Tag Archives: triangulation

How Narcissists Use Social Media

Narcissists are experts at using any tool at their disposal to victimize a person of their choosing or to gain their coveted narcissistic supply.  Social media is an excellent way to accomplish these things.

Social media provides an excellent way for a narcissist to stalk, harass  & victimize you.  I’ve been on the receiving end of being harassed this way.  One stalker kept liking my Facebook writing page, even though I repeatedly deleted & banned her.  Somehow she found a way to like it anyway!  I eventually shut the page down & created a group instead, which turned out to be much better anyway.  You don’t need a page for this to happen though- your personal social media pages can provide a wealth of information.  Be sure to keep personal information either off your page entirely or make absolutely certain your settings are set so only your friends can see it.  Any personal information can be used by the wrong person to victimize you.

Triangulation is also possible on social media.  If someone on your friends list doesn’t know your history with your narcissist, that narcissist may send that person a friend’s request, your friend becomes your narcissist’s friend, that person may innocently share all kinds of private information about you.  Or, maybe your friend knows the story & believes you wronged your narcissist.  That “friend” may decide to side with the narcissist, & provide personal information about you with your narcissist so that person can abuse you.

Social media can enable a narcissist to gain plenty of narcissistic supply.  Have you ever noticed when someone shares a selfie how many people tell that person how great they look?  The person could have just come in from a rainstorm but people will say how great they look.  For narcissists, this is supply.  Who doesn’t like to hear how great they look?!  Narcissists take it much farther though.  They crave complements like oxygen.

Narcissists also can bully & provoke others on social media very easily.  They say offensive comments, lie or at least exaggerate to get a response.  They also can sniff out any vulnerability in a person very easily.  All they have to do is see a hint of some area in which a person is sensitive, & they attack.  Victim pages & groups are great for this.  They may join a group, for example, saying they too are a victim of a narcissist.  They’ll tell a story about a tragic childhood or marriage, or they may simply hint at it, saying it’s too difficult to talk about.  When others in the group discuss their experiences though, the narcissist will say their’s is so much worse, shaming the other person.  Or they may say they escaped an abusive relationship & shame others who are still involved in one.

Social media can be a wonderful way to keep up with your loved ones & meet new friends.  You just have to exercise wisdom in using it, especially if there are any narcissists in your life.

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A Different Facet Of Triangulation

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What Happens When You Go No Contact Before The Narcissist Can Discard You

Narcissists, as we all know, are all about procuring narcissistic supply.  Anything or anyone that props up their self-esteem is a good thing.  Naturally this also means that anything or anyone that damages their self-esteem is a foul, evil thing deserving of the most intense hatred imaginable due to the narcissistic injury it caused.

 

Ending a relationship with a narcissist is possibly the most grievous of narcissistic injuries.  Even when a person isn’t a narcissist, it hurts when someone ends the relationship they had with you.  You grieve & move on in time.  Not so with narcissists.  There is nothing normal about them, especially when it comes to someone ending a relationship with them.

 

Narcissists see this as the person being ungrateful, selfish, wrong, stupid & more.  They don’t see that their actions forced the person to sever ties with them- they only see that you were unreasonable & cruel to them, & should be punished.

 

Many awful things can take place once a victim leaves a narcissist.  You need to be prepared for these likely scenarios.

 

Being fake.  Don’t fall for the good guy/girl act- the narcissist is only being nice in an attempt to lure you back into relationship.  If you go back, the niceness won’t last long.  That apology?  Was it really sincere or  a fake apology?  “I’m sorry you feel that way.”  “I’m sorry for whatever you think I did.”  “I’m sorry I did that but you made me act that way when you…” are not real apologies!  Genuine apologies show the person accepts responsibility for their actions.  They show the person apologizing is remorseful & wants to make it up to you if possible.  They don’t make excuses.

 

Harassment or stalking.  Narcissists love to stalk & harass.  They may drive past your home constantly, show up at places you frequent, or bully you online or through texts.  Even if you block their email or cell phone number, they often find ways around your boundaries just to prove they’re in control.  I was harassed by a narcissist for several years.  Early on, I blocked her home IP address from accessing my website, & she used another computer to copy an article on there I wrote about forgiveness & email it to me.  Talk about unsettling!  It showed me how determined this person was to let me know she would do whatever she wanted, no matter what I wanted or didn’t want.

 

Unfortunately in most states, laws haven’t caught up to cyberstalking, so your legal recourse may be limited.  Even with stalking in real life, it can be hard to prove sometimes.  Whether you can get the law involved or not, document EVERYTHING.  It’s always good to have that documentation in case you need it to prove a pattern of behavior.  Save texts, emails or screen shots in a safe place, like an online storage cloud.  Computers & cell phones die, & you don’t want all your documentation to be lost.

 

Smear campaign.  Always a favorite tool of narcissists, is the smear campaign.  You doing so means they may be exposed for the evil monster that they are, so they need to do something to prevent that from happening.  If they can convince other people that you are mentally unbalanced, a drug addict, or vengeful, the chances of people believing them over you are much greater.  Especially so if things are said in the guise of concern.  “I worry about her.. she does some pretty heavy drugs yanno…”

 

There really isn’t anything to do about a smear campaign.  If you defend yourself, chances are the person you’re speaking with will think that is proof that the narcissist is right.  You really are crazy, on drugs, etc.  The best thing you can do is allow your character to show.  You go on being the good person you are.  Those who believe the narcissist really aren’t your friends anyway.  True friends don’t blindly believe bad things about their friends no matter who says them.

 

Flying monkeys/triangulation.  Another favorite tool of narcissists is getting other people to do their dirty work for them.  This provides a potential for a double dose of narcissistic supply.  Getting someone to do as the narcissist commands is always good, but getting them to get someone else to do the narcissist’s will?  Amazing!

 

Resist the attempts to manipulate you back into relationship with the narcissist.  Refuse to discuss the narcissist with this person.  Change the subject when they discuss this person, repeatedly & even rudely if need be.  You may find out this person is extremely devoted to the narcissist, & you need to end that relationship as well.  Unfortunately, it happens often.

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Ways Narcissists Silence Their Victims

Silence is one of any narcissist’s best weapons.  They do NOT want their victims to talk to anyone about what the narcissist is doing, nor do they want their victim to feel safe enough to confront them on their abusive behavior.  To prevent those things from happening, they use various ways to silence victims.

 

An extremely common tactic narcissists use is gaslighting.  If a narcissist can convince a victim that something happened differently than they remember or it didn’t even happen in the first place, the victim won’t discuss the event.  Why would they?  Convincing victims that they don’t remember things right or are making up some wild stories will keep them quiet.  They feel crazy enough- why should they say things that would make them look crazy too?

 

Shaming is an effective weapon to create silence as well.  If a narcissist can convince a victim that the victim is a terrible person, that victim will be quiet.  That person feels as if she or he is stupid or crazy or even unworthy to “burden” other people.  A person who carries shame is a quiet person.  I know- I have been there.  Granted, I’m quiet by nature but prior to learning about shame, it was much worse.  For example, I felt there was something deeply wrong with me for being upset about the terrible things my ex did to me, so I kept most things to myself.  As a result, when we separated, no one cared to hear my side- everyone took his side with only a couple of exceptions.  They never heard me complain before, so they figured everything must have been OK between us.

 

Another facet of shaming is when a narcissist is confronted about their behavior & states that behavior wouldn’t upset her.  She has no idea why you’re upset. My mother did this one to me regarding her nastiness about one of my cats.  Chester is a big cat, but he’s very muscular  My mother called him fat more times than I can count.  I’d told her to stop being so mean repeatedly with no results.  Eventually I complained about it to my father, who told her what I said.  She called me & said she had no idea why I’d be upset.  She actually said, “If someone called me fat, I’d just tell them they were right.  I certainly wouldn’t be angry about it!”  I knew immediately that statement was supposed to make me feel shame for being angry with her.  It didn’t work.  It just made me angry she would try such a ridiculous tactic.

 

Projection is also effective for silencing a victim.  When a narcissist accuses a victim of some terrible behavior, it usually stuns a person.  Most people will assume the narcissist is right, examine their behavior & try to make improvements, at least until they learn about projection & understand what is being done to them.

 

Triangulation is another effective way narcissists silence victims.  If a narcissist can convince their victim that other people would think, feel or respond as the narcissist, that makes the victim feel isolated.  The victim may think he or she is crazy, stupid, oversensitive & a host of other awful things.  Who would want to talk when they feel that way?

 

Invalidation is another excellent way to silence a victim.  Invalidation basically says that every single thing about you is wrong, flawed & even crazy.  It makes a person feel as if they cannot trust their own thoughts, feelings or perceptions.  No one who feels that messed up is going to feel able to confront a narcissist or tell others that they are being abused.  In fact, invalidation makes people feel as if they are NOT being abused, & they are completely wrong & crazy for thinking such a thing in the first place.

 

Creating anxiety & fear in a victim also makes the person quiet.  If a victim is afraid of another, that victim isn’t going to want to do anything that may provoke that person’s anger.  In fact, they will do anything to avoid that anger.  That often includes refusing to confront their abuser or tell anyone about the abuse.  After all, what if the person they tell confronts the abuser?  It’s much safer to keep the abuse a secret.

 

Narcissists also love to wear a person down to make them easier to force into silence.  They can do this by sleep deprivation if they live with a victim or by harassment if not.  They constantly call, email or text.  The sheer volume of calls, emails & texts can wear a person down.  It takes a great deal of strength to ignore your phone’s constant ringing or alerts to receiving new emails & texts.  It probably doesn’t sound so bad, but I can tell you, being on the receiving end of it, it really is stressful & exhausting!

 

No one can forget a narcissistic rage.   These happen when a narcissist receives a narcissistic injury of some sort, which basically is a blow to their self-esteem.  Talking to others about the narcissist’s abusive ways or confronting a narcissist about them is definitely a narcissistic injury & will result in a rage.  The rage of an overt narcissist is usually loud & vicious.  Name calling & cursing aren’t above them.  The rage of a covert narcissist is much quieter, & it involves the silent treatment & scathing criticisms to make you feel intense guilt.  A person would do about anything to avoid this rage, & that includes suffering in silence, not telling anyone about the abuse they endure or confronting the narcissist about it.

 

Diversion is another excellent way to silence victims.  Anyone who has confronted a narcissist has no doubt seen this in action.  The conversation starts out with a victim stating that they have a problem with the narcissist’s behavior, & it ends up discussing something entirely different.  Often, it ends up with the narcissist accusing the victim of some awful or even abusive behavior, & the victim apologizing.  The original topic was abandoned, & no resolution was made.  Sometimes diversion isn’t so obvious though.  Sometimes, the narcissist simply changes the subject & continues to ramble on & on, leaving the victim so frustrated that they give up.

 

Lastly smear campaigns are very commonly used. If a narcissist can’t stop you from confronting them or telling others what they have done to you, they will not hesitate to tell everyone they meet what a terrible person you are. They’ll have plenty of evidence to prove their point, too, even if they have to lie about it. If they can discredit you, they know others won’t believe what you say. It also is revenge. You made them look bad, so they are returning the favor.

When these things happen, remember that these are simply tactics that are supposed to silence you.  Don’t give in!  You have every right to talk to whoever about whatever you want.  It’s your life, the narcissist is only a part of it.  If that person wanted you to speak kinder about or to her, she should behave better.

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A Different Facet Of Triangulation

Triangulation is a commonly known tactic of narcissists.  It involves the narcissist having a third party try to talk to you about what is bothering her.  For example, if you have set limits on the time you are willing to spend with your narcissistic mother, she may have your father talk to you about how you should spend more time with your parents.

I realized recently that there is another kind of triangulation that is often used with covert narcissists.  It is where the covert narcissist tells you about the terrible things someone else has said about you, & tells them terrible things you have said about them. The things they share aren’t necessarily true.

If you have two narcissistic parents- one overt, one covert- then chances are you are aware of this, even if you haven’t thought about it before. I have experienced this firsthand.  My father, a covert narcissist, tells me anything bad that my overtly narcissistic mother says about me (I’m not sure how much is true of what he has said).  He also has told my mother I’ve said bad things about her when I hadn’t.  For example, he has told me many times my mother has said someone should report me for having too many pets (I have a legal amount of pets & I own my home rather than rent, so no one would do anything if I was reported, by the way).  He also has told my mother that I said she isn’t allowed in my home when I said no such thing.  The truth is I told him I was sick of her insulting my furkids & if she couldn’t be civil to them, she doesn’t need to come into my home ever again.

I’ve heard of other covertly narcissistic parents doing similar things, & I’ve wondered why.  After praying about it, I think I understand.

Telling their child such things, be they true or false, means the child will pull away from the overtly narcissistic parent & be closer to the covertly narcissistic parent.  This means more narcissistic supply for the covert narcissist.

This dysfunctional behavior also causes the child to think poorly of the overt narcissist, & it makes the covert narcissist look good by comparison.  After all, the covert narcissist comes across as concerned for the child (“I thought you should know what your mother said about you..”), unlike the overt narcissist who has said such hurtful things. And, the covert narcissist isn’t the one who said the hurtful things- he only relayed what he has heard, supposedly because you need to know these things.

This form of triangulation is also a type of deflection, because it takes attention off of the covert narcissist & his bad behaviors.  You become angry with the overt narcissist for saying such terrible things, & automatically don’t pay as much attention to the covert narcissist’s bad behaviors since your focus is elsewhere.

Covert narcissists love looking like a martyr, & this type of triangulation helps them to do that as well.  See what terrible things he has to put up with?  He has to listen to his mean wife talk trash about his child!  How horrible for him!  He is often so focused on making whatever was said (or he wants you to believe was said) that it stirs you up so much, you fail to realize at first that he didn’t defend you.  In fact, if you aren’t aware of this tactic, you may even feel sorry for him that he had to be exposed to this.

So how do you deal with this type of hurtful, dysfunctional behavior?

Obviously, setting boundaries in a normal way with any narcissist is futile.  Do not admit that it hurts you to hear these things, or the covert narcissist will realize the effectiveness of this weapon to hurt you, using it constantly.

Instead, show no reaction.  Pretend whatever is said doesn’t affect you in the least.   He may keep pushing the issue trying to get a reaction.  If he does & gets flustered at your calmness, & says something like “Aren’t you upset?” use logic in your response.  I’ve said things like, “Why would I be?  I know she hates everything about me.  This is hardly a surprise.  Besides, I just don’t care what she thinks about me anymore.”  Then I changed the subject as that information sank in.

Change the subject.  Repeatedly.  As often as needed.  Without saying anything along the lines of “On another matter..” or “Let’s talk about something different”, just bluntly change the subject.  Narcissists, overt or covert, don’t like subject changes- they want to be in charge of the conversation.  It will annoy him, but at least he’ll be off the topic.

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