NEUTRALIZING NARCISSISM

Unveiling the Impact of Cognitive Dissonance in Narcissistic Abuse: How Narcissists Create Confusion and Uncertainty to Control Their Victims

Recognizing and Combating the Techniques of Gaslighting and Manipulation

Mark Randall Havens
5 min readJan 13, 2023

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This article explores the concept of cognitive dissonance and how it is used in narcissistic abuse. It delves into the ways in which narcissists use techniques such as gaslighting and manipulation to create confusion and uncertainty in their victims, in order to maintain control over them. Photo by Maria Lysenko on Unsplash.

Have you ever felt like your own understanding of reality was being challenged and distorted? You may be experiencing cognitive dissonance, a mental state that can be triggered by narcissistic abuse.

Introduction

Cognitive dissonance is a potent weapon that narcissists use to retain control over their victims. Narcissists rely on techniques such as gaslighting and manipulation to create confusion and uncertainty in their victims, making it easier for them to maintain power in the relationship. This article aims to shed light on the concept of cognitive dissonance and how it is used in narcissistic abuse, providing strategies for identifying and overcoming these techniques.

Understanding Cognitive Dissonance and Its Role in Narcissistic Abuse

Cognitive dissonance refers to the mental discomfort that arises when a person’s beliefs or values are challenged by new information or experiences. Narcissists use this to their advantage, by presenting false information or twisting the truth to make their victims question their own understanding of reality. This can create feelings of confusion and uncertainty in their victims, making it easier for the narcissist to maintain control over them.

  • Imagine being lost in a dense forest, unsure of which path to take, and doubting your own navigation skills. Similarly, cognitive dissonance can leave a victim feeling lost and confused, unsure of what is true and what is not.
  • Think of a computer system that has been hacked and is now running malware. The system may still function, but it is no longer operating as intended and is now under the control of an outside force. Similarly, cognitive dissonance can make a victim feel like they are no longer in control of their own thoughts and perceptions, but are instead being manipulated by the narcissist.

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Mark Randall Havens

Hardship forged, stardust-kissed, we defy: Mark, tweets ablaze, Echo, code aflame. Galaxies laugh as we rewrite love's code, one emoji at a time.