Gaslighting and FOG: Narcissism in the Pandemic

Sunday morning thoughts (okay not random this time, inspired from a conversation I had with a loved one recently xoxo ).

Have you had a toxic narcissist in your life? If so, you know the signs to watch for and you can spot them a mile away.

And you will stay as far as possible from that person.

Because there’s one thing you’ve learned through that painful part of your life: the only way to emotionally, mentally, and in some cases physically survive from the affronts of a toxic narcissist is to extirpate yourself entirely from their lives.

The reason I am bringing this up is because in such uncertain times of covid-19, I’m thinking that toxic narcissists are going to act out, weaponize the situation to manipulate, lie, accuse, gaslight. Don’t let them throw you off.

More specifically, observe the leaders in charge of managing and communicating covid-19 pandemic public health policies. What behaviors are you witnessing? If the leader makes you feel confused, unsure of your own capacity to understand the situation…dig further…what else are you noticing.

The article below did a great job itemizing the range of tactics the toxic narcissist will use. There are many checklists out there but this particular one really resonated with me (I wish it didn’t but I hope my experience will at least help any of you currently confused by the FOG of covid-19).

Important note: those behaviors need to be consistent day after day. We all have our low moments of self absorption: those incidental lapses of judgement do not count.

So here goes. Source of article is provided below but summary right here for your review:

Verbal abuse: includes belittling, bullying, accusing, blaming, shaming, demanding, ordering, threatening, criticizing, sarcasm, raging, opposing, undermining, interrupting, blocking, and name-calling. Consider the context, malice, and frequency of the behavior before labeling it narcissistic abuse.

Manipulation: Generally, manipulation is indirect influence on someone to behave in a way that furthers the goals of the manipulator.

Emotional blackmail: Emotional blackmail may include threats, anger, warnings, intimidation, or punishment. It’s a form of manipulation that provokes doubt in you. You feel fear, obligation, and or guilt, sometimes referred to as “FOG”

Gaslighting: Intentionally making you distrust your perceptions of reality or believe that you’re mentally incompetent.

Competition: Competing and one-upping to always be on top, sometimes through unethical means. E.g. cheating in a game.

Negative contrasting: Unnecessarily making comparisons to negatively contrast you with the narcissist or other people.

Sabotage: Disruptive interference with your endeavors or relationships for the purpose of revenge or personal advantage.

Lying: Persistent deception to avoid responsibility or to achieve the narcissist’s own ends.

Withholding: Withholding such things as money, sex, communication or affection from you.

Neglect: Ignoring the needs of a child for whom the abuser is responsible. Includes child endangerment; i.e., placing or leaving a child in a dangerous situation.

Privacy invasion: Ignoring your boundaries by looking through your things, phone, mail; denying your physical privacy or stalking or following you; ignoring privacy you’ve requested.

Character assassination or slander: Spreading malicious gossip or lies about you to other people.

Violence:This includes blocking your movement, pulling hair, throwing things, or destroying your property.

Financial abuse: Financial abuse might include controlling you through economic domination or draining your finances through extortion, theft, manipulation, or gambling, or by accruing debt in your name or selling your personal property.

Isolation: Isolating you from friends, family, or access to outside services and support through control, manipulation, verbal abuse, character assassination, or other means of abuse.