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They want you to know that you’re not better than them. Gaslighting is a form of manipulation and emotional abuse, and it’s a hallmark of narcissism.
Narcissists may spew blatant lies, falsely accuse others, spin the truth, and ultimately distort your reality.
Rather, read on to gain some insight into the health of your relationship. Maybe they texted you constantly, or told you they loved you within the first month — something experts refer to as “love bombing.” Maybe they tell you how smart you are or emphasize how compatible you are, even if you’ve just started seeing each other.
They might claim that you don’t spend enough time with them, make you feel guilty for spending time with your friends, or berate you for the types of friends you have. “They’ll put you down, call you names, hit you with hurtful one-liners, and make jokes that aren’t quite funny,” Peykar says.
“Their goal is to lower other’s self-esteem so that they can increase their own, because it makes them feel powerful.”What’s more, reacting to what they say only reinforces their behavior. That’s because it shows them that they have the power to affect another’s emotional state.
They’re also too busy talking about themselves to listen to you. First, your partner won’t stop talking about themselves, and second, your partner won’t engage in conversation about you.
Ask yourself: What happens when you do talk about yourself? But according to Tawwab, most people with NPD actually lack self-esteem.
“Narcissists lack the skill to make you feel seen, validating, understood, or accepted because they don’t grasp the concept of feelings,” she says.