Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Cognitive Distortions – According to my research, there’s such a thing as “cognitive distortions” which are often associated with narcissists and psychopaths, people with NPD (narcissistic personality disorder) and those in psychopathological states.
What are cognitive distortions?
These cognitive distortions are defined as “exaggerated or irrational thought patterns that are believed to perpetuate the effects of psychopathological states, especially depression and anxiety.”
The first person to study these kinds of distortions was psychiatrist Aaron T. Beck. Along with his student David D. Burns, Beck built up significant research on the topic. Burns’ 1989 book, The Feeling Good Handbook presented an overview of these twisted thought patterns along with his suggestions on how to eliminate them. In general, cognitive distortions cause people to perceive reality differently than literally everyone around them. Someone with Cluster B traits is less likely to perceive events and situations the way that most people do. This kind of thinking is often involved in the gaslighting process.
What is gaslighting?
Gaslighting is a common manipulation technique used by most narcissists and other toxic people. It’s is an incredibly pervasive and highly-effective tactic meant to manipulate you by psychological means into questioning your own sanity. In other words, gaslighting is meant to make you doubt your reality, your perception of the people and situations in your life, and even your own thoughts about those things. Narcissists gaslight you in order to make you feel confused and overwhelmed. This often leads to you becoming increasingly dependent on the narcissist to tell you what YOU think and feel. It is a form of psychological abuse.
Narcissists Believe Their Own Lies: This is Why
Narcissists have the utmost faith in their personal convictions, and they’re no less convinced of their own lies than “normal” people are of basic facts (the sky is blue, the grass is green). In fact, narcissists actually believe their own lies – and that is why they are so convincing.
For some especially charismatic narcissists, that blind self-faith becomes pretty contagious. That’s because we’re programmed to only detect lies that are blatant – and since many narcissists actually BELIEVE their own lies, they can be very convincing. To them, their twisted perceptions have become real – so real, that they seem to be the actual truth.
I’ll explain it all in this video.
How to Deal with a Narcissist and Their Cognitive Distortions
Narcissists and their manipulation tactics will drive you over the edge – they are crazymaking! The best way to deal with a narcissist in almost any situation is to use the gray rock method. Gray rock is a coping technique for survivors of narcissistic abuse. The technique was named and first published by a writer called Skylar, who advises that you act boring and don’t react to the narcissist’s attempts to engage you in drama. The tactic is highly effective but also infuriating for narcissists to experience.
Please be careful, though. Use the gray rock method with caution if you are dealing with any physical abuse as the narcissist may not react well.
Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Resources
- Which Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Program is Right for You? If you aren’t sure which program you want to utilize to facilitate your recovery from narcissistic abuse, this self-assessment will help you decide.
- The QueenBeeing SPANily, Official – We consider this to be the best narcissistic abuse recovery support group on the web. Offers several subgroups and features a vigilant, compassionate admin team full of trained coaches and survivors, supporting more than 12k members. SPAN is an acronym created by Angie Atkinson that stands for Support for People Affected by Narcissistic abuse in toxic relationships.
- Other Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Groups – We also have separate groups for each stage in your narcissistic abuse recovery, as well as some for those who have moved past recovery and are evolving into the next stage of their own life. Survivors have unique and individual needs, even when they’ve moved on – so we’re still here for you.
- One-on-One Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Coaching – If you prefer to get more personalized support in your recovery, you might like to schedule a session with one of our coaches to plan and execute your own narcissistic abuse recovery plan.
- Find a Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Therapist – If you’re looking for a therapist for narcissistic abuse recovery, either because you cannot afford coaching and want to use your health insurance or because you have additional issues you need to address that do not fall within the realm of coaching, you will want to find the right therapist for you – and as far as we’re concerned, that therapist must understand what you’ve been through. This page offers assistance to help you do exactly that.
- Get private, one-on-one narcissistic abuse recovery coaching or counseling.
- Get a therapist who will work with you online. Don’t forget your health care professional can also point you in the right direction to get help for PTSD. Check out our guide to finding a therapist or psychologist who understands narcissism and narcissistic abuse.
- Where Are You in Recovery? You might not be sure exactly where you fit in and what level of recovery you’ve achieved. If that’s the case, you’ll want to check out this self-assessment to help you determine exactly where you fall in the stages of recovery from narcissistic abuse. Once you finish and submit the assessment, you will be given resources for your own situation, along with recommendations of which groups to join.
- Join one of our private small coaching groups!
Related articles you might also want to read
- Narcissistic Abuse Recovery: Should you warn the new ‘supply’ about the narcissist?
- Narcissistic Abuse Recovery: Get Out of the Fog with Mindfulness
- Narcissistic Abuse Recovery: Find the Light at the End of the Tunnel and Be Brave
- Get Unstuck After Narcissistic Abuse: Your Personal Passion Plan
- The Narcissist’s Soulmate Scam: Identifying a Love Bomber
- Secrets and Self-Loathing: Identifying a Covert Narcissist
- Narcissists in Relationships: The Shocking Truth on Who’s the Drug and Who’s the Addict
- Narcissistic Abuse Recovery: Why Narcissists Love to Rage
- How to Use NLP and EFT for Narcissistic Abuse Recovery
- Are you part of a narcissist’s harem? You might be shocked.
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.