I am reading the words written by this PH.D. doctor Peg Streep about gas lighting versus Blame-shifting and something sounds familiar to me. According to the author, narcissistic people may use one of these tactics, and both tactics are verbally abusive and depend on an imbalance of power in the relationship between the person using them and the person on the receiving end; the powerless intended target is usually very invested in the relationship, most likely loves or cares deeply about the abuser, and is often dependent on him or her. The person doing the gaslighting or blame-shifting is actually more interested in feeling powerful or in control (and the buzz that comes with it) than they are emotionally connected to their target.
Gaslighters — people who try to control others through manipulation — will often accuse you of behaviors that they are engaged in themselves. This is a classic manipulation tactic. Cheat in relationships, yet accuse their victims of cheating. Accuse their victims of manipulation, when they are the ones who manipulate. Whatever the origin of the gaslighter’s accusatory behavior, they are still 100 percent responsible for it. Treat all cases of accusations toward you as what they are — accusations, not facts. There is no need to spend extra energy trying to defend yourself; it will never be good enough. Instead, take a hard look at whether the behavior the gaslighter accuses you of is actually something they are doing.
Since one of the key tactics of gaslighting is to stay on the offensive, many gaslighters can become highly aggressive and hostile when called on their falsehoods and lies. Rather than justifying their own words and actions (which they know are indefensible), they try to regain control by doubling or tripling down on their attacks, while discrediting and dehumanizing their victims. By enacting this “toxic drama,” the gaslighter hopes to intimidate and bully their victims into submission while getting away with their own character flaws and moral corruption. Gaslighter’s behavior is — manipulation of you and others by way of accusation or distraction. Gaslighters take advantage of their target’s fears, insecurities, vulnerabilities, and neediness to their own ends.
Depending on the situation, a gaslighter may coerce the gaslightee to limit their interaction with friends, family, associates, wider community, or broader media. Just yesterday I heard the words: “I wanted to save you, ” Typical of oppressor psychology, some gaslighters cast themselves as “savior,” “hero,” “superior,” and the only one with the power and solution to alleviate the gaslightee’s many issues and difficulties (real or invented). In order to grant relief, claims the gaslighter, the gaslightee must submit to their directives, no matter how manipulative and exploitative.
Blame-shifting also exploits whatever disparity in power exists in the relationship and, between adults, it has certain subtleties that gaslighting does not and, as a net, it catches more fish. This behavior is always about power and the sad truth is that the victim tends to be the one who loves, needs, and depends on her or his abuser in ways that are significantly different from the motivations of the person shifting blame.
This particular form of manipulation depends on the abuser really knowing your weaknesses and tendencies; among them might be your steadfast avoidance of conflict or your proclivity to play the peacemaker; your tendency to backtrack on your positions; your desire to please; your own insecurities and doubts about yourself; and your tendency to question the validity of your thoughts and feelings.
Let’s say you complained about his or her behavior and the argument escalated until suddenly the abuser says, “I wouldn’t have acted that way if you weren’t always nagging me” or “If you didn’t always start in when I am dead tired from work, I wouldn’t lose my temper” or “If you weren’t always focused on you and your needs, we wouldn’t be fighting.” The chances are good that the guilt-tripping works because you want this relationship to thrive and suddenly you feel awful and you hear yourself apologize.
I am sorry to say that this actually happened to me. I did notice early in my relationship to a man who turned out to be highly narcissistic that he had an odd way of deflecting the conversation when I discovered he hadn’t been entirely truthful about something I asked him about.
The obvious answer is that it permits them to dodge responsibility for their words and actions; what’s more convenient than having a ready fall guy or a scapegoat? Plus, being right all the time is a dandy confirmation for the narcissist, reinforcing how strong and superior he or she is, . An allied tactic is what Craig Malkin in his book Rethinking Narcissism calls “playing emotional hot potato,” which is another way of looking at projection: The narcissist ascribes what he or she is feeling to the target. That too undermines the target’s sense of her own perceptions; even though she can see that he is red in the face, his jaw muscles working, and his arms closely held against his chest, he is telling her that it’s her anger that is wrecking the relationship. And she is apt to believe it.
And this explains all the jealousy scenes where he, as a cheater, was trying to ascribing me his misbehavior, or when he realized he was a narcissistic and he had to accuse me of being one. Narcissistic people have their own ways to see people or animals, they alternately idolize a person or animal and then demote it to being the lowest form of life possible. There is no middle ground.
Never trust a narcissistic person with an animal, If a dog has urinated on the carpet while the narcissist was out, the narcissist sees it as a personal affront—even though the narcissist left the dog alone for 12 hours. The narcissist then hits the dog and calls it names. The dog learns to fear the narcissist. When people or animals fear the narcissist, he or she gets a psychological payoff of control.
You get home from a business trip, and the narcissist says they have been so busy and they forgot their medicines. By neglecting your dog, eliminating your pet, the narcissist has removed one more barrier in order to control you.
Never trust a Narcissist in your life, for every reason, they are only users, they will love you as long you let them feel macho, when you try to correct their misbehavior, you are going to be their worst enemy. They spend your money without hesitations, they feel as they deserve it, and if you stop to give them, you are useless, their interests go often towards what they can use, it is not you as a person, but them in the center. Remove them from the center, and you will be manipulated and abandoned.
There will no be a turn back, not this time. Eyes open to all of you, don’t fall in their trap, it takes time, you connect the dots and it is done, stop all their games, OVER.
Inspired by Preston NI, Streep P. and Sarkis MS
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