There is not much you can say to a narcissistic parent without being shamed and gaslighted. Everything you say constantly leads to the narcissist appearing offended thus, being constantly shamed. Why does this equate gaslighting? To shame a person for something that is not offensive in nature is gaslighting. Shaming a person for something that is not offensive in nature is attempting to distort reality. This is a tricky tactic because perception is everything and never does perception hold such grave importance in a person’s life until one is faced with a narcissist.
Non pathological individuals will never attempt to convince a person that their perception of reality is skewed, especially via acting offensive and shaming another for such. There is a huge difference between efffective expression via an act of a mutually held conversation regarding differences in opinions versus randomly shaming a person so one can convince another that their perception of reality is skewed, shameful and offensive.
The narcissist utilizes this tactic to get a reaction from their victim and to boost their false self. Distorting a persons perception via gaslighting can be done in many ways in order to shame another person. Acting offended is a very effective tool for the narcissist because it leaves everything open for debate and no truth can be accurately revealed per say. This tactic creates a “my word against yours” dynamic. The narcissist also loves to add the use of a word salad into the mixso their victim has a hard time keeping up with the non sensical conversation that is being had. Creating shock, doubt and confusion is added into the mix. The narcissist also likes to exploit your tone of voice and your use of words against you to cause confusion towards your perception.
For example, you express that you dislike something and the narcissist appears offended saying “all you do is complain and try and bring me down”. You will try and explain that this was not your intention whatsoever and the narcissist will say “you can lie all you want but I can hear it in your voice, your using that same shaming tone you always use” You will be very confused at this point and the narcissist will than say “what was the point of saying that the way you did than, you could have said you liked this or that instead of choosing to say what you dislike as you always do”.
The main problem for narcissists that leads them to the use of this manipulation tactic is that they have to constantly make what you say, about them. The narcissist constantly needs to feel they are being shamed and attacked because shame is a very strong influence regarding the stemming of pathological narcissism. Essentially, narcissists use their external world and other people, to unconsciously shame themselves. The narcissist manipulates other people’s perceptions so they can convince oneself that they are being shamed by others instead of consciously recognizing that they are in fact, shaming themselves. Of course, for most narcissists, they cannot consciously recognize their own unconscious doing simply because they have a false ego that needs to be maintained which is a persona that appears in an extreme polar opposite way-grandiose and omnipotent.