Discover more from Self-Care Haven and Narcissism
Dating A Narcissist? 3 Things They Withhold to Gaslight You – And How To Reclaim Your Power
“Narcissistic and psychopathic individuals seek power and control over others. This is a driving force behind their exploitative behavior, and research indicates that they can engage in unprovoked bullying and aggression, instrumental aggression to achieve a goal, and reactive aggression toward others. Contrary to the myth that such manipulators are always operating from low self-esteem, grandiose narcissists and psychopaths tend to have high self-esteem, confidence, and even fearlessness. Some even take a sadistic joy in deliberately provoking others. It is no wonder, then, that their romantic partners can experience symptoms of PTSD due to the effects of their callous, exploitative traits and underhanded manipulation tactics.
During the initial stages of dating, a narcissistic or psychopathic individual will usually be on their “best behavior” and put on their most charming false mask to impress you. They are masters of impression management and positive first impressions. They will excessively flatter and praise you (a manipulative tactic known as love bombing) with constant attention, contact, and affection.
However, once their victims are hooked and sufficiently invested in the relationship, the false mask will start to dissipate, and the narcissist’s true self will emerge. This is when the period of abuse known as “devaluation” begins. During the devaluation phase of the relationship, the narcissist or psychopath will withhold the following three elements of the relationship to gaslight you into believing you are the problem.” - Shahida Arabi, MA