Do you have someone in your life that is a narcissist?
Although it is never OK to self-diagnose someone with a personality disorder, it is usually very easy to identify someone who is is manipulative and toxic!
Narcissistic personality disorder is characterized by self-absorption, a high sensitivity to criticism, a lack of empathy, an exaggerated view of themselves, excess need for attention, and the use of several key forms of manipulation.
The problem with narcissists is that they usually seem AMAZING in the beginning! You can’t get enough of them!
They come across as kind, generous, and even charismatic/fun! At times, they have the ability to make you feel like you are deeply important and cherished by them.
But their “kindness” is actually not about you at all. It is the beginning of a long, painful road of control and manipulation.
Narcissists are skilled manipulators and they know how to suck you in! Your attention gives them narcissistic supply, the fuel for their ego.
Little by little, your joy will turn to a confusing feeling of guilt and sadness.
You’ll start to feel terrible about yourself, but not be able to put a finger on why you feel this way. You’ll start apologizing and explaining yourself more. And even when you acknowledge that person’s narcissism, you might just hold onto the memory of how awesome things “use to be.”
Little by little, you’ll lose your sense of identity and your self-confidence. You’ll become a textbook example of a victim of a narcissist.
Below are 5 of the most painful things a narcissist will do to you.
1.) Grooming You For Abuse
Yes, narcissists groom their victims! Whether you are a friend, lover, child, spouse, or family member…you will see this pattern of behavior play out in front of you.
They will go to any lengths to put you in a vulnerable position where it is difficult for you to escape their manipulation and toxic control
In the beginning, they will usually “love bomb” you!
This is when the narcissist showers you with attention, tokens of affection, gifts, flattering comments, and special treatment.
You will feel like they care deeply for you and they really understand who you are. You just click!
Many times, you will “let them in”. You feel safe with them. You tell them about your life and you tell them your vulnerabilities.
But little by little, the atmosphere of your relationship will change.
It may start with some rude side comment or disclosing an embarrassing fact about you in front of other people.
Or maybe you will have a disagreement where the situation gets turned around on you and everything is your fault!
Perhaps you start to realize that they are demanding access to every area of you life. Their controlling tendencies are starting to show.
And when you try to bring your “hurt feelings” and “suffering” to their attention, they will refuse to take any responsibility!
They will actually start to blame everything on you. You are too insecure, jealous, or inexperienced. They always know better than you.
Now they have you exactly where they want you!
Confused, dependent, insecure, and vulnerable – the perfect victim to emotionally and mentally manipulate.
Related Article: 11 Signs You Are in a Relationship with a Narcissist
2.) Gaslighting You
One of the main character qualities of the narcissist is that they HATE criticism.
Anything that threatens to “burst their self-made fantasy” is met with extreme defensiveness, denial, anger, sulking, blame-shifting, guilt-tripping, insults, spreading rumors, etc.
One of their favorite tactics of manipulation is known as “gas-lighting.”
Gaslighting is a form of intimidation and emotional abuse where the narcissist attempts to make their victim doubt their own memory, perfection, and even their sanity.
Deny, deny, deny!
The narcissist will deny that something ever happened and tell you that you are just imagining things!
“I never said that!”
“You are overreacting to everything I say. You’re in a bad place mentally.”
“That never happened! You have such a bad memory!”
“Why would you think that! I never did that!”
The narcissist’s goal is to make their victim doubt their own perception of reality. A total mind game!
The problem is that the victim is usually a decent human being who wants to be honest and accurate. Telling lies is not something they want to do. So they will second guess themselves! “Wait, did that really happen? Am I really making all this up?”
We actually wrote a whole article on gaslighting!
3.) Using the Triangulation Tactic
Triangulation is a manipulative tactic used to divide several people from each other – with the narcissist being the “go between”.
For example, if you have a slight disagreement with someone, the narcissist will make sure that the disagreement gets worse. Anything to get more attention for themselves!
Or, if they don’t like someone, they will separate their victim(s) from them by spreading lies and creating resentment.
“Did you hear what she said about you?”
“I tried to make him acknowledge his lie, but he just keeps saying those things about you.”
“Oh, she is still so angry at you. I heard that she blamed you for everything.”
“Did you hear what he did? He is so jealous of you!”
Triangulation is a great tactic to create drama and play the “good guy” to everyone they are manipulated.
They DO NOT want their victims talking or comparing stories because it will expose them as liars and manipulators. They want everyone to stay divided, resentful, and silently dependent on themselves for information.
The narcissist’s ability to divide people is what makes them so good at controlling and manipulating people around them.
Related Article: 7 Things Narcissists Are Most Afraid Of
4.) Constantly Guilt-Tripping You
One of the narcissist’s greatest talents is their ability to guilt their victims into doing what they want.
Day after day, the narcissist will insert little statements of guilt to make you feel bad for not doing what they wanted.
“If you really cared about me, you would…”
“After everything I have done for you!”
“If you don’t do this, I will get such awful anxiety!”
“Wow you have changed! How disappointing.”
“Everyone will be devastated if you do that!”
If you have a narcissist in your life, sit back and think of how much of your relationship is made up of GUILT! You feeling bad for something you did or didn’t do for them.
Every interaction will be sprinkled with guilt. Every phonecall, text, conversation will include a guilt-trip.
You will never be doing quite enough to make the narcissist 100% happy. There is always one more thing for you to do!
Why? Because they need you for narcissistic supply and they need to keep you dependent on them or indebted to them for something.
Related Article: Why Do Narcissists Ruin Holidays?
5.) Creating a Smear Campaign Against You
…also known as a “Character Assassination”.
When you don’t do what the narcissist wants or you confront them with their behavior (and won’t back down), the narcissist will often launch a “Smear Campaign”.
They will become fixated on destroying your reputation to everyone they know – family, friends, co-workers, acquaintances, and everyone they can possibly influence against you.
They will often spread cruel and pathetic rumors about you under the guise of “genuine concern”.
Their listeners will never realize that they are being manipulated because the narcissist will never actually outright insult you!
Instead, they will suggest that you have a tendency to lie or make things up. Or that you have mental health issues or anger issues.
They will twist stories, manipulate facts, and outright lie about you to paint you in the worst light possible. If anything, they want to plant a seed of doubt in the minds of everyone in your social circle that maybe…just maybe you aren’t a good person.
Their goal is to make you regret the day that you ever decided to stand up to them or cross them.
If you aren’t under their control and able to be manipulated, you are of no value to them!
Related Articles: What Happens When The Narcissist Knows You’ve Figured Them Out?
If you find yourself in this unhealthy situation, GET OUT NOW!
The emotional and mental toll a narcissist can take on you is dangerous and cruel.
Even if you care deeply for the narcissist, you will live a life of misery if you allow them to continue to have a place in your life.
Read the following articles for more information on how to move forward:
- 7 Things Narcissists Are Most Afraid Of
- What Happens When The Narcissist Knows You’ve Figured Them Out?
- 7 Best Ways to Starve a Narcissist
- Why It’s Okay to Cut Toxic Family Members Out of Your Life
- Why Do Narcissists Ruin Holidays?
- 7 Steps to Successfully Remove Toxic People from Your Life