Manipulative People are Very Dangerous Indeed. Let’s Deal with Narcissists First.
Do you interact with someone who is controlling, authoritative or narcissistic? They can be this way overall or in one or two general areas where you feel your common sense, sensible opinions and desires are ignored completely. You probably know what an authoritarian is, however you may not know the definition of a narcissist. According to the Mayo clinic, here are some characteristics of a narcissist:
Signs and symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder and the severity of symptoms vary. People with the disorder can:
- Have an exaggerated sense of self-importance
- Have a sense of entitlement and require constant, excessive admiration
- Expect to be recognized as superior even without achievements that warrant it
- Exaggerate achievements and talents
- Be preoccupied with fantasies about success, power, brilliance, beauty or the perfect mate
- Believe they are superior and can only associate with equally special people
- Monopolize conversations and belittle or look down on people they perceive as inferior
- Expect special favors and unquestioning compliance with their expectations
- Take advantage of others to get what they want
- Have an inability or unwillingness to recognize the needs and feelings of others
- Be envious of others and believe others envy them
- Behave in an arrogant or haughty manner, coming across as conceited, boastful and pretentious
- Insist on having the best of everything — for instance, the best car or office
At the same time, people with narcissistic personality disorder have trouble handling anything they perceive as criticism, and they can:
- Become impatient or angry when they don’t receive special treatment
- Have significant interpersonal problems and easily feel slighted
- React with rage or contempt and try to belittle the other person to make themselves appear superior
- Have difficulty regulating emotions and behavior
- Experience major problems dealing with stress and adapting to change
- Feel depressed and moody because they fall short of perfection
- Have secret feelings of insecurity, shame, vulnerability and humiliation
Gaslighters Follow a Typical Pattern.
According to Wikipedia the definition of gaslighting is:
…a form of psychological manipulation in which a person or a group covertly sows seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or group, making them question their own memory, perception, or judgment, often evoking in them cognitive dissonance and other changes, including low self-esteem, thereby rendering the victim additionally dependent on the gaslighter for emotional support and validation.
Per Psychology Today, there are various methods people use to gaslight other persons.
- They tell blatant lies.
2. They deny they ever said something, even though you have proof.
3. They use what is near and dear to you as ammunition.
4. They wear you down over time.
6. They throw in positive reinforcement to confuse you.
7. They know confusion weakens people.
8. They project.
9. They try to align people against you.
10. They tell you or others that you are crazy.
11. They tell you everyone else is a liar.
Now You Know What a Narcissist and Gaslighter Are Like. What do You do in a Relationship With One?
If you’re reading this post, you’ve likely been damaged by a narcissist or gaslighter because they have spent so much time, years even, convincing you that what you know to be the case is not true. They told you that certain societal norms are incorrect and they are right about everyting…….because….. they said so. They are so convincing and adamant that you started questioning yourself years ago. Now they have taken it a step further and it has advanced to gaslighting or some other form of abuse. GET HELP!
If the person you are in the relationship with is your boss, you may choose to get help by going to therapy or getting another job. It may be difficult to prove to your boss’ boss that you are being mentally manipulated. Talk to an outside human resource professional or a labor lawyer. Document as much of this behavior as you can with names of witnesses, dates, written correspondence, emails, etc. Legal and Human Resource professionals outside your job can help you to determine steps you can take to help yourself and others.
If the person is in your private life and is a family member or partner, you can still seek professional therapy to help you to identify the issues and determine if what you think is happening is really occurring. Don’t go through this alone! Be sure to talk to someone because you are dealing with your mental health and someone is knowingly or unknowingly challenging it, that is a very dangerous thing.
You Are Not Alone!
One way to protect yourself from gaslighters is to understand what gaslighting is. We’ve tried to help you do that by giving you a list of characteristics above.
Quite honestly, I never knew people like this existed until I met one, then I realized how dangerous they really are because some of them actually believe themselves.
Talk to others who have gone through what you are dealing with. We talk about the dangers of social media all the time, but in this case, social media can be a good thing. Even texting someone about what you are dealing with and having someone to help you get things off your chest can assist you in keeping your sanity.
People Who Follow New Age Practices or Nontraditional Religions are Susceptible to Gaslighting!
If you live in a western, mainstream culture and you are the ONLY one in your circle who is wiccan, you can be subject to being gaslit. At first you may find yourself practicing in the closet because you know everyone around you is practicing something else. A narcissistic thread may present itself in a particular area: religion.
If those around you are trying to convince you that you are wrong or mentally incapacitated because you don’t adopt their religious beliefs, and you feel that you really need a circle of support, therapy may still be a great outlet for you.
You should also contact like-minded groups in your local area for support. Even if quarantine keeps you from physically gathering, there are many groups that are doing conference calls, Zoom meetings, etc.
You are not alone and NOBODY should make you feel like they are completely correct and you are wrong. If they do, and they are unwilling to accomodate ANY of your thoughts on a matter, then they are probably wrong and you should protect yourself. Yes ma’am and yes sir, you do deserve to live your best life freely and without distress.