Gaslighting is one of a narcissists favorite toxic tactics. It is easier to change the story and distort the truth than it is to sell themselves in reality. This toxic tactic can wear away at your heart and soul, because doubting oneself is the first reaction most survivors have in order to try to make sense of everything. When someone you love tells you that you have it wrong, it is hard not to doubt yourself. If they love you, they would not lie to you. Unfortuneatley, this is the logic narcissists use against you. Here are some techniques and signs of a toxic person gaslighting:
Signs Of A Person Who Gaslights
They manipulate-use and control of others as an extension of oneself
They use emotional invalidation and coercion
They frequently tell blatant lies and exaggerations
They deny they ever said something, even if you have proof
They use what is near and dear to you as ammunition
They wear you down over time
Their actions do not match their words
They throw in positive reinforcement to confuse you
They know confusion weakens people
They try to align people against you
They tell you and/or others you are crazy
They tell you everyone else is a liar
They rarely admit to flaws and are highly aggressive when criticized
They have and use a false image of themselves
They frequently break rules and violate boundaries
Gaslighting erodes your self-worth and makes you not trust yourself or your own reality. This is one of the most toxic tactics and gets people stuck in a toxic reality that is not their own. Beware of anyone who wages war on your truth.
When we enter narcissistic abuse recovery, it is important to remember the work has just begun. Going no contact and leaving your abusers behind is a way of life that will get easier with time, but the real work is changing your programming. You are like a computer who needs an update to fix the bugs that have become apparent over the span of your lifetime. It is not your fault that you were misprogrammed. However, you need to realize there are people who have a vested interest in keeping you from completing your program update and reprogramming yourself.
This is a time to loose hope for other people. In narcissistic abuse recovery, hope can be a toxic form of denial. Loose hope for all the people who have wronged you and all the dysfunctional people you have been attached to in your life. Change is hard and no one wants to change without motivation. It is your job to find your motivation and your why. Do not let hope for other people to see the error of their ways drain your energy and keep you stuck in old programming.
Other people will change when they want to and only then. Recovery is not the buddy system. It is an individual internal job that must be accomplished alone. Yes, by all means, connect to a community of people in recovery, but know you will be leaving most of the people in your life in the past. Those people were attracted and attached to the dysfunctional old you with outdated programming. They may too reprogram themselves and experience an update, but until this process has completed you have no business having them in your life in any big or small way.
No one said recovery was easy. If it was easy think of all the narcissists who would have done it rather than become toxic themselves. Look at your original abuser, were they willing to leave their abusers behind and brave the world on their own? In most cases the answer is no.
Toxic people rarely escape heard mentality, because the thought of being alone with their own thoughts brings them back to the heard of toxic people they know. I suppose this is where their mind leads them to think there is safety in numbers. If you want to remain in the illusion of safety than by all means stay with your heard of toxic people and skip reprogramming. This is the safe and easy way to deal with narcissistic abuse. However, if you want to live the life of your dreams it is time to reprogram and leave the toxic people in the past.
When I first started my recovery process from narcissistic abuse, I could not figure out why I felt like some people were punching me in my solar plexus(stomach) when I was in their presence. Even talking to a toxic person on the internet made me have this uncomfortable feeling and video chatting was the same as seeing toxic people in person. This was something I had to figure out if I was going to survive, let alone recover.
“Cords are energetic connections that form between two people. Sometimes these cords are formed from love and cause no harm but sometimes cords are formed through fear, anger, manipulation and other negative means. You are creating cords all the time as you interact with others.”
After learning about energetic cords, I realized this was what I was feeling. We have all heard that cluster b personality disordered individuals do not have a connection to source energy. Well, this is how that disconnect plays out in everyday life. Since narcissists do not have a connection to source energy, they put energetic cords into everyone they encounter to get their narcissistic supply. This is how they drain others of life force energy and survive.
“…narcissistic action really being an “unconscious” behavior. The perpetrator is not normally aware of how his actions are affecting others. On the contrary, the perpetrator often feels he is the one being victimized. Narcissistic people are frequently energy vampires.”
Energetic vampires are literally stealing your energy and this is why some people make you feel drained after an interaction. Narcissists are energetically drowning. Just as a drowning person will push others underwater to gasp for air, narcissists drain others energy because it is their oxygen. With no connection to source energy they use others as a way to get their fix and basic human needs met. They do not see this tactic as wrong because it is all they know.
After realizing how energy vampires operate, we are more prepared to deal with them in our everyday lives. How do you protect yourself from these energetic cords and energy vampires? Have you felt these energetic cords being inserted and draining your energy? Do you feel drained after interacting with some people? How do energetic cords effect children who are/were raised by narcissists?
Studying and learning about narcissistic abuse is the easy part of recovery. Integration is what separates the survivors from the thrivers; the trauma based BPD bound from the individuals who go on to live the lives of their dreams. Intellectualizing what you experienced is something that even cluster b personality disordered individuals can do. Without the integration and practical application of what you have learned there is still a disconnect where people perpetuate narcissistic abuse.
This disconnect is deadly. It is almost better to be around a toxic person who is unaware of what they experienced, because then you know there is still hope if one day they choose to educate themselves and get honest. When someone understands logically the narcissistic abuse they have encountered, but remain detached enough to not apply what they learned to correct the issues; they themselves become a predator. The worst kind of predator is one who knows what they are doing, but plays dumb when confronted with the reality of their actions. This is not wisdom, this is cruelty.
Some people get stuck in the helplessness for moments in time and that is completely understandable. However, when this moment becomes a way of life that is when we need to identify the person as toxic. They have chosen to stay stuck in a toxic cycle and playing helpless is a manipulation tactic in itself.
Recovery is a lifestyle. A lifestyle of correcting your programming and knowing it is a life long process. When you know there will always be little things that come up and need to be addressed and changed, you are recovering. When you have intellectualized the abuse and do not implement change on a daily basis you are merely living in the past and acting out it out in the present.
Choosing to not be a victim and being empowered is the only way to get the life of your dreams. No one will hand you happiness on a platter, you must work for it. Mental clarity and health are a personal job we all have to address with integration of knowledge. Merely reading the books and watching the recovery videos is not enough. One must live the recovered life to fully recover. This does not mean perfection, but it does means progress on a daily basis.
Speaking your truth after narcissistic abuse is a necessary step to achieving recovery. Expressing yourself helps to resolve some of the toxic emotions and traumas that are associated with narcissistic abuse. Look at your original abuser, this is who you will become if you do not speak your truth. Denying a large part of who you are and how you feel is at the root of narcissism. Do you want to be one of them?
Yes, others who have not experienced narcissistic abuse do not understand how deep the river of scars go, but anyone who asks you to stop speaking your truth is toxic to your recovery. Speaking your truth helps the realities of what has occurred to completely sink in and make room for the realizations of what you need to change. This is changing your programming and is far from an easy process.
Do you have thoughts and questions that swirl around in your mind over and over again, because you just cannot quite grasp what to do with all this information? Good! This is your brain making sense of all the trauma and brain washing. In most cases, the toxic tactics are deep rooted in childhood experiences and are then taken advantage of by another toxic person in your adulthood.
“Analysis and education about the abuser are essential to understanding what happened, but once that is done, your attention is most needed inwardly.” -Jackson MacKenzie
How are you going to allow these realizations to make you a better person? I know this sounds crazy at first, but really think about it. All the adversities we experience in life are what make us who we are. How we overcome these difficult situations in life are how we build character. Do not let the abuse define you, but let the things you learn in recovery make you a better and brighter human.
When it comes down to it humanity is all we have and humanity is a beautiful thing.