Gaslighting and Revenge in Narcissistic Abuse

Written by Angela Atkinson

You’ve probably wondered what a narcissist thinks about – and, if you’re anything like me, who told them they could TREAT PEOPLE THIS WAY! You might wonder if it hurts their feelings when someone corrects them or “bests” them.

(Do they even really have feelings?)

Or, what your ex was thinking when they started dating you? The fact is that narcissists are relentless liars. And they have no shame.

They will take extreme measures to tell you exactly what they want you to hear without any regard for the truth. Their main concern is only getting their desperate need for narcissistic supply met.

What is Narcissistic Abuse?

Narcissistic abuse is a way of relating to others involving the exploitation, blatant manipulation, and control of others in order to meet the abuser’s own needs. It can exist in a relationship between any two people, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, or type of relationship.

Narcissistic abusers are often difficult to spot and even harder to leave. Whether or not they have been diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder isn’t as important as whether or not they have narcissistic traits and behaviors.

For example, a narcissistic abuser can be charming, charismatic, and fun at times – and they can turn on a dime and become your worst nightmare. However, thanks to their powerful ability to project, deflect and play the victim, narcissists are rarely confronted about their behavior.

Of course, this is possibly due to the fact that they frequently surround themselves with enablers (AKA flying monkeys) who don’t want to believe that anything is wrong. 

The effects of narcissistic abuse can last for years after the relationship has ended and may lead the survivor to develop complex post-traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD). C-PTSD from narcissistic abuse differs from PTSD caused by experiences such as car accidents or military combat in that it involves re-living or re-experiencing rather than avoidance or numbing of memories. 

Are You Being Gaslighted?

Gaslighting is a manipulative tactic narcissists use to control someone and make them feel crazy. It doesn’t matter how great a relationship you have with your partner or spouse; as long as there’s abuse and manipulation, your relationship isn’t healthy.

Gaslighting occurs when someone tells you that what you’re experiencing isn’t authentic or not genuine, in other words causing the victim to question their feelings, instincts, and sanity.

Does this mean that you’re in an emotionally abusive relationship? Not necessarily. You could have a great relationship, but both you and your partner could have issues like low self-esteem or depression that make emotional abuse more likely (and more difficult to spot). Read more in Toxic Narcissism in Relationships: Top 10 Warning Signs You’re Being Gaslighted

Are you worried you’re being gaslighted? Take the Gaslighting Self-Assessment right here and find out for sure. You’ll be directed to resources that will help you in your current situation.

Can’t Go No Contact?

First and foremost, you need to know that nothing you do will force the narcissist to change. They will only change if it benefits them.

You must understand that this person does not have the same morals, emotions, or feelings as ordinary people. These people cannot be around a good and decent person or have friends who care about them.

They are only after one thing in life, and that is control. They can never be satisfied with what they have accomplished because there will always be someone out there that they think has more than whatever they have at the moment.

One way or another, they will get it from you even if you give it to them willingly. Unless that is, you know these 10 Easy Steps to Torture a Narcissist Into Submission.

Do You Want Revenge on the Narcissist?

Listen, if you were ever to feel like you want revenge on the narcissist in your life, trust me when I tell you that you are FAR from alone. But is it worth the trouble?

The truth is that whether or not you’re a narcissist’s target, interacting with them can be exhausting (to put it mildly). That’s why it’s essential to keep the upper hand and ensure that they are the ones chasing you – not the other way around.

It doesn’t even have to be anything drastic – act interested in their lives, but not to the extent that they think they can manipulate you.

Narcissists may have many problems, but remembering how to handle them (and how NOT to manage them) can be extremely rewarding—for both parties involved. Read more in How to Play the Narcissist’s Game (And Beat Them At It).

Toxic relationships have a huge effect on survivors’ lives. They affect every aspect of the survivor’s life and can destroy the survivor’s self-esteem, sense of self-worth, confidence, and trust in their own judgment – as well as their ability to relate to other people.

Trust Your Gut

Trust your instincts, always. When it comes to the narcissist, you, unfortunately, need to be on guard at all times. If you have a gut feeling that something is wrong, it probably is.

Take action: confront the narcissist (if safe to do so), call the authorities, alert family members, tell other people about what’s going on – do whatever it takes to get out.

The quicker you can get away from the narcissist, the more easily you can recover from their atrocious abuse. Learn everything you need to know about going no contact at our No Contact Support Center and visit our PLAN (Planning to Leave a Narcissist) Resource Center here.

Want to better understand why narcissists are what they are and what you can expect from them? Learn more about the narcissist’s cycle of abuse.

Start Getting Help with Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Today

Online help is readily available for survivors of narcissistic abuse. Here are some options to begin healing from narcissistic abuse right away.

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Author

  • Angela Atkinson

    Angela Atkinson is a certified trauma counselor and the author of more than 20 books on narcissism, narcissistic abuse recovery, and related topics. A recognized expert on narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder who has studied and written extensively on narcissistic personality disorder and narcissistic abuse in toxic relationships since 2006, she has a popular narcissistic abuse recovery YouTube channel. Atkinson was inspired to begin her work as a result of having survived toxic relationships of her own. Atkinson offers trauma-informed narcissistic abuse recovery coaching and has certifications in trauma counseling, life coaching, level 2 therapeutic model, CBT coaching, integrative wellness coaching, and NLP. She is a certified trauma support coach and certified family trauma professional. She also has a professional PTSD counseling certification. Her mission is to help those who have experienced the emotional and mental devastation that comes with narcissistic abuse in these incredibly toxic relationships to (re)discover their true selves, stop the gaslighting and manipulation, and move forward into their genuine desires – into a life that is exactly what they choose for themselves. Along with her solution-focused life coaching experience, Atkinson’s previous career in journalism and research helps her to offer both accurate and understandable information for survivors of abuse in a simple-to-understand way that helps to increase awareness in the narcissistic abuse recovery community. Atkinson founded QueenBeeing.com Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support, the SPANily Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Groups and the Life Makeover Academy. She offers individual and group coaching for victims and survivors of narcissistic abuse here at QueenBeeing.com and at NarcissisticAbuseRecovery.Online.

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