Narcissist Gaslighting Checklist

Narcissist Gaslighting Checklist: 9 Obvious Signs

Share It!

Gaslighting is the most favoured technique, used by narcissists and manipulators, to psychologically abuse their victims.

The purpose of gaslighting is the confuse and exhaust the victim into a place where they’ve got so much self-doubt and so little confidence that they are putty in the narcissist’s hands. From there, the narcissist can rewrite the storyline to suit their agenda and evade all accountability for their atrocious behaviour.

When a narcissist is gaslighting, they are able to paint themselves as either the hero or the victim (whichever best suits their agenda). It always comes down to them feeding their ego’s fantasy version of reality, whereby they believe themselves to be perfect, superior and beyond reproach.

The narcissist gaslighting checklist will help you identify exactly who you’re dealing with so that you can educate yourself and protect yourself from their abuse.

This post contains affiliate links, for more information, see our disclosures here.

Narcissist Gaslighting Checklist

Gaslighting, Confusion

Here are the common narcissist gaslighting checklist signs to look out for when deciphering narcissistic versus normal behaviours.


Countering is where the narcissist firmly opposes details of things that have happened.

When a someone consistently opposes your recall of events or conversations, it leaves you questioning your own memory and reality. You begin to wonder if there’s something wrong with you or your mental state, since it seems to keep happening, over and over again.

The narcissist will be so confident in their own version of events that they will sometimes even go as far as painting specific details. The result is that they can easily gaslight you into believing that their memory is correct, while yours isn’t.

Examples of Countering:

  • “You have such a terrible memory.”
  • “It didn’t happen like that at all.”
  • “You’re just imagining things.”
  • “My memory is perfect.”
  • “You’re always off with the fairies.”

DENYING Conversations & Events

Denial is where the narcissist literally denies entire conversations, events and details.

They will claim that you just make things up and that they never said or did that. No matter how clear your memory is of things or even what evidence you present to support your memory, the narcissist will flat out deny, deny, deny.

Through consistent denial, your ability to trust your own judgements and memory erodes over time. The narcissist is more easily able to gain the upper hand by rewriting the script to suit their agenda.

Denial is at the core of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). Their entire False Self and delusional reality is based on an inversion of truth and denial of anything that tarnishes their perfect image of themselves.

Examples of Denying:

  • “I never said that. You just make this up as you go along.”
  • “That never happened.”
  • “I wasn’t there.”
  • “I never did that.”
  • “This is the first time I’m hearing about it.”

WITHHOLDING Conversation & Affection

Withholding is where the narcissist will intentionally disengage from communication, affection or acts of service as a way to punish.

The most famous form of narcissist withholding is when they dish out the silent treatment. This is where they either refuse to enter a conversation with you or they completely ignore your existence as a human being.

This point on the narcissist gaslighting checklist plays a major part in creating a trauma bond. This is where the narcissist programs their victim to be their willing and loyal servant through intermittent punishments and rewards.

Every time the narcissist punishes (withholds), their victim falls into an intense state of anxiety. It’s not until the narcissist delivers the reward (giving back of whatever they withheld) that the victim is able to feel relief. You can read all about trauma bonds below.

READ: 7 Trauma Bond Stages Explained

Examples of Withholding:

  • Silent treatment
  • Pulling away when you try to engage with them
  • Slamming doors
  • Walking out mid-conversation so you can’t give your side of the story
  • Disappearing for hours or even days on end
  • Acting as though you don’t exist


Next in the narcissist gaslighting checklist is invalidation. This is where the narcissist totally disregards and downplays your feelings or concerns, despite them being completely valid.

The underlying tactic for the narcissist’s invalidations is to belittle you and reiterate that your feelings and concerns are unimportant. The narcissist needs to program you into believing that the only important person in the room is them, not you. This is a devious way for them to validate their false reality back to themselves of being superior and above all others.

Examples of Invalidating:

  • “God, you’re so sensitive!”
  • “It was just a joke. Get over it.”
  • “Why do you always have to turn little things into huge issues?”
  • “There’s nothing wrong with you, stop being so needy.”
  • “You always have to be the victim, don’t you?”
Levelling, Manipulation


Diverting is where the narcissist changes the subject and flips the script back onto you or someone else to avoid accountability.

Narcissists are masters at shifting the focus either onto themselves or away from themselves, whichever works best for them in that moment. When it comes to gaslighting or getting away with something, they can divert the focus away from themselves with the click of a finger.

If you start by pointing out something that the narcissist has done, they will blame you for the very things that they’re doing before you even have time to finish your sentence.

They will then take you down a rabbit warren of conversation topics so that you end up so far from the original issue, you can’t even remember what you were talking about. You’ll be so busy trying to defend yourself against the narcissist’s false accusations and things from the past, that you end up completely worn out and admitting defeat through sheer exhaustion.

Examples of Diverting:

  • “Why are you being so defensive?”
  • “If you didn’t make me so angry, I wouldn’t have to swear at you.”
  • “I’m not arguing, I’m just having a discussion.”
  • “So, now you’re calling me a liar?”
  • “Because you’re just perfect, aren’t you! What about the time you did…”

LYING to Rewrite the Storyline

Narcissists are pathological liars, meaning that they lie compulsively to gain sympathy or social status, and to protect their False Self’s delusions of grandeur and superiority. In addition, narcissists lie to gaslight their victim’s so that they can rewrite the script and mess with their victims psychological state.

Examples of Lying:

  • Exaggerating their achievements & successes
  • Saying they love you so that you’ll lower your boundaries
  • Lying about details to get away with things
  • Lying about details to destabilise your reality & memory
  • Falsely depicting themselves as either the hero or victim

Get the FREE Red Flag & Gaslighting Checklists when you join the email community!

GENERALISING to Invalidate

Generalising is where a narcissist uses stereotypes and blanket statements to invalidate. They’ll come out with things like, “All you women are the same!”

When you get thrown into an entire group of people and invalidated for it by the narcissist, they are discrediting you as a human being.

They’re blaming a whole culture, gender, belief or even a false conclusion of you as a way of putting you down. And since you’re probably always going to be a part of that minority or group, there’s no way you can redeem yourself in the narcissist’s eyes, no matter how much you protest or show evidence to the contrary.

Generalising can also work the other way where the narcissist props themselves up and inflates their false image by claiming good traits of others as their own.

Examples of Generalising:

  • “All you men/ women are the same.”
  • “You have intimacy issues.”
  • “It’s because I’m such an amazing Dad/ Mum/ Partner/ Employee.”
  • “Everyone agrees with me.”
  • “You’d be nothing without me.”


The most dangerous way that any narcissist is able to control their victims is by using their trigger points against them. This is dead giveaway when checking off signs on the narcissist gaslighting checklist.

Any person who cares about you and has a conscience does not set out to deliberately hurt you. But a narcissist will do it every day of the week.

The narcissist works out pretty early on what your deep emotional wounds are and they will pull out that ammunition at exactly the right moment in order to control you.

Examples of Weaponising Wounds:

  • The narcissist knows you desperately want to have children, but every time you don’t comply with whatever their demands are, they threaten to get a vasectomy or say that you’d make an awful parent.
  • The narcissist knows your father abandoned you as a child, so whenever they need to regain the power they pull the, “I’ll just leave then,” card.
  • The narcissist is aware of your lack of confidence in a hobby, yet they make belittling ‘jokes’ just to drive your insecurities deeper.

This gaslighting technique works to chip away at your self-worth and hold power over you by using your fears against you. Effectively, the narcissist is giving you an ultimatum. Either you do what they want, or they’ll make your biggest fears come true.


In the narcissist’s reality, there are only ever two possible roles that you can play.

First is the ‘Enabler,’ which is when you go along with the narcissist’s warped reality, no questions asked. This role reflects back to the narcissist their belief in being superior, amazing, perfect and entitled.

If you do not play the first role well enough, you will be thrown into the second role, which is the ‘Perpetrator.’ This is where the narcissist’s False Self views you as the one who’s doing all of the bad things, while they are the poor victim at your cruel hands.

Narcissist's Reality - Inverted Triangle

Yep, the narcissist genuinely believes that if you don’t go along with their delusional reality, then you are the abusive one.

The easiest way that narcissists are able control these roles is to gaslight you into believing that they’re the poor victim if they’re unable to be the hero.

In other words, if the narcissist is slighted in any way (whether real or perceived) or anyone tries to hold them accountable for their behaviour, they are no longer able to be the ‘hero.’ Therefore the narcissist will immediately flip into being the ‘victim’ as a way of evading responsibility.

The narcissist will throw the biggest pity party of the year in order to gaslight their victims into feeling sorry for them. Through this, they can twist the storyline around, avoid accountability and receive copious amounts of attention (narcissistic supply). Meanwhile, you somehow find yourself apologising for something you’re pretty sure you’ve never even done. 10 points to the narcissist.

READ: Why Narcissists REALLY Cry

▶️ VIDEO: 9 Narcissist Gaslighting Techniques

Line Break

How to Deal with a Gaslighting Narcissist

If you’re pretty certain that you’re dealing with a narc after having gone through the narcissist gaslighting checklist, then it’s time to arm yourself with a plan.

Don’t Try to Reason With Them

As tempting as it may be, don’t fall into the trap of trying to reason with the narcissist or get them to understand the damaging effects of what they’re doing.

The narcissist knows full well what they’re doing, but the absence of a conscience means that they simply do not care.

Anyone with NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder) has it for life. They will spend all of their days chasing attention and validation to prop up their False Self and fantasy delusion. If you attempt to show them evidence that goes against that, they will seek to annihilate you at all costs. It doesn’t matter to them who you are (family, friend or partner), you will make yourself Public Enemy #1.

Narcissist Baiting

Avoid Taking the Bait

Now that you’ve got an understanding of what the narcissist is doing and why they’re doing it, you must now start practicing detachment.

Do not take the narcissist’s bait by trying to defend yourself, apologise for something you haven’t done or even engage in long-winded conversations. Keep your communication short, pleasant and factual.

If and when the narcissist starts to come at you with anger, accusations and manipulations, make excuses to exit as much as possible.

The narcissist will start to lose it once they realise they’re losing their power over you.

Stay strong and remind yourself that the narcissist is not your responsibility. They’re a fully-grown adult who needs to be responsible for themselves.

Find Support

One of the trademarks of being gaslighted is losing your sense of self along with what’s real.

It’s important to find someone who you trust and can talk honestly to about the gaslighting. Having someone outside of the foggy haze of the abuse will be invaluable in gaining a healthy perspective on reality and the narcissist.

Support can be a close friend or family member who’s not enmeshed with the narcissist in any way. It could be a therapist or even an online community who understand what you’re going through.

Plan Your Escape

While you must accept the truth that this is who the narcissist truly is, it doesn’t mean that you need to be their emotional dumping ground any more.

The only true way to deal with a gaslighting narcissist is to extract yourself from them and remove them from your life. While this is not always possible, if you can make a plan to do this, it will be to your soul’s benefit.

If you’re dealing with a narcissistic coworker or partner, you may need to build your finances and stability first in order to safely escape. Remember to document everything and plan your exit quietly.

If you’re worried about the physical safety of you or anyone else involved, please do not hesitate to gain help from the authorities or have a support person present with you.

READ: 12 Stages of Leaving a Narc

Self-care & Healing

Once you’ve gotten your physical situation sorted, it’s time to focus on your healing.

The narcissist worked slowly and subtly to erode your confidence, self-worth and even your ability to trust yourself. Self-care is not just a nice thing to do, it’s imperative to settle and regulate your nervous system.

After being abused and riding the rollercoaster intense anxiety, it’s not unusual to come out the other side with adrenal fatigue, depression, C-PTSD and other health issues.

Find some daily self-care rituals that feed your soul, build your sense of self and bring you peace after so much turmoil.

Once you’ve had time to catch your breath, you will also need to prioritise the deep healing of your inner wounds. Remember, it was through those insecurities and fears that the narcissist was able to manipulate you with in the first place.

The healing journey can be a long and beautiful process where you finally get to piece yourself back together, build your strength and never fall prey to narcissistic behaviour again.

Posts About Gaslighting

Selina Hill Energetic Healing

Energetic Healing from
Narcissistic Abuse

If you’ve tried everything to heal but still can’t shift things, it might be time to call in the spiritual realm.

✭ Removal of stuck energy
✭ Removal of old traumas & memories
✭ Past Life Regression
✭ Understanding your journey & how it’s shaped you
✭ Loving & non-judgemental guidance
✭ Psychic mediumship
✭ Ask your guides questions & get direct answers

10% OFF Code ‘UNMASK →

Pin It

Narcissist Gaslighting Checklist - PIN
Narcissist Gaslighting Checklist - PIN

Share It!

Leave a Comment

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

Scroll to Top