TACTICS NARCISSISTS USE TO MANIPULATE AND CONTROL
By Alex N. Delon
One of the biggest reasons people get into and stay in toxic relationships with a narcissistic partner is because they don’t know what they’re dealing with…the ploys and patterns. They don’t understand the dynamics of narcissism and struggle to make it work. To be enough. To fix it. If you identify with the following control tactics, I hope you’ll be spurred to learn more about it. If you’re reading this…you’re probably on that path already. Good for you. 🙂
LOVE BOMBING–GOOD LISTENER PHASE
A phase when they can’t believe they found you. The perfect one. They are amazingly adept at sounding sincere and convincing. Remember the Venus Flytrap, the nectar it secretes is to lure and attract and trap its prey. In a relationship with a narcissist, we can quickly be in over our head. Was it ‘love-at-first-sight’? If so, give it some time to mellow and see what develops before you step in. The sixth month of a relationship tends to be very revealing.
Once they’ve got you…the next phases evolve
Criticizing and shaming you in private or in front of friends and family. This can be a dangerously subtle tactic they then laugh off, saying they were only joking, or kidding. Telling you to lighten up, not be so sensitive, or claim they were trying to help you improve yourself. These responses are often as damaging as the insult itself. If you remind them they thought you were a great match for them, they’ll tell you that you tricked them.
DRAFTING YOUR ALLIES
Again, subtle as they go, they search for backups. They confide in friends or family that they’re afraid something is wrong with you. You don’t have friends, or are depressed, or not a good parent or whatever can draft their confident into believing you’re the problem. They just flanked you copping your reinforcements.
GASLIGHTING or CRAZY-MAKING
These are both ‘mind fucks’. They’ll tell you they never said that you’re nuts. Ask what are you trying to do here? Question what kind of person are you becoming… Suspicious, obsessive, vicious.
Unless you have a wire taped to your chest, you can’t prove what was actually said or done. The end game in this? You begin to rely on them to interpret your reality, to question your worth and sanity. Dangerous? Destructive? More than you can imagine, the longer it goes on.
Believe it or not, this is a bonus round for them. They’ll say something like: “That woman across the room has a fantastic figure, don’t you think? Look at the legs on that one. I remember when your legs looked that good.” (that was a combo hit, shaming and triangulation) The master manipulators mix-match often.
If they’re stressed about work, about their golf game, their team losing, their toothache, you’re the dog they kick to vent their rage. I’m not talking about physical abuse here, that’s a given to get out, but their rage and attacks can tear you apart inside if you let them.
My best wishes for courage, comfort and the belief you’re worth fighting for.