Gaslighting :

I have been a victim of Narcissistic abuse and there are many manipulative tactics an abuser will use to control their victims. Gaslighting is very common and an insidious tactic leaving a victim of emotional abuse questioning their own judgement. This takes place over time and is a form of mind manipulation.

The Dixie Chics have released a new song called, “Gaslighter”. A friend of mine sent me an email knowing I have been bringing awareness on Narcissistic Abuse for the last four years. I am excited to see that there is more awareness about these forms of emotional abuse today. When I first started speaking about Narcissistic Abuse it was if I could hear crickets. People didn’t seem to understand at all . I was shocked and decided to dedicate myself to the cause and not to give into my FEARS. There were others out there doing the same thing and I began to follow them along my journey to gain strength. Knowing you are not alone is comforting and for a very long time, I felt alone in my seemingly forced silence.

Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation in which a person or a group covertly sows seeds of doubt in a targeted individual, making them question their own memory, perception, or judgment, often evoking in them cognitive dissonance and other changes such as low self-esteem. (Wikipedia)

A person who is manipulative can abuse a victim by trying to gain power over them by manipulating their mind. A movie called, “Gaslight” was made in 1944 where a man used this tactic over a period of time to make his wife think that she was going crazy. It can also be referred to as Crazy Making.

WHAT are some ways you can see the red flags of Gaslighting in any relationships you may have?

  1. Do you often feel off balance, question your own judgement, feel crazy in your relationship?
  2. Do you find yourself always saying you are sorry?
  3. Do you enable your partner by making excuses for their behavior?
  4. Do you have trouble making decisions that should be simple?
  5. Do you wonder if you are good enough?
  6. Do you often feel something is off but you are just not sure what it is?
  7. Are you wondering if you are just to sensitive and asking yourself this many times during a day?
  8. Do you notice that these things only happen when you are thinking about situations that involve a specific person and notice it doesn’t happen otherwise?

When there is conflict with a person that is using this tactic it is because they need to gain the upper hand and use this as a deflective tactic throwing you off balance. This is a way for them to regain power and control. They aren’t being fair as they are trying to change your perception of things as they feel the need to be right. A person isn’t trying to resolve things in a healthy manner when doing this. They don’t care how you feel or about the integrity of the relationship. They only care about winning. This is also where you may see the abuser use your vulnerabilities you shared with them during the idealization phase or love bombing phase against you. This is Abuse.

Here is a list of some gaslighting phrases you may recognize if someone is trying to manipulate you in this way:

  1. I was just kidding!
  2. You’re being dramatic
  3. Here we go again…..
  4. You’re making a big deal out of nothing.
  5. You’re not really crying, stop acting
  6. Nobody believes anything you say so why should I?
  7. You’re so ungrateful, all you ever do is complain
  8. That just never happened, you make these things up.
  9. You have an active imagination
  10. You just want me to be the bad guy
  11. You are so insecure
  12. Everyone can see you are overly paranoid
  13. Nobody cares what you think
  14. Your not that special you know.
  15. Here you go again, making everything about you.
  16. If your so unhappy why don’t you just leave then? huh?
  17. You are so crazy, you know that and so does everyone else.
  18. That’s not me in the photo/video, thats just someone who looks like me.

There are so many ways to gaslight someone into questioning their own reality. Overtime even with plenty of evidence in front of the abused they will not be able to use logic as they don’t trust in their own ability to think. The abuser gaslights others that may or may not know the victim (also known as minions or flying monkeys) to isolate the victim more. The abuser then gains power and control over the situation, the victim and the people around them.

In narcissistic relationships the narcissist lacks self-awareness and justifies themselves by saying they are just being real or brutally honest. They don’t care about finding a healthy resolve as the conflict helps as a distraction and eventually will have the abused apologizing when they didn’t do anything wrong. The abuser will use this apology against them as evidence they are the crazy one in the future to help with their facade. They may even learn about emotional abuse as the victim may tell them they are abusing them. They can then use what they have learned to further abuse their victims by using this new information to their advantage and point the finger at their target, blaming them. This can be so serious because the victims realize the position they have been put in and don’t know how to get help. The abuser can even manipulate therapists especially those that are not trained in this particular area. This can cause the victim to start to unravel and help the abuser even more as they set things up to play out this way. This can drive the abused to feel completely controlled, silenced and even feel crazy.

Gaslighting is abuse and now more than ever emotional abuse is being talked about. Emotional abuse is the beginning stages that can lead to other abuse. If you feel you are being emotionally abused and recognize some of these signs, honor those feelings. You can find a therapist who can help you through this and recover as you gain the ability to trust yourself again. There are many people who have been through this type of abuse and have kept quiet out of fear, shame, guilt and more.

Bringing awareness helps victims speak out without the worry of others judging them harshly and maybe abusing them more by shaming or blaming them. It is important for people to have compassion and understand that just because you didn’t see or experience something doesn’t mean someone else didn’t. Many times the abused keep silent and protect their abusers. The victims can begin taking the blame or begin to believe they deserve it , are worthless, nobody would believe them, or question their reality if the abuse went on long enough.

We can see this in many cases such as the Gabriel Fernandez documentary shown on Netflix where this child was abused mentally and physically for long periods of time. He was seen by many and these people would question if what they were seeing was abuse. Gabriel’s mother and her boyfriend would not only gaslight their children but those that were involved with them or would question anything. The blame was being put on this poor child as he behind closed doors was being brutally beaten. fed cat litter, locked in a small space to starve. had his head bashed with a baseball bat, teeth knocked out with the same bat and so many other horrific things. He tried to tell people he trusted as he wanted help. He still loved his mother and was confused as he thought he was bad. If only he could just be good then she would love him. He began to believe this as that is what he was told over and over. The reality was his mother and her boyfriend were sick people who manipulated the system and anyone they came in contact with. This child died because of it. It could have been prevented with more awareness.

It is so important we bring awareness to something that may feel uncomfortable but is happening in our society everyday. If we can become aware, we can begin to make the important changes needed to protect people from losing who they are at the hands of abusers who use them. These abusers use people to make them feel or look more powerful and in control than they really are.

I am a survivor of abuse and l once fell to my knees praying out to God in front of my abuser as he stood over me laughing. He stood above me laughing and mocking me saying , “Where’s your God now?” I knew I wasn’t alone in those moments even though it appeared to my abuser I was. I was being gaslit right then but even though I had lost faith in myself, I had never lost my faith in God. Here I am today along with many other survivors spreading awareness for those who are suffering in silence, for those who aren’t sure what is happening and questioning things, for those who may know the victim and being gaslit by their abuser to further isolate their victim. We shouldn’t be ashamed or made to feel ashamed. Just because its hard to believe doesn’t make it not real.

I am glad to see songs like,”Gaslight,”by the Dixie Chicks, documentaries and hearing people using the language to describe abuse. This means it is being talked about and that the shame around it will soon disappear. Voices will be heard and change can and will happen.

Please help share awareness as you could help save someone or even yourself one day.

World Narcissistic Abuse Awareness Day is June 1ST.

Jennifer Watkins

Awareness for A common type of abuse often kept quiet:

Many people liked The show, “Dirty John” on Netflix however, this is real. It can happen to anyone. There are people out there that PREY on good people to have their own needs met while destroying other people . Those needs can vary and why many victims are being played at one time. They are able to conn many with their charm and sometimes gain minions who will help hurt the people they are devaluing in some way. (Emotionally, mentally, physically, financially, sexually victims are harmed. )

The Trauma bond made makes it difficult for the victim to leave as they struggle with logic because of the Love bombing phase. The victim has a hard time wrapping their head around the fact this person isn’t who they thought they were. They want to believe the good. The conn exploits those good traits in their victims counting on it to gain more power and control. This isolates them from those they love as the chaos envelops many. The victim has a hard time getting people to believe them because the conn is a master at manipulation and set things up over time for the victim to look off balance. The victim took them back and even defended them. This is the trauma bonded mind of the victim .

It isn’t about scaring people into thinking everyone is this way but important for people to be aware of the RED FLAGS. World Narcissistic Abuse Awareness day is June 1st and each year we see that awareness is spreading. It is important that people not diagnose people but to use the information to stay aware and safe.

Dating online is a place where you need to be especially cautious as it is a place where Narcissistic and Antisocial Personality disordered people prey on people. They can pretend to be whoever they need to be behind a computer. This isn’t something to joke about. It is real and those affected by it struggle to heal from the emotional trauma for a very long time. I know when you personally have not been abused in any way it can be easy to dismiss but it can happen to anyone. You may need to support someone someday through it.

I will continue to share awareness as it is a serious matter. These people do not like being exposed and bringing awareness irritates those with these issues. It can cause a smear campaign as these people wish to hold their facade firmly in place. One of the red flags is turning the trait and pointing the finger at their victims to deflect. Don’t be a part of re-victimizing by joking about something that is a serious matter. I hope with Awareness we can help those bullied in school, in the work place, in families, in our court systems, and more. Thank you and I hope you will help spread Awareness with me again this year. I go live to speak about this every year, on June first for (World Narcissistic Abuse Awareness Day) on my Facebook and YouTube Channel.

Some Narcissistic Red Flags:A

Red flags are warning bells that go off internally that lets you feel something is wrong. At the start of every relationship people are usually putting their best foot forward. After a few months most people begin to relax more and we can get a better view of who a person really is.

When dating a narcissist there are early warning signs, some are subtle and if not aware you may write those off. If paying attention and not throwing all your cards on the table right from the start of a relationship, you could save yourself some heartache.

What are some of these red flags you could be looking for? There are many but I will list below a few signs to help guide you. If you see one , it doesn’t mean someone is a narcissist . They may be narcissistic and we all have some of the traits. Pay attention to see if there is a pattern.

1.) Always late:
This shows entitlement, superiority, lack of empathy.

2.)Isn’t close with their family nor talks about them much.

3:)Doesn’t have close friends or any that are long standing. May have serious problems with interpersonal relationships with a lack of awareness they have been the problem. Acts like a victim.

4:) Mirrors everything you like or do. May have identity issues and therefore mimics you or tries to enmesh by wanting to do everything with you or that you do.

5.) Incessantly texts, calls, shows up at your house or work uninvited.
Acts jealous about you with others, your accomplishments, always has to one up you.

6.) Seems to rush the relationship. Wants to sleep over every night, move in right away, says I love you quickly, talks of marriage to soon.

7.)Tries to take over your finances , doesn’t want you hanging out with your friends or family, wants you to quit your job and be with them, acts sick all the time so you will cater to them.

8.) Can’t keep a job , moves within jobs often, can’t seem to work with others, talks bad about the people they work with constantly, never seems to have money, or the opposite and over the top extravagant early on.

9.) Talks bad about their ex all the time especially when you are just getting to know them.

10) Likes to gossip about others but pretends to like them to their face.

11.) Seems to always have chaos in their life.

12.) Doesn’t respect your boundaries yet has high expectations of you.

13.) Rude to wait staff, poor tipper, and or flirts with wait staff.

14.) Tells you not to call except for certain hours (may lie and say because of work), Doesn’t give you their number, has more than one phone. Doesn’t answer your calls.

15.) Doesn’t introduce you to their friends , take you out in public, only calls you late night, rushes sex, sends sex texts early on, asks for nude photos, if they run into someone they know with you, they don’t introduce you.

16) Inconsistent

17.) Acts like they told you something they didn’t .

18.) Speaks in circles where they don’t make sense. You are left confused .

19.) Forgets to call or show up when they said they would.

20.) Walks Ahead of you

21) Bad with money but pretends to be successful. In debt but portrays themselves as well off.

22) Changes their identity often. (You may hear this from others)

23) Says they are only seeing you but still on dating sites.

24) Know it all, condescending , puts you down In a joking manner and then says, “Just Kidding.”

25) They show signs of lack of empathy. ( A family member passes, they say, “get over it they are in a better place. “
Laughs at things that aren’t funny (inappropriate)

26) They try to talk you into something that makes you feel uncomfortable.

27) They only consider their time and not yours. It’s all about them and their needs. They don’t consider yours.

28) You feel anxiety with them around and (or )when they aren’t around.

29) Their ex contacts you to warn you, they call them crazy and insanely jealous.

30.) They think they are above the law.
They are superior and won’t get caught. Has magical thinking , sees people as good or bad.

It is best we take our time when dating and really get to know someone. Rushing means we can miss things and a narcissist expects this. They rush things with the idealization phase hoping to love bomb you enough to bond you to them. They know you are loyal and believe in love. They know once you invest enough it will be harder for you to leave. They exploit your good nature (traits)and vulnerabilities.

If you don’t rush into a relationship, you may see consistent signs of a healthy partner or a person that is chaotic and deceitful . If you see patterns of their behavior that leave you questioning , anxiety ridden, and searching for answers, it’s best to reconsider the relationship.

If you create Boundaries and they repeatedly ignore them that is a huge Red Flag.

Not jumping into a relationship after ending one is also a healthy way to heal and tend to your own needs. Needing others to validate our sense of worth puts you in a vulnerable place. It’s better to be alone and getting to know yourself, than in a relationship where you feel alone and lose yourself.

Narcissists are master manipulators as they watch and learn how others are feeling. They use that to their advantage. They can’t relate to your feelings but that can mimic what it looks like.

Online dating sites are a place narcissist love to play. They can find out so much about you through your profile and pretend to be whomever they want. If they try to rush you into meeting them right away without getting to know much about them first , RED FLAG….

Be careful . I know it’s scary as you don’t want to get hurt again. If you create boundaries, know your worth, and don’t give away so much of yourself to soon, you can possibly avoid these types of relationships.

You will attract narcissists with your good traits always but if you hold strong boundaries, they will move on quickly realizing you are not easily controlled and manipulated.

Anyone can fall prey to these types of people . They are masters at their manipulations. Don’t judge harshly those who were conned as it could be you next, if you aren’t aware.

Things that are annoying a Narcissist does:

I thought today I would write some unnerving things a narcissist can do. I thought I would write some things and you can in the comments below if you would like .

1)Always late but will expect everyone else on time for them. They either have a pocket of excuses or ignore it all together as if they were on time. (This is a sense of entitlement attitude. Poor boundary awareness, lack of empathy, blame shifting)

2)Live beyond their means to keep up appearances and brag (to the outside world) but make every excuse in the world for why they are broke other than they live beyond their means(to family) (Sense of entitlement, blame shifting, projection, deflection.

3)The victim narcissist complains constantly and does zero to make healthier changes for what they complain about. They have an excuse for everything. (Boundary breaker, sense of entitlement, lack of empathy, blame shifter)

4)Extrovert narcissist : Always needs center stage, brags about anything they can any chance they can. Not humble, pretentious, hauty, jealous of others who may get attention, talk poorly of others, don’t support others but expect to be supported, never grateful, expect people to understand their feelings even if not expressed, expect people to understand their feelings if they are expressed, expect people to agree , they don’t care to understand you, not helpful to you, and smear you behind your back. If they do something for you it is only because it is something to brag to others about to make them look good and or because they really do it for themselves but pretend it’s for others. Steal others jokes or accomplishments. Exploit friends and family for attention. ( boundary buster, lack of empathy, self entitled, deflection, blame shifter, projection.)

5)Untrustworthy: will talk about you and your inner most personal things but expect you to never do that about them. (Lack of empathy, self entitled, boundary buster)

6) Cheap: terrible gift giver unless it makes them look good, will regift , will take your things(steal them and act innocent) will use you for residual benefits, expects you to pay for them, never says thank you and you carry most of the weight of everything In the relationship. ( self entitled , lack of empathy, boundary buster )

7) Expects you to call, make the plans with them, text, if you don’t you are a bad friend. They haven’t lifted a finger to do anything in the relationship but project outwardly it’s all you. (lack of accountability, lack of empathy, boundary buster, self entitled, lack of awareness, blame shifter, projection and deflection.)

8)NEGATIVE

9) Always has to be right, finds things to argue about, wastes time, lazy but pretends to be busy. (Self entitled, blame shifter, boundary buster, deflection, projection, lack of empathy, lack of self awareness)

10) Can’t and won’t self reflect, can’t take any critism, sees people as either good or bad, finds something wrong with everyone and everything, never satisfied, gets angry quickly, passive aggressive, cheats in life to get ahead , uses people including family to get their way or to have facade management. (Lack of awareness, self entitled, boundary buster, blame shifter, projection, lack of self awareness)

11) Pretends to be someone they aren’t at the expense of others. (Self entitled, lack of awareness, lack of empathy, boundary buster)

12) exploits you or other people in whatever way works for them in the moment.