The latest edition of “Red Table Talk” saw the woman joined by psychologist Dr. Ramani Durvasula for a discussion on how to deal with a narcissist in one’s life.
Dr. Durvasula offered her insight into various types of narcissism, starting with the malignant narcissist. This type of person, she explained, can be “physically dangerous” as well as “very psychologically dangerous.”
Jada Pinkett Smith shared her own personal experience with a friend who had married a malignant narcissist, admitting she’d seen that combination of behaviour personally. “Emotionally abusive relationships and physically abusive relationships,” she recalled.
Because narcissists usually position themselves as victims, there’s a temptation to try to “rescue” them — a temptation that should be avoided.
Pinkett Smith motioned to Gammy, revealing that her mother is actually “in a situation right now” similar to what they’d been discussing.
“So this might break you of the cycle,” Dr. Ramani told Gammy. “‘Cause it’s gonna get you nowhere.”
Dr. Ramani also circled around another common tactic used by narcissists.
“Gaslighting is a form of manipulation where you really kind of get power over a person by doubting and invalidating their reality,” she explained. “You deny their reality. And when you deny someone’s reality, 90 per cent of people are like, ‘Maybe they’re right. Maybe I didn’t say that.’ We doubt ourselves.”
She added: “When it happens repeatedly, you feel like you’re literally going crazy. You no longer believe yourself. The only person who can really gaslight you is someone who either has some power or who you already trust a little already. That’s why family members gaslight. That’s why partners gaslight… Gaslighting is lying and then twisting the knife further so you feel crazy.”
The episode can be seen in its entirety above.