“Everyone’s ex is a narcissist.”
“You can’t disagree with me, that’s gaslighting!”
“She’s so emotional, she must be bipolar.”
“He never wants to have dinner when I do – he’s such a narcissist!”
“My emotions change a lot, I probably just have borderline personality disorder.”
Who hasn’t heard one or more of these statements recently?
The increase in awareness around narcissism, gaslighting, and personality disorders has brought about a lot of positive change in de-shaming these mental health issues.
But in many cases… we’ve taken it too far.
We mix real mental health terms into our daily lives, calling someone we don’t like a “narcissist” and claiming to have “bipolar” because we can’t decide what we want for lunch.
But when we flippantly use serious mental health concepts in a frivolous way…
The terms lose their significance and impact.
“Narcissist” went from a word no one used – to a word everyone uses.
It’s become a watered down version of saying someone’s “selfish” or “arrogant”.
In fact, when you call someone a narcissist, most people are likely to believe you’re being overdramatic, too sensitive, overly critical, judgmental, or ridiculous.
They respond with blank stares, annoying looks, or by changing the subject because they don’t know what to say.
“Gaslighting” has become another buzzword that people either (1) don’t understand or (2) completely disregard.
Even though real gaslighting is an incredibly harmful emotional abuse tactic that can leave its targets reeling with symptoms of PTSD.
Saying you’re being “gaslighted” or are dealing with a “narcissist” should MEAN something!
It should be taken seriously and put in context as the real mental health crisis of our day.
But in order for this to happen… the OVERUSE and MISUSE of these terms has to stop!
If “everyone” is gaslighted – then “no one” is really a victim to it.
And this isn’t just harmful because it dismisses victims.
It actually EMPOWERS the ABUSERS because people are more likely to GASLIGHT someone who says they’re with a narcissist than to BELIEVE them!
Take a stand against abusers and advocate for survivors by being aware of the real meaning of these terms and commit to using them only when they really apply!
Have you been impacted by the overuse and misuse of these terms?
If you’re looking to heal from narcissistic abuse or relationship trauma, I can help! I specialize in helping people heal from toxic, dysfunctional, or harmful relationships. Read more about my specialties and approach to the counseling process or book a free consult call today!