17 Things Narcissists Say to Gaslight YouFeb 27, 2023
Being in a relationship with a narcissist is one of the most toxic experiences you can go through. Find out some of the things they’ll say to manipulate you!
17 Things Narcissists Say to Gaslight You with Dr. G
Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a mental health condition that is characterized by a pervasive pattern of grandiosity, a need for admiration, and a lack of empathy.
People with NPD often have an exaggerated sense of their own importance, believe that they are entitled to special treatment, and are preoccupied with fantasies of success, power, and beauty. In relationships, narcissists can be manipulative and emotionally abusive, using a range of tactics to control and undermine their partners.
One of the most insidious of these tactics is gaslighting, a form of psychological manipulation that involves making the victim question their own sanity, memory, and perception of reality.
Here are 17 things narcissists say to gaslight you:
1. "I was just joking."
Narcissists will often make hurtful or demeaning comments under the guise of humor, then dismiss any negative reaction as oversensitivity or lack of a sense of humor.
This can make the victim feel like they are overreacting or being too sensitive.
2. "Poor you."
Another thing a narcissist will often use is a sarcastic or condescending tone to dismiss or belittle their partner's problems or emotions.
This can make the victim feel like their feelings are not valid or important.
3. "You're such a victim."
Narcissists will commonly accuse their partner of playing the victim, even when their partner is legitimately hurt or upset.
This can make the victim feel like they are being unreasonable or dramatic.
4. "You're too fat."
Something I often see with narcissists is the use of body shaming as a means of control and manipulation, attacking their partner's self-esteem and making them feel unworthy of love.
This can make the victim feel like they are not attractive or desirable.
5. "You're crazy."
Narcissists will often use gaslighting to make their partner doubt their own mental health, dismissing their emotions and experiences as irrational or exaggerated.
This can make the victim feel like they are losing their mind.
6. "If only people knew…"
People with narcissistic personality will use threats of exposure or embarrassment to keep their partner in line, making them feel as though they have something to hide.
This can make the victim feel like they are living in fear of being exposed.
7. "Only I could love you."
For narcissists, the use of flattery as a means of control is very common, making their partner feel as though they are lucky to have them and that no one else could ever love them.
This can make the victim feel like they are not worthy of love from anyone else.
8. "No one will ever believe you."
Narcissists will often use gaslighting to make their partner doubt their own credibility, making them feel as though no one else will believe their side of the story.
This can make the victim feel like they are alone and unsupported.
9. "I'm the best thing in your life."
A person with a narcissistic personality disorder will also use grandiosity to make their partner feel dependent on them, telling them that they are lucky to have someone as amazing as them in their life.
This can make the victim feel like they are nothing without the narcissist.
10. "Good thing you're pretty…"
It’s very common for narcissists to use backhanded compliments as a means of control, making their partner feel as though their looks are the only thing that make them valuable.
This can make the victim feel like they are only valuable for their appearance.
11. "You're delusional."
Narcissists will also often recur to gaslighting to make their partner doubt their own perception of reality, dismissing their emotions and experiences as imaginary or unfounded.
This can make the victim feel like they are losing touch with reality.
12. "You're too old, no one will ever want you."
Age is another thing narcissists often use as a way to diminish their partner's self-worth.
They may make derogatory comments about their partner's appearance, such as saying that they look old or unattractive, in an attempt to make them feel insecure and dependent on the narcissist for validation.
13. "To be honest with you..."
This phrase is commonly used by narcissists to justify their hurtful behavior or to criticize their partner.
By prefacing their comments with "to be honest," they imply that they are being truthful and straightforward, while in reality, they may be using it as an excuse to be hurtful and manipulative.
14. “That’s a woman for you.”
Narcissists often have a negative and sexist view of women. By making derogatory comments like this, they attempt to belittle their partner's accomplishments and abilities, making them feel inferior and powerless.
15. “My ex…”
Narcissists may compare their current partner unfavorably to their ex-partners, implying that their current partner is not good enough or that they are making the same mistakes they made in the past.
This can create doubt and insecurity in the current partner, causing them to question whether they are good enough for the narcissist.
16. "Do you need to eat that?"
Narcissists may also use food as a way to control their partner's behavior.
They may make derogatory comments about their partner's weight or food choices, or even withhold food as a form of punishment or control.
17. “You’re so beautiful.”
While this comment may seem innocent, narcissists may use it to manipulate their partner. By constantly complimenting their partner's appearance, they may create a sense of dependence and make their partner feel like their only value lies in their physical appearance.
They may set you up so they can tear you down later on, creating confusion to use that compliment against you later on.
Understanding the tactics that narcissists use to gaslight their partners is essential in recognizing and breaking free from abusive relationships.
It is important to remember that narcissists have a stark lack of empathy and are only concerned with their own needs and desires.
Seeking help from a therapist or support group can be a critical step in healing from the emotional abuse caused by narcissistic partners.
Are you having relationship problems? Want to know how to deal with your anxiety?