Coping When Gaslighting Happens

Gaslighting is an incredibly insidious, subtle form of abuse.  In time, it can erode a person’s ability to make decisions by destroying their trust in their own instincts, feelings & perceptions.  It’s evil & horrible, yet it also is seldom seen as such.

Once a person realizes what gaslighting is though, it feels as if enlightenment suddenly has taken place.  Things finally make sense!  This also is the time an abusive person who uses gaslighting steps up their game.

When this happens, the victim of gaslighting goes one of two ways.  Either they think they were wrong, their abuser is not gaslighting them & gaslighting isn’t a real thing or they become determined to fight back.  I truly hope those of you who follow my work are interested in fighting back!  If not, I hope you will be soon!

When a narcissist actively employs gaslighting, confronting them on their behavior is often a waste of time.  Rather than admit their abuse is wrong, they spin the situation around to make their victim look abusive, over sensitive & mentally unstable while simultaneously making them look innocent.  There are times when confronting them is necessary, but often it is best to avoid doing so.  During those times, talking to yourself can be very valuable because it will help you to avoid falling for their abuse.  Following are some helpful affirmations to tell yourself that can help you deal with gaslighting behavior.

“That is NOT how that happened!”  Narcissists love to reinvent the past, glossing over their bad behavior or flat out denying it.  Sometimes simply reminding yourself that what they say isn’t true is enough to keep you focused on the truth rather than believing their lies.  Reinventing the past is a coping skill many narcissists use, & it is their right to do so.  It also is your right not to join in on their dysfunction.

“My response to cruel, contemptible behavior is normal.  What is NOT normal is the fact you think that what you are saying & doing is acceptable & normal.” Narcissists try to make their victims feel like the problem, & that their reactions are completely wrong.  This is NOT true!  Remind yourself that their behavior is the problem, not your reaction to it.  Being angry, insulted, hurt, & outraged is normal in abnormal circumstances!

“Me wanting you to be accountable for your behavior doesn’t make me a bad person.  It makes me normal.”  Narcissists can’t stand being accountable for their behavior, & will do anything to avoid it.  Accountability isn’t a bad thing & people should be accountable for their behavior.  Only people behaving badly want to avoid it.

“My thoughts, opinions, needs, feelings & even my humanity matter.  Period!”  Narcissists try to make their victims feel as if there is nothing about them that matters.  They are WRONG!  Every single person matters, no matter what narcissists may think.

“No one can dictate how I feel & what hurts me.”  Narcissists are notorious for telling their victims how they think they should feel as a way to manipulate them.  This is so wrong!  No one has the right to tell any other person how they “should” feel. 

“God doesn’t love you because of how you treat me!”  Some narcissists use religion to justify their wicked behavior & many even try to twist His word around to justify their behavior.  This is extremely WRONG!  God loves the people He has created & it pains Him when they harm each other.  When a person sets boundaries with an abuser, that isn’t harmful to the abuser.  It is normal, reasonable behavior.

I hope these affirmations help you to avoid falling for gaslighting & cling to the truth instead.


Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Mental Health, Narcissism

16 responses to “Coping When Gaslighting Happens

  1. Love these reminders. Thank you for sharing these affirmations!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cynthia, well done. Gaslighting is an apt term, especially referencing the reinvention of the past. It gets back to the narcissist deflecting blame and point it somewhere else. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You are right Cynthia, Confronting them is worse ever! I am losing my sanity already dealing with them. No one deserves their mental torture.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Stella Reddy

    Thank you, love this post and great reminders for what I am dealing with. Over the past 5 1/2 yrs since this started for me, I have done both. I hid away for almost 3 yrs, sat by and lived in depression and sometimes even psychosis but since 2018, I started taking little steps, first with counselling, to take back my power. This past year and half, since I moved from that province, my personal power has taken off with the education I have been getting. I am so much stronger these days and can fight all their tactics now that I see so clearly. My extreme fear and anxieties prevented me from seeing what I needed too for a long time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is wonderful you’ve been able to come so far! Congratulations! This hasn’t been an easy road for you but you’re doing amazing!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Stella Reddy

        Thank you, it means a lot. I still have my moments, but at least it isn’t days anymore. My mind is getting stronger at recognizing my emotions so I can deal with them at that moment, process them and let it go. Have a wonderful weekend!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Good for you!!

          I wonder if some things are lifelong & improvement is the best we can hope for, like with you going from days to moments. The damage narcissists do is so intense & goes so deep! Even when that is the case though, those times are still worth celebrating, I think, because it shows so much improvement!

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Stella Reddy

    Yes! I totally agree, some progress for me is worth celebrating, especially these days. I’ve lived with PTSD for 30 yrs and managed to maintain it to the point where I was able to have a good solid career for 18 yrs and raise 2 children. Dealing with a narcissist, even as a tenant in a professional relationship, I was stumped and it got to me, and brought out my PTSD even more.

    I do consider myself lucky, I didn’t start from scratch, as I already had a lot of tools that helped me with my issues, I just got overwhelmed for a long time and nothing worked like it did anymore. I had to start healing for me to go thru the stages once again and reach where I am today. I have been here before, just different things.

    I do know, and accept, I have a life long condition and I understand that another challenge might take me out once again, but I live in hope. I am getting older now, my life is settling down, and I am now retired with less pressures, so I hope I get to have some peace these days. I am striving for it anyway! That is all I can do. Positive thoughts!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s