The Narcissist and intimidation.
The main reason a narcissist uses intimidation is, so you fear them, meaning you will conform to their demands out of fear. They also use it to manipulate you and cause you more confusion within your own mind, with subtle threats that make you wonder if it’s a real threat? If they’re messing around? If they will act on this threat or leave it be? They do this on purpose, so you are worried about the threat, but at the same time, you don’t want to make a fuss, or you also fear if you speak out or to other people, they’ll not believe you, they might think you’re overreacting, as the narcissist will tell you and others, “You’re too sensitive.” “You’re overreacting.” or things like “You are imagining things.”
You are not overreacting. Any threat should be taken seriously, and you do not imagine things if it happened. It happened.
The types of intimidation they use.
1. Standing over you, looking down at you, or getting in your face, breaking things, punching things, raising their voice, to get you to fear them. Covert threats of. “I wouldn’t do that if I were you.” Or ” How will you afford to live without me.” Or overt threats like ” I’ll make you pay.” Or the “I will.” Followed with some form of punishment. “Things like. “You’ll never see the children again.” Or ” You’ll have nothing.” To stop you from doing something or leaving.
Threatening to harm family members, pets so you fawn and give in to their demands for fear of what could happen to loved ones, the threat of debt collectors when it comes to bosses, pity plays of “I’ve got nothing without you.” So you go and help your parents out, don’t leave your partner. Again people not on the disorder can say these things, usually because they genuinely believe they would have nothing without the narcissist. A narcissist says it to guilt-trip those around them into doing what the narcissist wants.
2. Isolation, destroying your personal property or hiding passports, giving you no access to finances, or when driving in a car, so there is no way out for you. Taking you to isolated places, cutting you off from friends and family, making sure you have no support, taking your phone off you.
3. Restraining you, blocking doorways, locking doors and hiding keys, taking your car, physically holding you back, often claiming, “It’s in your best interest.” Anything to cause you to feel trapped with no escape, threats of “I’ll tell everyone you’ve done this.” Often using your biggest secrets against you, so you conform to the narcissist’s demands for fear of others knowing things you don’t want them to, causing you to feel trapped with no choice but to do as the narcissist says.
4. Aggression. There are many types of aggression they may use. Spitting, slapping, pushing past you, shoving, playfully sitting on you, yet you’ve requested them to stop as they are hurting you, so they do it all the more, saying, “You’re boring.” Or “It’s only a game.” Only it’s not a game to them, and it’s causing you pain, it is them trying to let you know they are strong, so you fear them. Things like making you feel guilty over saying no to sex and trying to guilt-trip you, or they may sulk to break down your boundaries and get you to change your mind. Tickling you but to the point it causes pain, and you know they are not playing. Hitting you with something, throwing things at you, hair pulling, strangling, kicking, biting, burning, force-feeding or denying you the right to eat, shaking you, pinching you, punching you and many more. They will always find a way to justify their behaviour. It’ll not be a case of a person pushed to their limits, who understands this is not an excuse to hurt another, knows the error of their ways, feels guilty and will never do it again, or a person throwing things to defend themselves (reactive abuse.) The Narcissist will find a way to twist all the blame onto you and see no fault in their own behaviour.
5. As those close to the narcissist become used to the behaviour and gain a level of tolerance to the abuse, the narcissist can recognise that if you haven’t fawned to their demands (fawn meaning complying to what they ask of you, walking on eggshells around them to protect yourself from further harm.), some will escalate their intimidation to verbal threats of killing you or your loved ones, physical violence becoming more regular often with the “If you hadn’t, I wouldn’t.” And “who would believe you? You’re crazy. ”
Not all narcissists turn to physical violence. Most stick with intimidation.
What you shouldn’t do.
1. Plead with them to stop. Most see this as a weakness to continue.
2. Argue or fight back, they are not interested in your point of view, and they enjoy taking you off-topic, twisting facts on you, watching you get angry. They will often provoke until you react, so they can play down what they did and exaggerate whatever your reaction was.
3. Defend or explain yourself. Anything you say will be used against you. Know in your own mind what your intentions are. When you explain yourself to the narcissist, they are then left believing they can criticise you, put you down, and judge you. They will do these, know within your own mind, only you define yourself, and you don’t not have to explain yourself to people who don’t understand you.
4. Seek to be understood or seek them to understand how you feel, they are not interested in you, and they are interested in winning at all costs to you.
5. Don’t make threats back, as this will most likely escalate the situation.
6. Make excuses for their abusive ways, Abuse is Abuse, and no one deserves to be treated that way.
7. Self-blame. You did not cause their abuse, and we are all in control of our own actions towards others. Yes, sometimes even good people get pushed past their limits, but they will feel guilty, a narcissist has no limits, and without consequences from authorities, they will continue to abuse.
How to handle Intimidation.
We are all capable of abuse without even realising it, when we are provoked, angry, hurt or scared. We can all be guilty of judging others, withholding, criticism, and controlling, but where we can see where we went wrong, learn from it, apologies for it, and not do it again, abusers take it to a whole new level and just pass the blame, it’s healthy to be accountable for our own actions, but we should never take accountability for someone else’s, no matter what is said or done, no one is entitled to abuse another person, even good people have their limits, and if you’re around people who push you to those limits, it’s time to walk away from them, if they are narcissistic or not, abuse is abuse, and it’s time to leave them in your past and look toward your future.
People either can not or don’t want to cut people out of their life, or you might still be in the relationship with a boss, parent, family members, friends or siblings, so here are some ways to handle them.
In order to help yourself when it comes to intimidation, you have to know within yourself that you do not imagine things. The narcissist twists everything not to be accountable.
If you’re still in a relationship with the narcissist, you need to take notes of these threats, recorded every act, no matter how small. Same as your phone, if you can record, take photos and send to a secure email account and delete off the phone. I wish I’d done this more. In the odd moment, I’d take a photo, so I have some evidence. At the time, I didn’t really know why I did and felt bad for doing so, yet I just knew that I needed to. So gather any evidence in case you need it to prove that they are abusive for any court dates. Never ever show that record to the narcissist to prove you are right. They will take it as a criticism. You will get rage, and it will be destroyed. Make sure it’s kept away from home or where the narcissist can find it.
If it comes out, some will deny it. Say it’s taken out of context, of that you’ve made it up, with enough evidence, the truth speaks. Their reality is different to yours, and you may also need these to remind yourself of what you are leaving behind, or have left, in those moments of self-doubt that they weren’t that bad.
They will have done their best to get in first with others, and their smear campaign, leave them to the gossip and know your own truths.
A written diary of events down the line will counteract the narcissist’s memory of events that took place.
When they start to threaten, if, at all possible, you need to leave the room you are in. They may follow as they will feel criticised. Only you know the capabilities of the narcissist that you are dealing with. If you stay in the room, do not challenge them as hard as this can be. If you pay close attention, they are very predictable in the patterns of the way they argue. The manipulation methods they work through, the idealisation, devalue, discard, hoover. Your brain has been trained to respond in a certain way to them, so now you need to make a conscious effort to re-train your mind.
When you break the repetition of your reactions to them, it gives you an advantage as they go off balance. Do not agree to save yourself from the threat, do not challenge them on it, no reaction,
If you’ve left, they might stop with the intimidation, and they might change to their next tactic again. If you take notes and observe, you will see the pattern. Some narcissists are extremely dangerous, so you need to get out and get away. Others mostly mouth little action.
Know your boundaries, and stick to them. When you say no, it’s no. Having healthy boundaries is to protect yourself.
Get support if needed, police, therapy, speak with those you trust about what is happening to you.
The narcissist personality disorder is on a spectrum. Yes, they all have the same traits. They are all individuals, though. You know what yours is truly capable of.
The narcissist doesn’t learn lessons, as they can not self reflect or accept responsibility for their own actions or mistakes. They just blame all others and never learn from their own behaviour. They will just repeat the same cycle, so once they’ve worked through all other methods and still not got to you. They will go back to intimidation.
You can, and you will move forward to a better life for yourself.
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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.
Click here for Elizabeth Shaw’s Recommended reading list for more information on recovery from narcissistic abuse.
A car journey with a narcissist.
Why not to argue.