The Power Dynamics of Gaslighting: How Narcissists Use It for Control

“Gaslighting” is an expression you may notice coming into conversations a lot recently. It was the Miriam-Webster word of the year in 2022! The word “gaslighting” came from the 1938 stage play Gaslight. In this creepy story, a husband tries to drive his wife insane by dimming their home’s gas-powered lights, and when his wife notices and comments, he denies that the lighting has changed in any way. This devilish scheme causes her to begin doubting her perception, judgment, and reality. Does this sound familiar?

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Why Narcissists Gaslight
When you’re being gaslighted, you don’t always know what’s happening, but you may intuitively feel that something isn’t right. You’re primarily confused, stressed, and frustrated, but you can’t figure out the reason why. It gives a narcissist a huge amount of power and control. It’s emotional abuse in the form of a mind game. When a narcissist uses this approach, they feel superior in their control over your beliefs, feelings, thoughts, and perceptions.
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