What is Narcissistic Gaslighting? — Talkspace

Examples of “Narcissistic Gaslighting”

Narcissistic gaslighting examples can be subtle and difficult to recognize. It’s not the same thing as telling one lie, having a unique opinion, or accusing someone else of being wrong about something. It’s also important to note that someone who gaslights doesn’t necessarily have to know you personally.

At work

Sometimes coworkers can try to gaslight out of jealousy or anger about their (or your) position. For example, maybe you received a promotion and a coworker or your boss is angry about it. They may try to sabotage you in your new role, not giving you important information or messages. Maybe they move files you need or take documents you’re looking for. When you confront them, they might accuse you of being too stressed to be able to handle the position, or become angry in response, asking why you’d accuse them of such things. 

Maybe at this point you start to really question your own capability in your new role. In some cases, you might even be dealing with a “narcissistic boss.”

People in positions of power

People in power, like politicians, have been known to regularly gaslight the masses when they deny obvious recorded truths, such as authentic video recordings or testimony from multiple unbiased witnesses.

Sometimes these tactics can convince people that the politician did no wrong or that their behavior wasn’t really “that bad.”

Medical care

Some unethical doctors try to gaslight their patients by suggesting that health complaints are imagined or that pain is not as bad as they claim. They might go so far as to recommend counseling instead of other forms of medical treatment.

You might start to wonder if you truly do have the symptoms you’ve been explaining to your doctor. After all, doctors are the experts, the ones who went to school for years. You may think of course they know more about it than you do. 

In a relationship

You’re convinced your abusive partner may have been unfaithful, but when you ask them about the physical or emotional cheating, they either flat out lie, tell you you’re crazy, or become enraged at the accusation. 

You have evidence and you vehemently disagree with their reaction, but you still find that you’re second guessing yourself. You question your belief that they aren’t being true and honest in the relationship. Getting out of a relationship with someone who has uses gaslighting can be challenging, but it is possible. 

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