It seems to a narcissist life is all about winning. To win at all costs to others, they lack in the empathy to care for who they hurt along the way, whoever gets in their way or will not give in to a narcissist’s demands, those with NPD will do their best to control and dominate or stomp out anyone who gets in their way or threatens their existence or their false reality. They exploit, demean and hurt their parents, partners, children, friends, anyone who gets in their way.
If you’ve been entangled with a narcissist in your life, whoever that narcissist was if you were close at one point you’d know, especially if it was your parents or a partner, you’re left a shell of your former self, with loss of self-worth, self-trust, self-respect, self-love and left full of anxiety, fears, self-doubt and so many more.
Narcissistic people do this to others over a prolonged period, slowly and subtly, so just how do they do this to us?
1. Idolisation, devaluation, discard, hoover. At the start they will mirror everything about you, come across as your perfect soulmate, then they will slowly take you down, to just up and leave, when you think you can not take any more they swoop back in playing all nice to sweep you off your feet again, this is a pattern they will repeat, while people who don’t see who the narcissist genuinely is allow them to do so. They will sink you so low, then offer intermittent play nice, it’s not like they tell you they hate you and treat you as they hate you, most often they tell you they love you and confuse you by treating you like they hate you, one minute they can treat you better than anyone ever has to then treat you worse than anyone ever has, they are the masters of manipulation that sell you a dream, to deliver you a living nightmare, only they provoke you and blame that nightmare all on you. Friends, family members, partners, etc., most narcissistic people will follow the pattern of idealisation, devaluation, discard, hoover and repeat.
How to disarm, when you meet someone who’s taking things way to fast and wanting to move in, watch their reactions when you say no, do they accept it or keep coming at you until you give in. The only way to stops the cycle is to get out and stay out. No contact is the best thing you can do.
2. Gaslighting. is an insidious form of emotional abuse, a tactic the narcissist uses to get the target to lose their exact version of reality, phrases such as, “That didn’t happen.” “You’re imagining things.” “You’re crazy.” “You’re too sensitive.” And many more.
These phrases disable your self-trust, ability to trust in others. These phrases invalidate your feelings and events. It slowly distorts your reality, events that did or did not happen, and who you indeed are. With prolonged gaslighting abuse, targets are often left with inner conflict ( cognitive dissonance.) and can potentially end up gaslighting themselves. Full of self- doubt, overthinking and continually questioning themselves.
How to recover from gaslighting.
Write things down, keep notes of everything you need to until you can see what the narcissist does to you, then observe their behaviour don’t absorb. Don’t look to the narcissist for any reality checks, answers or closure. Either online support groups or trusted friends, to help support and validate your feelings and what you’ve been through until the fog lifts and you know yourself again.
3. The nonsense conversation of crazy-making.
If you’d like a normal, calm, pleasant conversation or discussion, even a debate or to come to some form of compromise with a narcissist, if you don’t know what they are, your boundaries will be broken, you’ll have no clue as to what actually just happened, although if you question the narcissist, they’ll tell you exactly how to think, as they throw word salad your way and completely mess with your mind. They will gaslight, project, blame-shift, Intimidate you, talk over you, shout at you, they’ll do all they can to send you feeling, confused, frustrated, or scared, to distract you from the truth or the real conversation, and make you feel guilty or to blame. In their minds, if you don’t agree with them, you are in the wrong.
How to disarm. No contact is the best method, don’t fight your enemy, they know all your weaknesses, and they will use them against you, walk away. If you can not walk away safely, focus on something else and don’t let your ears take in their words, observe don’t absorb, if it’s about children or anything they don’t agree on. Do not go off-topic, in a calm, rational voice stick to facts, only tell them once, if they don’t want to talk about it, that’s their choice, you also have the opportunity not to discuss what they are dragging you into, retreat, rethink and only respond if needed. Do not break your boundaries, and when they’ve got one, they will come after them all. Try not to put yourself in a situation where you can not get away from quickly.
4. Projection. The narcissist’s projections are their defence mechanism not to take responsibility for their actions, to place their toxic negative, hurtful and sometimes dangerous actions onto someone else. To avoid accountability and not accept responsibility. They are unwilling and often unable to ever see themselves as the problem, whatever they do wrong, someone else always made them do it. They will not acknowledge their faults, flaws or wrongdoings, instead of admitting or apologising or working on their inner selves. They’ ed prefer to pass it all over onto someone else. They will blame shift everything onto other people. The only time they will apologise if they believe it will meet a need of their own and is often done by blaming the other party. “If you’d have done this I wouldn’t have done that.” Or ” because you didn’t let me, I had to do it.” They will change the subject on you to avoid any responsibility for their actions.
How to disarm.
Don’t project your good caring, empathetic nature into them, and they will only ever take you further under, you can not help them, you can help yourself. Don’t listen to their toxic words observe don’t absorb; they are admitting their wrongdoings with what they are trying to blame you for. If possible, just cut all ties with them and go no contact.
5. Changing the goalposts and always nitpicking at you. While there is nothing wrong with constructive criticism, a narcissist will only ever give destructive criticism, sometimes disguised as constructive. Narcissistic people are extremely jealous and envious of those around them; they do not want people to better themselves; they want you to fail. They will pull people down, nitpick and scapegoat others, anything you do well at; they will find a way to take credit for. Or drag you down over it. They will also raise the goalposts, every time you believe you’ve got it all worked out, and life’s right again, they’ll will up the ante, they will make sure by the time they’ve finished with you, you’re an empty shell of your former self, lacking in self-work, self-confidence, self-respect. Instead of helping you with insecurities and weaknesses, they will rip them all wide open and watch you bleed out. You will bend over backwards to help and please them, and they will continue their hideous manipulation.
How to disarm. If someone doesn’t want to help bring it the best in you, then they are not worthy of you, let them go and find good people who love you for who you are, change your Limiting Beliefs and start to believe in yourself.
6. Covert and Overt Threats. Due to their false sense of entitlement and think, they are, above all others. They will make unreasonable demands of you then they through silent treatment, gaslighting and many more they will punish you if they are not achieved. They will threaten to punish you, Overts are more outspoken. They’ll say things more like. “You’ll lose your home and children a Covert would say. ” how do you think you’ll manage without me?” All to place fear and doubts in your mind.
How to disarm, keep a diary of any threats, call the authorities to build up a picture of the abuse.
7. Name-calling. They do this to fill you with self-doubt, insecurities, alter your beliefs, opinions and reality. Things like ” are you going to wear that.” The Covert way or “you look fat/ far to thin in that.” The Overts way. Due to their real lack of self-worth and sense of entitlement, they will call you “idiot, stupid, insecure, sensitive.” Anything they can to break you down.
How to disarm. Don’t play the game; remember it’s a reflection of who they are, not who you are.
8. Smear campaigns and stalking. When a narcissistic person can no longer control you, or control who you are yourself, they will do their best to control how others see you, through playing the victim or playing the hero, they will go all out to bring you down, they also might stalk you in order to put fear in your mind, and so you’re always living on edge. They smear your name and stalk you to place that fear, and that sense of dread in you, you’re living in fight or flight mode looking for what they might do next.
How to disarm, stay mindful, do not react to their games, this is hard to start, it is human nature to want to defend yourself, by defending yourselves you are playing straight into their hands. Be prepared when you don’t play their games they will up their games, call authorities over any stalking issues, check your phone and car for tracking devices, stay alert but keep living your life for you.
9. Appealing to your emotions. Instead of using any form of logic, they will appeal to your feelings such as fear, guilt, loyalty, and caring side, where whatever the situation requires them to meet their own need at that time. They will also use over the top pity plays on you. Things like. “My ex cheated on me, and I know how it feels so I’d never do that to you.” Or. “I don’t know what I’d do without you.” Then the. “After everything, I’ve done for you, and you’ll not do this one thing for me.”
How to disarm. Listen to your instincts; if something doesn’t feel right, it’s most likely not. Remove all guilt from your past let it go, so it doesn’t eat into your future.
10. Pressure. Sometimes by triangulation “Everyone else is doing it. My ex used to let me, my friend’s partner lets them.” Again making you feel guilty or inadequate, to get you to break down your boundaries. Or by gaslighting you into believing you’re not good enough. “If only you’d.” So you work a whole lot harder to please them through them making you feel unworthy. “No one will love you.” So you keep doing all you can to keep them happy, walking on eggshells to avoid setting them off or avoid the painful silent treatments or criticism.
How to disarm. Remember first the others probably aren’t, and even if they are or did, they are not you, you are entitled to live your life, exactly how you want to, you need a million ways to say no, and once you’ve said it, stick to that no. You do not need to explain or even continue the conversation. You are enough, the problem is with them, we often blame ourselves and look inwards, which isn’t a bad thing, yet with a narcissist it’s toxic, and what they rely on, I’m all for not judging others, yet you can call a toxic person toxic, as it’s who they are. Someone who loves you would support you for who you are, have consideration for your thoughts, concern for your feelings. Have a conversation to Discuss things, take responsibility for their own wrongdoings and not pin all the blame onto you.
11. False compromise. They look like they’re going to meet you halfway. Think again, so if you pay for a holiday when they say they’ll pay you half, they might not pay at all once paid, or they might offer 25% and justify with something they’ve done for you. Or something you haven’t done as to why they shouldn’t pay any more. They may end up giving you nothing and making you feel guilty for asking, or gaslighting you that they never agreed to pay in the first place even though you know they did.
How to disarm, do not loan people money who don’t pay you back, learn after the first time, don’t give others the benefit of the doubt, people can make a genuine mistake and do so more than once, they will apologise sincerely, and they will have to give and take Abilities within good people.
Stay strong, keep learning, keep working on you, keep healing and keep growing.
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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.
You’re not crazy! What Narcissistic Abuse Does To You.
The entitled narcissist.