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Gaslighting is a manipulative behavior used by narcissists to make you doubt your thoughts, perceptions, memories, and feelings, leading you to question your own sanity. This can leave you feeling confused, frustrated, and powerless. Gaslighting can have some very serious long-term effects and cause great damage to your mental health and self-worth.

However, it doesn’t have to be that way. In this article, we will discuss 12 ways to assert yourself and shut down narcissistic manipulation.

Recognize the Signs

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The first step in shutting down gaslighting is to recognize the signs of narcissistic manipulation. Be aware of your partner’s behavior, and look for signs of control, manipulation, and disrespect. Often it can be just in the things they say to you and how they talk to you.

Once you recognize these signs, you can call your manipulator out and show them their toxic behavior. From there, you can decide what your next course of action should be.

Trust Yourself

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Gaslighting can make you doubt yourself, but it’s important to trust your judgment and instincts. You are the only one who knows how you feel, and it’s essential to honor your feelings and emotions. If you feel sad, worthless, and depressed because of the way your partner treats you, know that there is something wrong with this behavior.

Remind yourself that you are not the problem; they are. If they don’t listen to your feelings and you can’t leave, engage in some self-care activities that will bring you some joy.

Set Boundaries

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Healthy boundaries are vital to your well-being. If you feel uncomfortable with your partner’s behavior, it’s okay to set boundaries and stick to them. While this may anger your partner, it will provide some inner peace and give you the confidence to continue to assert yourself this way.

When they start acting up, simply walk away or tell them you will not accept this abuse. No means no.

Practice Assertiveness

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Narcissists thrive on control, and they will try to manipulate you if they see you as weak. Narcissists prey on weak people and will use that to gain power and control over you.

Practice being assertive and confident in your communication with your partner. Don’t be afraid to find your voice and use it. This will make them rethink their actions next time they have the urge to abuse you.

Don’t Engage in Arguments

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Narcissists like to argue and will try to bait you into an argument. This is the only way they know how to better control you and weaken your stance. They will fight until they win, and winning is the name of the game for them. If you engage in arguments with your narcissistic partner, understand that you will never win.

Avoid getting drawn into arguments with your partner, as this can lead to more stress and frustration. Let them know the conversation is over, and stop engaging altogether.

Journal Your Thoughts and Their Behavior

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Keep a record of what your partner says and does and how it makes you feel. This can help you identify patterns of gaslighting and manipulative behavior and reassure yourself that you are not the problem, and they are. Journaling is also a good way to release pent-up toxic emotions.

Keeping a self-love journal is also very helpful in reminding yourself that you are a good person and worthy of love and respect.

Talk to a Therapist

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If you’re struggling to cope with gaslighting, consider seeking professional support. A therapist or counselor can help you develop coping strategies and navigate the complex emotions that come with abusive relationships. They may also help you make a plan to leave if you choose to do so.

There are plenty of free helplines on the internet if you can’t afford a therapist.

Surround Yourself With Friends

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Surrounding yourself with supportive friends and family can be helpful in coping with narcissistic abuse. They can provide emotional support and help you to stay strong in the face of manipulation. While they may not offer advice, it’s always good to have a shoulder to cry on. Crying is good therapy too.

It’s crucial to be around people who love you and support you without judgment.

Practice Self-Care

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Gaslighting can be incredibly draining and stressful, so it’s important to prioritize self-care. Victims of narcissistic abuse don’t take time for themselves and feel they are unworthy of special moments for themselves.

Take time out to do things that make you happy, and ensure that your own needs are being met. Self-care is not selfish; it’s mandatory.

Don’t Blame Yourself

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Gaslighting can make you feel like everything is your fault, but it’s important to remember that you’re not to blame for your partner’s behavior. You are not responsible for their actions, and you’ve done nothing wrong. It’s so easy to think that everything is your fault, but it’s not.

Next time your partner lashes out at you, remember that they are in pain and are projecting that pain onto you, shifting the responsibility, guilt, and anger in your direction.

Talk to Your Partner

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Healthy communication is key to any relationship. If you’re struggling with gaslighting, be open and honest with your partner about how you feel. It’s okay to ask for what you need in a relationship. Sometimes, a simple, honest conversation can help them realize their toxic ways.

If they deny their actions and still blame you, it may be time to rethink your relationship.

Leave the Relationship

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If your partner shows no signs of changing their behavior, it may be time to leave the relationship. If you’ve done all you can and nothing is changing, it’s time to do what’s right for you.

Remember that you deserve to be treated with respect and kindness, and there is no shame in walking away from a toxic relationship.

Conclusion

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Gaslighting can be incredibly damaging, but there are ways to assert yourself and shut down narcissistic manipulation. By recognizing the signs, setting boundaries, and practicing self-care, you can take control of your life and put a stop to gaslighting for good.

You deserve so much more, and your mental health is crucial. Don’t be afraid to seek support if you’re struggling. You are not alone.

8 Reasons Women Stay in Abusive Relationships

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