The blatantly lie to you, making you believe that you're the one who's wrong and forcing you to feel hopeless.
Have you ever felt completely powerless in a relationship, questioning what's happening to you and around you? Have you ever like you were losing your mind in a relationship but could never really understand why? It could be that you were in the presence of a narcissist or a toxic person who was trying to gaslight you into believing everything they said.
Gaslighting is a way for them to manipulate you into believing what they want you to believe. And it gives them the power to emotionally control you. If the following phrases sound familiar to you, here's what they probably meant.
A toxic person will have no boundaries when it comes to what they can and cannot say. They might say the meanest things to you just to weaken your self-esteem. And then they might ridicule you for genuinely feeling bad for what they said. It's their way of bringing you down and tiring you in the relationship. They say little things here and there, give you snarky comments, and slyly attack you to make you doubt yourself. What they are trying to do is take the control out of your hands and make them feel like they have the power in the relationship.
You might notice that they bring up the past constantly and start accusing you of things. But if you ever bring up the past, they will tell you that it's time for you to move on. They will never let you point out the mistakes that they have made and can never accept the consequences of their own actions. So, they tell you to stop dwelling in the past rather than bring up the faults in their behavior. Even if they say, "let it go" or "let's move on", it's only so that they convince you to relax for the moment, thinking that things will get better. But sooner or later, they are likely to repeat the same thing.
Spending too much time with a toxic person can actually make you question yourself and your sanity. In a report from the National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma & Mental Health and the National Domestic Violence Hotline, it was found that 85.7 percent of people found that a partner or ex-partner called them "crazy" while 73.8 percent of people felt like their partner or ex-partner had deliberately done things to make them feel like they were going crazy or losing their mind. Being with a toxic person can actually make you feel like something is wrong with you and not them.
They win, you lose. They are right and you are wrong. And that's always how things work for them. A narcissist is someone who has an extremely inflated ego that's actually very weak in nature. Not only will they never accept that it's their fault, but they will start saying things to make you believe that you're the one to blame. You might find yourself apologizing for things that you don't even feel sorry for, just because you're tired of arguing and can't stand the negativity anymore. You start giving up which is exactly what the toxic person wants you to do.
A toxic person will figure out the things in your life and the people in your life that are most important to you, and then they will start isolating you from them. They will start saying things about your friends and family, and even lie to you about them. They will say things to distance you from the people you love, until the only person you trust is the toxic person. Once they have isolated you from everyone else, they start manipulating you even more because they know you won't tell your loved ones about what's happening.
The very things that a toxic person should be feeling guilty about will suddenly become the things that they accuse you of. They might go through your phone to check your messages and they might keep tabs on who you're talking to. But if you ever ask them about why they are meeting their ex all of a sudden or why they have been coming home late at night for 2 weeks, they will start accusing you of being overly possessive over them for no reason. They cannot stand being questioned and they start projecting their own weaknesses on you.
Toxic people will try to make you stop believing in your own sense of reality and start making you believe theirs, forcing you to think that you're the reason for everything bad in the relationship. If you call them out for something or catch them doing something red-handed, they will twist the conversation, change the subject or say you're imagining things. Instead of responding to what you just asked them, they might bring other issues about you up and suddenly you find yourself feeling bad about something you haven't done.