Gaslighting is a term that most abuse communities are very familiar with.

But what does it mean?

How does it affect people?

Why is gaslighting so hard to identify, and so mentally and emotionally damaging?

How can you get clear that you are being gaslit, remove and protect yourself and recover from its insidious effects?

The answers to these questions are very important because if you are being abused, there is every chance that you are being gaslit.


The Origins of the Word Gaslighting

If you are not sure what the expression ‘gaslighting’ means, Wikipedia describes it like this – a  form of manipulation that seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or members of a group, hoping to make targets question their own memory, perception, and sanity.

The term owes its origin to a 1938 play called Gas Light and its 1944 film adaptation.

Gaslighting is commonly used by toxic and abusive individuals to diminish others, which often means close intimates or other people who they wish to gain control over, as well as punish.

Let’s examine how this gaslighting plays out.


The Main Tactic of Gaslighting – Confusion

If you are feeling confusion regarding what is real and what isn’t real, there is a good chance that you are being gaslit.

An example of this would be that you have a conversation with someone and you know what was actually said. Then this person, as narcissists often do when confronted, flatly denies ever saying it at all, and will tell you that you completely misheard what was said.

You know you didn’t, yet, you start to doubt yourself. You believe there is a possibility you misheard things. Worse still, you might begin to think that you are losing your mind. After all, this person is apparently so convinced that you are wrong.

Confusions of this type are an incredibly common occurrence with an abuser, and this is only the beginning of how far it can go and how devastating gaslighting can be.

The following is a classic example of how gaslighting can take place. Tracy, one of my clients, experienced a situation of confusion and horrific punishment through the use of gaslighting.

This lady’s mother had very recently died, and friends and family gathered at her home in deep commiseration together. Her narcissistic husband was incensed because the attention wasn’t on him.

Tracy had too much to drink in her state of deep grief, and when she woke up the next morning her husband was gone. He went missing for three days with his phone turned off.

When he returned, he told Tracy that she was seen in the kitchen kissing her own male cousin. He said that he wasn’t the only one who caught her out, and there were other family members who were also disgusted by her actions.

Tracy was mortified. She was drunk that night, she couldn’t remember. She was horrified thinking she may have done it, even though she had never felt any attraction or romantic inclination towards her cousin.

In our Quanta Freedom Healing session together, we shifted out not only the grief of losing Tracy’s mother but also the terrible trauma of her husband’s accusation.

Because the terrible feelings had shifted out of her Inner Being, Tracy got very clear about showing up in integrity and confronting these allegations. She contacted people who were present at the house that evening. When Tracy told people what her husband had said, they were shocked. They told her that she had done nothing of the kind, and that her husband’s mood and behaviour towards her that night had been totally unsupportive and horrible.

This is the thing when we’re not in our power, we recoil in shame and don’t check out the facts. Tracy’s husband had not expected her to do that. When she confronted him about his abusive behaviour he quickly changed to the next gaslighting tactic, ‘Of course people aren’t going to admit what they saw, it’s too disgusting’, and ‘Not only should I leave you for what you did but why would I stay with a wife who believes other people’s lies instead of her own husband?’

Of course, this threw Tracy into an even worse spin. That’s exactly what gaslighting is all about.

Gaslighting truly is an incredibly malicious tactic. It’s used to punish people by stripping their power and getting them to distrust themselves. It’s also about destroying a person’s own character to themselves and anyone else who will listen.

And sadly, many outside people do listen. Most decent people have been conditioned to believe that when another adult looks them in the eyes and says something horrible about another person, that it must be true.

In this case, Tracy’s narcissistic husband told joint friends and work colleagues his twisted version of what she did that night. Most of these people believed him, including him purporting she had cheated on him numerous times previously.

So, what was his motivation for doing this?

Hurting Tracy – pure and simple. Taking out his rage on her because that evening he couldn’t regulate narcissistic supply and be the centre of attention.

It is important to understand that narcissists will use the tactic of gaslighting to fulfil any agenda necessary for him or her to feed the False Self, or punish someone who hasn’t adequately done so.


When to Suspect You Are Being Gaslit

Being gaslit is probable if you are facing mind-bending confusion with one specific person in your life.

In other words, if you don’t suffer confusing accusations, information and conversations with other people, this is generally a very strong indication that you are being abused by the person that it is happening with.

If there is no real evidence regarding the information you are being told and if you believe that it was a different version of the events being presented, and especially if the confusing times happen on a regular basis, there is a good possibility that you are being gaslit.

If this person is often unkind, unsupportive, envious, pathologically jealous or prone to try to sabotage your interests and happiness, and takes umbrage when life is not all about him or her, make no mistake – the confusing times are gaslighting episodes.

Gaslighting is cruel – it’s conscienceless – it’s malicious. And it defies what we would like to believe humans are capable of doing.  Truly, only a pathologically disordered person is capable of doing it.


The Parts of You Susceptible to Being Gaslit

Your emancipation from being gaslit is to realise first of all that anybody who is hurting you is not healthy for you – regardless of what they are saying or doing.

When situations are confusing, you may not be able to make logical sense of what is going on. This is normal. However, when you go inside and start addressing what is being triggered within your Inner Identity with my Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Program (NARP), you will get to the core of the problem.

These are the unhealed parts of yourself which are susceptible to being lied to, manipulated, twisted and confused.

If you have been susceptible to being scapegoated and blamed when you were little or told that whatever you did was never good enough, or parented with guilt tactics, or told how bad and worthless you were, then all of these original traumas can make you highly susceptible to being gaslit.

If you have struggled to trust yourself and believed that other people have more power, jurisdiction or better skills at organising your life than you do, then you are also highly susceptible to being lied to and manipulated through gaslighting.

Gaslighting is one of the narcissistic tactics that prey on our already existing gaps – the parts of ourselves that haven’t been healed and shored up yet – meaning we hand over our rights and value to another person’s opinion of us.

We can easily fall for this, especially if we have a terror of persecution and being criticised rejected, abandoned or punished by those who don’t believe we are a good person.

If you believe that your love, approval, security and survival depends on a key person’s thoughts and feelings about you, then the more they maliciously gaslight you, the more you will cling to them trying to fix their version of you, and to get safety and clarity from them.

Yet, you can’t create sanity out of insanity. Trying to is a dangerous recipe to potentially go fully insane.

You may even capitulate, apologise and hand your values, rights and boundaries away to retain this person in your life, trying to make them love you. Not only does this not work, it will leave you drastically devastated and diminished, and you will become more and more unwell.


How Do You Heal and Become Impervious to Being Gaslit?

I promise you that when you heal your susceptibilities to abuse, you will never be gaslit again.

In the case of Tracy, when her husband started smashing her with continued gaslighting tactics – threatening to abandon her due to her purported adulterous behaviour and betrayal of him – understandably she was hit with further doubt and panic.

Yet, rather than caving in to him, and handing her power over even further, Tracy went inside herself with Quanta Freedom Healing (NARP) and targeted these intense traumas that were activated within her Inner Being.

The belief systems and original traumas that were at the core of Tracy’s susceptibility to believing him, were how she was scapegoated as a child. These were the unhealed traumas of how she was blamed for her father’s dysfunctional and abusive behaviour. As a child she had taken the blame and the shame on for her father.

Thank goodness that with NARP processes, Tracy was able to load up her original childhood traumas, and release and replace them.

It was then that she anchored into her power and truth.

No more was she a broken little scapegoated girl in an adult woman’s body. Rather, Tracy had clarity and knew that her narcissistic husband was abusing her, was unsupportive and pathological, and that this behaviour was no longer a match for what she wanted or deserved in her life.

This was the beginning of the end of the relationship.

She took action to get a solicitor, moved out and her husband was blindsided regarding her newfound power. She was no longer scared of him, tiptoeing around him or handing him her power.

He then switched to love bombing, apologising and trying to win her back. This predictably triggered her feelings of guilt and obligation and wanting to try to fix things. (Which were other unhealed traumas that had taken place between Tracy and her father during her childhood).

The triggered painful feelings meant that there was just more stuff to heal!

Fortunately, when Tracy was close to capitulating, rather than reconnecting with him, she went inside again with the NARP healings and shifted out the parts of her that were triggered. These were the parts of her that had previously given abusive people repeat chances, time and time again. But finally, Tracy felt impervious and unmoved by her husband’s crocodile tears and false promises.

Now, who he was and what he stood for no longer appealed to her in any shape or form.

Because of being unmoved by him, within six months she received her settlement and he was fully out of her life.

The truth was that Tracy’s emotional attachment and trauma symptoms were healed and finished many months before this.

Such is the case for all of us, when we finally heal the original traumas that the narcissist is presenting as the current evidence in our life. This is because we have awakened, healed and reset our Inner Identity and relationship code to one that no longer matches the abuse that the narcissist in our life delivers.

I promise you the same will be true for you.

Tracy, just like so many of us (myself included) who were gaslit, became a confident, solid human, anchored into her own Inner Being with self-value.

When you have released the trauma that has made you susceptible to being gaslit and shift into your True Self on this topic, you will finally be free of this hideous and malicious form of manipulation.

Okay, so … I dearly hope that this article has helped grant you clarity and power. I also hope that it has given you a roadmap to get up and out of the pain and susceptibility to being abused by someone else’s malicious tactics – otherwise known as gaslighting.

If you know it’s time for you to get serious about healing your original traumas so that you can escape abuse and enter a true, healthy life where you are treated with respect, then it may be time for you to take the next step and start my NARP program.

This holiday time could be the perfect opportunity for you to get serious about healing your Inner Identity and getting relief, clarity and your power back very quickly.

You can get this process started today right here.

And as always, I am so looking forward to our discussion on this topic below.


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66 thoughts on “Gaslighting: How To Demystify And Protect Yourself From The Narcissist’s Smoke-Screen

  1. Thank you Mel, another great article … and so very timely and helpful!!!
    Just in time for this Christmas where we can expect ugly toxic ‘performances’ from any narc/s in our life.
    This is such a good reminder for me to go back and do more Quanta Healing … dig out the remaining wounds left behind by a lifetime of narcissistic predators.
    Big Xmas hugs from me to you :)) xx

      1. The lady in the article was pretty much my story, even her name…lol. So glad I found it! Loved the information and it was so helpful to me. God Bless!

  2. I recently had a gaslighting experience with my ex-narc. I have been video-recording all of our exchanges so I get all of the narc behaviors documented. He actually came back the next day and claimed he said things that he did not. I already knew that he had not said them, plus I had the video, and he still narcked out and insisted that I first misremembered his words and then that I misunderstood his words. These were words that were never even uttered. I even reminded him I had the video and he still inisisted that I just didn’t understand his words. So I just quit talking to him, which enraged him, of course, but that was his problem. I am no longer fazed by the ex-narc, but this just goes to show you how disordered they really are.

    1. Hi Kathryn,

      It is so true, even with the evidence they will still deny.

      You can’t make sense out of crazy!

      It’s totally best to detach, and heal. There is nothing else to do!

      Much love to you

      Mel 🙏💕💛

      1. Melanie is absolutely right. Keep NARPing, working on the inner wounds and then focussing on yourself moving forward as a healed, whole individual who you love past, present and future.

        I don’t know whether the gaslighter believes their own lies and victimhood. Perhaps they do and that is why they are so credible for a time.

        However, as you heal and learn to self-trust and self-love, the lies lose their power over you and lose the purpose for the gaslighter, and I think other people have a greater clarity. But, you anyway, by that stage are not worried what people think and bear no umbrage. You will have self-partnered , with all forms of yourself (past, present and future). And, this brings great strength.

        There will be a churning feeling a points when the next lie comes in, but you can do a quick shift and move forward.

        Thank you so much to Melanie for giving us all this tool. It is a life-giver for so many, and a way out of our labyrinths. Thank you a thousand times over from us all.

        Lots of love and happy Christmas and happy 2020,

        Henrietta xxx

    2. Kathryn, I had to start taping all of our calls for many reasons, court, lawyers, family, myself, etc.

      Then, when he says he didn’t say this or that, I send him the taped call. (I did tell him I was taping all calls soas to protect myself with privacy acts)

      But then he called me crazy for taping his calls and insisted I needed meds, bipolar meds … gurl, Melanie’s every word hits it right on the head!!

      Anyway, praying for all of us and have a very Merry Christmas! 🌻❤️🙏

  3. This is liberating. I have suffered this type of abuse for over 10 years. I am taking my life back and divorcing her. You have changed my life! Thank you so much for all you do.

    1. Hi Michael,

      I’m so pleased that this is liberating for you.

      How wonderful that you are taking your life back.

      It’s my pleasure Michael and I’m just so pleased that I could help.

      Sending you healing and blessings

      Mel 🙏💕💛

      1. I just discovered I’ve been gas lighted and that her mum and sister all narcs, the have tried to twist stories and damage my name in the act of supporting there sister, we have been married for 3 years and 1 year if happiness the rest of looming for how to manipulate and control me, I thought is was normal but I realized that it was a trait in the family and now I want out and they are coming up with ways to hurt me

  4. I endured horrendous gas lighting long before I knew what the term meant. I was 46 and had never been in an abusive relationship previously. However, I had childhood traumas that I thought were healed. After 4.5 years and many leave/returns, I finally left for good and am filing for divorce. The sad thing for those of us who are mistaken about being able to “fix” people, the behavior always happens again, but the perpetrator never believes they have a problem or they use your own empathy to try to suck you back in. Two words – NO CONTACT! I am happier now then I’ve been in a long time. Actually, I’m amazing and life is beautiful!

    1. Hi Lori,

      You are very welcome I am so pleased that you now have this clarity in your life.

      How wonderful that you are dedicating to your self-partnering, and I wish you a beautiful holiday season.

      Much love to you Lori

      Mel 🙏💕💛

  5. P.S. Thank you! Your videos helped me understand, finally, that I had to get out. I had been ignoring my inner guidance, who had been telling me (screaming) all along, that I did not belong with this person! The gas lighting had caused me to ignore ME. I am getting to know the real me (not the person someone else was saying I was) and I LOVE HER.

  6. Hello Melanie Tania Evans and MTE ASSOCIATES
    Thanks for this very timely and absolutely poignant upload. There is nothing that can be done about abusers that have died. But, it is obvious to me that the head honcho abuser in my life was absolutely and unconditionally awke and aware above and below her concious vail of awareness and knowledgeable to the iota of what she was doing to destroy utterly her own son’s mind body and very essence as an individual. THIS MAKES HER ( she is dead now for a full 19 years) A “”””MASTER-NARCISSIST”””. A child that has only known the dark adgenda of said individual that you have given some of the corrollarry absolutes on how the NARC operates is a betrayal of the deepest human species CONFIDENCE. One where the child is left without a pilot to man his or her ship. And leaves ‘ME’ no other wherewithal either. The knowledge of NARCISSISM is empowering. No, not until you heal shore up and exterpate all the losses. One big step was learning to trust ‘YOU’ Melanie. Thanks. The modules are beginning to allow me to show myself the door. HAHAHAHAHA,!!@!!😅😅😅😅✌✌✌✌✌😅😅✌✌✌😅. LOVE YOU ALL HAVE A GRAND OLD TIME TOGETHER AGAIN WITH YOURSELVES AND THOSE ‘WHO’ count IN YOUR LIVES.. Happy again?! No, Happy for the beginning of the only time in my life. It is sad that there are individuals that fully know they don’t need to cheat anyone else but choose to do so anyway out of desperation or some other emotive laziness default. It is especialy sad when it is my own parents that are or also could be held culpable for manslaughter and other violent crimes on me. Criminalized parents may be the norm in these countries that are built from a base of 100,000,000 (million) native american holocaust over a thousand years but there are no excuses NONE for a parent to nonchalantly and without the childs wherewithal destroy all happiness fulfilment and peace through family friends and others that count like a significant other of the opposit sex to procreate and thrive a long and joyfull life and bring the same for those of our ( my) loinedness. Good gholly. Ehy?????!!!@. …… it just does not follow that these kind exist . It is unconscionable. GREAT SCOTT where is superman when you truelly need him ? Ilpok inward and ser him. He happens to be me. I am ONLY ANOTHER ORDINARY SUPER HERO. but I’m not out to save the world. Not going to happen. Is it. Good day and keep giving more insites to keep giving more “PERSONS” that can turn inward to cure their fractures until maybe you DO HEAL THE WORLD. OF THOSE WHO JUST PLAIN ‘CHEAT’ EVERYONE THEY DIRECTLY AND INDIRECTLY TOUCH………

  7. My ex used to accuse me of gaslighting him. In fact, he often accused me of being a narcissist to all his friends. He described the confusion precisely, and told me he thought he would go into this “unconscious place” because he couldn’t remember any of our conversations. I thought I was going out of my mind. I knew nothing about Covert passive aggressive narcissists. My counselor told me to buy a book and mark anything that sounded familiar to me – I should have just dunked the book in a yellow paint can. Now I can see what he was doing, but I still struggle with believing anyone could be so incredibly manipulative and cruel. Thanks for the work you do.

    1. Hi Michelle,

      gosh that is so common you being accused of what they are doing.

      Michelle, I really want you to know that that struggle with what you’re feeling emotionally can be released so that you go free from it, and are able to fast track your recovery.

      Please come into my free webinar to discover more about this and how my healing process can help you.

      You are very welcome Michelle.

      Wishing you healing, relief and breakthrough

      Mel 🙏💕💛

  8. I first heard the word “gas lighting” from a female colleague/friend/boss who mentioned it, out of the blue, several years ago. About 9 months ago, I ended our friendship, it had became so toxic for me. In my exploration to learn and recover from this traumatizing experience I found your website. You helped get me through the aftermath of her rage and the ongoing smear campaign at my workplace. In hindsight, she foretold “gaslighting” would come next. I am enormously thankful for your generosity and your insightful understandings! I feel validated. I’m doing my trauma-gap work and my life is unfolding in miraculous ways.

    1. Hi Barbara,

      I’m so pleased that my understandings Have been able to help you, that you feel validated, and you are doing the inner work.

      Wishing you continued love, joy and expansion.

      Mel 🙏💕💛

  9. This is helpful. In my case, my particular issue I need help with is somewhat similar and different. I do not tend to believe the gaslighting and doubt myself, as I am more in my power (in some ways, at least) every day. My issue is that the person who is gaslighting is attempting to create a powerful narrative that children, legal professionals, family therapists, health care professionals, teachers, and coaches will believe, and, truthfully, this person has been very successful. It has become a full time job asserting and proving the truth (on a daily basis!). The twists and turns of reality are subjected to the gaslit narrative on a all-consuming basis about everything from health care needs of the children, the children’s activities and education, scheduling and transitions between homes, reneging on the parenting order, communication and so on. All the inappropriate things this person does are projected onto us (my partner and myself), and the narrative about how we are incapable of caring for the children, selfish and uncaring towards them, hateful, jealous, etc., and now not following through on the legal parenting orders (when we are essentially the only ones consistently following through, with genuineness and integrity). It’s a full time job to set the record straight, so to speak, and is costing us dearly in other parts of our lives. We don’t know what else to do, though, as the stakes are high (parental alienation is a factor). I would be very interesting in a video session focused on gaslighting in a similar situation — one where we are not so inclined to fall into believing the false narrative but where other important people in our lives are susceptible. Thank you for hearing me.

    1. Hi Jesse,

      please no Jesse that what you are going through is incredibly common and this is exactly what abusers and narcissists regularly do.

      I do have quite a few resources on this topic that can help you, if you Google my name plus court and narcissists.

      I hope that these can help you.

      Sending you power, strength and breakthrough

      Mel 🙏💕💛

  10. Hi Mel, great article about all of us adult children that were scapegoated, bullied, manipulated, blamed and a general feeling of you don’t matter what do you know.
    I have recently for the first time in a year and a half went on a date! It took a lot for me to do this as I have two children and my previous two partners and parents are covert narcissists. Anyway I spotted early on (three dates) a gaslighting situation which I wouldn’t have acted on previous to my abusive husband, I called him out on it and he turned it on me. I am so pleased with myself that I saw it acted on it and am now blanking his attempts to reconnect. Having the clarity to see where you have went wrong in the past and not make the same mistakes is empowering but it is still something I need to work at. Thanks Mel for all you do to educate us x

  11. Thanks so much for this article- I’ve read other articles about this but none really touch on what can make people so susceptible to this. I’ve experienced gaslighting recently and it’s incredible that even when facts are presented, the narcissist will evade or deny. It’s so true that once old beliefs are cleared out around self doubt that you can show up in ways where this no longer affects you. I struggled with worrying that other people’s opinions mattered mire than what I knew to be true. I’ve now got so much more faith that the truth ALWAYS comes out and once you really feel and know that deep down the gaslighting can’t touch you. Thanks so much for all the work you do- it’s so important and so much more helpful than articles that focus solely on the narcissist’s disturbing behaviour! Xo

    1. Hi V,

      It’s my pleasure.

      I love that you understand that our true salvation and emancipation has to come from within. Learning all there is to know about narcissists does not heal our inner being or our life.

      So much love to you V and Thrive On!

      Mel 🙏💕💛

  12. Hi Melanie,
    wow, I live on the other side of this planet and we have never met, yet, again (not for the first time) it feels like you know my life: your description on gaslighting is spot on! I have been narping for some months now. I can feel my previous (I mean before abuse) clarity and memory is comming back! It is still available!

    Yes, the strong pain around the fear of abandonment was big for me, too.
    I started shifting on the witch-wound two weeks ago. I was so sceptical I wanted to avoid the topic. But shifting the witch-wound brings me so much relieve and I can let go the fear of abandonment. Does it make sense?

    Lots and lots of “Thank you” to you and the MTE team for this episode & for launching the new website: its fantastic!

    1. Hi Bee,

      I am so pleased that this article resonated with you.

      Yes, it absolutely does make sense and I am so thrilled for you that you are in NARPing And getting freedom from your wounds.

      Thank you Bee for your lovely comment and please know how welcome you are.

      Much love from myself and the team

      Mel 🙏💕💛

  13. Dearest Mel
    Thank you so much, as always, for your enlightening and sanity giving articles. This is exactly what I am going through on a daily basis – repeatedly and constantly being accused of being devious/cunning/scheming/a narcissist. My partner has convinced his psychologist (who is a personality disorder specialist) that I am a narcissist, and is constantly going through the advice his psychologist gives him to deal with me. He even came to your Melbourne live event to prove he is recovering from narcissistic abuse. Now I am afraid he will obtain a NARP membership under a different name, so I have stopped posting on the forum. I am working with NARP every free minute I get, and I know at a deep level, that he is just helping to reveal my wounds to me.
    Thank you dear angel for everything,
    Love always

    1. Hi Anonymous,

      It’s my pleasure and I am so pleased that this resonated with you.

      Sweetheart, please know that you can heal and empower yourself and completely detached as a result of NARPing, regardless of what he does or doesn’t do.

      Please know myself and this incredible community have got your back and we are standing with you and for you.

      You are truly here on Angel’s work as well, a light that fully dissolves all darkness… Meaning it cannot touch you Including his.

      So much love to you

      Mel 🙏💕💛

  14. Very interesting. Yesterday I reminded my son in a jokey way something he had said years ago. Which he totally denied angrily. Since those years he has changed.”woke up?” Veggi, won’t kill a fly. I wouldn’t say he is a narcissist. But since he feels he now knows the meaning of life. Which does’nt bring him happiness. There is a deep anger in him. He is my carer from previous narcissism. His sister. Very puzzling. He yesterday displayed surprising behaviour. I wouldn’t label him in this way. But I’m watchful now. Very sad.

    Happy Christmas. xxx

  15. Hello Mel and, OMG, thank you! You have been my loyal support and companion on this journey where I actually had to leave my life of 35 years in the US (I’m french) and change continent in order to save my Life! You are always so ‘spit on’ because their behavior is so always exactly the same throughout and it STILL boggles my mind! I thank you for your generosity in the name of all of those who, like me, have not joined the NARP program because of the $ or whatever other reason. You have been my only consistent companion in battle and recovery, participated in opening my eyes and structuring my understanding, and I thank you forever. Too bad there is no counterpart of your work in french, I wish I could share with them too!

    1. Hi Valerie,

      It’s my pleasure and I am so pleased that you are NARPing…

      I wish you incredible continued breakthrough and healing!

      Absolutely one day NARP will be released in French as well as many other languages, and we are excited for this in the future.

      Much love to you Valerie

      Mel 🙏💕💛

  16. Mel,

    Thank you for your tireless effort to educate us all. My mother is the Covert passive aggressive gaslighter and has been my whole life. Discovering it has been the most devastating but empowering event. I have so much work to do. I was married to a raging Narc who said I was crazy. His mother was just like mine and lived next door. Please say a prayer that I won’t stop going inside to release a lifetime of trauma abuse and feeling worthless no matter how hard I tried. I now know it was NOT my fault. God Bless You❣️

    With Lots of Love and respect,


      1. Oh my goodness …you replied! I am in awe of you and your staff in your constant purpose in helping us who need support. It’s like having a family when you don’t have one.

        Thank you!

  17. Hi Melanie,

    Thank you so much for all the work you’ve published on narcissistic abuse. I’ve read the book and I’m watching the videos or reading the articles as you post them. Although I’m not engaging by sharing my personal story, I’m taking this opportunity to thank you in general and to assure you that your work has helped me by clarifying the phenomenon.

    This comment is otherwise just to make you aware of a possible typo in the written article above. It’s in the passage below; it appears like the word “don’t” logically doesn’t fit. Perhaps something happened during editing?

    “In other words, if you don’t suffer confusing accusations, information and conversations with other people, this is generally a very strong indication that you are being abused by the person that it is happening with.”

    Please don’t take this the wrong way, I’m just trying to help. Again thanks!

    1. Hi Ingunn,

      It’s my pleasure and I’m so pleased that my work resonates with you.

      Thank you for offering your suggestion, however truly the word “don’t” does fit… What I am saying here is that if this hasn’t been going on with other people in your life, yet does with the person that it is happening with… This does mean that the person that it IS happening with is more than likely gaslighting you.

      Does this make sense?

      Mel 🙏💕💛

  18. Hi Mel, thanks again great article, my ex Narsasist had been to 3 different Counsellors without me knowing to get them on side and then just dropped the bombshell on me one night and said on a scale of 0 bad to 10 Good our Marriage was only a 2 and that she was going to another Counselling session the next day, apparently she had done the same to her two previous husbands, but 12 Months ago when I threw out a full size poster of one of her Previous lovers that she had been committing adultery with and had refused to get rid of it but had it set up for everyone to see at our home, and I actually didn’t even throw it out in anger, I simply thought it might bring about a catalyst for a change in her behaviour, funny too as she phoned a friend who works at the local rubbish tip to see if he could rummage through the rubbish and find it, as I’d thrown it in the bin the night before ha, anyway she threw me out the same day, and I found out that she had been seeing the ex before me the whole time she was with me anyway, and is now back with him, poor guy, anyway since then have had 12 Months no Contact and been doing your course, I’ve never felt So free and have have had everything that I lost with her now restored, my peace my Joy my family my friends my finances and ive never been So Blessed as I am right now, so thank you again and just a Big Encouragement to everyone else out there, that total recovery and even More is Possible, Blessings at this Christmas time, Col

    1. Hi Col,

      It’s my pleasure.

      I’m so thrilled that you have been working with NARP, releasing trauma and that you now feel free. It is so true that when we release the trauma that these people triggered off with us that canopen up to step in to the trajectory of our true life!

      It’s always wonderful Col, when men work with NARP and help encourage other people in our community do so as well.

      Thank you for being an inspiration to not just men, but to all.

      Many blessings to you also this Christmas Col,

      Much love

      Mel 🙏💕💛

  19. Hello!
    About a year ago, I filed for divorce from my covertly narcissistic husband after finding out that he’d been having an affair for 3 years. I was accused as the “reason” he did it. But, because of the NARP work I did, I know that it was his problem, not mine.
    As of today, I’m officially divorced and have never been happier! The freedom I feel can sometimes be overwhelming as I’m still feeling somewhat undeserving of such ease. Still working with the program and finding traumas to release!

    Thank you so much for your dedication to us, Melanie!! It’s nice to know we’re not alone.

    Merry Christmas and here’s to all of us who got out in time!

    May 2020 be our best year yet!!!

    1. Hi Pamela,

      I am so thrilled for you that the NARP work has worked so well! And that you are still continuing your lifework to be is free to be your True Self as you can! All

      You are so welcome and it is totally my honour to partner you in this way, after all we have all been in this together.

      Wishing you and yours Pamela a beautiful Christmas.

      Much love to you

      Mel 🙏💕💛

  20. Hi, Mel.
    Do you think people who are not narcissists engage in gaslighting?
    I have a couple of friends who gaslight when… I think… they don’t want to say “yes” to me (about doing something) but they don’t feel confident in saying “no.” It’s super annoying. For example, if I ask a friend if they can help me do some basement cleaning for which I offer to pay them and instead of saying yes or no they pretend they don’t understand what I’m talking about, or pretend they don’t remember me asking them. This is frustrating because if they don’t want the “job” I’d rather they just say so then I can move on and hire someone else, but instead I sort of get strung along with this “maybe, what? what do you mean?, I don’t understand, what are you saying?, when did you ask me that?, I don’t remember that…. etc.” I feel like they are trying to make me doubt myself, or make me feel stupid or uncertain (ie gaslighting). Lately I’ve taken to just being really direct and if necessary reiterating my question as clearly as possible until they can’t “pretend” to not understand… then I get an answer! I really don’t think this person is an N, I just think they are queasy about saying “no.” What do you think?

    1. Hi DMJ,

      To me it just sounds like they don’t know how to be clear and straight with you.

      I agree there are just queasy about saying no.

      Maybe have the conversation with them telling them that it’s totally okay for them to say No to you.

      Mel 🙏💕💛

  21. A while back I read an explanation both clever and obvious, that precedes electric light bulbs, for where this particular term was originally derived. Gaslights were small gas-based metal lanterns that could be held by hand or on hooks or small holding shelves in rooms, along staircases, etc. They had a flame-adjusting knob on the side with which you could modulate the gas-fed flame for more or less flame light output. The analogy of a Narcissistic Abuser playing their mark (source of narcissistic supply and goods), with more or less skill, like a literal, physical gaslight, is helpful to me in terms of awareness of the subtlety of boundary violation possible with it. The NA can modulate you as the light of their narcissistic supply, depending on how they gauge your gas or wick to be waxing and waning in the moment. They can and either not want to or deliberately feed you with gradual stokes of “gas” through your entire range of tolerance, submission and willingness. In this way, they get to know your parameters, as well as tailoring their timing, for maximum yield and/or damage — burning you long, yet not so much as to burn you OUT sooner than fits their projections of immediate and future need.

    1. Also, using the Gaslight Lamp, which produces a somewhat non-diffuse, undulating flame light, shadows are naturally created, which was an acceptable effect before the electric light bulb came into full use.
      In the narcissistic abuse analogy of the term, “gaslighting”, shadows are manipulated to alter what is seen as reality and what isn’t — moving shadows distort the interplay of dark and light relative to objects. Maneuvered manipulating of an abusee’s perception of what is in light, shadow and reality is like the effects of moving hand-held Gaslight Lamps — all of which can be in effect off-balancing or hypnotic, if not confusing . This, as well as the manipulation of gas-to-light intensity, correspond to the many ways perceptual and cognitive distortion is conducted upon the NA prey, which are well described in Melanie’s article describing many ways of violate play. You can also add the faint gas burning smell, and the subliminally seen very transient smoke as elements analogous to effects of sensory, perceptual and cognitive distortion and distraction conducted by the abuser skilled in these ways. Thus the physical tool and its use, that the term refers to, is in itself symbolically informative and aware-making of elements of narcissistic abuse.

  22. That is so true, Melanie. She is busy with gaslighting on me – in different ways – after I have moved out at the beginning of December. Use the one child to invite me to events. (Children is 26 yrs and 24 yrs)

  23. HI Melanie,
    It’s great that you are making people aware of the different types of psychological abuse that unhealthy people project on others.

    I definitely agree with healing traumas to increase our power. Narc’s usually go after people with a weak sense of self.

    Take care

  24. Almost 4 years after discovering from the other woman that my husband of 30 years had been cheating on me (for 2 years) I had been trying to fix what he broke & had come to a place of acceptance. I was stupid enough to tell him that for me his affair was done & dusted. Instead of accepting or even appreciating what I’d said, he disagreed and used a ‘thought’ that I’d previously shared with him as ‘proof’ that what I’d just said wasn’t true! I wasn’t expecting a gratitude dance! However, he then went on to deny what he’d told me on discovery of his affair (his every word is etched on my soul!) on discovery he told me that he used to phone her on his journey to & from work & when he was having his car washed. He’s now saying he maybe only did that twice! It’s a total headf**k. I’ve been no contact for over a week now. It’s killing me not to contact him, even just to say my truth!! He’s always used the silent treatment throughout our 35 year relationship! Christmas is looming, I have ongoing family dramas with our 4 adult kids & I don’t have any friends ….. feel as though it would be better for everyone if I wasn’t here! This is what all this & so much more has bought me to!

    1. Hi Vicki,

      My heart goes out to you.

      Vicki hun please know that the way through to recouping your power and truth wont come from trying to get him to validate and honouring you. It can only come from you validating and healing you.

      I’d love you to join in on my free 16 day course, where I can help support you to start taking your soul and life back.

      Sending you love and strength.

      Mel 🙏💕💛

  25. Hi Melanie

    It is the endless word salads and endless arguments without heads or tails that finally take too much out of me.

    I communicate for a living and I know when nothing is making sense and nothing is leading to resolution. It is the exact same circular conversation / critical put downs etc every time.

    Exhausting confusion and emptiness after hours of attentive listening for no yield. No amount of generous posturing, kindness, affirmation, or understanding forgiveness ever led to peace.

    It was the only endless debate….until the day I just got up and walked away and never looked back even through the detoxing.

    It’s so nice to be in happy, rich, supportive conversations now with normal people.

    Gaslighting was the hardest to detect but the easiest to get feed up about and therefore take action 🙏

    Thanks Melanie…. Great article

    1. It’s so true Iris,

      There is no comparison between ‘normal’ human conversations and that three-ring circus.

      I agree with you wholeheartedly, I simply can’t stomach it anymore either.

      Thank you Iris and much love to you.

      Mel 🙏💕💛

    2. I have lived exactly what you described, Iris, for over 20 years. Your point about “exhausting confusion and emptiness” really struck a chord with me. I ran away from a man who was emotionally exhausting and I have never been happier being divorced from him. The only reason I ever look back is because of the shock of, as you said, my “generous posturing, kindness, affirmation, or understanding forgiveness” which is a bit difficult to release. All those years of support and kindness I showed this monster was seemingly wasted but I have to let myself realize I supported him and his thankless children and was kind to them because of my nature and it wasn’t a total loss. Moving on.

  26. Thank you Mel!
    gaslighting resonates with me so well.
    Last night I was getting together to celebrate my birthday and the narc in my life was supposed to join. the plans changed in the moment due to the rain and he could have joined us while we figured out an indoor plan but instead kept asking where go where to go where to go? he’s blowing up my phone with “you don’t want me there.. why are you doing this”. so i tell him we are closing tabs i need to organize a small group of people so we get can him a plan (which ended up being a 2 min walk away to a restaurant) i tell him that’s the plan. guess who blew my phone up saying he’s at the the first location. “im here you led me on. i’m lied to. i’d never treat you this way”. his next text is he went to the restaurant but didn’t see us. i see this text so i respond we are here? where are you?

    He says he had roses for me but you know gave them away.. how much he loved me and how if i didn’t want him there i should’ve told him – of course i wanted him there. he knew the play by play. he knew it was raining. he knew we were figuring stuff out. he knew the second location. he had every key. But instead he found a game more fun to him. being a victim and chipping away at my happiness by finding all the ways to make me feel bad. he refused to join us at the restaurant. he sent me a photo of his drink at a bar blocks away. his last text was now I’m home and I’m sick b/c i went out looking for you.
    these interactions make it so hard to breathe. hard to process b/c it does make you feel completely insane.

  27. I was gaslit in insidious ways over years until finally becoming an alcoholic and ruining my marriage for good! (That was a good thing BTW!) What is interesting in retrospect, now that I am sober over 4 years, is that my ex took gaslighting to another level and would make derogatory comments about me then tell me they came from another individual but I couldn’t confront that other person about it as it would destroy a trust between him and the third party. So, I should swallow the negative while protecting his integrity! I don’t find many articles on gaslighting but always find them interesting and so very needed. I have learned a great deal from your articles. Thank you Melanie.

  28. Dear Mel,
    I will be grateful if you could respond to the following question for you. I read somewhere about “shadow work” (getting friendly and knowing the parts in ourselves that we do not like): “Think of someone or something you hate. Now write down everything you despise about them in a long list, all the things about them that enrage you, that make you cry out at the injustice, venality, idiocy and cruelty of that person or thing. Now take that list and write your own name at the top of it. Say hello to your Shadow”. How does that work within your idea of healing from narcissistic abuse. It’s OK to try to let go of judgments and try to make ourselves stronger in front of awful and unfair accusations and fabrications instead of accepting the role of the victim for the rest of our lives. How on the earth am I suppose to hurt like hell, however, and accept all the discarded parts of someone else with a smile? I am in this position with my two siblings who try to kick me out of my family property, we have live our adult lives apart and we are in our fifties now, I can see how in a way I am the lucky one, that they are poor miserable people, and that it is in my interest to stay strong in the court, they have even beaten me up and say I am crazy and making it up. At the same time although I now start seeing how not accepting the role they try to put me in starts paying, I learn to be and look more composed and even remain stronger and confident when solicitors and others doubt me, sometimes letting go and taking responsibility of my own life, looks very much like giving up and trying to convince myself of the opposite. Am I wrong to think of them as disturbed and dangerous people, just because they are using my saying so to call me disturbed and dangerous? Am I supposed to even hide in the court the bullying I have been receiving? I know you do not suggest anything like that and I would still appreciate your advice.

    1. Hi Marina,

      I truly don’t agree with this concept of shadow work. What I really believe is that if we have already existing traumas regarding being traumatised in similar ways from our childhoods or and ancestral inherited trauma programs, then we can have people come into our lives that match our already existing unconscious inner traumas.

      100% this does not excuse other people’s behaviour, rather what it does mean is that if we turn inwards to heal these traumas then we can change the entire pattern of what is happening in our life in the most incredible ways, and even miraculous ways.

      This is why in this community when people turn inwards to do this essential work on themselves, they have often been able to turn around the most horrific of situations with Narcissists.

      Marina I would love you to come into my upcoming free masterclass in a few days time to discover more about this.

      I hope this can help you

      Much Love

      Mel 🙏💕💛

  29. It’s hard to believe the gaslighting is purposeful, that it’s conscious. I experienced it. Yet I still struggle with accepting that my ex N could be so malicious without guilt or remorse. It’s frightening actually that these people exist but as I do the shifts I see how it’s all “smoke and mirrors” and the fear of him diminishes.

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