Gaslighting is a common weapon of choice for both narcissists and sociopaths. And if you have been a victim of one of them constantly telling you how you’re the problem know that it is NEVER your fault!
If you’re not familiar with signature traits of a narcissist or sociopath, here is a concise yet detailed list by Dr. Tracy Stein for Psychology Today:
- Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (exaggerates achievements, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
- Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited power, success, brilliance, beauty or ideal love
- Believes he or she is “special” and can only be understood by similarly special, high-status people
- Requires excessive admiration
- Has a sense of entitlement
- Is interpersonally exploitative
- Lacks empathy
- Is envious of others or believes others are envious of him/her
- Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes
Further, she adds that sociopaths exhibit similar traits, some similar to those of a narcissist, and mostly as follows:
- Failure to conform to social norms as evidenced by repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest
- Irritability and aggressiveness, as indicated by repeated physical fights or assaults
- Reckless disregard for the safety of others
- Consistent irresponsibility, as indicated by repeated failure to sustain consistent work behavior or honor financial commitments
- Lack of remorse, as being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt others
If you identify these characteristics in a partner or friend, then you were or still are at high risk for being in a toxic relationship. And if you’ve been in a relationship with a narcissist which has gone awry and entered into toxic territory, you know how you can be blamed for even the slightest issue and how their own issues will never be acknowledged.
Gradually they begin to break your spirit, and you soon go to war with yourself. You constantly start to question yourself and what you are doing so drastically wrong. But it really is never your fault, and you are never part of the problem. There’s a reason why narcissists and sociopaths constantly try to convince you about how YOU are the crazy one and they make complete sense if you think about it.
Narcissists and sociopaths have an inherent superiority complex which makes it nearly impossible for them to see any fault in themselves. While accepting their mistake is far-fetched enough, they’re blinded to the extent that they don’t even see anything wrong with the way they conduct themselves.
Narcissists never see anything wrong with themselves. They will manipulate you into believing how it’s your fault and actually channelize all their energy towards convincing you how it truly is you who’s the core reason for the issue in the first place.
Furthermore, narcissists project their inadequacies onto you. They manipulate you into believing that their defects and shortcomings are your fault or really your problem at its core. They are often overcome by their own insecurities and try to conceal them by overcompensating and bringing you down to their level instead. They lack empathy to a large extent but will never admit how it really is their problem that they refuse to see the other person’s side.
If you have confronted one of them in your life, just remember and keep telling yourself that you are NOT the crazy one! It is and always will be them.