The Narcissist uses many malicious forms of emotional and psychological abuse that are always self-serving, manipulative and meant to control the target/victim.
The Narcissist uses many malicious forms of emotional and psychological abuse that are always self-serving, manipulative and meant to control the target/victim. I want to talk in depth about one far reaching method called “gas-lighting” because it is one of the more damaging tools that debases the target/victim and encompasses so many levels of this abuse. It will also outline the Narcissists technique and how they adapt their technique to us personally.
From my Book: Greg Zaffuto – Author – From Charm to Harm and Everything Else in Between with a Narcissist
Gas-lighting is a term that is derived from an old black and white movie where a character makes their spouse believe they were going crazy or insane through devious acts and denial that these situations were happening. After the murder of the victim’s famous opera-singing aunt, she is sent to study and also become a great opera singer as well. While there, she falls in love with a very CHARMING older man.
The two return to reside in the home of the victim’s aunt, and the victim notices strange things happening — missing pictures, strange footsteps in the night, and the home’s gaslights dimming without being touched. He psychologically begins to torture the victim through these acts, and she has a nervous breakdown and has insecurity and memory problems. She fights to retain her sanity while her new husband’s intentions come into question as he denies that ANY of these situations were real but all part of her having issues around her own mental health. The victim’s aunt was murdered by the victim’s new husband over valuable jewelry that was still hidden in the house that he wanted to retrieve so he needed CON the victim into this relationship to get at these jewels and have her silenced and put away to avoid exposure that HE was the murderer that returned to collect the jewels. Thus, the term gas-lighting originated!
The Narcissist LOVES to use gas-lighting to make their target/victim believe and seem to be crazy or insane. They may deny things they have said and done and accuse you of the same to make you believe that you are forgetful, or delusional. They may hide things like your car keys, your phone, etc., and tell you how forgetful you are. They will also twist a grain of truth about most any personal situation and turn it inside out or into a huge distortion until you seriously doubt your own sanity and look like the crazy person when you try to defend yourself. For instance, they will accuse you of drinking too much when you possibly have a glass of wine with dinner, but they exaggerate and embellish the situation as if you NEED that wine or forget that you had 3 or 4 glasses when there is no truth to their exaggerations. Along the same lines, if you do not get along with someone, the Narcissist will say, “I get along with him/her just fine.” The Narcissist will have nothing but praise for that person. Likewise, if you have gotten bad service at a restaurant, the Narcissist will say, “They gave me excellent service.” The Narcissist praises the other or responds with the opposite because it first diminishes YOU as well as reflects badly on you and well on them. Lastly, they will say that other friends or people have CONCERNS about you and have commented on various occasions as well. NONE of which is true.
With “gas-lighting”, the Narcissist will emphatically call into question the MIND of their target/victim by manipulating the memory, thoughts, and ideas of the target/victim. The Narcissist will now employ whatever method necessary to control these thoughts in a manner to CONSISTENTLY confound, confuse and debase the target/victim, to cover lies, affairs or accountability, or make them think they are experiencing memory loss, or have mental issues that are of great concern to the target/victim’s well-being. The Narcissist will even “recycle” these old issues over and over again to further use at a later date to reinforce the target/victim’s ineptness as a “countering” point AND drive it home even DEEPER in a continued effort to damage the target/victim’s psyche. This technique is extremely destructive to the victim because it diminishes their spirit and distorts their normal functioning — and exactly what their abuser wants – control. No/minimal contact to end this cycle of abuse and to return to a healthy lifestyle. Greg