How you know you’re not the narcissist: your proof
Enter gaslighting which we will consider for now to be all the manipulations employed to achieve your disempowerment. These are the tools used to brainwash you into believing you cannot trust your understanding of reality, or your mental health.
When you are in this space you have essentially lost all trust in yourself. You are fully disempowered.
This is precisely where they want you. Doubting all you know of yourself and reality is the foundation needed for the narc to get away with pretty much anything.
During devaluation, brainwashing tactics come at you hard and fast. Let’s zoom in on a few to see how the narc plants the seed in your mind that you are the narcissist (and waters in well, with lots of fertiliser for vigorous growth).
1.Projection: Denial underpins all narcissist defence mechanisms to protect the false self from confronting any truth about reality. The narcissist unable to accept that they have any flaws, uses projection as a defence mechanism to attribute what is unacceptable in themselves, onto you.
This of course means that narcissistic traits are regularly cited as your defects. Examples of your listed shortcomings might include ‘you’re so selfish’, ‘you think everything should be about you’, ‘you’re so manipulative’ etc.
2. Blaming you: Similarly, the narcissist cannot accept any responsibility for any negative behaviours. A preferred ‘go to’ when attempts are made to hold the narc to account is to blame you for the issues raised.
In this scenario, you will get a dose of projection (i.e.: a diatribe about your narcissistic traits) being the cause of their behaviour. For instance, ‘you made me look elsewhere at other men/women. If you weren’t so abusive/controlling/focused on yourself, I wouldn’t have needed to’.
3. The ‘poor me’ routine, used:
a) with you to reinforce doubts as to who is the abusive party and triggering both your empathy for them, and fear of retribution if you do not amp up your supply; and
b) in smear campaigns with others, also used to obtain sympathy for them as the ‘injured party’ and to garner support that you just might be the narcissist.
You get the idea.
It’s becoming a little clearer now isn’t it?
But still you ask, yes but ‘How do I know I’m not the narcissist? I mean 100% know.’
Test of intentionality
So, here’s the thing.
Believe it or not, asking yourself ‘how do I know I’m not the narcissist’ signifies the fog of brainwashing is lifting. Of necessity, this comes hand in hand with the realisation that the person you’re in a relationship (or were in) with is abusive and potentially has NPD.
You are now able to recognise what is what. You are a victim of narcissistic abuse. And you rightly hold the narc responsible for abusing you.
You have been through hell. Pure and simple. It may come slowly, but eventually you will also most likely feel the need to share your story with those you trust as part of your healing journey.
The power of narcissistic abuse is tenacious. You reflect on these things and come full circle…doubt creeps in once again. ‘Hang on a minute’ you think, ‘aren’t I doing exactly the same things as the narc? Projecting, blaming, and seeking sympathy from loved ones?’…’who’s to say that they are wrong and I am right, what’s the difference here??’…aaaaaargh, ‘how do I know I’m not the narcissist?’
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