Tag Archives: manipulation

One Of The Narcissist’s Weapons – Touch

One way of controlling victims that narcissists use is touch. 

Touch is a very intimate thing.  It usually is allowed by only those closest to us.  Most people are uncomfortable with someone touching them who they aren’t close to unless that touch is nothing more than a simple hand shake.  After all, most touching behaviors that are common in close relationships are highly inappropriate when they come from strangers.  How awkward would it be for a stranger to hold your hand?  Hug you?  Kiss you?  Put their arm around you?  It would be incredibly awkward.

Yet, in such situations, sometimes people will tolerate the awkward touching rather than speak up.  Narcissists love to manipulate those people.

Touch is a way of increasing closeness & intimacy, in particular in romantic relationships.  Consider a healthy dating relationship for example.  That first time holding hands or that first kiss makes the couple feel close to each other.  Naturally that is a very positive way to use touch.  Narcissists will not hesitate to mimic it in order to gain control over their victim.  In fact, touch is such an effective weapon, it is commonly used by pedophiles to test the boundaries of children they wish to abuse.

When a narcissist first meets their victim, naturally they won’t begin using touch obviously.  It probably will be subtle, such as the male narcissist putting his hand on their female victim’s waist as she enters an open door or the female narcissist touching her male victim’s arm as he speaks.  Such touches seem innocent & many people won’t give them another thought.  The manipulation begins to work though whether or not the victim realizes it.  Those simple touches so early on increase a sense of intimacy & closeness.

When the narcissist sees such touches are accepted by the victim, they will push the boundaries a little further.  When those touches are accepted, the narcissist will push the boundaries a bit further, & the cycle continues.  As the cycle continues, they get more comfortable pushing all boundaries with their victims.  Then before they know it, the victim is going along with whatever the narcissist wants.

In romantic relationships, this touching thing is also a way to show others who the victim belongs to.  When dating, my ex husband constantly touched me.  His arm was around me, he was holding my hand, he wanted me to sit on his lap.. something to show other people that I was his property.  I found it very awkward sometimes but ignored it because, like most raised by narcissistic parents, I didn’t pay attention to my feelings.  It wasn’t until years later when my grandfather mentioned this & how disturbing he found it I realized how weird it was.  Not knowing about narcissism at that time, all I realized was my ex wanted to show others that I was his “property”, which was pretty unsettling.

If you meet someone new & they are too comfortable touching you, consider that to be a red flag.  Not all people who are the “touchy feely” type are narcissists of course, but some are.  Pay attention to the person’s behavior.  If they consistently push boundaries with you, that is clearly a red flag.  If you ask them to stop touching you & they don’t or accuse you of being over sensitive, that is another.  The average person will respect your boundaries & alter their behavior, no matter how accustomed to & comfortable with physical touch they are.

Also, if you are involved with someone romantically who insists on touching you constantly, then it may be a red flag of narcissism.  Consider this person’s behavior as objectively as you can.  Ask yourself if they have shown other signs of narcissism.  If they have, then act accordingly to protect yourself. That is your right!

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How Narcissists Like Making You Feel Dumb To Make Themselves Feel Smart & Superior

I was mopping my basement floor in our old house one morning when I remembered the oddest thing.  The paint was flaking off badly, & had been since immediately after I painted that floor not long before we moved into our home.  I’d never painted concrete before & had no clue it required special prep before paint.

What I remembered was how about the time my husband & I went to settlement on our house, I mentioned to both my father & father in-law on separate occasions that I was going to paint the basement walls & floor first, so we could start to move our belongings in the basement very soon after settlement.  Then I would focus on painting the main level.  Neither my father nor father in-law said a word.

Shortly after, I told both fathers on separate occasions again that I had finished painting the basement.  Both men had the exact same reaction.  They asked if I prepared the floor with muriatic acid before painting.  I was surprised because I never even heard of this product.  I told them no.  And again, both men had the same reaction.  Both shook their heads & smirked at me, not saying another word.

Having never painted any concrete before, I had no idea that muriatic acid could be used to pre-treat concrete to help paint stick to the surface.  A little tip that might have been nice to know prior to working so hard painting the entire concrete floor in my home’s basement, don’t you think?

Unfortunately, both my father & father in-law were narcissists.  My father a covert one who became more overt as he got older & developed Alzheimer’s.  My father in-law was overt in his younger days & became much less narcissistic as he got older in spite of having dementia. 

When I thought about this situation, I realized that their responses were typically narcissistic, & I’ll tell you why.  Both men had the typical male need to feel useful, but I believe being narcissists, it was very exaggerated.  I can’t help but wonder if me not asking for their advice prior to my painting task offended them to the point of narcissistic injury.  It’s entirely possible of course.  Narcissists get offended so easily.

What also is entirely possible is that by not giving me the information they knew I needed, they set me up in order to feel superior.  Narcissists LOVE to feel superior to other people in any & every way.  It props up their ego & seems to just feel really good to them.  While almost anyone can appreciate feeling superior to some small degree, narcissists take it to an extreme.  They need it like an addict needs their drug of choice, & many times, will do anything in order to access that feeling of superiority.  They have no problem withholding information or providing false information, or even blatantly lying to or about their victim.  Whatever it takes to make them feel superior is going to be done.  If you or someone else gets hurt in the process, that isn’t important.  What the narcissist wants is the only thing that matters.  At least to the narcissist, that is.

Knowing this information is vital for anyone who comes in contact with a narcissist in any capacity.  It can help you to avoid a great deal of frustration & wondering why they did what they did.  Remember that they are selfish to the extreme, & all that matters to them is whatever they want at that specific moment.  Hurting others to get that is not a big deal to anyone who lacks empathy, like narcissists.  It’s very sad that there are people out there who are so pathetic they are willing to hurt anyone & everyone to accomplish their goals, but unfortunately, there are people like that.  And they are everywhere!  Be aware of that fact & protect yourself!

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People Who Believe Their Opinions Are The Only Right Ones

Recently I saw something on facebook.  The post was about how single women without children rank highest in happiness according to some study.  I didn’t read the article to know who did the study or any details of it, but I did notice the comments on the article.  They were shocking to say the least.

Some people said of course they are, because single, childless women aren’t tied down to lazy husbands & bratty kids or similar, very negative comments.  Other people said it’s impossible for a single, childless woman to be happy because God made human beings to be married & make a family together.   People on both sides of the argument were extremely adamant that they were completely right, & the other side was completely wrong.

I’ve noticed this same scenario with other topics, such as eating meat versus being vegetarian.  Frankly, I find it utterly disturbing!  There are many issues like this that aren’t black & white, right or wrong.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with people’s beliefs on either side of many issues.  What is wrong is the fact that some people think it is their right to push their views onto other people as if their views are the only right ones.  It’s controlling, very disrespectful & even typical of many narcissists.  This behavior becomes even more disturbing to me when the pushy person claims to be a Christian.

The Bible states that Christians aren’t to judge other people, according to Romans 2:1 & Matthew 7:1 just to site a couple of examples.  We are only to judge things in a discerning way.  We are to judge if someone or something is good or bad for us.  We are to judge our own words & behavior, doing & saying what is Godly & avoiding things that aren’t.  Judging for the purpose of criticism or as an attempt to change someone however is a big problem.

Clearly it is wrong to judge a person for doing something that isn’t wrong.  For example, if someone prefers to remain single then as a Christian, it isn’t your place to tell this person how wrong & evil they are for their choice!  Their choice is hurting no one, it works well for them, & God isn’t going to condemn this person to Hell for not wanting to get married.  If God doesn’t have a problem with the behavior, people shouldn’t either. 

Romans 14:1-4 in the Amplified Bible explains the best way to handle differing opinions.  It says, “1As for the one whose faith is weak, accept him [into your fellowship], but not for [the purpose of] quarreling over his opinions. 2 One man’s faith permits him to eat everything, while the weak believer eats only vegetables [to avoid eating ritually unclean meat or something previously considered unclean]. 3 The one who eats [everything] is not to look down on the one who does not eat, and the one who does not eat must not criticize or pass judgment on the one who eats [everything], for God has accepted him. 4 Who are you to judge the servant of another? Before his own master he stands [approved] or falls [out of favor]. And he [who serves the Master—the Lord] will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.” 

I know there are times it can be extremely difficult when someone’s thinking is much different than yours.  Rather than get into a disagreement though, keep in mind what Romans 14:1-4 says.  Let that person have their beliefs without your criticism.  If they opt to criticize you or try to change your thinking, don’t get drawn into a disagreement.  Each of you is entitled to your own opinion.

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Turning The Other Cheek

I noticed some interesting things when reading Matthew 5:38-39 in the Amplified translation of the Bible recently.  The verses say, “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth [punishment that fits the offense].’ 39 But I say to you, do not resist an evil person [who insults you or violates your rights]; but whoever slaps you on the right cheek, turn the other toward him also [simply ignore insignificant insults or trivial losses and do not bother to retaliate—maintain your dignity, your self-respect, your poise].”  The first interesting part was the definition of evil person.  It says someone “who insults you or violates your rights.”  That sounds like a narcissist to me.  After all, they live to be insulting & violate the rights of others.  It’s what they do & do so well.

I also like the next part of that verse that describes what turning the other cheek really means.  That was the second interesting thing I noticed.  That part of verse 39 says,  “Simply ignore insignificant insults or trivial losses, & do not bother to retaliate – maintain your dignity, your self-respect, your poise.”  That perfectly describes the Gray Rock Method!  It provides no narcissistic supply while you maintain your composure.  Narcissists can’t stand that!  They absolutely hate it, but there is nothing they can do about it without looking foolish.  This means they will leave you alone.

Like I’ve said many times in my work, it’s impossible to avoid narcissists.  They’re everywhere.  Even when we remove them from our lives, chances are excellent that others will pop up.  Hopefully only in passing, like maybe a cashier or repairman.  But, sometimes they pop up in other, closer relationships no matter how hard we try to avoid them.  A close friend starts dating a narcissist, or that new coworker is a narcissist.  In such situations, there is no escape.  The best that you can do is find ways to deal with that person.  The healthier you get, the more narcissists hate you, which may make the situation even more challenging for a while.  They see you as a threat because you can see what’s behind their masks & you don’t fall for their manipulation.  At some point though they will get bored with you & avoid you as much as possible.

In those situations, the best thing you can do is remember what the Bible says.  People who insult you & ignore your rights are evil in God’s eyes.  That is very clear in the verses from Matthew!  That means you need to protect youself from these people. 

Also, don’t forget the rest of the verse gives excellent advice in dealing with such people.  Ignore them.  Act like you didn’t even notice their cruel words or actions.  Don’t allow them to manipulate you or give them any praise.  Become boring to them, in other words.  This deprives people like this of narcissistic supply.  The more you deprive a narcissist of supply, the less that narcissist will want to do with you.  You are a waste of their time at this point.  They prefer to focus on people that will provide them with that narcissistic supply they crave so desperately.  Be as boring as possible to the narcissists in your life.  Doing so will keep you safe from their abuse.

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Take Your Power Back From The Narcissist

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A Passive/Aggressive Way Narcissists Use To Abuse

One passive/aggressive tactic narcissists use to abuse victims is to be sure they know they aren’t good enough.

A common way narcissists do this is to make sure you know that no matter how good you are at something, someone is better than you at it.  Let’s say you own your own interior designing business & the narcissist knows this.  Most people would be impressed by that.  Narcissists are too, just not when it comes to YOUR business.  They may say something like, “Did you know that Sally owns her own interior designing firm?  She is so smart & talented!  She works so hard!  Never takes a day off!”

While the words aren’t said, the message is still clear: “Sally has real talent!  You aren’t as hard working, talented or business savvy as she is!  You aren’t worthy of my admiration like Sally is!”

Another variation on this is when a narcissist says, “Interior decorating is so easy.  Seems like anyone can do it.  Anyone can put up a sign saying they’re an interior designer these days.  I can’t imagine why anyone would pay someone to do something so easy…”  Again, the words may not be said but the message is crystal clear – “You’re nothing special.  Any idiot can do what you do.”

A different tactic is used mostly by narcissistic spouses but also by parents.  They never tell you how attractive you are & they know you’re insecure about your appearance, but they freely complement others.  As an example, a narcissistic husband may fuss over a famous model’s beautiful figure to his pregnant wife who is about to give birth to their child, & who feels fat.  Parents can do this too, though.  My mother never told me I was pretty as a child.  In fact she used to brag that once she told me she thought I was “kinda pretty”, even though I don’t remember that happening.  Yet, when I was young, she’d fuss over how pretty other little girls were.  When I would be upset, she’d tell me I was wrong & shouldn’t feel as I did.

There are some big bonuses for narcissists in treating victims this way.  If you confront him or her, the narcissist knows their comment hurt you.  If you’re angry, all the better for the narcissist, because the narcissist can use your anger to prove how unreasonable & crazy you are.  They’ll say things like, “Don’t be so sensitive!”  “I don’t know how you got that out of what I said!”  “You read too much into things!”  If you’re unaware of what is happening, you easily can feel like the narcissist is right.  You’re crazy, oversensitive, etc.  Believing those lies will make you feel shame & be easier for the narcissist to control.  The narcissist may even use it as an excuse to discard you.

These tactics are attempts for narcissists to diminish anyone they envy, compete with or see as a threat in some way.  They knock a person down a bit by making them feel unimportant, bringing them closer to the narcissists level which also builds up the narcissist.

If the narcissist in your life treats you this way, remember what they are doing.  They’re using a passive/aggressive tactic to try to destroy your self esteem so they can control you.  Chances are, they don’t even mean the cruel things they say.  They’re actually envious of you for being prettier, more talented, more successful or whatever than they think they are.  Rather than try to better themselves, narcissists would rather tear someone else down.  So if the narcissist in your life treats you this way, don’t forget that.  What they say isn’t what they truly feel.  What they feel is the exact opposite.

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The Facts About Coersive Control

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How Narcissists Can Abuse Without Doing Anything

Everyone who knows much about narcissistic abuse knows their tactics.  Gaslighting, invalidation, scathing criticisms, baiting, projection… the list goes on & on.  They also have other ways to abuse their victims that are so subtle, they are often overlooked because the narcissist isn’t doing anything.

Narcissists can instill blind terror into their victims with a  look.  I remember the look from my overtly narcissistic mother when I was growing up.  I knew to stop whatever I was doing or saying right then or else the consequences would be terrible.  Naturally, I obeyed, & didn’t have to face consequences after that look.  My mother was hardly the only narcissistic parent to do this.  Many use it.

There also is a variation on the look that covert narcissists prefer.  The victim knows if they don’t do what the narcissist wants, they are going to be on the receiving end of a horrendous guilt trip.  Since covert narcissists are naturally much more subtle than overt narcissists, they wouldn’t consider scaring their victim in the same way.  Instead, they prefer to make their victim feel so guilty that they never repeat the behavior again.

Both overt & covert narcissists have yet another variation on “the look.”  It’s the look that makes a victim feel like they are the most moronic, disgusting, pathetic creature in the world.  My ex husband perfected this one.  When we argued, I was always wrong, according to him.  To drive his point home, he would look at me with a very smug look.  He never said the words, but his facial expression told me he was convinced I was utterly pathetic, stupid & lucky he was willing to put up with such a disgusting creature as me who was clearly so far beneath him & his highly superior intelligence.

Another way narcissists can abuse without lifting a finger is known as triangulation.  This is when a narcissist confides in another person about the victim.  They usually lie to this person to make the victim look bad & to make the narcissist look like an innocent victim.  When that third person believes the lies, they confront the real victim.  They tell the victim that they need to apologize to the narcissist, stop doing whatever the narcissist said they were doing, or even resume the relationship with the narcissist after going no contact.  The narcissist does nothing while this person abuses the victim on their behalf.

Clearly narcissists have abuse down to a science!

If you face any of these situations when dealing with a narcissist, chances are at some point you will think you’re reading too much into their actions.  You may even think something is mentally wrong with you to think the narcissist meant anything more than simply to look at you or was talking to a friend about your troubled relationship.  Please get such thoughts out of your mind immediately!  You aren’t reading too much into anything!  Every single thing narcissists say & do has a purpose.  You are correct in assuming those looks mean what you think they mean, & that person telling you what you are doing wrong by the narcissist is being used by the narcissist.

When these things happen, the first step I suggest you do is ask God to guide you & give you wisdom & creative ideas for handling the situation.  Also remind yourself that nothing narcissists do is innocent.  Everything has a self-serving motive.  These behaviors really have nothing to do with you.  They’re about the narcissist gaining control over you.  Don’t allow yourself to give into that control.  And, as for the person used in triangulation?  If you can’t remove this person from your life, at least refuse to discuss the narcissist with this person.  You’ll save yourself a great deal of frustration!

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How Narcissists Manipulate Their Victims

One of the favorite tools of narcissists is saying something that may seem innocuous but in truth, it’s designed to cause hurt or anger.  Years ago, my late mother in-law  asked something me in front of my husband… “Is your car running ok?”  Sounds innocent.  Also, every time we went to her home, we were in my husband’s car so how was she to know if it was running or not?  The truth was she hated my car.  She told me many times I should get rid of it.  Her “innocent” comment was one more way to say she thought my car was a piece of junk.  Later, when I said something to my husband, he defended his mother.  He never heard her tell me how she hated my car, & as I said, when we visited her, we took his car.  He saw no evidence that what I said was true.

This is a very effective tactic!  What narcissists say may sound helpful or nice, & may even have a victim believing that for a second, but it’s manipulation.  It’s also said as it is to cause confusion, so when you confront the narcissist, they can deny any wrong doing. As an added bonus, narcissists like witnesses, so they can validate that the narcissist didn’t mean any harm & you’re wrong, as in the situation with my mother in-law.  This provides the narcissist with their precious narcissistic supply.  And, if you stay silent, this also provides the narcissist with supply, because they see they have control over you.

The coup de gras is when the narcissist can make you apologize for your valid feelings.  Unfortunately this happens often, because such devious techniques can be very difficult to spot.

There are different ways narcissist use this technique.  Some are listed below so you can learn to spot this manipulation as soon as it begins.

  • Mentioning an ex frequently.  Narcissists love to say “my ex is still in love with me”, that he or she called or they ran into each other somewhere.  They also may mention good qualities about this ex.  This is to make you jealous & insecure, by letting you know the narcissist has other, better options.  If you say anything, the narcissist says you’re insecure, & have no need to worry.  The reassurance doesn’t feel so reassuring, however.
  • Narcissists like to flirt, but not necessarily with their partner.  A narcissistic significant other has no trouble flirting with other people in front of their mate.  When confronted, they say things like they’re just being friendly, you need to stop being so insecure & the flirting doesn’t mean anything since you are the one he or she comes home to.  Again, the reassurance isn’t very reassuring!
  • Narcissistic parents “brag” about their children to others.  Narcissistic parents love to share stories about their children that make the parent look good.  If they were able to fix something for their child or rescue them after doing something not very wise, those stories will be shared.  When their child is upset, they tell their child they have nothing to be upset about because the parent was bragging about them.  How can that possibly be upsetting?
  • Being condescending.  Narcissists believe themselves to be of superior intellect, so when their victim is in need of advice, they offer their so called wisdom freely.  They mention they’re doing it to help or they have your best interest at heart, so your accusations offend them.  You should be grateful they care enough to help you!
  • Talking about things with other people in front of you that you know nothing about.  If you & the narcissist are with other people, they may discuss stories that you know nothing about or have inside jokes.  The narcissist wants you to feel left out.  If you mention it, the narcissist says he or she knew you wouldn’t want to go which is why you were left out, or you’d be bored by the silly inside jokes.  You then feel ashamed of yourself for your very valid feelings.

You can learn to recognize these subtle tactics with practice.  When you do, remind yourself of what is happening, & act accordingly.  Don’t show the narcissist that you’re hurt or angry.  Pretend not to notice their manipulation.  This will deprive them of narcissistic supply, & most likely they’ll stop using that tactic on you.

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Ways Narcissists Hurt Victims

Narcissists love to hurt their victims.  It gives them a feeling of power, control & superiority to be able to affect victims as profoundly as they do, so it’s no wonder they do it so often.

Narcissists have a vast collection of ways to cause their victims pain.  Following is a list of some of their favorite methods used to accomplish this.  Some of these methods are quite subtle, & may not even seem abusive at first, but they absolutely are.

If you want validation, count on the narcissist to withhold it from you.  Narcissists won’t tell you that you did a good job or that you’re right about something.  Withholding validation is a form of invalidation, & is done to let you know how unimportant everything about you is.

If something important is going on with you, whether it is good or bad, you can expect a narcissist to steal the spotlight somehow.  They may invent a crisis or pick a fight with you.  If something bad is happening to you, they may steal the spotlight by talking about how the event affects them.  My ex husband & father did this constantly.  I ended up comforting them rather than them comforting me.

If you need help with something, you can expect the narcissist to resist.  Either he or she will disappear completely or will help but do things in a lazy, sloppy way.  If this person does help you, the help most likely accompanied by a great deal of complaining or letting you know what a huge sacrifice he or she is making & how you should appreciate it.

If you’re sick or injured, you can count on a narcissist to disappear or act annoyed with your suffering.  Since they lack empathy, they won’t care about how awful you feel.  They most likely will trivialize your suffering on the off chance they acknowledge it.  And, if the narcissist in question is your romantic partner, don’t think your illness or injury will have any affect on your sex life.  You still will be expected to perform as normal, no matter the state of your health.

If you want sex from your narcissistic partner, you can count on the narcissistic partner to claim to be too tired.  They must be in control in every area, & that includes your sex life.  They also don’t care what their victims want in any area.

If you’re talking, chances of the narcissist interrupting you are excellent.  It keeps the focus on them because a person who is interrupted naturally stops talking to let the interrupting person talk.

If you’re lonely, you can expect the narcissist suddenly to be too busy to spend time with you.  The same goes if you need to talk to him or her about something.  If you decide to spend time with someone else, the narcissist will become angry that you didn’t just wait to spend time with him or her.  You will be called unreasonable, impossible to please or something similar.

If you want to drive somewhere when you & the narcissist go out together, count on your driving being criticized either actively or passively, no matter how safely you drive.  Actively criticizing it is easy to spot.  They tell you that you’re driving too fast, tailgating or other similar comments.  Passive criticizing isn’t so easy to spot.  It’s quieter & more covert, such as bracing themselves as you approach a red light or stop sign or cringing as you drive.  I believe the passive criticism is even worse, because if you say something, the narcissist has plausible deniability.  He or she can say things like, “I never complained about your driving!”  “I never said you were speeding!”  Before you know it, you easily can end up apologizing to the narcissist.

When you witness these behaviors from the narcissist in your life, remind yourself that they are abusive!  You aren’t unreasonable or wrong or impossible to please.  The narcissist is trying to hurt you.  Don’t let that happen!  Remind yourself what is happening so you aren’t hurt by their ridiculous & abusive behavior.

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Taking Back Your Power From The Narcissist

Narcissists love to manipulate & control their victims.  One way they control their victims is to make them feel powerless, as if they have absolutely no control over any aspect of their own lives.

Feeling completely out of control & powerless is a horrible way to feel!  It saps your joy & makes you feel utterly hopeless.  Being depressed & hopeless may make you miserable, but it also will make a narcissist feel wonderful.  This is because they have control over you & know you won’t do anything about it.

Don’t let the narcissist in your life get away with doing this to you!  Take your power back!  You can do this!!

As always, I recommend you start with prayer.  God will be glad to give you whatever you need, be it insight, strength, courage or anything else.  Let Him help you!!  You need every advantage you can get where narcissists are concerned, so why not let God help you?

If you haven’t done it already, start learning about boundaries.  You need to have very clear views on where you end & the narcissist begins, because one way narcissists remove a victim’s power is by blurring those boundaries.  Victims often feel responsible for the narcissist in ways that they shouldn’t.  As an example, narcissists make victims feel responsible for their feelings & actions.  How many times has the narcissist in your life said something like, “You made me do that!”  “I wouldn’t be so angry if you wouldn’t have said/done what you did!”?  I would guess you can think of many examples.  I certainly can.

As you learn about boundaries, you’ll need to learn some new & even creative ways to say no to the narcissist.  Always remember, normal ways to set boundaries don’t work with narcissists, so avoid saying things like, “Please don’t do that.. it hurts me when you do that.”  Admitting the narcissist’s behavior hurts you only provides narcissistic supply which means they’ll do that thing over & over again.  Instead, say things like:

  • I’m sorry.  I have other plans.
  • I can’t do that.
  • I can’t make it that day.
  • I’ll consider what you suggested.
  • That isn’t going to happen.
  • I’m not interested.
  • Thank you, but no.
  • No (without any explanation, simply saying the word).

There are also other things you can do to help yourself to regain some control.  Start small.  Organize your purse, a desk drawer, your car’s glove compartment.  Work up from there onto something larger, maybe get rid of some clothes you no longer like even though the narcissist likes them.  You also could paint a room or replace a piece of furniture.  Keep taking back your power, little by little.  The more you do it, the easier it becomes & the less you’re willing to settle for someone taking away your power.

Naturally as you do these things, the narcissist is NOT going to be happy about it.  Most likely, the narcissist will realize that a rage will make him or her look bad, so that won’t happen.  Instead, probably there will be passive/aggressive behaviors such as giving the silent treatment.  Invalidation is also common.  The narcissist may act as if there is something wrong with you for liking whatever it is you did that took back some of your power.  Criticism certainly is going to happen.  The narcissist will let you know that whatever you did was wrong, stupid, a waste of time & anything else negative they can think to say.

When the narcissist acts this way, always remember that it says more about the narcissist than you.  Normal, functional people encourage others to be independent & have good boundaries.  They also aren’t threatened by such things.  Only unsafe & even narcissistic people are threatened by such normal, healthy, behaviors.

Dear Reader, you can do this!  You can take back your power!

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What Does A Narcissist Mean When They Say, “My Sources Say You Did That”?

One of the most infuriating things I dealt with at the hands of my narcissistic mother when her abuse was at its worst was when she’d say, “My sources say you were seen doing *fill in the blank* today.”  Or, “I was told that you did *fill in the blank*.”  I would ask her who said these things & she would tell me it wasn’t my business, it didn’t matter or it wasn’t important.

It made me feel so paranoid, angry & even betrayed.  Paranoid because I wondered who would tell my mother these things that I hadn’t even done.  Angry that someone would tell her things I hadn’t done & she would believe I was capable of such things.  Betrayed because clearly this person knew me.. what if this was a close friend of mine?  My friends at the time knew about much of the abuse… how could any of them lie to my abuser knowing what happened when she was angry with me?!

Thankfully my mother stopped this after I moved out.  I honestly thought I was over it, too.  That is, until the spring of 2009, when one of my cousins & I had a falling out.  She had invited my husband & I for Christmas a couple of months prior, & I declined.  Apparently some time after, she learned that we took my parents to visit my father’s sister about a couple of weeks before Christmas & assumed that meant I spent Christmas with our aunt.  I explained that wasn’t the case at all, I wouldn’t do that to her.  Her response?  “Why are you lying to me?  My sources told me you spent Christmas with her.”  That was a big trigger for me.  All the old anger I’d felt at my mother came flooding back to the surface.  Apparently I wasn’t over it, & with good reason.

So many narcissists use this type of manipulation.  They accuse their victims of outrageous behavior, & say “my sources said you did it” or, “I was told you were seen doing that.”  When you try to find out who their mysterious sources are, they say it doesn’t matter, it’s not your business or you don’t need to know.  If you’ve been in this position, you know just how infuriating it is.  It’s bad enough being accused of something awful you didn’t do, but not to know who is saying you’ve done this makes it even worse.

You know something though?  The reason they refuse to divulge their “source” is because that person doesn’t even exist!  The accusations came from the narcissist’s warped mind, not another person.  The reason the narcissist is saying they were told you did this thing is to make you insecure, to make you think others are talking about you & ultimately to gain control over you.  It can make you feel as if everyone is against you, & no one would believe you if you tell the truth about the abuse.  I certainly felt that way with my mother.  It makes you lose hope & afraid of disappointing people close to you.  If the narcissist is especially good at this, you may come to believe that you did what the narcissist said you did.  This makes you easy for the narcissist to control.

If you end up in this position with a narcissist, remember what they are doing.  They don’t have “sources”.  They are simply making up lies in order to gain control over you.  Don’t get caught up in defending yourself to them, because they’ll only use that to prove how mentally unbalanced you are.  And question everything they say.  Even say something like, “Really?  What did I do then?!  I want to know!”  If a narcissist wants to act so foolish, then they deserve to be called out on their behavior & to know you know they’re lying.

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Manipulative Memes

I love memes.  In fact, I saved many over the years.  Some inspire me with quoting Scripture.  Others inspire because of the beautiful pictures.  And then there are ones like this one that was popular on Facebook for a while.  It said, “It is very sad when members of the same family do not talk to each other.  The children suffer for the adult ego.  Cousins miss the wonderful opportunity to be together, & all due to a bruised adult ego.  Stop getting offended.  Reunite with your family members.  One day your imaginary conflict will all come to an end…with or without you.  Don’t wait until it’s too late.  Type yes if you agree.”

That one about made me gag.

I will admit, there are families where someone is being a petty jerk & not speaking to other family members.  It does happen, but I don’t believe it’s all that common.

What is much more common is when someone in a family is abusive, & their victim gets fed up.  They sever ties with that abuser to protect themselves & sometimes also their spouse &  children.  The abuser & their devoted flying monkeys harass the victim, drag their name through the mud & blindly support the abuser.   Meanwhile the victim is left behind in a state of shock & deeply hurt by the betrayal of not only the abuser but the family members who once said they loved the victim.  I guess that truth doesn’t make such a “nice”, wholesome sounding meme though, does it?

If I sound angry about this, it’s because I am.  Not only for myself since I have been in this position but for the countless others who have been as well.

It’s not right to abuse someone in the first place.  There is no reason to abuse anyone.  The only thing that makes this even worse is when people know about the abuse, but treat the abuser with kindness & the victim with disdain.  Treating someone who has the courage to open up about being abused is one of the cruelest things a person can do to another in my opinion.  It takes a lot of courage to go against the abuser’s wishes in any way, especially their desire to keep their acts secret, because once it’s out, you can’t take it back.  To treat someone in this position as if they’re lying, making a big deal about nothing, acting like a spoiled brat, trivialize their feelings or experiences or claim they want to hear nothing about it is absolutely disgraceful & disgusting.  Anyone who does this should be utterly ashamed of their actions, but sadly that is rare.

People who act this way are people who are fans of the meme I mentioned at the beginning of this post.  Those people obviously have issues.  Since I’m related to many of that type of person & have seen their sick behavior first hand, I think I can say that without any doubt.  Thanks to these people, I have learned a few things about this kind of person.

People who treat victims as they do often have abuse in their past.  They don’t have the guts to face that fact, so they deny it.  They put on a fake happy face & tell stories of their happy family.  Their denial runs deep so they don’t have to face the pain.  Any perceived threat to it & they attack.  This includes silencing other victims who are willing to speak out, even when those victims are their own family.

There are others who know the narcissist & refuse to believe the truth.  They believe the “nice guy/girl” act & will also attack any threat to their denial of the truth.

People like this are just as toxic as the narcissist who abused you in the first place.  And sadly, they’re out there creating memes like this & hurting & manipulating God only knows how many people who see it.  It’s utterly disgusting!  You really can’t believe everything you read, because sometimes it’s nothing more than garbage written by toxic people.

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About Coercive Control

Narcissists clearly are experts in the area of controlling.  One lesser known tactic they use is called coercive control.  It is most commonly known to happen in romantic relationships, but it also can happen in parent/child relationships.

Coercive control doesn’t always involve physical violence, yet victims wonder if they don’t obey the narcissist, will it turn violent one day?  Fear is a great weapon, & those who use coercive control are well aware of that fact.  Often without so much as touching their victim, they instill a deep fear in them.

There are other signs of coercive control that people need to be aware of abusers using.

Intimidation is a big red flag.  Towards the end of my first marriage, my ex was trying to intimidate me by punching things other than me.  After, he would tell me how lucky I was he was hitting the walls instead of me.  Other forms of intimidation can include showing weapons, blocking you from leaving the room or standing over you in a way as to make themselves look much bigger than you.

“Minor” violent acts.  I hate to use the word minor with violent acts because it sounds like it’s trivializing violence.  That isn’t my intention.  What I mean is acts like pushing, holding you in place or even pinching hard.  These are so called minor violent acts.

Using threats to control.  Threatening to leave you, to commit suicide or hurt your child or pet in order to get what they want fall into the category of coercive control.

Micromanaging a victim.  When someone controls things like how you dress or how you wash the dishes, it makes you easy to control because in time, you feel as if you must ask your partner for permission to do everything.   Some parents continue treating their adult child as if they were young children in need of their guidance well into adulthood.  This is known as infantilization.

Financial abuse.  An abusive partner will keep their mate in the relationship by destroying their credit, spending all of their paychecks or refusing them all access to the couple’s finances.

Isolation is another form of coercive control.  It’s no secret that abusers isolate their victims.  Isolation makes victims easy to control by limiting the information & support they can receive from outside sources.  Abusers may claim their victims’ friends or family aren’t good for them as one way to isolate their victims.

Sex is a very commonly used method of coercive control.  Abusers may violently rape their victims of course, but that isn’t always the case.  Many use shame, saying things like, “Any other woman in the world would do this one little thing for me…” or, “If you loved me, you would do this for me.”  They also may be very good lovers at first to get you hooked on sex with them, then in time, they suddenly lose interest in having sex with you.  When you practically beg them is when they have power over you.  They use the opportunity to tell you what they want from you that will make them regain interest in sex.

When things like this happen, it’s not easy to identify these behaviors as abusive at first.  Abusers get worse gradually, to build a victim’s tolerance to abuse.  This is probably why so many victims stay… it happened so gradually, they didn’t even realize it was happening.  By the time they did, they felt unable to escape.

If this describes you or someone you know, please get out NOW!!!  These behaviors are all signs of a potentially violent person!  Protect yourself & stay safe!  xoxo

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About Being “The Bigger Person”

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Ways Narcissists Use Shame To Abuse

Shame is a powerful weapon in the hands of an abuser.  It can cause a person to rely on their abuser for pretty much any information & make them easy to control by causing them to think they need someone smarter to tell them what to do.  Narcissists know this, & they have fine tuned many very effective ways to use shame to abuse their victims.

Narcissists will destroy a person’s self esteem in order to create toxic shame in a victim.  They point out a person’s flaws (real or imagined) constantly & tell embarrassing stories about them.  This keeps a victim on their toes, trying to be better, to please the narcissist, & to avoid doing embarrassing things that the narcissist will use to embarrass the victim with at any given time.

Narcissists also will invalidate a victim.  If they tell an embarrassing story, for example, & the victim becomes rightly upset, the narcissist will say things like, “I was just joking.”  “You can’t even take a joke!”  My narcissistic mother did this one constantly, & when I got upset, would tell me, “There’s something wrong with you.  You shouldn’t feel that way!  That was funny!”

Narcissists also love to reinvent the past.  They claim to be responsible for their victim’s successes, claim the successes weren’t all that great or even deny they happened.  Regarding their abuse, they will claim the abuse never happened or if it did, it wasn’t as bad as the victim claims or the victim made the narcissist do it.

Narcissists will twist a situation around to make themselves look like the victim rather than the abuser.  They do this in two ways.  They will tell others about how angry their victim is, how he or she yells at them, while leaving out the things they did that got the victim to that state.  They also will use a victim’s own valid reactions to their abuse to prove to the victim that the victim is abusive &/or is mentally unstable.

Narcissists never speak to their victims as if the victim is their equal.  Sometimes they will talk down to their victim, in particular if the victim in question is their child.  They want to maintain that adult/child relationship in order to make their child feel inferior to them, therefore making them easier to control.

Other narcissists will talk in circles, use big words, speak with authority & basically try to talk above their victim, which makes even the most intelligent victim feel stupid.  They may change their body language or physical position so they literally can look down at their victim.

If the narcissist’s victim has any sort of religious faith, the narcissist will not hesitate to use their beliefs to shame the victim.  Many tell their victims things like they are going to hell because of how they treat the narcissist, or they aren’t honoring their parent.  They let their victims know they are a total failure in every way, including their religious beliefs.

Narcissists view everything as a competition, & they will use comparisons to shame their victims.  If a narcissist & their victim have something in common, you can guarantee the narcissist will make sure the victim knows the narcissist does it better or has a better one or is more successful at it.  Whatever “it” is, the narcissist is the master, the victim the failure, according to the narcissist.

When a narcissist behaves in these ways towards you, keep in mind what is really happening!  You have no reason to be ashamed of yourself, no matter what the narcissist is saying.  He or she is only trying  to make you feel that way in order to abuse & manipulate you.  Like everything when it comes to narcissists, it’s all about the narcissist, & has nothing to do with you.  Never forget that!

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The Double Bind, No Win Situation

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Dealing With Guilt Trips

One very popular weapon in the narcissistic arsenal is guilt.  Covert narcissists in particular are very fond of using guilt as a means of control.  It’s understandable it’s such a common weapon considering how very effective guilt can be.  It also is unfair & even cruel.

So how can you cope when your narcissistic parent uses guilt trips?

First, pray.  Ask God for wisdom & discernment so you understand when guilt is being used on you & ways to cope with it.

You also need to recognize what is a guilt trip & what isn’t.  You need to know when someone is saying something to manipulate you or to help you to change & improve yourself.  Statements like, “It hurt my feelings when you said/did….” can help you.  Statements that simply make you feel guilty like, “After all I’ve done for you, this is how you repay me?” however aren’t to help you, but to control you.

You also need to be aware of the fact narcissistic supply is at the root of every single thing a narcissist does.  Guilt trips are a part of that.  Being able to control someone via guilt provides supply as does seeing that person upset about the guilt.  The more you allow the guilt trips to work on you, the more the narcissist will use them on you.  The best thing you can do is to pretend not to notice the guilt at all when you’re in the narcissist’s presence.  Later, when away from her, vent to your heart’s content of course, but when in her presence or even on the phone with her, pretend you didn’t notice a thing.  If she realizes guilt trips don’t work on you, she’ll stop using them since she sees they aren’t effective.

Don’t justify yourself or your actions.  If you do, you’re only making yourself look guilty, which could mean the narcissist will get meaner.  Probably my most successful interaction with my late covert narcissist mother in-law involved guilt from her.  She wanted me to do something for her one day but I had plans.  Granted, I could’ve changed them, but I didn’t want to.  Not for someone who hated me & treated me so poorly.  She kept trying to find out what my plans were.  She said things like, “You sure must have something important to do if you won’t do this for me.”  “I guess you’re doing something for your parents since you won’t help me…”  Rather than explain my plans (which weren’t her business!), I ignored her.  Since I didn’t tell her, she got mad, but couldn’t be mad at me without looking foolish in front of her husband & mine.  By not justifying my actions, I protected my privacy, avoided more nastiness from her & she never tried to guilt trip me again.  In fact, I found the entire thing funny because her behavior was so ridiculous.  Much better to laugh than to be angry or hurt!

Remember, if you have done something wrong, you should feel some guilt since it will help you to improve your behavior.  However, if you haven’t done anything wrong, then do NOT allow the guilt trip to work on you.

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How Narcissists Use Shame To Abuse, part 2

 

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How Narcissists Use Shame To Abuse, part 1

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How Narcissists Use Cars To Abuse

Narcissists will use anything at their disposal to abuse & control their victims, & that even includes cars.

If a victim has hurt a narcissist somehow or even simply set boundaries with the narcissist, the narcissist may drive like a maniac in an attempt to scare the victim.  After I broke off the engagement with my now ex husband, we went somewhere together & he was driving very erratically.  It terrified me & I asked him to stop it.  He said it was my fault he drove that way, because after I broke up with him, he didn’t care if he lived or died.

Cars are also an excellent place for a narcissist to have complete control over their victims.  The victim has no means of escaping the narcissist’s car, so there is no choice but to tolerate whatever is done in that car.  In my late teens when my mother’s abuse was at its worst, she refused to let me get my license & a car.  Naturally, this meant she took me to & from school & work.  Each ride was sheer hell for me because she screamed & raged at me the entire ride.  I had no way of escaping either since I needed to get to my destinations, so there was no choice but to tolerate it.

Narcissists also often want to be the driver because this means their victim/passenger only can go where the narcissist wants to go & on her time schedule, not the victim’s.   If they want to go somewhere with their victim, they will tell the victim what time they will pick him or her up, or tell the victim to come to the narcissist’s home so the narcissist can drive them to their destination.  It’s all about control, & all victims know, narcissists love to have control over their victim in every possible way.

There are also some narcissists who don’t drive.  This is most prevalent with covert narcissists rather than overt.  They may play the naive & innocent role, claiming it is just too hard to drive.  Since overt narcissists usually avoid appearing in a way that can look weak somehow, they usually drive.  Again, this is all about control.  If a narcissist can’t or won’t drive, this forces the narcissist’s victims to take care of her by either taking her places or doing things for her.

I’m certainly not saying that everyone who is a bad driver, who prefers to be the one driving or doesn’t drive is a narcissist, of course.  Some people are simply more daring behind the wheel than others.  There are also many people who develop serious anxiety behind the wheel, & they realize they shouldn’t be behind the wheel.  There are others who love driving or who feel safest when they are driving.  These people obviously aren’t narcissists, & you can tell they aren’t narcissists by their behavior.  The daring driver is daring all of the time, not only after someone has upset him somehow.  The anxious person asks for rides &/or offers gas money rather than expects others to help.  The person who prefers being the driver never gets upset when someone says they want to drive or meet them somewhere.

If you have recently met someone, & think the person may be a narcissist, this is one way to help you to figure it out.  Watch how the person is when it comes to driving.

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Ways To Identify Controlling People

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Infantilization

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The Consummate Victim

Some covert narcissists are what I think of as the consummate victim.  They are the ones who are always wronged, always the victim, & never at fault for anything.  Some examples of their behavior are as follows.

 

The narcissist says something cruel.  You get angry, & rightfully so.  She claims she never meant to hurt your feelings.  She was just trying to help & had no idea what she said would upset you.  She then stops speaking to you for weeks, even if you apologized.

 

The narcissist tries to manipulate you into doing something you don’t want to do.  Naturally, you refuse to do it.  She claims you don’t love her.  How could you refuse to do this one little thing for her, especially after all she’s done for you?!

 

The narcissist is your elderly parent who expects you to come at their beck & call.  You tell your parent you only are available one day a week to do what she needs.  She tells your family how you refused to help her, & they attack you for being a bad daughter, ungrateful, a spoiled brat & more.

 

Narcissists who claim life is so unfair to them or that they are mistreated when people confront them on their abusive behavior are also consummate victims.  There are also those who blame their victims for their abusive behavior.  They are also consummate victims, as are those who complain about their problems, yet refuse to do something to change the situation.

 

Dealing with these people is incredibly frustrating, I know.  My late father & late mother in-law were both covert narcissists & consummate victims.  I repeatedly asked my father not to call after 9 at night.  When I refused to take his call when he called at 10 one evening, he called my in-laws & a cousin who lives almost 500 miles away.  He told both he was so concerned about me for not answering the phone, & asked them to have me call him immediately.  Another time, I was angry with my mother in-law because she had snooped through my purse yet again.  She asked my husband why I was angry, & he told her.  I overheard the conversation.  She claimed not to know what she did would be upsetting to me.

 

Both situations were similar.  As a result of my father’s & mother in-law’s actions, my husband & I got into an argument about his mother & my cousin & I argued about my father.  Being the typical consummate victims, their obnoxious behavior caused problems for the real victim while making themselves look good.

 

There are some things that you can do that can help you if you must deal with this behavior in covert narcissists.

 

Always rely on God to help you in this situation. He will be glad to help you discern the truth & strengthen you to do whatever you need to do!

 

Remember the type of person that you’re dealing with.  No matter what you do, this person will twist the situation around to make you look bad & them look like the innocent victim of your cruelty.  Expect nothing else because this person has no desire to behave any other way.

 

Also remember that there is nothing wrong with you setting boundaries or confronting this person on their abusive behavior.  Both of those are good things to do.  They are healthy & show you have self respect.

 

Consummate victims are very skilled at recruiting flying monkeys.  When you set those boundaries or confront the narcissist about her behavior, no matter how gently & reasonably you do so, it’s a safe bet someone will tell you how cruel, unreasonable, wrong, etc. you are.  When this happens, ignore whatever these flying monkeys have to say.  They don’t know the truth, only what the narcissist has told them.  Also, it’s best to refuse to discuss the narcissist with them.

 

Lastly, it’s also important to remember that consummate victims may project their status on their real victims.  It can be easy to believe their lies since narcissists are talented actors who give very convincing performances.  To avoid believing their lies, remember that you are NOT a consummate victim if you are angry about being abused, setting healthy boundaries or refusing to be manipulated.

 

If you are faced with a covert narcissist who portrays herself as a consummate victim, you can cope.  You have the knowledge & strength to handle this ugly situation.

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How To Deal With Guilt Trips

 

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Narcissists Love When Victims Suck Up To Them

Narcissists love to have power over their victims.  To hurt someone either mentally, physically or sexually gives them a feeling of power.  Possibly the only thing that makes narcissists feel even more powerful is watching their victim suck up to them.

When a victim is genuinely repentant & will do anything to make it up to their abuser, this is a huge power trip for the narcissist.  They know they can make that victim do anything at this point.  There also is the added bonus of the victim accepting responsibility for whatever the narcissist did.  This means the narcissist doesn’t have to take any blame at all.  (Not that they would anyway, but at least in this situation, they don’t have to work to pawn that blame off on someone else).

Narcissists are incredibly good at manipulation & gaslighting- making a person doubt their own thoughts, feelings, perceptions & even sanity.  Because of this, it’s no wonder many victims in the midst of narcissistic abuse continually apologize & suck up to their abuser.  I certainly have done my fair share of it before learning about narcissism.  (If you have too, there’s nothing to be ashamed of.  I doubt there is one victim of narcissistic abuse that hasn’t apologized to their abuser at least a couple of times.)

If you’re still in a relationship with a narcissist, I’m sure you’re faced with the scenario at least periodically, where the narcissist is angry with you & demands that you apologize.  Or maybe she prefers suddenly to stop speaking to you, with no explanation whatsoever, in an attempt to make you rush to her side, begging for her to speak to you again.

Having been there, I learned something.  Don’t do it!!!

If you have done something wrong, then by all means, apologize.  It’s just the right, mature thing to do.  Say you’re sorry, make things right if you can, & move on.

If you haven’t done something wrong, then do NOT apologize!  If you do it once, the narcissist will demand you do it again & again.  She will use you & wear you down to get you to make it up to her for whatever horrible thing you supposedly did.

If a person can’t behave like a mature adult by trying to work out a problem, then don’t treat them as if they are one.  Let that narcissist pout like the bratty child she’s acting like while you ignore her ridiculous display.  If she’s trying to make you feel guilty, pretend not to notice.  If she hints for an apology, also pretend not to notice.  Learn to enjoy the silent treatment if you’re on the receiving end of it.  It’s a reprieve from unnecessary drama- why not enjoy it?

Stop trying to make it up to a narcissist who isn’t telling you what you’ve done wrong or who blames you for them abusing you!  It only provides them with narcissistic supply, & the more you provide, the more they will demand from you.

Making it up to someone you have hurt is one thing.  It should be a normal thing for a person to do as well as the one hurt to expect.  However, when someone constantly expects another person to make it up to them without trying to talk things out, or because they abused their victim, something is very, very wrong with this situation.

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When Narcissists Claim To Be The Real Victim

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About Victims Of Narcissistic Abuse

Since my last post was about red flags in those who write about narcissism, I thought I’d make today’s post about fellow survivors.

Most people who have survived narcissistic abuse are good people who are trying hard to recover. Naturally they have issues, but at least they’re working on them & working on getting healthier. They also are willing to share what they learn to help others in similar situations, & do so without any arrogance. They’re also open to input from other people, because they realize they don’t know it all- there is always more to learn on this topic.

Not every victim is this way, however. Some turn abusive.

I don’t know why some victims try to heal & why some become abusive but it does happen sometimes. If you’re going to interact with other victims through online support groups, reading blogs or on social media, you need to be aware of some red flags.

The biggest red flag to watch out for is narcissism. Many of you know the signs already so I won’t repeat them here. I’ll just share a link to the page on my website where I wrote about it if you care to check it out: http://cynthiabaileyrug.com/Narcissistic-Personality-Disorder.php

There are other red flags, too. If a person gives advice too freely, for example. While most victims want to help others, they also realize how rude it is to give unasked for advice. They also realize sometimes a person just needs to speak things out loud to help them work through a situation, & that doesn’t mean they’re looking for advice.

If a person is bossy or demanding with their advice, that’s another red flag. Most people realize that all people are individuals. What worked for them may not work for another. They realize it’s not a good idea to try to force someone to follow their advice & let the other person decide for themselves whether or not to follow it.

Your average victim of narcissistic abuse also isn’t judgmental or critical. They know all too well what it feels like to be judged & criticized so harshly, so they don’t inflict that on anyone else. Some victims turned abusers, however, can be extremely judgmental & critical.

Some victims also become very arrogant. They seem to think because they found success in doing something that helped them, that everyone should follow in their footsteps & if they don’t, they’re foolish.

These same people are also usually the first ones to shame people who, “don’t just go no contact.” They make it clear they don’t believe there is any reason not to go no contact, & they offer no compassion to anyone who wants to but it unable to or is trying to find another option.

Abusive victims also make excuses. If they are short with someone, it’s always for a reason like they’re having a bad da, as one example. They don’t apologize or accept responsibility for the hurtful things they do.

And, if you call a person like this out on their actions, they WILL be furious. They may offer a non apology. They may offer lame excuses for their behavior. They also may get mad at you. That in particular is a big red flag, because most victims of narcissistic abuse apologize easily & often. They don’t get mad when called out on their bad behavior. They usually get mad only when someone is accusing them of something they didn’t do.

One other red flag is a smear campaign. This is very common on social media. If someone feels the online support group they participated in wasn’t a good environment for example, social media is an easy way to let the world know how you feel about it. That is pretty normal behavior, I think, but if a person posts about that group in a way that really trashes it, that is a red flag.

The last red flag is stalking or harassing another person online. With your average victim of narcissistic abuse, they may have a dispute with someone then either stop speaking with them or even block them entirely. A victim who is also abusive however, may harass or stalk someone who disagreed with them. They may leave nasty comments on their page or join groups the other person is in & harass them in the group. This nonsense can go on for a very long time, especially with narcissists.

The best advice I can give in these situations is the Gray Rock method. Don’t react to their outrageous behavior or show them that what they do bothers you. Remain calm & ignore their behavior. Don’t defend yourself to their smear campaigns. Instead, simply block them wherever you can. Most people like this will get bored easily & leave you alone at this point. Narcissists may not be so simple to get rid of however. They may bother you for a long time. Never, ever respond to them- instead keep blocking them & their flying monkeys.

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Some Ways Narcissists Use Shame

Narcissists love using shame as a weapon.  Not only does it make them feel superior, but it takes attention off of their bad behavior while simultaneously discrediting their victim.  It also makes a victim easy to control.  Shame is a very effective weapon.

 

There are various ways narcissists use shame.

Narcissists reinvent the past.  They tell stories differently than they actually happened.  They either claim to be the reason someone succeeded or twist the story so the other person looks stupid, like a failure, etc.  Since narcissists speak with such certainty, this can make a victim doubt their own memories & feel ashamed for something they didn’t even do.

 

They tell embarrassing stories about their victim.  Narcissistic parents in particular seem to love this one.  They tell stories that the victim would rather people don’t know about.  My mother used this one with me, telling stories (usually in front of other people) of when I was a child & did stupid things.  When I said I didn’t want her discussing these stories, she would shame me for how I felt, saying I was wrong & shouldn’t feel the way I did.  It took a long time to realize that I wasn’t wrong- my feelings were just & this was nothing but an attempt on her part to make me feel shame.

 

Playing the role of victim.  No matter what a narcissist does to a victim, they have the amazing ability to spin the situation in their favor, so they look like the victim, & the real victim is abusive.  This can create shame in a victim very easily unless the victim is well aware of this game.

 

Religion can become a weapon.  No true narcissist can be a Christian at the same time.  Narcissism is diametrically opposed to the beliefs of Christianity.  However, that doesn’t mean a narcissist won’t use Christianity to shame victims.  Growing up, my mother told me I was going to hell for how badly I treated her.   Later in life, a flying monkey said I was a bad Christian for treating my parents as I do & claiming to be a Christian.  Thankfully, I also have a good enough relationship with God to know what they said was utter nonsense.  If I didn’t, that comment would have caused a great deal of hurt & doubting my salvation!

 

“I was only joking!”  “You’re too sensitive!”  Nasty comments said to a victim followed by, “I was just kidding!”  “Can’t you take a joke?”  “You’re so sensitive!”  & the like are also designed to make a victim feel ashamed for being righteously angry that they were offended by the narcissist’s cruel words.  The goal is to make you feel ashamed of yourself for not realizing the narcissist was only kidding (which they weren’t) or being so sensitive you were offended by their “joke.”  Don’t fall for it.  You aren’t wrong!

 

Comparisons.  If you & the narcissist have done similar things, you can guarantee the narcissist has done it better, at least if you listen to her side of the story.  Everything with narcissists is a pissing contest (sorry to be crude- that’s the best term I know of to describe this situation).  If you found a cure for cancer, they found it first, but didn’t want to brag like you’re doing!  See what I mean?  If they can make you feel badly for not being as good or as talented as them, that sows a seed for shame in you.

 

Talking down to others.  Even a narcissist that isn’t overly intelligent can make a very intelligent victim feel stupid, & ashamed of being so stupid.  Narcissists love to talk in circles & use big words (often that they don’t know the proper definition of & not in context).  If you leave a conversation with a narcissist & your head is swimming, it’s not because you’re stupid.  It’s because narcissists are masters of talking in circles, which is also known as word salad.

 

Acting as if the narcissist is the adult, the victim the child.  This is very common among narcissistic parents.  They’re all about keeping their children, children, no matter their child’s age.  A person who thinks they’re immature & not wise like the narcissist is very easy to control.  Narcissistic parents may continue using a tone of voice that intimidated their children when they were growing up well into that child’s adulthood.  They may call victims immature or mock them with phrases like, “You’re such a baby/child!”  “You’re so immature!”  “You need to grow up!”

 

Remember this post if you’re faced with these behaviors.  You do NOT need to feel shame!  No one should put that on you, but narcissists will try to.  If they do, never accept it.  Ask God to tell you the truth.  Also, look at your situation objectively & you will realize the truth.  Write about it in a journal, too, since writing often gives a great deal of clarity that speaking can’t.  You can deal with this unhealthy behavior in a healthy way!

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Ways Narcissists & Flying Monkeys Try To Hurt Victims After No Contact

Sometimes narcissists & their flying monkeys can be incredibly devious, even after you are no contact with them.  One way they like to mess with their victims  after no contact is initiated is to use very subtle ways to let victims know they can’t stop the narcissist or flying monkey from contacting them.  In fact, they remind me of Glenn Close’s character in the 1987 movie “Fatal Attraction.”  Do you remember the movie?  In it, she had an affair with Michael Douglas who was married to someone else.  He tried to break off the affair & she pretty much went crazy.  She showed up at his & his wife’s apartment in one scene.  He confronted her later at her apartment, & said she had to leave him alone.  She said she wouldn’t be ignored, then, “What am I supposed to do?  You won’t take my calls & you changed your number!”  Seems oddly familiar to me…

 

As I’ve said before, I believe most flying monkeys are also narcissists, so for convenience sake, I’ll refer to them & narcissists as narcissists in this post.

 

Some narcissists send cards for special days like birthdays, anniversaries or holidays even after no contact.  No doubt they hope to ruin your special day.  It also is impossible to avoid receiving things in the mail, so it’s their subtle way to tell you that you can’t ignore them.  If they want to contact you, they can, & you can’t prevent them from doing it.  Sure, you can mark the envelope, “return to sender”, but the fact is even if you do that, they know you’ve seen their mail which will make them quite happy.  In this situation, I save the unopened envelope for documentation in case I need it for any reason.

 

There are also those who reach out to you from phone numbers or other accounts that you haven’t blocked or will create new accounts or get a new number.  This is just one more subtle way for these abusive narcissists to show you that you can’t tell them what to do- if they want to contact you, they will do so.  Block this access as well!  Let them know by your actions that you will NOT respond to them, period.  If they are very persistent, you’ll probably end up feeling like you’re trying to plug holes in a sinking boat.  I’ve been there & can tell you that is an awful feeling.  But, keep plugging the holes!  Don’t give in & talk to them!  Remember, you’re no contact for good reason!

 

When these narcissists are able to get through to you, they may act like nothing is wrong, like you never initiated no contact in the first place.  Their tone will be light & happy.  They may call you “sweetheart” or other nicknames, even if they never used the nickname with you before.  They may off non-apologies such as “I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings last time we spoke.  I was just upset.”  Or, they may make excuses for their behavior.  Don’t be fooled!!  Nice nicknames don’t mean they have changed, & neither do lame excuses & non-apologies.  If at all possible, don’t read their messages.  You may want to save them for documentation in case you decide to look into pressing charges against them for harassment, however.

 

Narcissists often like to use the phone as a weapon.  Granted, you can block their number, but they still can use other phones to call you or block their number when calling.  If at all possible, don’t answer your phone unless you have no doubt who is calling you.  You also may wish to stop using voicemail.  I don’t use it at all on my home or cell phone because I don’t even want to hear the voice of a narcissist calling.  Hearing that person’s voice can be triggering & upsetting, & this is an easy way to avoid that.

 

Another typical tactic narcissists use when calling is to let the phone ring & ring.  One flying monkey of my mother’s let my home phone ring for about five minutes straight one evening.  Or, they may call back many times in a short window of time.  Or both.  These tactics can be incredibly frustrating.  I always felt like I wanted to pick up the phone & verbally rip these people apart for this ridiculous behavior.  That also would’ve been the absolute worst possible thing to do.  Instead, let the phone ring & ignore it.  Shut off the ringer if it helps you.  Whatever you do, do NOT take that call!  A person who employs these tactics is basically a bully, trying to force you to do what they want, which is take their call.  If you give in, they will know this tactic works & do it again & again.  They also will see that they have the ability to pressure you into doing what they want, so they will do other things to attempt to force you to do their bidding.

 

Never, ever give narcissists what they want.  The more you deprive them of their precious narcissistic supply, the better your chances they will leave you alone at some point.

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health, Narcissism