Abuse Warrior may earn a commission for purchases made after clicking links on this page. Learn More.

50+ Crazy Gaslighting Phrases Narcissists Say – Direct from Survivors

* I generally write using the pronouns he/him when referring to narcissists, but females are just as likely to be narcissists or exhibit narcissistic traits. So please don't think just because article uses the word him or he that it could not be a woman in that same role.

I have made a collection of more than 50 gaslighting phrases that narcissists say directly to people who have been in relationships with narcissists or have a narcissistic parent. This is real life with a narcissist!

Gaslighting is a psychological manipulation technique, a form of insidious and elaborate brainwashing, a pattern of disgusting and abusive behaviors with the intention of not only influencing you but completely breaking you down as a human being and then controlling you.


What Is Gaslighting?

Gaslighting is a bit misunderstood and misused.

Gaslighting is an emotional abuse tactic wherein an abuser tries to convince their victim that their own perceptions of reality cannot be trusted and that whatever the abuser most recently said is the truth.

Telling you that you did something that you didn’t do, in an attempt to get you to believe it, would in fact be one of the things defined as gaslighting. In fact, if I were you, I would ask myself how much evidence that I have memory problems comes from him.

Your partner sounds abusive and is extremely likely to be physically violent toward you and your dog in the future. I would urge you to get out and take your dog with you as soon as possible.

Many will lump gaslighting together with all the other manipulation tactics. It is easy to do this because we use the term gaslighting commonly such as “he’s gaslighting you,” implying that it is a manipulation tactic used purposefully by manipulative people.

While using the word that way is acceptable, I do it myself a lot. It is, however, misleading as it confuses what it is. Gaslighting is not a manipulation tactic; it affects a person who is/has been subjected to emotional and psychological manipulation tactics.

Remember that covert narcissistic abuse tactics are used to make someone believe, act, or think something they otherwise would not have without their knowledge it is happening.

The gaslighting effect is when the manipulator denies and therefore invalidates reality. Invalidating distorts or undermines the victim’s perception of the world and can even lead them to question their sanity.

Almost all manipulation tactics will contribute to the gaslighting effect. It is an inevitable effect of being successfully manipulated in some way.

You cannot make someone do something against their self-interest without them knowing they are even doing it without distorting their perceptions of reality in some way to some degree. So yes, lying is a manipulation tactic that contributes to the gaslighting effect as they all do.

What is a Malignant Narcissist? 12 Signs to spot them

Some tactics contribute far more to the gaslighting effect, and those are frequently called out as the ‘gaslighting tactic,’ which is incorrect. They are different tactics in their own right that happen to contribute more heavily to the gaslighting effect.

To make this answer more complete, let’s hit some of the manipulation tactics that cause higher degrees of the gaslighting effect. These often are referred to as using the ‘gaslighting tactics.’

That is not correct, though.

This is not a comprehensive list. As was previously stated, all tactics, even lying, contribute to the emotional abuse of the gaslighting effect.

Stonewalling– the abuser acts confused, pretends he doesn’t understand what the victim is telling him, and withholds feelings. (Note some definitions use stonewalling as synonymous with the silent treatment. I do not choose to use that definition. I find this one more accurate.)

  • Why are you trying to confuse me?
  • You are not making any sense.
  • I have no idea what you want me to say

Countering – The abusive partner questions the memory and thoughts of the victim and supports the accusation with previous examples

  • You never remember things correctly
  • You know I never said that
  • You have a very active imagination
  • Get your facts straight

Blocking/Diverting – The abuser refuses to answer or comment, changes the subject, faults the victim accusing or blaming them, or faults the victim for acting the way they did

  • I’m not going to go through this again
  • We already talked about this
  • You are always picking fights
  • You always have to be right

Trivializing – The abuser makes the thoughts and needs of the victim seem unimportant

  • That is hardly important
  • Why would you let something so stupid come between us?
  • You are just too sensitive
  • You always blow things out of proportion
  • Let it go already

Intentional Forgetting/Denial (really just a blatant lie, not neurotic denial, as there is no inability to face some reality of a traumatic experience causing the rejection. It is just simply a lie. Many times used just to dodge accountability) The abuser denies that things ever happened or denies promises he made to the victim to prevent them from getting a resolution

  • I never did/said that
  • That never happened
  • I have never been there before
  • You never told me that
  • You are confusing me with someone else
  • There is nothing wrong with my memory
  • You know, I have a terrible memory.

The gaslighting effect can be applied to a massive impact in other ways. One example is making the mark think they are losing it. This could be done by hiding or misplacing things and then telling them they were never there, or their memory is failing them. This is referred to as abient gaslighting.

As I said, those tactics causing the highest gaslighting effects would also be unconscionable, which is why we see them the most in disordered pathological manipulators who lack the conscience and empathy to care about hurting others.

Gaslighting is an effect of personal attacks and psychological abuse over a long period. The abuser manipulates situations repeatedly to trick the victim into distrusting their memory and perceptions.

Gaslighting is an insidious form of abusive behavior. It makes victims question the very instincts they have counted on their lives, making them unsure of anything.

Gaslighting makes it very likely that victims will believe whatever their abusers tell them regardless of their own experience of the situation.

Gaslighting often precedes other types of emotional and physical abuse because the victim of gaslighting is more likely to remain in other abusive situations as well.

The psychological term gaslighting comes from the 1938 British play “Gas Light,” wherein a husband attempts to drive his wife crazy using a variety of tricks, causing her to question her and her own sanity. Gas Light was made into a movie both in 1940 and 1944.

Read more in-depth about gaslighting here.

gaslighting phrases

What Is Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

Narcissistic Personality Disorder is nothing to take lightly. Nor is it a label to lightly put on someone you think is arrogant. Though people who pass for normal have Narcissistic Personality Disorder, it’s a severe mental illness.

The warped thinking is so ingrained and stubborn that the mental health profession has had little success in dealing with it. It’s called “malignant” narcissism because it is just that, malignant. So, it’s far worse than just being arrogant. A malignant narcissist is a predator.

In other words, Narcissistic Personality Disorder is as serious as sociopathy. It is increasingly thought to be a form of sociopathy/psychopathy.

NPD isn’t occasional behavior. It is a pervasive pattern of thinking and behaving that corrupts virtually every human interaction.

Gaslighting has become a well-known tactic of abuse in the abuse survivor community, particularly for the survivors of malignant narcissists.

Unlike more vulnerable narcissists who may possess more of a capacity for remorse, malignant narcissists truly believe in their superiority, are grandiose, and lie on the higher end of the narcissistic spectrum.

They have antisocial traits, demonstrate paranoia, bear an inflated sense of entitlement, show a callous lack of empathy, and display an egregious liking for interpersonal exploitation.

Gaslighting provides malignant narcissists with a portal to erase the reality of their victims without a trace. It is a method that enables them to commit covert psychological murder with clean hands.


Executed effectively and done chronically, gaslighting causes self-doubt and cognitive dissonance – a state of turmoil stirred by inconsistent attitudes and manipulation techniques.

Survivors of emotional predators sense that something is amiss, but when they attempt to address it, they are often blindsided by their abuser’s complete dismissal and invalidation of their reality.

Gaslighting begins insidiously in stages; during the first step, while the seeds of doubt are growing, survivors still have a grasp of their reality even if they might not understand what is happening.

Like a frog in slowly boiling water, they become accustomed to the insidious warping of their reality, until they no longer recognize their reality or even themselves. 

Initially, they may attempt to reiterate their perspective and express disbelief at the gaslighter’s claims.

As gaslighting continues, however, it wears down the victim. Gaslighting is only one common tactic that toxic people use to turn the cycle of abuse.

According to Lynn Hasher, a psychologist at the University of Toronto, “Repetition makes things seem more plausible…and the effect is likely more powerful when people are tired or distracted by other information.”

Chronic gaslighting eventually leads to pure exhaustion – victims develop a sense of learned helplessness as they are met with the intense consistency of denial, rage, projection, or accusations from the gaslighter.

Exhaustion from abuse and retaliation for asserting oneself creates a mental fog of epic proportions, one in which a survivor can easily drown in even the most ridiculous excuses as long as they carry a grain of truth.

The survivor of gaslighting becomes submerged in confusion about what actually occurred and whether anything indeed occurred at all.

gaslighting phrases

How to know if you are a victim of Gaslighting?

Gaslighting comes in many forms.

Are you the victim of gaslighting?

In many ways, the one who is gaslighting their partner may intentionally do it to cover up anything from a guilty conscience, an affair, drug use, etc.

So they’ll be quick to lash out at their partners to make them feel a sense of guilt just to cover their tracks.

Not sure if you’re being gaslighted?

Check out the gaslighting phrases list to know:

  • You often feel confused and even crazy in a toxic relationship.
  • You’re always apologizing left & right and overdoing it at times.
  • You can’t understand why you aren’t happier. You feel miserable
  • You frequently make excuses for your partner’s behavior.
  • You know something is wrong, but you just don’t know what.
  • You experience imposter syndrome, feeling imperfect, vulnerable, crying, and depressed because you feel “less than”. This is your partner messing with your head.
  • You feel oversensitive about everything when you’re sane. Your partner isn’t.
  • They’re tactical with it. They will wait until you address something bothering you and then say you’re overreacting. They know when to push your buttons and will patiently wait for you to snap. Don’t give in.
  • Emotional/Physical shut/down/cut-off is a form of control, but in rare cases, they KNOW this, and deep down, it’s driving you nuts. They are restricting any conversation sharing of ideas/thoughts. This IS intentional. You won’t change their ways.
  • In rare cases, the silent treatment isn’t always gaslighting or intentional but ignoring you is shared in BPD patients. Those with borderline personality disorder (BPD) can appear loving or caring and then cut off for no apparent reason. They can react to perceived situations of abandonment. Often they can read into things that are not even there. They can become triggered to feel unwanted, mistreated, or abandoned. It’s out of your control. You may not even know this, which creates unnecessary anxiety upon waking day after day.

If you’re experiencing any of the above, your best option is to exit your friendship, relationship, or whatever it is you’re having with this person at all costs. Gaslighting usually won’t present itself until weeks to months later in a relationship.

Untitled design 59


Gaslighting is usually done in questions that sound doubtful in the context at hand. It has the best effect when there are more than two people in conversation: the gaslighter, the gaslighter’s ally, who can confirm the lies or at least reinforce the doubt by siding with their master and, of course, the narcissistic supply.

I never said that.

That is not how it happened.

You misinterpreted things.

I only said that because of you.

You made me do that.

You always are twisting things.

Your divorce has taken a toll on me.

When I get old and can’t take care of myself, just have someone kill me because I know you won’t want to take care of me.

Stop trying to mother him.

You fail at home so that you will fail at school.

I have forgotten more than you will ever be able to learn.

You’re so sensitive.

Why do you always have to argue with me?

You are not making any sense.

You read into things too much.

You are so stupid and immature.

You don’t know anything about this.

You always do this.

Why are you like this?

I never did that to you! YOU’RE hurting ME for even suggesting that!

Shame on you.

Oh, so I guess I can’t say anything anymore.

Show a little respect.

It breaks my heart to hear you think we set out to hurt you.

Why do you always bring up the past?

Where did I go wrong in parenting?

Why can’t you be more like your brother and sister?

I’ve done everything for you; I’ve given you everything.

I don’t remember that happening that way.

Are you sure your mom didn’t do that to you?

Calm Down.

You’re taking things the wrong way again!

It’s always something with you, isn’t it?

You’re putting words in my mouth.

You’re making things up.

You’re so ungrateful.

I’ve done everything for you, and you treat me like a piece of shit!

You’re being dramatic.

I provided you with a roof over your head, food in your mouth, clothes on your back, and toilet paper to wipe you’re a**! I gave you what you wanted (snacks and such) when you didn’t deserve it!

Don’t put words into my mouth.

You don’t know everything/I used to be arrogant too when I was your age.

I apparently can’t have any negative emotions!

I should have never encouraged you to speak.

I didn’t mean it like that.

You have a selective memory.

If you were paying attention…

If you were listening…

If you knew how to listen…

We talked about this. Don’t you remember?

I guess I’ll have to repeat myself since you can’t remember.

You need to learn to communicate better.

You’re being irrational.

Don’t you think you’re over-reacting?

You’re just over-sensitive.

Stop being so sensitive.

You’re too emotional.

You can’t take a joke.

You’re so thin-skinned.

You always jump to the wrong conclusion.

Stop taking everything I say so seriously.

Can you hear yourself?

I criticize you because I like you.

You’re the only person I have these problems with.

You’re reading too much into this.

I’m not arguing; I’m discussing.

I know what you’re thinking.

You should have known that this was not a good time to talk.

Why are you upset? I was only kidding.

Why would you think that? What does that say about you?

I had it much worse than you.

I only did it because of what you did/you do it.

It was just a joke.

You’re crazy. No one will believe you over me.

One day, you’ll understand when you get into the real world.

How much control do you want?!

Well, if you would just do what I tell you to do, we wouldn’t have this problem.

You need to learn to lighten up.

You’re so sensitive! How are you going to handle the real world?!

You’re being so emotional.

I don’t remember that/I don’t remember saying that.

Oh, come on, it’s not that big a deal. Why are you a big baby about this?

How much more [basic need/necessary resource] could you need?

You think you know everything and that you’re never wrong.

You always have to have the last word.

You only think that because you’re too [young/stupid/female/queer/etc.] to know any better.

I never said that! That’s not even something I would say…

I’m not sure why you’re so insecure or whatever your issues are…

I don’t know what’s wrong with you. Maybe because your mom, dad, and sister died, there’s something broken inside you……

I don’t know why you insist on relating to the person you say I am when I’m not that person…..

If anyone is abusive in this relationship, it’s you. You hit me once, did I ever hit you?…

You’re ruining the family by not following my lead….

Maybe you do need to get on some medication after all…

I’m a happy-go-lucky person, I’m easy to get along with, but you can’t live without drama……

What’s wrong with you? You just need to fight, don’t you? You just can’t be happy………

I don’t know who you think you’re relating to, but that guy you describe as me is not me……

You’re leading the family astray, just like Solomons’s pagan wives…..

A woman is commanded to submit to her husband, and you know that. I’m not telling you that. God tells you that…..

You have no respect for the Word of God. Don’t talk to me about the Bible….

I don’t understand if it’s a compréhension problem with you or if you’re just playing dumb……

Wait, wait, wait… You’re not trying to say that (…), are you?”

“I mean, EVERYONE knows that (…)!”

“Not sure what are you on but take my advice and halve the dose….”

“(…)? You must’ve been dreaming, haha!”

“Erm… is it me, or you just said (…)?”

“Are you shitting me?!”

“Don’t give me that shit….”

gaslighting phrases


We may all find ourselves saying some of those things at times. Those gaslighting phrases do not necessarily imply manipulation, though.

We may not be trying to deceive the other person with the intent to dodge accountability or distort their reality and confuse them. We maybe are genuinely confused or don’t know.

However, if I know something is accurate and even worse, I know you also know it to be accurate, but I play dumb or say those things to confuse you and question yourself, then it puts that person in the twilight zone.

It messes with their head. It distorts their sense of reality. It makes them question their sanity. That is creating a gaslighting effect.

Manipulation is a consequence of emotional immaturity and power imbalances. This is why we see a lot of manipulation with children. The personality-disordered pathological manipulators are emotionally immature as well.

There is also a complete power imbalance in romantic relationships with disordered people, with the victim having none.

This can sometimes lead the victim to resort to manipulation as self-defense. Intentions do matter as well.

Bad behavior is bad behavior that cannot be changed, but context and intentions will always be a factor in deciding a person’s blame for that bad behavior. In this case, the victim was being exploited.

There was a significant power struggle in the relationship, and the victim defended themselves by resorting to manipulation tactics.

How many of these gaslighting phrases have you heard in your relationships?

Comment below what other gaslighting phrases you have been told and they will be added to the list here to help others recognize the signs of gaslighting and emotional abuse.

Continue Reading About Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Helpful Resources

Recommended Reading

What Is Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

Emergency Numbers

Rape Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) is the nation’s largest organization fighting sexual violence: (800) 656-HOPE / (800) 810-7440 (TTY)

988 Mental Health Emergency Hotline: Calling 988 will connect you to a crisis counselor regardless of where you are in the United States.

911 Emergency

The National Runaway Safeline: 800-RUNAWAY (800-786-2929)

Self Abuse Finally Ends (S.A.F.E)

American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Trauma & Child Abuse Resource Center

Domestic Violence Shelters & Resources

Futures Without Violence

National Center for Victims of Crime

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

National Network to End Domestic Violence

National Sexual Violence Resource Center

Prevent Child Abuse America

Stalking Prevention, Awareness, and Resource Center (SPARC)

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) HelpLine: 1-800-950-NAMI, or text “HELPLINE” to 62640. Both services are available between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. ET, Monday–Friday

National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255); www.suicidepreventionlifeline.orgOr, just dial 988

Suicide Prevention, Awareness, and Support: www.suicide.org

Crisis Text Line: Text REASON to 741741 (free, confidential and 24/7). In English and Spanish

Self-Harm Hotline: 1-800-DONT CUT (1-800-366-8288)

Family Violence Helpline: 1-800-996-6228

American Association of Poison Control Centers: 1-800-222-1222

National Council on Alcoholism & Drug Dependency: 1-800-622-2255

LGBTQ Hotline: 1-888-843-4564

National Maternal Mental Health Hotline: 1-833-TLC-MAMA (1-833-852-6262)

The Trevor Project: 1-866-488-7386 or text “START” to 678678. Standard text messaging rates apply. Available 24/7/365. (Provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning—LGBTQ—young people under 25.)

The SAGE LGBT Elder Hotline connects LGBT older people and caretakers with friendly responders. 1-877-360-LGBT (5428)

The Trans Lifeline is staffed by transgender people for transgender people:
1-877-565-8860 (United States)
1-877-330-6366 (Canada)

Veterans Crisis Line: https://www.veteranscrisisline.net

International Suicide Prevention Directory: findahelpline.com

The StrongHearts Native Helpline is a confidential and anonymous culturally appropriate domestic violence and dating violence helpline for Native Americans, available every day from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. CT. Call 1-844-762-8483.

‘Find a Therapist’ Online Directories


UK & Republic of Ireland

  • Emergency: 112 or 999
  • Hotline: +44 (0) 8457 90 90 90 (UK – local rate)
  • Hotline: +44 (0) 8457 90 91 92 (UK minicom)
  • Hotline: 1850 60 90 90 (ROI – local rate)
  • Hotline: 1850 60 90 91 (ROI minicom)
  • YourLifeCounts.org: https://yourlifecounts.org/find-help/

86 thoughts on “50+ Crazy Gaslighting Phrases Narcissists Say – Direct from Survivors”

    1. When they say most of these things or all of them, they have a real problem. I have lived with a person who is this way over 35 years. If one attempts to leave, they tell you they will kill you and they mean it because they have physically hurt you very bad in the past.

    2. Karen Lorentzson

      Yes! Many people on both sides of the door say these thing! I definitely need to know how to be effective in communication skills which my abuser seems to think I never really listen , say daily over and over again for hours! Shifting guilt to you don’t listen or care. You are an ice queen and say this crap right before you have to go to work while they remain unemployed! I recommend always have a signed lease agreement with a roomie or even a partner prenup. So many predator’s out there who will be so charming until they get what they want and then continue drama and boohoo my life has been so hard and you never once reached out to me. WTF! Someone’s else happiness should not depend on someone else.!

    3. Narcs also have a tendency to declare everyone with a different opinion from theirs “stupid”. I don’t say the vast bulk of these things, even during arguments, because I’ve learned manners. For instance, instead of “Why are you letting something so petty come between us?” I say “I didn’t think it was a big deal, but it obviously is to you, so I won’t do that anymore.” If you have a partner who phrases things like that, yet you can’t, then you don’t deserve that partner. She would be wise to read this list and get away from you.

    4. You clearly don’t understand. It’s not just about the phrase, it’s about using the phrase to deny reality and place blame on the victim to avoid any accountability and maintain control of the victim.

    5. It’s teh amount of them said over and over again and how they are said. A a child my Dad’s old spice after shave would ‘disappear’ I had nothing to do with it, but I’d always get blamed for it. My dad was doing this on purpose to pit my sister against me and make her think that I was trying to make him angry by defying him. He’s also move around the brushes, tooth brushes, toothpaste, and stuff in the kitchen so he could yell at me about it when my older sister was there.
      He’d often say that my memory was bad and that I didn’t remember. He did these kind of things for years, even got the teachers on board, the family the doctors all so later on he could get me on SSDI and collect a god damn monthly check.

      I love him as a daughter, and also hate him and hope he’s spending some time burning in hell. It took me over ten years in therapy to partially heal and start to be a whole person.

      That’s just a small portion of the things he did.

      I remember talking with him about some idea I thought up. His reply was “You, have ideas?”
      What a nice thing for a dad to say to his daughter. (Screech out the you and make it very sarcastic.) Don’t even start me on what he did to my poor mother. :(

    1. Oh my goodness these are ridiculous. There are a handful of manipulative comments bit mostly they are just comments made in tense arguments.
      Not necessarily narcs.

      Things have to be said on life.
      Why don’t you offer an alternative in context?
      That might help people more.

        1. My Moms favorites are; ” everybody knows…
          I sacrificed everything for you!…you and your husband are crazy….everybody likes me…you know Ive never been hateful to anyone….they are my family now”

      1. Yes we all say some of these things.

        But when someone says it to manipulate it’s gaslighting.
        For example, my husband does it all the time. Today he used the phrase” oh o can never say anything. , then “ you are too sensitive” “ just get over it”. All this after he was rudely making fun of my disability in a store. Yep, he was manipulating and trying to make it my fault.

      2. I absolutely agree with you! I have said many of these things to my son whom I suspect may be suffering from BPD. He is often irrational, and will attack me with things that either did not happen or have been twisted to fit his account. I have learned to bite my tongue, not fire back, and understand that perhaps he cannot help himself when he says hurtful and untrue things-they still hurt my Mama heart because I love him

    2. Did it ever occure to anyone that praying for your loved one who has these traits is more helpful than pointing out faults that each of us has? Start looking within yourselves. None of us are perfect.

      1. Yes, on numerous occasions. Talk with my Priest. It has not helped one bit! When someone is this bad for such a long time, they will not change.

      2. You have obviously never dealt with a true narcissist or you are perhaps one yourself. It’s abuse. They are controlling, manipulative, lack empathy and never feel remorseful for anything they do. Emotionally stunted and entitled. Evil and intentional. Irresponsible and dismissive. Entitled, unable to make a real connection, and mine surely has a lie quota he must reach daily…..and these are not even his worst qualities. These “people” have no soul

      3. I can tell you right now, I have prayed for my husband. Every time he hit me, abused me, hit our children, abused our children , I know I’m not perfect , I also know I’m not cruel. I’m done praying for him, now I pray for my children and the damage inflicted upon them.
        You clearly are not reading correctly, these are not faults we are trying to live with. It is abuse
        FULL on abuse.
        Walk in my shoes …

      4. wow, you’ve obviously either 1) never been exposed to narcissistic abuse, or 2) are one yourself and don’t know.

  1. My exes favorite was “Get over it” . Meaning I wasn’t supposed to bring up any thing he did to me.

  2. How about “its no big deal” or “youre making things up in your head again” “psycho bitch” “where do you come up with these scenarios” “I did nothing wrong” “why do you always want to fight”? Heres more characteristics I believe. One minute mean and abusive. Five minutes (literally) sweet and acts like nothing happened. A few minutes later mean and abusive again in a cycle. Crazy making shit. Denial invalidation justify dismiss and blame.

    1. This is exactly what my husband. Son to be ex husband says to me. And he is like Jeykel & Hyde. So so true.

    1. But really read article to see what gaslighting is intss not saying some of these phrases . It’s using the phrases to manipulate .

  3. My ex broke my glasses so he could be with the side chic three doors down and say it was his hos daughter outside with him he had the nerve enough to have me walk to his parents house and stand in the rd so he could give something and kiss side chic on the lips and slap her ass with curtains wide open then tell me I thought I saw this that it was his daughter the were wrestling around that I was blind and beat me when I said I know what I saw. And that we were done. This was two months ago I moved he is still stalking,threating , trying to lie fighting me then calling cops on me saying it’s me when I try to get the rest of my stuff from what was once my house never his. So if your glasses are missing alot or get broke while missing or end up broke some were you didn’t put them best believe you have been gaslighted and the but honey I didn’t do that you know you can’t see and are blind when you don’t have your glasses on. That was my daughter I can’t believe you think that I would never do that to you I lbrookove you why are you doing this to us I love you you just don’t love me anymore your killing me over something you thought you saw bullshit is exactly what I just called it gaslighting bullshit.

  4. “As usual, Make me look like the bad guy”
    “I’ll tell you what happened, we both know you have a bad memory”
    “When I get to heaven I’m going to punch god in the face”

  5. If people say or do some of the things on the narc list and say “everybody does it” they are wrong. If you find yourself thinking the someone else in your life is “oversensitive” maybe YOU are the narcissist. Specifically if like labeling people that more often than not. I don’t know how many times I have had a nasty comment or had a vicious attitude change attributed to “having to look at you” from my ex only to be told by him “It was only a joke. Don’t be so damn sensitive.” Right. I am so glad he is gone. I am done . But the damage he did goes down to my soul.

  6. When I say “jump”, you say how high on the way up.
    I brought you into this world, and g-dammit, I can take you right out of it.
    Shut your mouth before I put my fist right into it.
    This again? You’re such a broken record.
    You never know when to quit.
    I’ll give you something to cry about.
    It’s my way or the highway.

  7. I’ve had years of “it’s your hormones” every time I didn’t agree with him, as well as many of the others in the list. That should definitely be on the list. When I reached menopause, he blamed that. I avoided bathing to avoid the sexual abuse. Left in September. Trying to protect son in court as he wants contact, son doesn’t. Abuse and gaslighting was so gradual. Still stressful now but hope to be free soon. Protecting son is priority.

    1. I’m in menopause and he calls me crazy and useless even though I’ve worked for 30 years full-time and raised 3 kids but he wanted me to stay home this last year. Now I’m a no good stupid B***h. I left last month, me & my daughter. I’ll never go back to that abuse. My daughter doesn’t need to see me upset all the time.

  8. Candy C Lancaster

    My mother made hurtful comments throughout my life such as “if you would only apply yourself you could be as smart as your sister” and “I can read you like a book”, ” I know you better than you know yourself!” “You’re gonna have to account for every word that comes out of your mouth!” “YOU have a sharp tongue!” and on and on and on. I really think she projected her insecurities onto me.

  9. My ex I left 10 years ago was a narc. He did all of the above. I wasnt allowed to work, have friends, mingle with family. After all these years it hurts to see the same personality in my son of 17.
    I did say to him that I have done everything for him in his life, but I get nothing in return. I didnt say that because I am the narc. I said that as a scream for helplessnes. Because he does nothing to show any respect towards me, calls me a whore even though I am a happily married woman. I can name a list of things he says, which are so untrue and manipulative. He has no friends at all, because they avoid him when they get to know him better. His girlfriends leave him because he threathens to kill himself if they dont do what he wants. It is with a heavy heart that a month ago he left my house to go live with his dad.
    This article only talks about narc parents or partners. But it starts with children.

    1. You are clearly the typical narc here. You just mentioned how you used phrases NARCs use to abuse their children. Furthermore, the person responsible for a bad parent to child relationship is the PARENT first.

      If you caused your child to lash out at you, it was by your own doing. Instead of blaming a literal CHILD, how about you look in the mirror stop with the cognitive dissonance.

      Fix your shit or don’t, but YOU are most likely the issue here and it’s disgusting that an abuser would come on here to try and get people to bandwagon on child abuse. Disgusting.

  10. I am only 19, and I was emotionally abused for over 6 months. He had no one. No parents, and I was trying to be a good friend but we used to date and when we broke up that’s when the intense emotional abuse happened. Here are some emotionally abusive things( most are gaslighting I think) I have had said to me while I
    was trying to be his close friend:

    – “Bc you were overthinking it” and “No you’re overthinking it”
    – “Yes you are. Keep the peace” -bc he ALWAYS insisted I was the one making things bigger than they were and causing fights
    – “U literally turned urself into a victim”
    – “See you’re doing it again. Playing Victim” and “And so you’re the victim the rest of your life”
    -” Bc I know deep down in your head you think I’m the full on bad guy”
    – ” I liked our friendship….but at the end of the day its gotta be over as usual”- always made me feel like the bad guy, especially when I tried to remove myself from the friendship
    -” You always want to kill it” “You always blame me” “You always [insert behavior]”
    -“Great thanks for ending things off emotion as usual.”
    -“Since we are such a bad friendship cut it off like you always do. No matter the great places we’ve been to and great memories we made. End it”
    -“It’s toxic. It’s toxic. Ig one night is enough to get blocked”
    -“Great now you’re gonna claim r8pe”
    -“Ig I’m just always the villain in these stories”
    – He says he doesn’t remember grabbing my A$$- I have had my memories messed with by him, but I remember as clear as day that he did this action. I don’t remember leading up things to it, just the action and what he said before the action.

    If you liked these please comment. I wanna help people escape toxicity quicker than I did.

  11. You are all about sex and money. I can never do anything right . That message was a year ago to that woman. You don’t know what you are talking about.

  12. andrew starling

    after 17 yrs of marriage,and years of depression.finally was told about talking therapies by my gp,had never heard of gaslighting apart from the street lights. i found it really hard to believe that my marriage had been controled all this time but the more i learnt the more it became clear i was being abused. what made it harder still is that i,m a bloke and shit like this just do,sent happen wrong it do,s. glad i found out,got oyt of the marriage and am making a new life.if you suspect your being gaslighted male or female dont question it cause if you think it you probably are.dont be afraid to seek help.

  13. I cant do nothing right in your eyes, im always wrong always….
    Or how about they ask you what is bothering you and as you start to talk they talk at the same time start to confuse you and you end up losing your cool and you get called a whiny b#tch…go ahead play the victim..you’re crazy you need help you need medicine not me…you’re always miserable..or they send you pictures with other females to you kissing and making jokes then come crying back in a week and blame it on drugs or them..promise to change and 3 days later your trash again and telling others how you cheated on them or gave them drugs left them to die in all reality that never happened..does things for others that they promised you and send you text messages making fun of you for it saying they hate your guts you make them sick and by evening come crying and tells you that you are nothing but a good time never did care

  14. I’m in menopause and he calls me crazy and useless even though I’ve worked for 30 years full-time and raised 3 kids but he wanted me to stay home this last year. Now I’m a no good stupid B***h. I left last month, me & my daughter. I’ll never go back to that abuse. My daughter doesn’t need to see me upset all the time.

  15. “You need to let the little things go”
    Little to them isn’t little to me, they seem to not realize that everyone perceives things differently.

  16. “You need to let the little things go”
    “Don’t sweat the small stuff”
    Little to them isn’t little to me, they seem to not realize that everyone perceives things differently.

  17. All of these, but I’ve been with him for over 14 years now. Just this morning he said that I was gaslighting when out of nowhere (I had JUsT got up and was making our daughters school lunch) that I was denying something? Then when I said what? What did I say or do? What did you ask me? (I had no idea what he was accusing me of he came from an overnight shift and we were joking around and everything and I thought when he said this),”your gaslighting ME” I joked and said, “no that’s your signature move”. And I asked if he even know what that means and I asked him what was it that I said or did that made him feel that way, every time I tried to ask (because I didn’t even know what he was talking about) he kept talking over me and than said,” see you do that you try to fake that you did anything”! I had just got up, he had just come home, he was fine until he was getting ready for bed. He came over and I was in t he kitchen, he was talking about our cats, he leaned against the kitchen doorframe, crossed his arms and then he accused me of something, I didn’t hear what he said, then he said the gaslighting remark after I asked what he was asking me. It’s always up and down with him. Every day, every night I have NO idea when he’s in a bad mood.(unless he’s laughing his face always looks blank, like at rest) so it’s hard to tell what and how he’s feeling. I’ve had to talk him down from getting upset with me when he “reads between the lines”. When I defend myself because I know he’s being unfair, unjust, or he’s just plain wrong, he says I’m being dramatic, that I’m forgetful, brings up stuff I’ve done the day before or that I always make him the bad guy. Now hear me out, I am the type of person that is happy and stays happy when the people I love are happy around me. I don’t cater to people because I have to, I love doing things for the people I love. If I get up I ask if they want a drink, going to the store I’ll ask if they need anything. If he’s in a bad mood I usually feel crumby etc etc and so on. Sometimes he’ll talk over me so much that I feel like I have to raise my voice over his, or that I’m forced to cut him off while he talks because he just doesn’t let me get a word in. Then in almost every disagreement, he talks so fast that he mixes me up and I forget what I was getting too, what my point was….then he always says “see, your just starting a fight for the sake of fighting”. ……I am his only friend. He has a great relationship with his brother, his mom(father deceased when my hubs was 21) his dad was also a drinker and moved a lot. My hubs used to basically have rule of his life at at least 8. My hubs also used to drink but hasn’t for years after finally kicking the habit.(he used to do drugs too the harder ones but stopped) I see him act this way with our daughter sometimes so I jump in to try an change the situation. It’s come tot he point that I’m so triggered that even if he’s reprimanding our daughter, but it’s a normal parental correction, I still feel like I have to jump in and defend our daughter…and of course because that time it’s a “normal” conversation, he uses it against me as proof that I always want to fight. He gets paranoid when I could be talking about how he’s doing. Me-“how was your sleep, did you eat breakfast yet?” Him-“ Why, why do you want to know?” And he’ll have this tone and give a face that’s seems like he’s ready to tell me off if I’m asking because I’m “hinting” at him be hangry or tired. When I just want to know how he is doing. He can be such a great dad and he’s done so much for himself and me. When we finally feel like life is going well (and yes I have verbally told my daughter and my hubs that hey it’s a good day today, no fighting, and he’ll agree) just….who says that? And I KNOW I’m not crazy, my daughter complains all the time that she can’t say anything in an unfair argument unless I intervene because he doesn’t listen to her.

    I am so confused and lost, I have no idea what to do (I can’t live on my own because I don’t have the money for it) he drives and i have suffered from panic attacks and also can’t afford a car so I bus everywhere or walk. I see my family of course my hubs never hits/or restraints me from friends or family, ever. I see his mom and brother a ton (good people I love them) he has seen my family (like stayed for longer than 30 mins) since our daughter was born maybe 6-8 times, In 14 years. He is either to tired from work, has a day off and works the next night so wants to do his thing, or just straight up doesn’t want to drive there(always a sore spot with me because my family is everything and they’ve ALWAYS been kind to him always) my sister has made a point of joking that she’ll eventually have to kidnap him from work and my dad has told me to tell him that he loves him and to say hello. I have had countless emails, texts and conversations with him where he will ADMIT that he’s being like this and that he will do better (and in some cases some things have been fixed so far, but others just show up after about a day or two) then it just goes back to the same thing over and over. I’ve cried, I’ve complained, I’ve gotten mad, I’ve pleaded…..I’ve even said I’d leave him if we did t seek counseling….he said he’s try since I have benefits that cover that kind of thing, and when I ask him for a few days that are best for him he just gets cranky with me that he’ll get to it. We haven’t been yet and it’s been three months or more since I brought it up. I can’t see myself leaving him because I DO love him. I know what he’s doing isn’t okay and I know how he sometimes talks to our kid isn’t okay. I have no idea what I’m supposed to do when you don’t like the person you love and feel like if you leave you’ll not only ruin something because of nothing or damage your kid and ruin her life. If you can get out while your young or old, the first signs you see LEAVE. Don’t get stuck like me, don’t feel like your the reason your partner treats you like crap. They may deep down want to change, but after 14 plus years I’ve seen very little progress towards me. Please find your safe space. ❤️

    1. You wouldn’t be leaving him for “nothing” you be leaving him because you don’t deserve to love someone who makes you feel any less than how you try to make them feel. He shouldn’t just want to do better he’s saying it’s not important enough to change and you are important. I hope u get the courage to walk away from him. You deserve better so does your daughter. By staying. You are teaching her that that’s what relationships look like and she’s going to find a guy that makes her feel that way too

    2. I am here if you want to talk. I feel like I’m going through something similar. I don’t know if it’s intentional or just some very bad decisions and poor judgement.
      I’m torn in between thinking that I had too much emotional baggage, and trauma from failing in a my previous 2 marriages.
      So anytime.. just write to me.

    3. Hi Amanda, I hear you. I really hear you! You are not alone, but you are clearly at the point of feeling like you are…. and that you might be gong crazy? I know, Ive been there. I have some advise based on experience if you would like to try it. I was given it and I took it and it worked. It was not easy and took a great deal of self restraint and quiet tears.
      No matter how much you may deny it, you are “enabling ” your husband to be like he is and you afraid/ or don’t know how to “stop” incase you end up alone??
      The harsh reality of your situation is to “stop enabling” or “leave the relationship”.
      He won’t change and you are enabling him to continue. You are fixing, finding, defending, etc etc.
      Talk to your daughter and get her on board with a plan to defuse him at every point. It is possible, but will take time and self confidence, but you CAN do it and it CAN work.
      So here’s what to do……..
      When bad situatons/arguments/misunderstanding start developing, YOU must calmly intercept and tell him that you are “stepping out for a bit, ….and will be back when you are feeling less frustrated by the situation” Turn off the stove, (or what ever you are doing?)and take some time out. Don’t argue or defend yourself or get angry or snappy or proceed with the conversation. “Defuse him” and the situaton by being calm. Make sure you let him know that you are frustrated and don’t want your frustration to accellerate into anger as you do not want any “drama” for either of you and tell him that you wll be back soon when you feel less frustrated. Kiss him on the way past and leave the room calmly. Come back when you feel better and let him know you are back. Smile and hug him if it’s appropriate. If he chooses to persist with the same argument/confrontation and be agressive ….do the same thing again. Be the better person, keep defusing him. YOur daughter needs to do the same thing…so as to create a common, non confontational defusion. By using this technique you are no longer “enabling” him.
      It’s not easy, but you and your daughter can both do it.
      Support each other on this point.
      He will hopefully get the message that he cannot “push your buttons” any more.
      You say he is non violent and that he loves you….so you have nothing to lose by trying.
      Im not defending his behaviour what so ever.
      If you choose to leave, you WILL survive in freedom, which is certainly easier than exsisting in confusion, self doubt and abuse.
      You cannot truly love anyone till you truly love yourself.
      Take care of yourself and time for yourself, stop doing EVERYTHING for him and allow him to have time alone. Look after your health and self asteem and seek professional help for yourself (even if he won’t go with you?) You are entitled to it. Look online. “Beyond Blue” is a great start. Ring them and chat, they will listen and give you advise. Don’t forget who you are….You are Amanda. :)

  18. The worst one for me was, being told, that never happened, I would of remembered that, then just be made out to be the crazy one, when you know 4 a fact what happened, and you know for a fact, they know too, just dont wanna admit to it.

  19. I was told, “Just because you don’t see my car it doesn’t mean it’s not there.”, when she was brought home by someone else. As if my own eyes aren’t seeing what is actually in front of them. Narcissists are just demons in carnate. You know who you are TRCS.

  20. I’ve been in an abusive relationship in the past, but didn’t encounter very much of this specific behavior. My problem now is it is coming from my boss at work. I used to love my job, but now I’m miserable. I don’t want to quit and let her win, but what can I do?

    1. if you want to stay you need to document EVERYTHING. Cover you tracks, don’t be late, get projects done on time. Don’t give your boss any reason to fire you. Don’t let them angerbyou or make you cry. They love to destroy a person. if that doesn’t work ( it probably won’t) then you need to find another job. these kind-of people never stop until they get what they want. good luck!

  21. Pingback: Im sorry that you think that… – BreZhen

  22. I live with a narcissistic person, but some if the phrases that are on this list would not always be attributed to a narcissist. Some if them are attributed to a victim. Do a little better reseach, because context matters and these phrases are disordered and taken out of context.

  23. To be honest, I am surprised at how many people claim this isn’t real and how ‘normal’ this is. This is not just speaking truth, or life. This is manipulation as psychological abuse. IF it is used around you, to you, or your actively manipulating people this way, just know this is not okay. the long term affects can be detrimental to your mental health.

    1. Yes, to live with someone like this has definitely put my self and our children in emotional confusion and stressful living situation.

  24. It’s offensive to read people say that only narc say these comments. Uhm, I’ve said a few of these comments to my abusive husband (he’s not physically abusive anymore, but the other abuse he has mastered). And I have a daughter and my own mother that are very cruel narcissists. And emotionally abusive. So, some of these statements ARE said to the ones that ARE abusing them also.

  25. Stop being aggressive ( when I’m.not being aggressive)
    When you hurt yourself (when I was hurt by them)
    Refusing to tAlk about a situation, instead answering with a question, or a silly, strange remark, or just plain ignoring
    WAlking past me when I am talking to him, behaving like he can’t see it hear me
    Saying, I’m doing this for you….
    Whatever he is choosing to do

    Leaving without saying goodbye
    Not letting (with our children) know where he is going or for how long

    Not responding to a call or text, all day long

    Saying he is ready, feeling better, we can come back, 5 days after he told me and me children to leave ‘his’ home

    Telling me he never wanted to……..(name the event that we, wife and children are looking forward to)

    You never….
    I’ve put up with your…… shouting, abuse (name something I don’t do, but he does in here) for years

    Your daughters are bad, just like you

    She deserved it
    She started it
    I didn’t do it
    Stop being aggressive
    Stop shouting at me
    When I am not shouting, I am questioning a situation that appeared dangerous

  26. It’s been 35 years of being with my husband and 34 years of physical abuse, emotional, mental, psychological, financial, and spiritual abuse and neglect. I am in my 50’s now. Everything is in my name, I’ve worked, gone to school, provided everything. He has barely worked and I’ve had his children. He cheated multiple times, lied, gaslighted and is narcissistic. I confronted him about cheating and he denied it, had a child with someone and then told me after the child was 9 years old. He is horrible to me and our children. Says he regrets being with me, calls me a piece of sh@! among other names and says he never wanted to lie but he knew I couldn’t handle the truth. Yes I met up with someone a couple of times literally through the years but never had an emotional or sexual relationship outside of my marriage or sexual when we were dating. I am called the liar and that I had to have been with someone especially with me knowing what he has done but I never have. Am I perfect of course not but I have not at all been like him. 11 years ago I became disabled and HS to stop working and are now collecting disability, he has made fun of my disability, said that I’m lying about what I go through even when there is proof. My advice to all dealing with these behaviors is to get out now, don’t waste your youth or your priceless time. You can never change these people. Loving them does not matter, you cannot help them you can only help yourself. I’m still trying to get out.

    1. Florence nightingale

      Praying that you have the strength to leave. I’m hoping to be out of here by the end of this year. My dog has passed away, I have paid off all my debt. No I am recovering from major surgery. After that I’m going to takeoff for several months and go travel to see friends. While I am gone I am going to tell him everything I know that he has been doing with his infidelity. And I’m going to give him the ultimatum of either selling the house and splitting the proceeds or he can buy me out. I really don’t care. As long as I don’t How to live under the same roof with him anymore. I think God for websites like this. I realize now I am not alone and it’s not me. It’s not me. It’s not us. It is them.

  27. My narc used to start a fight late at night and force me to stay up most of the night. Never apologized but would go buy me a piece of jewelry instead. Then he’d point out that I have everything because of him. I helped raise 9 kids. 3 are mine and the other 6 are from his side. I love those kids like my own, and he would not help me. . Some of them were difficult but it was worth it. We divorced 3 years ago and he has tried to give me “another chance” so many times .

  28. My Moms favorites are; ” everybody knows…
    I sacrificed everything for you!…you and your husband are crazy….everybody likes me…you know Ive never been hateful to anyone….they are my family now”

  29. In case you are wondering where the term, “Gaslighting” came from, a movie made in 1944 titled, “Gaslight” tells this story: After the death of her famous opera-singing aunt, Paula (Ingrid Bergman) is sent to study in Italy to become a great opera singer as well. While there, she falls in love with the charming Gregory Anton (Charles Boyer). The two return to London, and Paula begins to notice strange goings-on: missing pictures, strange footsteps in the night and gaslights that dim without being touched. As she fights to retain her sanity, her new husband’s intentions come into question. Anton tries to make Paula believe she’s losing it before she figures out what he doesn’t want her knowing. When one uses the term gaslighting in reference to another, they are comparing the person to Anton in the movie. It’s a good one too.

  30. Hi there, some of these phrases really took me back!
    I would add another one that my narcissistic boss used to use very often – “It is not what you said but how you said it.” He would trot it out every time I made a valid suggestion that he decided to kill, because he “did not like my tone.”
    they can be real jerks, can’t they?

  31. Yes. I have heard some of these things many times. I was corrected uncounted times about my bad car driving (in his opinion) and lots of other things. He is ADHD/Asperger and extremely impatient. And like one of the other ladies above, I don’t have the money to just walk out. However, I’m working on it. And if it is the last thing I do, I’ll get away from here.

  32. My fiance narc loves to say: “Nobody has ever felt my degree of pain’ ” I’m not as smart as you and your big words” ‘I can’t explain myself correct because I’m not as smart as you” “you know everything right!” ‘I’m not allowed to get mad and have feelings! “

  33. Florence nightingale

    This is my life. 20 years with this gaslighting narcissist. And I too thought he had Asperger syndrome. I see now that he cannot change. He has multiple accounts online with dating apps. He likes to expose himself, cheat on me, and do every other sort of deviant and dark thing because he is so in love with himself. He has said and done every single one of the classic symptoms. And yes I am the true victim. It wasn’t until a couple of friends who had the same problem in a relationship pointed these things out to me. I have been taking steps financially to get out of this relationship. Before the end of this year I will be gone. I feel sorry for him. I gave him everything gladly, but he did not want to receive it. He is the center of his own universe and I am merely incidental in his grand scheme of things.

  34. So want to say this to all the people that are reading this article and posting comments. Unfortunately we have all gathered in the same location because of one common element…we have been victims of mental and emotional abuse. Being a man…and I consider myself a mans man, I too have experienced the roller coaster ride from hell. Sometimes I wish physical abuse over mental abuse. I can take the physical pain, plus the scares are noticeably visible to all…where verbal, mental and emotional abuse show no physical scars. Physical wounds heal with time…but the mental and phycological wounds sometimes do not.
    With that said, I would like to tell the good ladies that are reading this that a man understands your pain, understands your hurt, understands your feeling of loneliness and frustration. That no matter how much you express your love and devotion to that F^*&ing s%^&bag, he will never change.
    To the guys out there, you are not alone. We also got suckered in by a level of devotion and affection and love like we never felt before. We got addicted to the power of the p&*sy and how it made us feel. And no matter what we do, we will do anything to get it back. Rejection sucks, just know you are not being rejected. Think of it like kicking a meth habit or a coke habit (I never have). But I am sure its the same…euphoria at the beginning, spiral of death for a long time, always looking for that euphoria feeling. Keep your head high everyone.

  35. I think I have an addition to the list. My roommate hasn’t cleaned anything in the shared apartment for over two months. When I mentioned the floors being dirty, they responded, “Just because you don’t see me [cleaning] doesn’t mean I’m not”. So they almost had me feeling guilty for doubting them, BUT I can count every Swiffer pad I have used and it’s the only floor cleaner we have. That’s how they manipulate our feelings. If someone tries to make you feel shame for something so basic, the gray rock needs to be placed!

  36. My boyfriend broke up with me after dating for good 4 years. Our love was so sweet because he was very loving and caring that i never thought we will ever breakup so i gave him all my heart. For Three months, he didn’t border to call or text me. On a faithful day as i was browsing online, i came across a testimony of how Dr. Moonlight helped someone get her ex back and so, i contacted him as well and told him my problem. To paraphrase everything, he brought him back to me and we are both living happily together right now. You can email him: moonlightspellhome@gmail.com if you need his help.

  37. Thank you for shedding light on gaslighting phrases. It’s important for people to recognize these behaviors and understand the harm they can cause.

  38. my partner has narc traits. Recently he was advising me to do something about a bad neighbour. He said: If you do not record this ‘ they’ will think you are a bat shit crazy old lady.” He has mentioned crazy and old before as if projecting his opinions on to me through another person or group. This way he uses 2 insults – crazy and old. All his exes are ‘ crazy’ too. Not going abroad now to marry him.

  39. Learning about these deceptive expressions is enlightening and empowering. Survivors sharing their stories and exposing these deceptive strategies is concerning and comforting at the same time. Since knowledge is power, this piece is a great tool for identifying and overcoming narcissistic gaslighting. Let’s keep encouraging one another and spreading the word about these harmful habits. I appreciate you bringing this important subject to light!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *