Now my friend is gaslighting me! Should I confront her, or let it go?

  • 11 Replies
  • 549 Views
*

countrygirl

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 317
Hi,

I'm writing about the NPD friend who's been the subject of my posts for the past weeks.  On Fri. night, she claimed I hadn't asked her about the plays she had attended with her sister on Weds.  This was part of a whole lambasting, following my confronting her about not following through on an invitation she'd extended.

At  any rate, I mentioned her accusation to my BFF, and he said that he remembered my asking her by text, because I'd told him her reply:  That she plays were okay, not great.  (He used to be an actor and loves and knows the theater, so I knew he'd paid particular interest to her "reviews.")   I thought I'd asked her too, but wasn't one hundred percent sure.  (I think my not being sure shows that I partially accepted her criticism, because I usually have a very good memory for what was said or written.) Well, I checked the text thread, and there it was:  I had asked and had said I hoped she'd enjoyed both plays!  So when I spoke to her last night, I told her this.  What did she do?  Did she apologize?   No indeed:  She said she had NOT said that I hadn't even asked her about the plays, that she knew I would always ask how she'd enjoyed an events, and NEVER would have said that!   I was so worn out from all the conflict with her that I said nothing.  If I had, she would have exploded at me. 

The funny thing, as in peculiar, is that I used to tell her about the NPD friend from who I withdrew, and how SHE would claim she hadn't said things.  She had a rote respond:  "I didn't say that.  It doesn't even sound like something I would say."  When, of course, it always sounded exactly what she would say!  Once she told me about someone else confronting her about something she'd said about her daughter, and my friend indignantly said:  "I didn't say that.  I doesn't even sound like something I would say."  But she HAD used those exact words when talking to me about her niece one time, and both my BFF and I were struck by how creepy it was.  So now this current NPD friend is doing the same thing.

In my subject line, I asked whether I should confront her about her gaslighting.  But why bother?  She will NOT admit that she's wrong; she won't apologize.  She lied to my face, and she will continue to do so.  I guess the important thing to her is that she can NEVER be wrong.  We are all fallible; we all make mistakes.  If someone can't admit that they're fallible, it is impossible to have a relationship of an y depth with them.   

*

notrightinthehead

  • Host Member
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • 2758
Well, I guess she shows you exactly who she is. It's up to you to decide if you believe her or not. Even if it might be very painful indeed to believe her.

*

countrygirl

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 317
Hi "not right",

I don't believe her, because she DID claim that I hadn't asked her about the plays, and I have proof--in the text thread--that I did ask her. 

Also, right after our conversation--in which she berated me for not asking her about the plays--I talked to my BFF, telling him that she'd claimed I hadn't asked her.  He remembered my texting her. 

*

countrygirl

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 317
To clarify:  When she said that she had not said that to me, I went silent, even though I knew she HAD said it.  Now. I'm wondering whether I should say:  "But you did say that!"  One reason I didn't say anything more last night was that I was so nonplussed by her answer.  Also, I wasn't up to having one of those circular arguments:  "You DID say it."  "I did NOT say it."    More and more I'm feeling:  Why bother? 

Thank you for replying!  I am really going through it with this friend.  Slowly, I am coming not to care anymore.  Oh, only if that day would arrive sooner rather than later!

*

notrightinthehead

  • Host Member
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • 2758
Countrygirl, if she suffers with a PD, she probably can play the 'yes you did - no I didn't' better than you. I have found that my underlying motivation for confronting, arguing or engaging in such a situation was the intent to change the person. I tend to go through life with the assumption that people are normal and if I explain myself correctly they will come to understand my point of view. As we know, sadly this does not apply to PDs. A bitter pill to swallow. In situations when I was flabbergasted  by a blatant lie, I was grateful if I was able to remember the sentence:  "I remember this differently" but often I was so taken aback that I could say nothing at all. So many times I wished I had recorded the conversation. Then I would have been able to go back and been less confused.
I think your feeling "Why bother?" is a healthy response. Why bother indeed with a person who frustrates and confuses you and makes you feel less than?

*

countrygirl

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 317
Hi "notright,"

Thank you for your kind and helpful words. 

I think "I remember this differently" is a brilliant response.  It can end the conversation without accusing the person of lying, but also without giving in.  I just dropped it, and later felt bad, because it seemed to imply that I was bowing to her "memory" (her lie).  But I was left nonplussed, as you say you've been before.  It is shocking, isn't it?  What chutzpah these people have!

Years ago, another friend said that when people try to get in zingers with her, or out-and-out say something to put her down, she always says, "Excuse me, what did you say?"  But every time I could have used it, I have again been struck speechless.   However, I resolve to use it one day, and now, when I get in these "but-you-said, etc." situations, I will try to say "I remember this differently."  Thank you!


*

athene1399

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 988
If she does have a PD, odds are even if it starts to feel familiar after you remind her you did ask this she will stick to her initial statement to avoid looking stupid for not remembering initially (this probably depends on the person and type of PD they have. I am generalizing here). Calling her out will only cause an argument IMO no matter how correct you are or what evidence you have. That doesn't mean you can't confront her. I just don't think she will admit she was wrong.

I've never tried the "I remember differently". I'll have to use that next time (my sis does this a lot). :)

*

countrygirl

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 317
Hi athene1399,

I agree that she would not change what she said.  Thanks for reminding me of that.  NPDs can never be wrong.   And I would wager that PDs lie more than nonPDs.

Isn't "notrightinthehead's" phrase--"I remember this differently"--great?  I wish I'd had it on hand, instead of going silent because I was so nonplussed.  But am sure I'll have cause to use it in the future...


*

clara

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 770
And here's the catch:  if she ever admits she's wrong, it's not because she actually thinks she's wrong--she just wants you to think that.  Even if she knows she's wrong (some of them seem to believe their own lies) the admitting of it--to her way of thinking--doesn't mean she's actually admitting it!  She's just trying to manipulate you in some way and this is just another tactic.  When they go this route, you have to be even more on guard because something else is always in the works. 

Isn't It all fun and games?  Nothing is quite what it seems, and their version of reality is constantly fluid.  Keeping control and the upper hand is all they're interested in, and they'll engage in whatever behaviors it takes to maintain it.

*

athene1399

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 988
Good point. You'd probably get the "I'm sorry I made a mistake. No one's perfect. Are you happy now?" guilt trip if you called her out on it. It's like admitting you're right, but with an angle so you feel like a jerk. You're damned if you do and damned if you don't. I hope she doesn't gaslight you again.

*

countrygirl

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 317
Re: Now my friend is gaslighting me! Should I confront her, or let it go?
« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2019, 11:42:46 AM »
clara and athene1399,  Thank you for your replies!

Yes, clara, it is "all fun and games."  Interesting to read your analysis, because just yesterday I was telling someone else that everything seems to be a game with this PD friend.  And what you say about their version of reality being fluid is also so true.  This was the case with the PD friend I finally dropped last year.  But I could see right through that friend's manipulations; it is harder for me to see through this one's.  And sometimes I don't realize I'm being manipulated until she's achieved whatever goal she had.  (And I bet there have been manipulative behaviors which I never saw.)  She's smart and a master manipulator. 

I don't understand why she has to be so manipulative, because I am almost always warm and generous toward her.  Well, even as I wrote that, I realized that she uses that against me:  Because I am generous with her, she figures she can get more and more out of me, and that she can get me to forgive her bad and/or manipulative behavior.  So far, she has been right.  And as to WHY she behaves this way--the answer is that it's who she is. 

And, athene1399, it is true that I'm damned if I do and damned if I don't.  If I don't call her on her behavior, she gets by with it.  But if  I do and if she admits she's been in the wrong (probably no more than twice) she has guilt tripped me or she has turned the tables and tried to make HER behavior MY fault.  In other words, the "game" is rigged, so that she always wins.  But, ultimately, these people lose, because everyone eventually leaves them. 

*

TurkeyGirl

  • New Member
  • *
  • 23
Re: Now my friend is gaslighting me! Should I confront her, or let it go?
« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2019, 05:07:57 AM »
Wow, Countrygirl, I want to thank you for your story. I feel like we have the same NPD'd friend, haha.

She probably needed validation of her importance in your life the moment she started blaming you for not being interested. This validation will never ever be enough, no matter what you say or do. Even if you hadn't asked her, this should not be her response. It's sometimes difficult to remember normal behavior, but I try to think of how I would react. I would never get angry/frustrated/disappointed if someone didn't ask me how a certain event was for me, this is typical PD behavior and in no way related to you. You sound like a great friend.