When Narcissists Manipulate By Appearing Confident

When I was married to my narcissistic ex husband, he said many bizarre things.  One of those things came to mind recently.  He said that it is impossible for someone to think another person is attractive without wanting to have sex with that person.  According to his so called “wisdom”, every single person in the world thinks exactly this way, except me, so clearly there was something very wrong with me. 

At the time of this conversation, I was a typical victim of narcissistic abuse.  Thanks to the narcissists in my life, I believed I was incredibly stupid, so I believed what narcissists said no matter what evidence there was to contradict their words.  Obviously they were much smarter than dumb me, so I had to listen to them, I thought.  So naturally, I believed this lie & others my ex told me.  This one was different though.  Even though I felt ashamed for being so “weird” in this area, I couldn’t make myself agree with him. 

Over the many years since our divorce, I wondered once in a while what his statement was about.  It wasn’t until I learned about Narcissistic Personality Disorder that I figured it out.  Since many narcissists behave similarly, I thought I’d share my findings.

When narcissists say something with such utter certainty as my ex did, there is a reason for it.  Never forget that.  They aren’t talking just to hear themselves talk, although they do love the sound of their own voice.  Narcissists always have motives with everything they say & do.  What they say isn’t simply empty words.  They’re said with purpose.

They may be trying to gaslight their victim into believing something they want their victim to believe.  When someone hears something said enough & with enough certainty, chances are excellent they’ll start to believe that thing.  In my situation, I believe my ex wanted me to think that way.  He wanted others involved in our marriage, so he was trying to make me feel wrong for not wanting the same.  If he could make me feel flawed enough, he thought he could make me change my mind.

I think my ex was also trying to normalize that behavior.  If I believed it was normal, I wouldn’t have been upset to find out he was unfaithful.  I would have accepted it as just a part of life, without complaint. This is a pretty common tactic of narcissists.  If they can make their victim think something is normal, it’s a big victory for them.  The victim will tolerate that thing that the narcissist wants them to tolerate, even if it is something they originally thought was wrong.

Narcissists love to shame their victims to make them be easier to control.  Remember how my ex told me that everyone in the world thinks the same way on that topic?  That was a shaming statement.  I was supposed to realize how wrong I was, because I was the only person in the entire world who felt as I did.  If he could’ve just made me feel badly enough, he could’ve convinced me that he was right, I was wrong, & he would have won this battle.

When you are faced with this type of manipulation, it is important to trust your gut.  What you feel inside is what is truly right, not what the narcissist claims is right.  If you get confused or feel conflicted, take some time to pray.  If you can’t get away to do this, a simple, “Father, help me!” prayer can make all the difference in the world. 

It also helps to consider what the person has said logically.  Ask yourself does what they say make sense.  Using my situation again as an example, logical questions I asked myself could have been something like.. how is he qualified to know how every single person in the entire world feels on this topic?  Does this belief include thinking a family member is attractive?  What about the fact I’m straight- does he think if I think another woman is pretty I should want to have sex with her?  

These sort of mind games are difficult when you are in the situation, but they can be handled.  Slow your thinking down so you can think rationally about things, be true to yourself, & take no crap!  Don’t let a narcissist manipulate you!


Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Mental Health, Narcissism

21 responses to “When Narcissists Manipulate By Appearing Confident

  1. Cynthia, one of my least favorite attributes – smugness. The speaker tries to overwhelm the listener or viewer with his or her smugness. It is overbearing in its nature to get people to acquiesce to his or her point of view. I see this in on those panel talk shows and it requires someone to diplomatically pushback. Keith


    • It’s one of my least favorite attributes as well & my ex had it down to an art form. That was so hard to tolerate. Even now, 26+ years after the divorce, my best friend (who feels the same way) still mentions it occasionally & how much it disgusts her.

      Pushing back is what it requires. Not doing so means it just gets worse & worse..


      • Agreed. One of the best retorts that unnerves a smug person is to say “I understand your point, I just disagree with your conclusion.” Many smug folks feel dissenters don’t understand which is why they condescend.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I like that. It’s true too. I did very similar several months ago with someone smug who clearly thought I was stupid simply because I disagreed with his taste in cars. He wasn’t wrong & I wasn’t right.. it was simply a matter of opinion & he couldn’t handle me not sharing his views. When I told him “I’m not saying you’re wrong or they’re bad cars. I’m just saying I prefer something else”, it was like his brain froze & he was speechless. Funny thing is after that, we got along much better. He had more respect for me once he realized he couldn’t rule me. lol

          Liked by 1 person

  2. This is such a hard and complex situation to be in. Thank you for sharing your personal experience and thank you for investing in yourself. I learned from them that when people say odd things it’s probably because they do that themselves… they are telling us how they think and behave. It’s wrong to assume everyone thinks and behaves that way but they hardly can get over themselves.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: When Narcissists Manipulate By Appearing Confident | Talmidimblogging

  4. I find your ex funny and lame. I find Narcissists childish and hilarious. Their delusional thinking have no bounds.


    • Now I can see that but in the midst of it? Some of his ideals were intimidating. They were so different than mine & he expected me to change to his way of thinking. He was so shaming because I couldn’t. I seriously thought something was very wrong with me back then. If I only knew then what I know now, I would’ve told him exactly what I think of his idiotic thoughts & him.

      That is the truth about their delusional thinking. Sheesh..

      Liked by 1 person

      • There was nothing wrong with you, your ex was a close minded person who can’t tolerate someone having their own beliefs. What a terrible human being he is! He should feel ashamed of his own nasty beliefs and not shame you or anyone else for that matter.


        • Thank you! Now I know there isn’t anything wrong with me. Back then though.. I was convinced I was the most flawed, worthless person alive.

          He should & I hope one day somehow his eyes are opened & he recognizes his behavior is in dire need of change. I pray he turns to God.. he certainly needs Him!

          Liked by 1 person

          • Your Welcome 😊

            That’s what gaslighting does to us. We doubt each and everything about us whether it’s our thoughts or our choices or even the clothes we wear. We even feel guilty for small things 🙁

            You are worthy and loved ❤ irrespective of what the abusers think about you it is their twisted reality to think ill about others and it has nothing to do with you.

            He truly needs deliverance from his demons to become a sane person with empathy and conscience.


            • So true! It’s terrible how gaslighting can affect you! Shocking too, how it can hijack your thoughts so much.

              Thank you so much ❤ Took me a long time to realize that!

              He absolutely does. I pray it happens one day for him & his current wife both.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Seriously gaslighting is literally ruling this world. People have no thinking of their own they are basically programmed products of society who are functioning robotically.

                So your ex remarried again. I wonder how his current wife is I hope she is the female version of him who projects back his own behaviour onto him because that’s what he deserves people like him deserve nothing better.


                • I agree.. it’s terrible! People need to start thinking for themselves again rather than what others tell them to think!

                  He did. From the little I gather, she’s just as dysfunctional as I once was. My heart goes out to her. 😦 He does deserve someone that treats him the same. Now that would be interesting to see.

                  Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh no if she is a good girl then he must be torturing her I hate how these men attract good girls and break them 😖😩


  6. Control is the very reason they are living in this world. No wonder many narcissists threaten suicide if they lose control over their victims. It’s like oxygen is cut off for them.


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