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How to Live with Someone Who Is a Narcissist/Gaslighting?

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From Canada: How would someone like myself live, cope, and try to be okay while living with someone who is a narcissist and gaslighting?

I am always questioned, not allowed to pass on questions or I am threatened to be kicked out. My feelings, thoughts, values, how I think are judged and family member asks me to think a certain way, which I can not. Then, guilt blaming me in, “you will feel miserable then if this continues” Or saying things like, “what have you learned from this? You haven’t learned anything.”

It goes beyond that. Famiy member goes deep into forcing me to see preceptions of things, how the way I see things, feeling, think isn’t correct, that it should be something else. For instance, I shouldn’t feel a certain way about something in my past as it’s just thought. Which hurts because feelings are very real and things in my past are very real as they did happen.

Family member punishes me if I don’t do something. I find it strange.

My counselor knew what was going on and who the family member was; narcissist/gaslighting before I even admitted to it. I tried his suggestions to in return ask her why she was concerned about whatever she asked me. It turned into something else which lead her to threaten to kick me out because I had no right to pass on answering her questions. She told me I was unstable, unhealthy, I eat poorly, this and that.

I can’t afford to move, not getting rid of my dog to go into a shelter. It’s really the only “stable” place, even though she is abusing me this way. I read articles here, but, is there something I can do/try to be sane in this house with someone like her?

I avoid her all the time. I always feel on edge when she is here, when she isn’t I feel relaxed. I can’t avoid her forever either. Any suggestions?

How to Live with Someone Who Is a Narcissist/Gaslighting?

Answered by on -


I hope you are still talking to a counselor. You are right to understand that you can’t change the family member. All you can change is your reaction to her or your living situation. What the family member is doing is emotional and verbal abuse. It is enormously difficult to manage such continual abuse. Over time, it can wear a person down. As you found out, even trying to redirect the comments only invites more abuse.

I hope you are working with your counselor to figure out how to leave. This may mean temporarily taking a second job or even two to get the money for moving. (The advantage of working two or more jobs is it will also keep you out of the house.) You may need to find someone who will provide a home for your dog for awhile if that’s what it takes for you to leave. I hope you are also talking with other members of your extended family about what is going on. Someone may be able to give you a temporary home while you get on your feet financially.

You are in your twenties. It is time for you to figure out how to be an independent adult. Do everything you can to get out of this toxic situation.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

How to Live with Someone Who Is a Narcissist/Gaslighting?

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). How to Live with Someone Who Is a Narcissist/Gaslighting?. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 1, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 1 Dec 2017)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.