How to Spot a Gaslighting Narcissist: Top Characteristics and What to Do About It
It’s hard to recognize when you’re being gaslighted, and that’s the point. A gaslighting narcissist understands what they are doing, even if you don’t. Gaslighting is often depicted as something that happens in romantic contexts. While it can and does happen between partners, gaslighting can occur between family members, friends, co-workers, and any other relationship.
If you often feel confused by the dynamics of your relationship or like you need to apologize all the time, you might be dealing with a gaslighting narcissist. You can’t change another person’s behavior, but you can take steps to protect yourself and maintain the boundaries needed for a healthy relationship.
Understanding the Narcissist-Gaslighting Relationship
Not all gaslighters are narcissists, and not all narcissists practice gaslighting, but there is a strong connection between the two. Narcissists and people who engage in gaslighting have the same motive: to gain something for themselves. That “something” might be as simple as the power to manipulate another person or situation, or it can be even more devious.
To a narcissist, gaslighting may become second nature — a behavior they do out of habit without conscious awareness of a motive.
What Is a Narcissist?
Understanding narcissism is easier when you view it on a spectrum. Narcissism relates to an individual’s sense of self-importance. A healthy self-image and high self-esteem are essential to good mental health. Self-care and prioritizing your needs are also critical to good mental care. These characteristics and behaviors could be considered healthy narcissism.
Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is on the other