No Win Situations & Narcissists

Setting you up in a no win situation is one of many weapons in the narcissist’s arsenal.  They put you in a situation where you can’t win so they have a reason to be angry with or hurt by you, or to make you do what they want.

In my late teens, my mother’s abuse was at its peak.  She would scream at me so often, it was just a way of life for me then.  She didn’t have any valid reason to scream at me, so she would often make up reasons or put me in a situation where I would be wrong no matter what.   One example that comes to mind took place not long after I met my now ex husband.  Upon seeing him for the first time, my mother hated him & told me to stay away from him.  I liked him so I sneaked around behind her back at work & school to see him. (The rest of the time I was with my mother).  He & I worked together, & often closed the place.  I wasn’t allowed to have a car, so my mother took me to & from work & school.  When my ex & I walked out from work together, my mother screamed at me as soon as I got into the car for spending time with him.  When I walked out first on the next evening we worked together, she screamed at me again for him “hiding from her”, “not having the guts to face her, “& “being a coward”.  Then on the next evening we shared a shift, he left first as I hung back.  Then she screamed at me for him “being so cocky”,  leaving work before me.  There were only three ways to handle the situation & she got mad at every single one of them.  She created the perfect no win situation.  When I tried talking to her about it, she screamed at me for not knowing what she expected of me.  It was devastating to me & made me feel crazy.  It didn’t matter to her it hurt me though- as long as she felt better, that’s all that mattered.  That’s how narcissists are- so long as they benefit, it doesn’t matter who they hurt or destroy.

Unfortunately, I’ve never found a really good way to deal with it.  That’s why it’s called a “no win” situation, I suppose.  All I have learned is not to engage in the behavior.  Let the narcissist have the temper tantrum but you remain calm.  Showing narcissists emotions only gives them supply so you refuse to do that!  Do NOT apologize if you weren’t wrong.  Change the topic.  Leave the room or hang up the phone.

Always remember, this is NOT normal behavior!  The person who puts another in a no win situation is not normal.  There is something very wrong with that person, not you.



Filed under Mental Health, Narcissism

19 responses to “No Win Situations & Narcissists

  1. ibikenyc

    Narcissistic Whack-A-Mole!

    I am SO sorry you went through this. It’s a gosh-darned NIGHTMARE.

    (I also notice that she never screamed at HIM for that cockiness or even, if she thought he was such a bad egg, for “daring” to go near you!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Narcissistic whack a mole… omgosh how freaking perfect is that?!?! LOL That’s exactly it too!

      Thank you. It really was a nightmare then. Now with age & wisdom about these people? It’d only annoy me.

      She & the ex did get into a screaming match once. I didn’t witness it though. She screamed at me when I was on my break at work because I spent time with him. He drove off leaving me to deal with her (knight in shining armor I tell ya!!) & came to my parents’ house. He talked to my father who was home & told him what was happening. Mom got home as they talked & they got into it. After work, she screamed at me again for the ex’s behavior. Dad whined about how hard it was for him. Later the ex acted like he was the victim. No one cared about me. Typical with those three. At the time I tried soothing everyone’s feelings but now looking back, I’d like to kick all their butts!

      Liked by 2 people

      • ibikenyc

        Thank you; thank you! (Takes bow.)

        Of course Typical: They all got what they wanted by making YOU Wrong every time.

        SO glad he’s an ex.

        Liked by 1 person

        • lol

          Yeppers. It’s so sad they were stuck putting up with me isn’t it? Making them all act that way! Couldn’t even type that with a straight face…lol

          You & me both! Our divorce was final the day after Christmas, 1996 (best Christmas gift EVER!!!). I still celebrate that day all these years later. Champagne is often involved. lol

          Liked by 3 people

          • ibikenyc

            Best Christmas gift EVER, indeed! I’d be playin’ that date in the lottery, too, or something.

            (Actually, if WE were the ones on the power trip, we’d be in heaven about how obvious and simple THEY are.)

            Liked by 1 person

    • Lady Quixote/Linda Lee

      Narcissistic Whack-A-Mole!!!!!! Lol lol lol lol! Too funny 😂

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Lady Quixote/Linda Lee

    It’s funny, as I was reading this, my first thought was: I don’t think any of the abusers in my life ever put me in a no win situation. Then I realized: just because nobody ever announced they were putting me in a no win situation, this doesn’t mean that isn’t exactly what they were doing. Duh!

    Nothing I did was ever “right” for my mother. I was either doing my chores too fast, therefore not carefully enough, or I was moving too slow, ‘like a 7 year itch’. As a kid, I thought the problem was me. Something was wrong with my brain, that I couldn’t ever do anything exactly right, at precisely the right speed.

    My narcissistic ex used to complain, when I fixed my hair and made up my face before we went out, that I was dressing up in order to attract other men. But when I didn’t make up my hair and face, then I was embarrassing him by looking so sloppy and plain.

    My mother often told me: “I love you, of course, because you are my daughter. I just don’t like you.” After hearing this many times as I was growing up, I finally got up the courage to ask my mother why she didn’t like me. I was hoping to fix whatever was wrong with me, you see.

    “It’s just you, it’s just the way you are,” she said. How does an eleven year old fix that?

    No win situation. That was basically my whole life. Whack-a-mole, for real!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. They want to keep us on the hamster wheel of trying to please them without ever actually having to give us the “carrot”. I worked in corporate world for 20 years. Once I switched to management, the ongoing discussion was always about “carrots” – meaning kudos in the forms of good reviews, bonuses or other recognition. They wanted to set the “carrots” high enough to get the kids to jump, but not so high to where the kids felt defeated.

    It’s like narcissists want to go right to “defeated” with their subjects. They don’t want good performers. They want complete, demoralized and hopeless slaves.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. More than ever, I am convinced that the best way to deal with a Narcissist is to “get distance” from them. That, and INDEPENDENCE from them. That means:

    1. Having your own place even some apartment, away from them. (Safe Haven)
    2. Your own Car. (Mobility, travel)
    3. Your own Phone (communication)
    4. Your own Laptop or Tablet (information)

    MY battles with Narcissim have been very largely: INVALIDATION.
    If my opinion differs from the Narcissist, then its:
    1. Ignorant, not thought out (because they so so)
    2. Extreme or going overboard (again, because they say so)
    3. Weird or out there (same reason again)
    4. Over-reacting (in their mind) or—
    5. Not “Realistic”. This seems to be a favorite of theirs. They seem to love to play the game of: I-am-more-realistic or “practical” or “Grounded” than you are. AS if they always know better. They Don’t!

    Some VERY GOOD Help, on Youtube:
    1. search: “Dr. Les Carter and Narcissist”
    2. search: “Dr. Ramani and Narcissist”

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: No Win Situations & Narcissists – Faisal khan

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