behaviors were done.
It’s truly sad _it’s got to be really exhausting_
It would depend on your definition of gas lighting. If you define gas lighting as denying your reality, then all schools of narcissists do this. If you define it as a conscious denial of your reality, then only the Greater does that, because the Greater knows that he or she is lying. The Lesser or Mid-Range do indeed deny your reality, but they do so through the prism of their narcissistic perspective and the lies they tell are their truth.
Kathleen, I find it extremely confusing sometimes too. I always wondered if my ex narc knew what he was doing. He actually said to me once, “Your perspective doesn’t match my reality.” For a minute I thought he was admitting to me that he knew he was messing with my head. Retrospectively, I don’t think that’s the case anymore. I actually think I challenged him and his narcissism caused him to have to deny my reality and blame shift in order to regain control. He truly believed that I was unable to see things from his point of view (which is true) and that I was obstinate and unable to change my mind. He believed I was being stubborn, pig-headed and difficult when I was just standing firm in my beliefs and my boundaries. That caused him to deny my reality because his narcissism needed to reject me trying to take control. I don’t know if I’m right but that’s my take on it.
Thank you HG and Leigh! Both of your replies helped me. It’s tough to keep my interpretation separate from the narc perspective and to have to switch back and forth – this reminds me of how tough it was in the very early days of HG education when I had to “suspend my reality “ in order to grasp the situation. Thank you- I remember my mind almost literally hurting to grasp it at first! Thank goodness those days have passed.
I said the same thing your narc said to my narc…. I’d always say to him “don’t you notice we view the world from a totally different lense… and doesn’t that bother you ?”
… I had yet to know at that point just how far the rabbit hole went… yikes…
It really doesn’t matter if the narc beleives their lies or not. What matters is not letting someone else shift our own perceptions of reality. Because it’s coming from our perspective that makes it right just the same
Way the narc always thinks they are right.
I don’t really buy that they never not
Know they are lying. That would be impossible. They know they had sex with another woman… they were there… they also know it’s advantages to either not say anything …. or make the person jealous. They may not know why they love the feeling of upsetting someone so much, or why they enjoy the “thrill” of cheating. But they dam well
Know they slept
With the other person.
Wow this struck a cord with me except in reverse, my ex would wait until I was finally asleep then wake me up with wild accusations about me sleeping around on him 10 years ago. I was so confused about how I wouldn’t remember cheating on him but he loved nothing more than a good knockdown fight (pretty sure he was lower to mid range) I’m so glad I got the help I needed to escape with my kid’s, at the time I only knew he was abusive, love these articles because things make so much more sense now.
I agree with you 100% Empath007. Its so important not to get pulled into their reality and lose oneself. The gaslighting was so bad and I constantly questioned everything. Thanks to Mr. Tudor and posters like yourself, it made me realize it was time to pull myself out of the rabbit hole.