It’s never any fun to be on the receiving end of anyone’s abuse or to be treated unfairly. Narcissists have a way of manipulating people and situations to work for their intended purposes. Being gaslit is never any fun for anyone, but it feels even more injurious when it comes from someone you should be able to lean on, like a partner or family member. There’s a lot to consider when trying to make a break from a gaslighting narcissist, but luckily family lawyers Melbourne can be of assistance.
What is Narcissism?
Narcissism, or narcissistic personality disorder, is a mental health condition. It is characterized by a highly inflated sense of self-importance, needing an abundance of attention and praise, and a lack of empathy. Narcissists tend to hide behind the false persona they create in an effort to hide their poor self-esteem, self-consciousness, and insecurities. When these individuals feel as though they are in danger of being seen as a fraud, they do whatever they feel needs to be done to show the world they are who they claim to be. A narcissist will usually be unable to handle criticism or anything they perceive as criticism rationally. They tend to struggle with regulating their emotions and behaviors, and they easily feel slighted. Some notable narcissists include cult leader Jim Jones, singer Madonna, and British monarch Henry VIII.
What is Gaslighting?
Gaslighting is a relatively new term to describe a very ancient tool of manipulation. This technique is characterized by invalidating the feelings and reality of another person. The ultimate goal of gaslighting is to control someone’s behavior by getting them to question their feelings, experience, or reality. Gaslighting is a form of emotional and psychological abuse. Not only is it a form of lying, but it also includes planting seeds of self-doubt and projecting their insecurities, thoughts, and feelings onto you.
When you’re being gaslighted by a loved one you may find that you’re very unsure of yourself and whether or not your reactions or feelings are warranted, valid, or even your own. This kind of self-doubt can be very damaging. Not being able to trust yourself and have your own feelings will leave you with diminished self-esteem and the inability to stand up for yourself in other relationships, platonic, professional, romantic, or otherwise. It is important to get help and see a therapist to help you rebuild those parts of you that may have been lost. Gaslighting narcissists do not consider accountability to be their friend, and although they also need to see a therapist, they may not want to seek professional help with you.
Everyone deserves to be heard and feel validated. And if you find that you are not able to get these basics from your partner or family member, you have some decisions to make about the role you want your narcissist to play in your life. It can be scary standing up for yourself, but when you have the right support system behind you, you can win and become a better version of yourself.