Intentional gaslighting is not projecting. People who have experienced living with or being targeted by an angry person with a Cluster B personality disorder know the difference. The signs are easy to spot. A narcissistic person who chooses to lie both to and about their targeted victim with an intent to cause confusion, harm, or to cause the target to experience extreme reactions to them by shocking their sense of moral propriety is not the same sort of average Joe Blow who presumes that because he hates a certain race or religion that everyone he makes caustic jokes about will perceive him as witty, clever, or funny. Are both morally reprehensible in their own way? Get ready for a shock because the most likely answer is NOT.
Someone who projects — presumes. That’s an intellectual and moral miscalculation of a more innocent and naive sort. People who project assume that other people have the same heart, mind, and situational ethics they do. People with a dark heart or toxic mind will presume others see them as antagonistic and dangerous rivals. People guilty of something called “reverse projection” are good people who make the culturally encouraged mistake to assume other humans have a heart even half as good as theirs, giving even the most devious and calculating of known predators the benefit of the doubt as an act of faith, mercy, and demonstrable good will.
People who are predators by nature encourage targets they see as “narcissistic supply sources” (rather than as equals or prospectively stronger abusive characters) to enable abuse by overtly overlooking the bad in favor of promoting magical thinking. They predator teaches children who display the ability to experience empathy how to actively support an abuser as an Enabler.
Magical thinking is telling a victim an abuser “means well” or “only wants what’s best for [the child, the family, society at large, whomever]. Magical thinking is the result of a role model, “mentor/friend”, or primary care giver telling a Narcissistic Abuse victim to trivialize and marginalize their own sanity by overlooking abuse in favor of believing that a person who treated them badly or harmed them in some way should not be held morally, legally, or ethically accountable for negligence or accosting actions.
In order for there to be a moral judgment made about any given human social interaction or intellectual component, there must be an element of choice and awareness present. In the case of the gaslighting professional, not only do they know full well from a common sense perspective they should not be believed if their advice or opinion is illogical. These jokers and manipulative “assclowns” betray the trust and social compact they have with every single person they know, love, like, care for, come into contact with, need, use, or themselves rely on to trust.
By deliberate and willful misrepresentation of the truth, they misrepresent facts to their targets. Whether they are lying on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter to gain attention or con people into giving them attention and/or false praise, they bring moral action into the equation in a way even the most boorish of bigots seldom (if ever) does.
Learning to recognize gaslighting attempts is a lifetime goal of most Narcissistic Abuse survivors — especially for those who were raised by narcissistic parents they (as children and as adult children) have grown up witnessing their “loving parents” do to everybody.
Narcissistic parents who lie to and about their friends and/or family, who lie to protect themselves from authority figures when and if they are truly guilty and by all moral right should be held up to the eyes of scrutiny with regard to their own criminal intent, breaking the ten commandments, screwing up in the eyes of the Flying Spaghetti Monster creator, whatever…
These. These are the children of a loving God, not one who is wrathful, judges, lies, tests, shames, denies, blame-shifts responsibility or punishes.
Gaslighting — telling a falsehood or partial truth in order to psychologically and emotionally manipulate a target for personal gain, sport, or idle amusement is a morally reprehensible act. It seldom helps the target improve their life in any way in spite of what the gaslighting abuser tells them. Victims who fall for the ploys and are duped by a narcissistic person’s shady-intention gain are moral agents of sorts, but simply in the sitting-on-the-bench-while-wearing-the-team-uniform sort of way.
Magical thinking is taught to adults and children who truly believe that a God or creator is willing to overlook the worst of human nature from a cause and effect perspective, averting natural consequences for immoral (meaning socially destructive) actions. It’s going to church faithfully every Sunday and saying your prayers the coming home and lying to your husband, wife, family, friends, or children with the expectation that having been baptized once is going to not only get you into “heaven” at the exclusion of all others who you don’t like socially spending time with, but that somehow tithing money to a church or winging out a few Hail Mary passes is going to in any way, shape, or form dupe a sentient higher power into believing you have lived your life as a GOOD or otherwise moral person.
Children who grow up with alcoholic parents. Children born from the loins of lushes, people who are self-indulgent, or are drug abusers. People who are from the moment of conception forward betrayed by angry, abusive, or absentee fathers. Or those held emotionally hostage, bonded by trauma to irrational and angry mothers.
These are just a few of the types of people who — in an attempt to save face, faith, and humanity from the home-front, hearth out…
These are the people who, for whatever reason are lied to from birth, being told butt-loads of crap and nonsensical garbage about the way life, ethics, and morals WORK.
Parents who teach their children that morals are relative without discussing the very real existence of situationally appropriate ethics ABUSE THEIR CHILDREN. Neglectful parenting includes teaching any child (whether by role model or overt interaction) that it is okay for mommy to lie but not the child set the child up for abject moral failure in adulthood.
People who believe lies they are told — or who believe they are doing something right even when they are wrong in the eventually “she’ll learn” or the “he will just have to figure it out on his own eventually” sense are simply not the same level of moral actor in the cosmic equation. They are, for lack of a better term, the “stoop kids” of the universe — never leaving home intellectually or striving to reach out and connect the dots of human relative perspective both unprovoked and on their own.
Stoop kids will stoop to whatever level their parents and immediate familiars encourage them to do. Racist parents? To seek their approval, a child of toxicity will wave the Confederate flag proudly to date. Religious bigot? “Can we get an amen?” they say when it comes time to teach their own children the values of xenophobia, fear, repression of human rights, the glorification of entitlement-based thinking, and… once again… supporting the active promotion of terminal thinking by intellectually, emotionally, and consciously embracing a culture that actively promotes and teaches hate.
Are the children of such social enclaves morally responsible for what they say while sitting in church spouting caste ostracizing epithets rather than out in the community walking the path of a Mother Theresa? No. That’s why it’s such a problem.
Once children of such malevolent and misfit adults become children who follow in the footsteps of the first “sinner” (meaning only the first provocateur who pushed the first domino), they themselves are karmically and ethically liable for their own actions. A parent who joins a church for the right reason can leave a church if parishioners and pastor are sharing moral life lessons that are toxic without failing to be either a moral actor or a religious enthusiast.
If you are a person of faith, for instance, who suspects that teaching evolution to children while also sharing the history of Christianity, it is morally and ethically possible to give credit to both science and religion for shaping present day, mindful, contemporary jurisprudence. For instance, the 10 Commandments, when exempted from religious connotation, are smart, common-sensical habits to encourage be followed by a citizen in both personal and public social engagements.
The short form of ethical laws premises that have been codified into most American legislation was — based on the trending religious and moral precepts most common in the original 13 colonies are, were, and remain based on the following concepts. When read in a philosophical context, the translations are roughly (in modern pop culture history) most readily assimilated as ethical concepts by even the youngest of elementary school-aged children as follows:
- You shall have no other gods before Me. = If you are going to pick a God to follow, let’s follow the biggest, best, and most powerful one and strive to emulate
- You shall not make idols. = Celebrity worship or following people around who seem to think they are outside the scope of moral laws are bad role models to worship or follow around and copy, m’kay?
- You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain. = Watch your mouth and mind your manners; show respect and deference to all you meet because, after all, God might be playing skee ball in the guise of a homeless man in New Jersey when and if you fail to act humble and fail to show him civil respect, care, concern, or mercy. [Thank you for explaining that dogmatic concept to people, Kevin Smith — we think the movie Dogma was brilliant, BTW].
- Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. = Set aside time each day or week to rest, reflect, and appreciate EVERYTHING.
- Honor your father and your mother. = Grow up and be a better person; bring honor to your bloodline (not take a bunch of shitty abuse from a monster who self-promotes, uses, and actively abuses you in every way.
- You shall not murder. = Situational ethics MATTER — never harm other people in any way, shape, or form in haste.
- You shall not commit adultery. = If you are married, show your partner enough respect to STOP SLEEPING WITH THEM IF YOU HAVE HAD AFFAIRS WITH OTHER PEOPLE; lying to your spouse, best friend, and lifemate in order to successfully remain in the relationship and preserve their image of you is not in any way, shape, or form okay.
- You shall not steal. = Hello? Hello out there? Stealing includes wasting other people’s time and life force energy, not just things.
- You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. = Lying to manipulate other people’s feelings about a situation or to hide, obscure, or omit pertinent, relevant, and factual truths is morally wrong whether a person gets caught doing it by other humans or not; lying is bad form, unless you are playing poker or some other truth-defying sport-rivalry-promoting, ultimately anti-social ethics promoting card game.
- You shall not covet. = Covet, schmoveit… if you aspire to acquire without being willing to go through the motions of achieving — using con artist tactics, deception, and or covetous-based trickery to obtain status elevation or personal gain in any way, it is not going to matter who you impress; houses of cards built on shifting sand collapse.
Understanding that toxic parents set poor role models for children by behaving in selfish ways that are disrespectful not only to broader society but are also caustic aggression around friends, co-workers, love interests, and family, adult children of narcy people are put from birth into a bind of purely logical design. One inevitably comes to the conclusion that in order to break the cycle of Narcissistic Abuse, one most assume personal responsibility for not only their own actions but for speaking up for the rights of others.
Because to do anything less is immoral. And guess what?
Only people who are narcissistic by nature nurture others to never bother to take the time.
One is morally responsible. The other becomes so as chronological age progresses and families add members with various and sundry new personalities peppered and strung out along both skewed and linear encapsulations of genetic safe-harbors (affectionately known as lifetimes of incarnations along a time line).
Malignant Narcissism and Anti-Social personality tendencies are illuminated by gaslighting shine. Abuse amnesia or paying off a congregation to show you moral support and social favor for ethical crime is a lousy way to pay to play.
Intentional gaslighting is not projecting. People who have experienced living with or being targeted by an angry person with a Cluster B personality disorder know the difference. If you want to know who wins when and if a person projects or gaslights, the answer is no one.
The only “winner” in an ethical game of sport and deception that includes a player role with the chance of being traumatized physically, psychologically, morally, ethically, socially, logically, or emotionally is the person who actively refuses to engage. People who gaslight are Abusers; people who listened to anything that comes out of their mouth make the decision to do so from the age of moral and ethical responsibility.
If a child is both HSP or is an Empath, the age of moral authority comes early. Most other kids? By or before the age of 12, most figure out the difference between right and wrong and lean towards striving for the good most days.