I was reading this article today from YourTango (that really strikes home for many people who are in relationships with narcissists) when one line jumped out at me.
“He’s a master at deflection. His actions are no longer the focus; I’m the one on trial now.”
Boy, that sounded familiar. There’s so much truth in those sentences for people who have been the victims of narcissists.
Gaslighting and the narcissistic flip – a toxic combination
Narcissists are becoming quite infamous these days for their honed manipulation tactics, often called gaslighting.
The Narcissistic Flip
One of the most effective kinds of gaslighting is when a narcissist sort of “flips the script” on you during an argument.
I have dubbed this practice the “narcissistic flip,” and have found that it’s a regularly employed manipulation technique for many narcs.
The “flip” happens most often when you make a valid point or have the nerve to question the narc about anything.
That’s about the time everything turns around and suddenly, you’re the one who’s sorry (mostly that you bothered engaging in yet another pointless argument).
Flipping the script: How they do it
How does it happen? Let’s look at an example of how a narcissist will flip the script during an argument.
As you read through the following paragraphs, do you recognize anything familiar?
Jeff and Alisha: The Narcissistic Flip in Action
Jeff and Alisha have been married for 15 years when suddenly, Jeff develops a drinking problem.
Though he’s been a social drinker until now, he’s suddenly spending more time away from home, and when he is home, he drinks more often than not.
This causes the kids to complain to Alisha, who gingerly brings her concerns to Jeff.
Jeff acknowledges that he’s heard complaints from the kids, but then says she’s the one causing the problem in the first place.
Because, he says, they are only children and not capable of forming those thoughts on their own. So that means that Alisha must have told them her concerns, poisoning the children against him.
Now it’s Alisha who is under the microscope. As Jeff systematically pulls the old switcheroo on her, he not only removes the focus from his own bad behavior, but he begins a whole new process of putting Alisha on trial.
Before she knows what’s happening, Alisha begins to question her own thoughts. What if Jeff is right and she really IS a bad mom?
What if she’s really been the problem all along? Maybe she’s as crazy as Jeff says – after all, she can’t seem to even make a simple decision anymore.
Alisha has just been gaslighted – and after 15 years, it’s just another day in the life of a narcissist’s wife (aka his narcissistic supply).
Have you experienced the narcissist flip? Share your thoughts and experiences below, or hit me up on Facebook. Let’s discuss this!
- Toxic Narcissism in Relationships: Top 10 Warning Signs You’re Being Gaslighted
- Free Help for Victims of Narcissism and Gaslighting
- Are you being gaslighted? 10 things you need to know if you love a narcissist (queenbeeing.com)
- Toxic Relationships and Narcissism: Stages of Gaslighting (queenbeeing.com)
- Love a Narcissist? Stop Gaslighting in its Tracks With This Foolproof Trick (queenbeeing.com)
Angela Atkinson is a Certified Life Coach 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 relationships since 2006, Atkinson was inspired to begin her work as a result of having survived toxic relationships of her own.
Atkinson offers trauma-informed coaching and has certifications in 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. In her life coaching practice, Atkinson’s clients enjoy her personalized approach that allows and encourages them to become the best possible versions of themselves and to succeed in doing what they love most. She offers individual and group coaching for victims and survivors of narcissistic abuse at NarcissisticAbuseRecovery.Online and NarcissismSupportCoach.com.