This article is for educational purposes only and is not designed to suggest that people who use these phrases are always considered to be toxic. These are just some examples based on articles and research.
Have you ever had moments in your life where you have felt completely powerless around friends, family members or a romantic partner? Have you ever felt like you are consistently questioning what is happening around you or felt like you are slowly wondering about your own sanity? If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, then it could be that you were or have been in the presence of a narcissist or a toxic person who was trying to gaslight you into believing everything they said (‘7 Things A Toxic Person Would Say To Silence You And Control Your Actions’, 2019).
Gaslighting is a term I have written about quite a lot and is a deliberate tactic used by narcissists and toxic people in order to manipulate you and gain power over you. This article aims to make you more aware of some of the common phrases used against yo, so with that in mind, here are some phrases that toxic people might say.
1. “You’re being overly emotional.”
When you’re in any kind of relationship with another person, you should be able to freely express how you feel about a situation including your values. Toxic friends, family members or partners are unable to handle the fact that they have caused you to be upset and instead of accepting that and fixing it, they will blame you and your “issues” (Roseman, 2017). Your feelings are valid and as such, you deserve to be able to talk to your loved ones calmly and without judgment or being told that you are being overly emotional.
2. “I was kidding. Why are you overreacting?”
One thing that toxic people struggle with is boundaries. They will often overstep your boundaries when it comes to what they can and cannot say. They might say the meanest things to you just to weaken your self-esteem and then they might ridicule you for genuinely feeling bad for what they said. It’s their way of bringing you down and tiring you in the relationship (‘7 Things A Toxic Person Would Say To Silence You And Control Your Actions’, 2019). They do this in an attempt to cease the control and leave you feeling powerless in your relationship with them.
3. “I didn’t say that.”
Ever brought something up with somebody to be met with a defensive response which challenges what you said? Toxic people have a tendency to to spin webs, especially when they know that they are wrong and are trying to get out of something. So any attempt to call somebody out will be met with phrases such as ‘I never said that’, ‘You must have heard wrong’ or ‘You obviously weren’t listening’. Again, it’s about control. Unless you record a conversation or argument, it’s their word against yours and they’re adamant you are wrong (Roseman, 2017).
4. “You’re crazy. Something is wrong with you.”
In a report from the National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma & Mental Health and the National Domestic Violence Hotline, it was found that 85.7 percent of people found that a partner or ex-partner called them “crazy” while 73.8 percent of people felt like their partner or ex-partner had deliberately done things to make them feel like they were going crazy or losing their mind (Warshaw et al., 2014). Being with a toxic partner will make you feel like you are the one with the problem, which is another form of gaslighting and manipulation.
5. “I can’t do anything right.”
When in doubt, toxic people will often play the victim or sympathy card. Victim playing means you will feel sorry for them. When this happens, you won’t want to fight with them anymore. You will realize you were being unreasonable and apologize for trying to start an argument (Roseman, 2017).
6. “Stop bringing the past up and move on.”
Ever notice that they bring up the past constantly and start accusing you of things? But if you ever bring up the past, they will tell you that it’s time for you to move on? (‘7 Things A Toxic Person Would Say To Silence You And Control Your Actions’, 2019). Toxic people don’t deal well with people pulling them up on their actions which may have been negative in the past so chance are, you will get shut down before you even have the chance. Accountability and responsibility is not their strong suit.
7. “I’m going to sleep.”
A phrase used a lot by toxic people who refuse to discuss things they don’t want to. Sleeping on an argument is not good for any party, however the toxic person will do this as another means of control. If that person truly cared, they would want you to be able to sleep, to feel reassured and cared for. If they can easily fall asleep when you’re hurting, they are not worth a sleepless night.
8. “You’re being possessive. Why are you so clingy?”
The very things that a toxic person should be feeling guilty about will suddenly become the things that they accuse you of (‘7 Things A Toxic Person Would Say To Silence You And Control Your Actions’, 2019). They cannot stand being questioned and they will start projecting their own weaknesses on you.
9. “You’re the most anxious person I have ever dated.”
Loving partners do not compare you to their ex partners. Toxic people have no issues pointing out your flaws, but will completely negate you pointing out theirs. They will dismiss your concerns as they don’t consider them to be as important as theirs. If someone loves you, they lift you up and support you. They love you, anxieties and insecurities included (Roseman, 2017).
10. “You never trust me.”
Not feeling able to trust someone after they have constantly broken that trust is only natural. It is unfair of them to expect you to immediately trust them again and putting that pressure on you. Rebuilding trust takes time. (Roseman, 2017). By putting the focus onto you and saying that you do not trust them, instantly makes it your issue and not theirs.
Thank you for taking the time to read this article. I hope you found it interesting. If you have had any experience of toxic people or narcissists, please reach out and speak to somebody you trust or a professional.
Watch this space for the next article.
7 Things A Toxic Person Would Say To Silence You And Control Your Actions. (2019, April). Retrieved January 19, 2021, from soul.lessonslearnedinlife.com website: https://soul.lessonslearnedinlife.com/things-toxic-person-would-say-to-silence-you-put-you-in-their-trap
Goodman, R. (2017, August 30). If He Says These 10 Things, He’s Manipulating You. Retrieved January 19, 2021, from YourTango website: https://www.yourtango.com/2017306258/10-things-toxic-people-say-emotionally-abusive-relationship
Warshaw, C., Lyon, E., Bland, P., Phillips, H., & Hooper, M. (2014). March 2014 Mental Health and Substance Use Coercion Surveys. Retrieved from http://www.nationalcenterdvtraumamh.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/NCDVTMH_NDVH_MHSUCoercionSurveyReport_2014-2.pdf