A common question that many people experiencing narcissistic abuse have is, “How can I get the narcissist in my life to stop gaslighting me?”
If you want to stop a narcissist from gaslighting you, you must use the J.A.D.E. technique to prevent yourself from allowing the narcissist to gaslight you, practice emotional detachment to stay grounded and document your interactions with the narcissist to hold onto your reality.
In this article, I am going to guide you through these three steps to preventing a narcissist from gaslighting you.
Step 1: Use the J.A.D.E. Technique
The first step to preventing a narcissist from gaslighting you is using the J.A.D.E. technique, which stands for “Don’t Justify, Don’t Argue, Don’t Defend, Don’t Explain.”
You might be wondering, “How will this help me?”
Well, when you justify, argue, defend, or explain your actions to the narcissist in your life, you inadvertently provide them with an opportunity to gaslight you.
For example, imagine that the narcissist in your life said, “You always forget to take the trash out; you’re so irresponsible.”
Instead of adhering to the J.A.D.E. technique, you try to defend your actions by saying, “But I took it out last night, don’t you remember?”
This gives the narcissist an opportunity to gaslight you, and they could do so by saying, “No, you’re wrong. You never remember to do it.”
Suggested Reading: Why Do Narcissists Gaslight?
Now, let’s imagine that you adhere to the J.A.D.E. technique when the narcissist says, “You always forget to take the trash out; you’re so irresponsible.”
To use the J.A.D.E. technique, you could say something like, “I understand why you might see it that way.”
In response to this, the narcissist may continue to try to gaslight you by saying, “Don’t you care about keeping our home clean? It’s just like last week when you forgot to wash the dishes. You’re always so forgetful.”
Again, you can respond to this with the J.A.D.E. technique by saying, “I hear your concern. I see how it could seem that way to you.”
Notice here how you’re not justifying or explaining your actions. You’re simply acknowledging their statements.
By continuing to respond this way, you avoid getting pulled into a futile debate and prevent yourself from giving the narcissist an opportunity to gaslight you.
Step 2.) Practice Emotional Detachment
The second step to stopping a narcissist from gaslighting you is to practice emotional detachment. This means actively working on keeping your emotions separate from the actions or words of the narcissist.
This is an important part of protecting yourself from gaslighting because narcissists use emotional manipulation, including gaslighting, to control and confuse the people they abuse.
When you practice emotional detachment, it helps you stay grounded and hold onto your reality, despite the narcissist’s attempts to distort it with gaslighting.
For example, imagine that the narcissist in your life said, “You never listen to me. You’re always too wrapped up in your own world.”
To practice emotional detachment, you might think to yourself, “What they are saying makes me feel guilty and upset, but I know that they are just trying to gaslight me. I need to stay emotionally detached here.”
Then you can use J.A.D.E to respond by saying, “I understand how you feel.” This is a great response because despite feeling upset, you’ve responded neutrally and didn’t provide them with the emotional reaction they sought.
If they continued to try to gaslight you by saying, “Just like last week when you completely ignored my advice about the project.”
You could think to yourself:
“This is another attempt at gaslighting. They’re trying to distort my perception of past events to bait me. I feel angry because I did appreciate their advice. But I must remember to respond without letting these emotions control me.”
Then you could respond with J.A.D.E. again, saying, “I see why you might think that.”
This is an amazing response because you are maintaining emotional detachment by acknowledging their perspective without arguing or getting defensive.
Step 3.) Document Your Interactions
The third step to preventing the narcissist from gaslighting you is documenting your interactions with them.
By doing this, you can validate your perception of reality.
This can be a powerful tool to combat gaslighting because it helps you validate your reality and reassures you that you’re not “going crazy,” which is a common feeling among those being gaslighted by a narcissist.
Suggested Reading: How to Regain Your Sanity After Being Gaslighted
Right now, you might be thinking, “What exactly should I try to document?”
So here’s a better explanation of what I mean:
1.) What Was Said
This means writing down the exact words that the narcissist used. If you can’t recall exactly what was said, try to write as much as you can remember.
Doing this will provide you with tangible proof that you can use to prevent yourself from questioning or doubting your memory.
This means writing down when and where the conversation occurred and who was present. Doing this can provide valuable context and help you recall the situation more accurately if/when needed.
3.) Your Feelings and Responses
This means writing down how you felt during the interaction and how you responded to the narcissist’s gaslighting attempts.
This can be an important part of understanding the emotional impact of the interaction on you and also allows you to reflect on your reactions.
If the narcissist distorts a fact or an event, note this. Record both their version and what you remember as the truth.
Gaslighting is all about the narcissist trying to force their distorted version of reality onto you. So noting the discrepancies can be extremely helpful.
What Should You Take Away from This Article?
The combination of the J.A.D.E technique, emotional detachment, and documentation offers a robust strategy for preventing the narcissist in your life from gaslighting you.
That’s the end of this article. Thank you so much for reading!
About the Author
Hey, I’m Elijah.
I experienced narcissistic abuse for three years.
I create these articles to help you understand and validate your experiences.
Thank you for reading, and remember, healing is possible even when it feels impossible.