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7 Insidious Goals of Gaslighting

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Gaslighting is a form of narcissist abuse distinct from widespread use of words to attack and hurt another as a result of frustration and conflict. It is perhaps one of the most insidious tactics of emotional manipulation because of it’s intent to disturb a target’s sense of self and agency,

8 thoughts on “7 Insidious Goals of Gaslighting

  • March 1, 2018 at 11:34 am

    I like the insights on this important topic in this article, but I am troubled by your relating gaslighting apparently to men only or primarily being the gaslight-er and women as gaslight-ee. This is a gender – neutral problem and I could make the case based on what I have also read on the subject, that women tend to use gaslighting as a tactic just as much if not more than men. Again, should be a gender-neutral issue.

    • March 2, 2018 at 10:40 am

      Thanks for commenting, greenman. I explain why the article links gaslighting to what male partners are socialized to use to silence their significant other, and I stand by this.

      There are women that use this pattern, in particular with their children. Narcissist heads of household often demand this as well. Overall this is a tactic that is part of men’s socialization from boyhood, harmful to them and their relationships, as it leaves men with wounded egos, fragile and hyper-vigilant in protecting their masculinity, as if this were a “real thing.” It’s not! Strength is an attribute of all human beings, not just males (or nonwhites, or certain religions, etc.)!

      Human beings, male or female, young or old, while and nonwhite, and so, are strong and amazing and powerful, when theyt put their minds to using their energies to enhance and empower their own and one another’s miracle making ways — period.

      It’s absurd, and misguided to think that masculinity is stronger than “feniminity.” It’s not! No more than Spring or Summer can be stronger than Fall or Winter! They each serve a powerful purpose to nourish all of life and each wonderful in their own ways. Furthermore, men and women are designed to synergistically work together (not fight to prove who’s better, more entitled!), and thus by working together make one another better, in the circles of life. Thanks again.

  • March 1, 2018 at 3:20 pm

    My girlfriend gaslight’s me. Why did you have to gender it like this. I can’t find anything to help me or to validate me here….

    • March 2, 2018 at 10:26 am

      Thanks for commenting, Zzzzzz. In all cases, if you think your significant other is gaslighting you, seek therapy. The pattern in which the two of you are communicating is toxic. Regarding why it’s written as a pattern mostly use by male partners, I explain this in the article. Thanks again.

  • March 1, 2018 at 9:06 pm

    You didn’t upload article 1 of 2 in this topic.

  • April 9, 2018 at 9:43 am

    I find your articles very informative, unfortunately I also find that they fall short when it comes to addressing the Narcissistic Traits and Behaviours of a narcissistic relationship where the female is the Narcissist. I know from over 35 years of marriage to my diagnosed narcissistic wife that the end results of the narcissistic relationship for the victim is the same but they modify their game. The societal norms for the female gender can be manipulated for malicious intent as well

  • November 15, 2018 at 8:59 am

    This article is very useful because it is descriptive and practical enough to break through the fog that the target in the relationship lives in. Or trance. Or conditioned state of hope. Call it whatever. Yes, the article leans towards pointing out that in abusive couple relationships, often times, there is a man who has been conditioned socially to function as a superior. It is not gender biased, so much as making a valiant effort to explain that men are often socialised to believe this. I do not think the article states that only men are narcissists. When men point out that ‘hey, women are narcissists, too!’, yes, they are, yes we know. This article does not say otherwise. It speaks to the general socialisation of men and women and how these toxic patterns develop as a result. Men do not have to jump to their own defense just because an article discusses socialisation as a root cause in the case of narcissism. If a man is not a narcissist, then no defense needed. If a woman is a narcissist and you are the target, get help. As a woman who has been targeted early in life by a father psychopath, then several relationships in adult life to follow (hey, I was conditioned while I was developing a brain, and those patterns run very very deep) … this article is clear and concise. I have definitely met female narcissists, too. Thank you

    • November 15, 2018 at 9:34 am

      Thanks for the supportive comment, Rheen, much appreciate the necessary clarifications you’ve made, and sharing your own experiences as a child and adult to where you are now, speaking truth to power as an advocate for your self and others. Sending best wishes your way for continued growth and healing, awareness and clarity of mind, growth, strength and healing. Dr S


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