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Hey everyone, it's Dr. Romany and welcome back to this YouTube channel that takes on all kinds of topics related to narcissism, narcissistic abuse, and lots of things relevant to difficult and toxic relationships. It's my hope that this content will help you learn, cope, heal, and promote your understanding so you can make sense of these relationships. So now today we are going to talk about a form of gaslighting that you may not even have known was a form of gaslighting and yet I bet more than a few of you have experienced it. Ready? Okay, so let's take it from the top. Now just as a review in case some of you are new to this party, remember what gaslighting is.
It's a denial of the reality of another person and this can be actually denying events that occurred or behaviors that were engaged in or words that were said or it can just be an invalidation and denial of a person's emotions. Someone saying things like, you have no right to feel that way or you're being too sensitive. Now let's face it, you know this already. I have talked about gaslighting ad nauseam. I've written about it. I've done workshops on it, done videos on it, and most of you by now get it.
But this is the type of gaslighting that has been coming up more and more and I wish I'd pointed it out earlier as a form of gaslighting because it is. Most of you have experienced this too. It's actually a big contributor for why many people are stuck in gaslighted and narcissistic relationships. So let's tell it as a story. You know the scenario well. Behind closed doors in a narcissistic relationship it's invalidation, devaluation, manipulation, lying, criticism, anger, rage. But then you'll be with the narcissistic person with other people, with friends or family, a work event. And the narcissistic person in your life all of a sudden is the most charming, gracious person you have ever met.
The narcissistic person in your life remembers people's names, pulls people's chairs out, takes the hand of an older relative and helps them down the stairs. They pay the check for everyone. They compliment people. You feel as though you've gone through the looking glass into the matrix. You look at this narcissistic person and think, wait, this person's actually really great. I forgot. No, I really like them. Whoops. Ah, I'm actually married to them. Or I'm their child or whatever their relationship is to you. You're like, whoa, wow, they're great. And you say, oh, no, I was so wrong. They're cool. I'm always trying to sabotage things in my relationships. My standards are too high.
My partner, my husband, my wife, my parent, whoever this person is, I'm so lucky. I need to stop overthinking this relationship. And then just to confirm what you think, oh, I have such a great partner or something, your friends and your family, whoever, I'll tell you, you're so lucky. What manners, how nice. Then you go home. You're kind of feeling warm and fuzzy even in the car. And then the door closes when you get home. And the face looking at you isn't the same face of the person who pulled out a chair for an older relative or help someone down the stairs or picked up the check or complimented people.
The face the person now is unseeing, unempathetic and contemptuous or distracted. The warmth, the charm, poof, all gone. Now you're really confused. What is real? This back and forth. We had such a fun time at dinner. They're lying and manipulating me. But we laughed a lot at that movie. They're really criticizing and devaluing me a lot. That back and forth, that whiplash, it's the architecture of the narcissistic relationship. These relationships are always three steps forward, four steps back. But the cognitive dissonance means that you focus on the three steps forward and you don't notice with those four steps back, you are always falling behind one step at a time.
And it becomes easier to blame yourself than the relationship. But these big grandiose shows of generosity and solicitude in front of other people, especially other people who may matter to you, that may be one of the ultimate gaslights. Because now everyone is in on the delusion. People see the generous, helpful, solicitous, charming person. And because most people out there don't understand or recognize narcissism or gaslighting, they think you are the problem. And since there are many people out there who are experiencing narcissistic abuse can be anxious, sad, and self-doubting, people may actually view them, other people may actually view the person experiencing narcissistic abuse as the problem.
And the sunny narcissist is a saint for putting up for the negative Nellie who is complaining about this relationship. This is gaslighting. The narcissistic person who needs narcissistic supply is no fool. They often know that they need to put on a show to get supply. But narcissistic people are built to be interpersonal sprinters. They can only wear the mask of charm for so long before the exhaustion gets to them. And then they are back to being their malcontented and contemptuous selves. It's why that come down, that mask comes off as early as the car ride home. So in the end, many people think of this as a disconnect. They're a charmer in public.
They're a cruel manipulator at home. It's actually not a disconnect. The narcissistic person is doing what narcissistic personalities do, getting their supply in public and then getting rid of their tension and regulating their shame by attacking you. You the person who stimulates their shame because you got in too close. The narcissistic tendency to be dismissive and even disgusted by true intimacy, closeness, emotional depth and empathy in a relationship means that they are often contemptuous of those in their lives who need that closeness and intimacy like children or spouses. Narcissists can do the short term charm and charisma show for those who don't need them on the daily.
For example, people like extended family or colleagues and friends, they can put on the show for them. This dynamic may be most pronounced in intimate relationships, but if you grew up like this, you get it. The charming beloved parents in public who are actually cruel, invalidating and emotionally abusive in private. You were viewed then as the ingrate, the spoiled child in other people's eyes because you didn't see how great your parents were and your parents got their narcissistic supply from the world and then turn their children into emotional and sometimes physical punching bags they would use to regulate their tempers and their rage. It is an awful confusing way to grow up.
Now this cycle charming in public, abusive or mean in private is a profound gaslighting experience because it leaves people questioning their perception and their reality. It's why over time these relationships leave people so anxious, so confused, so full of self doubt, so helpless and so hopeless. And to people out there who are not in these relationships, but maybe have had that experience of your friend or someone close to you suffering in a relationship, but your experience has been of the grandiose public version of that person, recognize that this dichotomy is a thing and don't be one more gaslighter to the people in the world going through this.
Don't be the person who says, well, I don't see it because they're always so nice to me. Recognize that this is really a pattern, these two masks, these two faces and it really does harm to the people stuck in it. So this idea that somebody can be someone so different in public, so different with their friends, so different with other people and then show you an entirely different face is a very fundamental tenant of these relationships. It is also a form of gaslighting because your reality is tested. You're like, okay, this person is not nice. This is not a healthy relationship. Boom.
You're out in the world with other people and they're the most charming person ever because not only does it confuse you to see them being like that, it also can really cut out the amount of support you can get because other people actually really fall for it. It's amazing how many people can be bought off by someone picking up the check after a meal, but people see the generosity. They see the warmth. They see the friendliness and they assume it's you who has the problem because it's because you know narcissistic abuse shrinks us, makes us small, it makes us anxious, it makes us almost afraid of the world in some ways.
People see us as shrinking violets and they think, ugh, this narcissist is so charming. No wonder they don't like this relationship. Who wants to be with that anxious person? I am putting this information out there because people need to understand these masks that people wear so they can understand that if your friend comes to you and says, what you're seeing out here is not what's happening at home, that this isn't your friend being out in left field. Listen to them because this dual life, this very confused, Jekyll and Hyde frankly, that's the life many people going through narcissistic abuse go through and it is nothing but gaslighting, which is why you so often feel confused and upside down.
I hope that clarifies that dynamic. Thank you again. .