Narcissists use lots of manipulative mind games to keep control over us; here are seven examples of their most common tactics.
Compliment. A polite expression of praise or admiration.
Flattery. Giving excessive or insincere praise to meet one’s own purpose.
A narcissist will flatter you. Pay close attention. They don’t give you genuine compliments. They use flattery. They use this tactic during the idealisation stage. They find out your needs, wants and desires, either from checking your social media, talking to others to find information about you. What feels like those sincere heart to hearts, in the beginning, they are just gathering all information about you, first to mirror you, to hook you in, then to use your insecurities to exploit you. They will flatter you, give you constant attention, plan a Fake future with you, and they will love everything you do and hate everything you hate. Once you are hooked on their continuous attention, they’ll take it away to make you work harder to get it again. They will get you to tell them all your secrets and insecurities, so they can further manipulate you one day, using those very secrets against you in any way they can. They will learn all your strengths, so they can use them against you to make you doubt your own capabilities. We all make mistakes in life. It’s all a part of the learning process. A narcissist will pick out any mistake, real or not, in the things you are great at to bring you down, to make you question yourself.
They fish for compliments, and they need to boost their self-esteem to help them keep their inflated ego going. They will fish for compliments from family, friends, coworkers, children, anybody they can, and social media to support their false selves and ego going. It’s more evident with an overt narcissist, but a covert does it too.
Set the stage.
They will set the environment. They will provoke you to get reactions from you, so they can blame you, play the victim or use their silent treatment to get you to do things you wouldn’t otherwise do, gaslighting you so you are no longer sure of reality, often leaning on them for a reality check. They will create a topic or an atmosphere to provoke other emotional responses. They will triangulate you, play you off against those around you, to break down your boundaries or make you feel guilt. They always have a hidden agenda.
Sometimes in these situations, you have to keep diary’s so you can go back to check events and ask yourself, are they my feelings, or are they passing theirs onto me?
They will gossip about everybody, often trying to get others to gossip with them, so they can go to the others and let them know all you said about them. Triangulation is a way to divide and conquer people. Hence, others only trust in the narcissist and distance themselves from friends that may not have said anything in the first place or reacted to what the narcissist told them you’d said, even though the narcissist was the one who said it. They also want to gain as much information about others to one day use against them. They will twist the story, so the gossip was all you, even if they were the one doing the taking. As well as triangulation, they will also use jealousy, and narcissists are extremely envious and jealous people. So they may go all out complimenting others in front of you. Especially about things you feel insecure about within yourself. If you question them, you’ll get the gaslighting phrases of. “You’re too sensitive.” Or “you’re overacting.” They will undermine you in front of others, and they have probably already smeared you to others.
Use your empathy against you.
They will bargain with you and pity play to get you to do things you don’t want to or to make you feel guilty. They may compare you with someone else who has done something to try and break down your boundaries or say things like. “If you loved me, you would.” Or “Remember when I did this for you.” Or “You owe me because of that thing I did just for you.” This is all guilt-tripping you and projecting to either make you not feel as good as others, so you conform to their demands, or make you feel like you owe them.
They will guilt trip you in passive-aggressive ways to get you to break down your boundaries. Blame-shifting, gaslighting and projecting, creating arguments about what you should have done or could have done better for the narcissist, then blaming it all on you.
They will either talk you out of doing something or talk you into doing something, and they will make out they know you better than you know yourself and explain through manipulation why you should or should not do something like that. “You’d never do that.” Or the bargaining method of “If you loved me, you would.”
Playing the victim.
They will play the victim, the covert narcissist, more than the overt, but depending on the situation and what they can gain from someone attention wise by playing the victim card, most narcissists will use this tactic at some point. This gets your sympathy and empathy as you can put yourself in others’ shoes, so you want to reach out and protect and help them any way you can, which will lead you to lose who you indeed are over time. They will then play victim to others for how crazy you are and how they’re doing all they can to help you.
They will promise you things and then not deliver, to try and get reactions out of you, for which they can then blame your reactions for why they didn’t do it.
When using false promises, they will also use it to manipulate you more through gaslighting and leave you even more confused about reality with the. “I never said I’d do that. You must be imagining things.” Or the. “I did it last month for you, do you not remember?” Of course, you don’t, as they never did, slowly but surely leaving you doubting yourself more and more.
Suck you back in.
The hoover, when they try to suck you back in, stalking you, reaching out to friends and family, missed calls, messages, a false apology. All because the new person isn’t working out as well as they first hopped, don’t get your hopes up, they will try to discard the new by leaving the door open so that they can triangulate you both, so you both work harder, to win the narcissists affection.
My best advice when they try this. Let them go. They are not worthy of you. They are not good enough for you. You can do so much better, lose your pride and your ego to save yourself, and pity the fool that ends up with a manipulative twit that’s just using them as they used you. Also, keep true to yourself if that person one day needs help to recover, remember just how horrendous the relationship was and that they just got sucked into a twisted relationship of lies, drama and manipulation, be kind to others who don’t know any better and help them recover, if they ever ask you, even if you just point them in the direction of support groups, as you will get to a happier place. You will be a better person for it. You’ll no longer hold any resentment, and you’ll not wish that ex on your worst enemy, who also happens to be that narcissist.
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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.
A relationship with a narcissist.