Cognitive dissonance is a term used to describe the very uncomfortable feeling of having two conflicting beliefs. As an example, let’s say you believe that your mother was a caring, loving mother & you also believe that any problems in that relationship are completely your fault. Then one day you learn that she is a covert narcissist. In such a situation, facing the truth feels awful. You grew up believing this one thing & were comfortable with it, even if it was painful thinking you were the problem in the relationship. Learning this isn’t true creates anxiety & confusion about what is really true.
In speaking with a follower of my work one day on the topic of cognitive dysfunction, she mentioned that she believes it can be demonic. At first, this concept sounds very far fetched, I realize, but the more we spoke, the more it made sense.
As Kavya said, when faced with the truth, many people’s core beliefs come back & they believe the lies instead. This could be evidence of demons at work. This also could be people operating in the spirit of fear, because they’re afraid to step out of their comfort zone of what is familiar. So afraid, in fact, they are content to stay with what’s familiar even when it’s wrong & toxic. That spirit of fear comes in & keeps them in toxic situations.
Another good point she made is evil is against rational thinking. These spirits want to stunt growth. They want to keep people miserable & down. So when people lack good rational thought skills, there can be a demonic influence.
Evil is also against truth. They worked through the people in Jesus’ time on earth to hide the knowledge of who He was & what He could do. That hasn’t changed today. They instill doubt in people or find ways to make the Gospel message sound impossible. They also work to hide the truth about other things. Creating cognitive dissonance easily could be a part of that. They make people so despondent that they return to their original beliefs, in spite of how obviously wrong they were & how miserable they were while functioning in those beliefs.
Even good, caring people can end up supporting narcissists because they lack critical thinking skills. They don’t recognize that there is evil influencing them. They go with their feelings rather than facing the evidence in front of them, because the truth is making them so incredibly uncomfortable. Doing this opens the door for evil to work in their minds & lives. After all, who wants to face the fact that someone they are close to or even love is an abusive monster? No one! Doing that is extremely hard & painful! Some people lack the strength & courage to face painful truths, so instead, they take the easy way out. They continue in their denial out of fear of facing that pain. I believe that fear can open a door for evil to enter their hearts, because sometimes in this situation, even a good person can end up so focused on protecting their denial that they mistreat & abuse a victim.
If you experience cognitive dissonance like many victims of narcissistic abuse do, then please keep this in mind. I don’t think it is always demonic, but it has that potential to be. Protect yourself, & face the truth, even when it’s hard.