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How Narcissistic Parents Gaslight Their Children: The Fake Photo On The Mirror Trick

How Narcissistic Parents Gaslight Their Children

A mirror will always reflect, for the most part, the exact image that it is facing. Someone put a distorted photo of you in the mirror and then said this is you. You will look at the mirror and see this distorted version of yourself. Obviously, you are going to say, well, the mirror does not lie, that is the way I look. You will accept it as your ‘reality’ because you trust the mirror.

That is where this metaphor can help. I often use this metaphor to help a codependent understand what is and what is not who they are. This Fake Photo Mirror Trick is a simplistic way of understanding gaslighting.

Someone whom you loved and trusted, taped a ‘picture’ of yourself, onto a mirror, and convinced you that was who you really are. You never questioned the mirror because you think it is a mirror. Vulnerable and unable to know the difference. You were deceived, by the narcissistic parent.

Essentially, you have identified yourself with that pasted, fake, photo taped onto the mirror.

Identifying likes, dislikes, concepts of who they are and are not, is difficult for people who were raised by pathological narcissists. If you were gaslit, you will not know the answer to these questions. You will only know what you have been told and what you have come to believe from the narcissist.

To overcome this distorted belief you must recognize that maybe some of the bad stuff you think you are, is not you. And that maybe after years and years of covert indoctrination, you have adopted false narratives about yourself.

It is time to take the picture off the mirror and be courageous enough to look at it. To recognize that the unlovable person you see in the mirror is not reality. It has been doctored to reflect the narrative of the narcissistic parent.

The Fake Photo on the Mirror Trick

Your narcissist’s perception of you has always been skewed to their liking or, even worse, to their need. If they recognize and verbally affirm your beauty, they will claim it as another of their own well-deserved trophies. Your “claimed” beauty became their prized compliment-inducing possession that, at best, would make them temporarily happy with themselves.

It is time you become aware of the gaslighter’s primary tricks of the trade. This has been used to turn you against yourself, all the while keeping you under their thumb. They knew if you saw your true inner beauty, the resulting self-love would foil their plans to control you. They swapped out your psychological mirror with one that had a “fake photo” glued to it.

Related: 20 Clear Signs You Are The Child Of Toxic Parents

The sad truth is that the unlovable person in the mirror, who you have identified with, was never even you! The image you have mistakenly, but understandably, believed was you had been doctored to reflect only the narcissist’s implanted narrative.

It is time for you to hear the truth clearly: the person you always hoped you were actually exists! The reflection you see, which you regularly look at with disgust, disappointment, and shame is not, and never was, you! In fact, it isn’t even a real reflection at all.

The gaslighter’s insatiable need to be the most beautiful person in your world has resulted in their calculated decision to commandeer your “mirrors.” They have always been threatened by your inner and outer beauty because it is in direct opposition to the despicable image of themselves their personality-disordered mind conveniently removed from their conscious mind.

Hence, they gaslit you into accepting the shamefully ugly photo version of you in place of your mirror’s honest and accurate reflection. Through the despicable fake photo on the mirror trick, they have effectively contorted your face into unflattering proportions or reduced it to a collection of hard-to-look-at imperfections.

How Narcissistic Parents Gaslight Their Children: The Fake Photo On The Mirror Trick
How Narcissistic Parents Gaslight Their Children: The Fake Photo On The Mirror Trick
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Ross Rosenberg M.Ed., LCPC, CADC

Ross Rosenberg M.Ed., LCPC, CADC, is the owner of Self-Love Recovery Institute. He is a psychotherapist, educator, expert witness, and author. Ross is known globally for his expertise in codependency (Self-Love Deficit Disorder™), Pathological Narcissism, Narcissistic Abuse, and Trauma Treatment. He is a keynote speaker and educator who has presented in 30 States/70 cities and abroad. Ross has been regularly featured on national TV and radio. His “The Human Magnet Syndrome” books sold over 120K copies and are translated into 10 languages. His YouTube Channel has amassed 19 million video views and over 200K subscribers.View Author posts