Narcissism in Action: A Real-Life Example of Sneaky Gaslighting

Written by Angela Atkinson

Meet Tom and Ava. Tom is a raging narcissist who is married to Ava. Fortunately, Ava has figured this out and has been attempting to stop falling for the gaslighting tricks that make her feel crazy.


She’s been employing the gray rock method and he’s been really hating it. He is always trying to figure out ways to keep her feeling insecure and uncomfortable in their relationship.

 

For example, he knows it bothers her when he makes it clear he’s attracted to other women, so one night after he particularly fails to make her feel crazy all day, Tom takes his manipulation up a notch.

 

He tells a story about a hot girl he met at the gas station on his way home. He tells Ava how the girl practically got naked in front of him (all lies, of course) and goes into what he would’ve done had he been single.

 

Related Reading: Take Back Your Life: 103 Highly-Effective Strategies to Snuff Out a Narcissist’s Gaslighting and Enjoy the Happy Life You Really Deserve

Ava realizes what he’s trying to do, and she remains quiet to avoid his inevitable claims that she’s always finding something to complain about, and that she should just blindly trust that he’d never do anything to hurt her (despite the fact that he verbally abuses her daily).

 

This is where it gets scary.

 Warning SIgns You Are Dating a Narcissist

When Tom notices that Ava isn’t giving him the narcissistic supply that he seeks, he takes it up a notch, claiming that he can sense that Ava is upset, even though she showed no signs of it.

 

Eventually, he manages to draw her into the argument and she is left reeling. She can’t believe that he’s done it again.

 

But this is how a narcissist works. He consistently and systematically tears down his victims, forcing them into these predefined roles  (he defines them, of course) that place him in a position of power while she struggles to prove herself to him in some way.

 
Does this situation sound familiar to you? If so, you are being gaslighted and you might just be involved with a narcissist. Don’t feel bad – even very intelligent people can fall victim to the manipulation of a narcissist. 
 
Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments. Let’s discuss. 

Author

  • 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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