Narcissists and triangulation.
A narcissist will triangulate friends and family, and they’ll cheat. They like to cause chaos between family members, two friends or any relationship. Their own children, they play the golden child off against the scapegoat child. They play their own children off against step-children. Their children off against other family members. This is all done so they feel powerful within themselves because they can never be happy within themselves.
Triangulation is just another manipulative device for the narcissist.
Within any relationship, triangulation hurts and causes us confusion, being cheated on is devastating. We know there should only be two people in a relationship. We feel deep pain when they cheat.
The narcissist uses cheating for several reasons, yes they cheat on purpose, they send those messages, and some might even hope you find out about those messages, again to cause yet another argument and to gaslight you further. The Narcissist will say things like “You’re going Insane it’s only harmless fun” or “If you’d give me more attention I wouldn’t need to go elsewhere?“ Always twisting it back around with words to being your fault as a narcissist is just not to be held accountable for anything, they use triangulation to gain an emotional response from you, cause confusion within your own mind and gain control.
They find it enjoyable that they can gain more attention from two people, that they can get two people doing all they can to please them or that they can get positive attention from one and negative from another, they simply love any attention and emotional response and the power it gives them.
Triangulation allows the narcissist to provoke emotional reactions from others and to leave those being triangulated confused, as the narcissist engages in distraction tactics. They enjoy the fact that neither of the other people they’re seeing wants to lose out, either they’re in the idealisation stage and have been told how crazy you are so the new wants to help and save them, or you’re so trauma bonded you don’t want to lose them. You also, through pride, might not want the other person to win. Little do you both know at the time. The narcissist does not love or care about either of you. You’re both just playing straight into the narcissist’s hands as they’ll happily lap up the attention of you both fighting over them, again they don’t care if they’re getting positive or negative attention from either, they just want the attention. Most of the time, the narcissist will do their best to make sure you’re not aware of each other. They’ll happily enjoy their time with you and with them.
They see no problem in behaving like this as they are not accountable and believe they are entitled to do as they please with no regard for other people’s feeling. If they feel they are losing both and have no backup, they’ll go all out to keep one of you hooked, Just because they fear being alone, within their own crazy world. They need to get attention from others so they can feel powerful.
Those on the lower end of the spectrum slip up a lot easier as their lack of memory doesn’t help them and they’re not as good with words as those on the higher. They both still act and feel the same.
If you have an idea, they are cheating and confront them. They will spin words around very fast and gaslight you. “It’s just a friend. “ or ”That wasn’t me.” “You’re letting your imagination run away with itself again.” they will deny, deflect and go on the attack. “You’re overthinking things again, what if I said that to you about that work friend of yours.” in order to keep you with them. Or the ”You’re insecure.” ”You’re crazy.” All to cause confusion and self-doubt within your mind.
If you know they are cheating, do not challenge them, you can not beat a narcissist this way as you’ll just give them the emotional reactions and attention which will please them. They will only confuse your mind, twist everything and get out of it while you think about what just happened and end up more confused.
Other than knowing in your gut they are cheating, you find yourself turning into a detective to find out what’s happening, here are some signs to look out for. Or if you’re no longer with the narcissist, you may remember some. Not all narcissists slip up like this, but some do.
- Calling you by the wrong name.
- Mutter under their breath, she/he wouldn’t do this, if you hear and ask who, they’ll say one of their exes again triangulation, and they could well be seeing one of their exes.
- Telling you, they don’t want to watch that movie again, even though you’ve not seen it with them to view it. If you mention this, they will twist it, argue or use the silent treatment towards you.
- A narcissist’s phone will more than likely be impossible to gain access to, but they will have a duplicate message that they send within seconds of each other to you both, remember narcissists are somewhat lazy.
- No message notifications on the phone.
- The phone always screen down.
- Talk about something you did together, which you know you didn’t do it with them, question them and you’ll be told “ You must be losing your memory” again they love trying to confuse you.
- Chat about something you said even though you didn’t say it because it was the other person that said it. If you question them, again they will twist the words leaving you with more self-doubt.
- They tell you something they told you a few days ago, near enough word for word.
- Some don’t really buy gifts, but some do. If you get the exact same gift that you got a few weeks earlier, they forgot which one they gave the first too.
- Asking how a family member is when theirs nothing wrong with that family member because it’s the other person’s family member.
- Showering/bathing more often than usual.
- Strange one but some say the narcissist side of the bed starts to smell and you have to wash the bedding more regularly.
- Your instincts when you just know.
They will triangulate with friends and family. They will happily gain their secrets and spread gossip, aiming to alienate people from each other. So they feel special as everyone goes to them, but also, so others don’t talk to each other and find out who the narcissist truly is. They do this with everyone. Ever noticed how the narcissist rarely has anything good to say about people and how they treat the narcissist they may say “ This is confidential, but Liz has done this to me today please don’t say anything about it I’m dealing with it.” Causing you to react differently towards Liz. Then Liz resents your actions towards her and the narcissist will play on this with them. This is the narcissist’s divide and conquers technique.
They spread gossip like wildfire but are carefully selected, so you don’t talk to the others about it. It gives the narcissist drama and excitement.
They may compare people to each other. Or flirt, in front of you, with gaslighting of. “You’re insecure.” Or “Take a joke.”
To heal from this, no contact or limited if you have children together. You may have to cut off all of their friends and family too.
Toxic people work to grind you down. The narcissist brainwashed and conditioned you, the next will not be treated any better; they will just repeat the cycle. You’re free to move on with your life. No, it’s not easy, but you can do it, and soon enough you’ll be feeling more like a better you. Keep smiling, you’re getting to know the narcissist, and now you can cut them loose and learn to love yourself again.
The cheating narcissist.
When you catch a narcissist out.
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Elizabeth Shaw is not a Doctor or a therapist. She is a mother of five, a blogger, a survivor of narcissistic abuse, and a life coach, She always recommends you get the support you feel comfortable and happy with. Finding the right support for you. Elizabeth has partnered with BetterHelp (Sponsored.) where you will be matched with a licensed councillor, who specialises in recovery from this kind of abuse.