How the narcissist baits you.
In the dictionary, bait means intentionally making someone angry by saying or doing things to annoy or taunt them deliberately. To hook, trap or entice someone, and getting someone to do what you want them to do.
One of the characteristics that would put someone on the spectrum of the disorder is arrogance and dominance; they feel entitled, which is another characteristic of the disorder to have control over others with their lack of empathy. Another part of the disorder is they give little thought to others’ opinions or feelings. They will take advantage of others’ feelings and exploit those around them, take advantage of people to get their own needs met, as they want the power and dominance over those around them, they want to control, and they want to win.
A narcissist uses many manipulative mind games and manipulative tactics to take control of our lives.
Many people class baiting as something a narcissist will do when you put up a boundary. Still, baiting can happen at any point within a relationship with a narcissist, and it can happen with narcissistic friends, family, partners, parents, bosses, or whoever the narcissist is or was in your life.
A narcissist uses baiting to provoke an emotional response from us so that they can have power over our emotions and, ultimately, over our thinking so that they can further their control over us.
The saying “There’s plenty more fish in the sea.” is more sinister from a narcissist’s point of view, as they are like the fisherman, sitting trying different baits on a hook, waiting for the right fish to bite. A narcissist hangs out in all the right places online and offline, collecting data on potential targets and mirroring them to see if they can find their catch of that week, month or year. They hook people in the idealisation stage, they bait people in the devaluation stage and the discard stage, then hook and bait in the hoover stage
Unfortunately, we are nothing more than an appliance to a narcissist.
Narcissists use people how people use an appliance. When we first get a new phone, we like to spend time learning how to work it; when we drain the power, we charge it back up just to drain it all over again. We pick up a phone when we need it, put it down when we don’t, we fix the screen if we break it and still need it, or we go and buy a new phone and put the old one in the recycling. We might try and go back to an old phone if the original isn’t working how we’d expect it to. We might take a broken one apart to fix a new one. That’s how narcissistic people use people.
Baiting is used to make people feel scared, guilty, obligated, responsible, anxious, and even hopeful, which makes it easier for narcissists to manipulate them further.
If the narcissist is grandiose, vulnerable, malignant, covert or overt, somatic or cerebral, or any other personality type along the spectrum, they rule through love or through fear, they control by making those around them have fear and anxiety or guilt and take all the blame, feel responsible for the narcissists’ behaviour, or afraid of the narcissist’s behaviour, or both, depending on the person you are dealing with.
Learning the narcissists’ baits helps us recognise their manipulative behaviour, see what game they are playing and stand firm on our boundaries. We can retreat, rethink, and only respond if we need to do so, we can often see which baiting tactic they’ll use next.
Types of bait.
Intimidation. The main reason a narcissist uses intimidation is so that 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 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, to lay the bait, 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 might think you’re overreacting, as the narcissist will tell you that, “You’re too sensitive.” “You’re overeating.” or things like “You are imagining things.”
Intrigue. The narcissist will offer little bits of information, like laying the cheese in the mousetrap. The narcissist is the trap, the cheese the bait, and us the unwitting target. Humans are naturally curious. Part of how we grow and learn, they’ll give us half a story, vague information, so we go looking for more, and when we find what we already knew, they deny it, even with evidence in front of them. Or they’ll shift the blame, so we question ourselves. They’ll Project their thoughts onto us.
A snide remark, especially in front of those who wouldn’t understand, yet we react, as the narcissist triggers our defence mechanism, or a sarcastic comment about a weakness or vulnerability, which can trigger us to defend ourselves or can trigger our anxiety and self-doubts. Or the threats. ”I’m going to tell your boss, mum, sister what I know about you.” like a toddler in an adult’s body. What they’re really saying is,” If I don’t get my own way, I’m going to tell people things about you that you don’t want them to know, I’ll even make stuff up about you, so you suffer, and I feel smug, or you’ll do as I say and I still win and feel smug.”
Triangulation. This is another form of narcissistic manipulation of those around them, and this is where the narcissistic person acts as a messenger between two other people. Then they will twist things, lie and exaggerate to the other people involved. No one is excluded from this, and they will triangulate work colleagues, friends, siblings, children, partners, parents and professionals. They are laying the bait to trick you into mistrusting those around you, to isolate you from support, and so you question the motives of those around you going to the narcissist for support.
They do this not only to make you question those around you. But also to feel guilty to Coercive Control you into doing something you wouldn’t normally do by telling you things like ”My ex would.” the ex they left anyway, breaking down your Boundaries, and yet they will still leave you. To make you feel sorry for them and help them achieve something or get one over on someone, to drive a wedge between people, gain supporters, Enablers and Flying Monkeys for the narcissist, by playing people off against each other, to divide and conquer.
Through triangulation, they get others to doubt each other, to fight each other over the narcissist, and they gaslight people into questioning themselves and shatter people’s self-worth. When they triangulate, people often don’t even know what’s happening, and most of the time, neither party knows the truth.
Victim. They will bait you with a lie about how they are victims, so you feel sympathy and compassion to support them. A narcissist can not accept themselves for who they indeed are, as they believe they are superior and above and better than all others. They are either unwilling or unable to see faults within themselves, so they will make their own reality and do their best to make sure those around them believe them. They convince themselves that their reality is a fact. They will claim they need your help and support. They will bait you into feeling guilty for not being there for them. A narcissist will play the victim
Guilt-Tripping. They will bait you by using your empathy against you, as above with the fact they can play the victim so well and use a false narrative of how they or someone close to them is ill and how they really need your support, often in the hoover stage. Still, parents also do this, guilt-tripping children into taking care of the parent, “after all I’ve done for you.” even though the child had an abusive childhood at the hands of that parent. When we feel guilt, we can then do things we wouldn’t usually do, and our boundaries are slowly taken down.
False-hope. A narcissist will lay the bait in the idealisation stage when they will mirror you and offer to make a promise of a future with you, to give you hope, then when they devalue that false hope is one of the many reasons we can stay trapped within a toxic relationship. They also gather information about you when they are mirroring you to get all the information about you. They can use your vulnerabilities and weaknesses against you to bait you further in the relationship.
Invalidation. This is when your thoughts, feelings, opinions, weight, shape, Job, and relationships it can be severe as everything about who you are and what you do is rejected, ignored, criticised and judged by the narcissist. They Invalidate with many manipulation tactics. They use your weaknesses against you, so if you feel overweight, they’ll make subtle remarks. The Covert Narcissist. “Should you be eating that.” Or ” ”I did you favour eating your last chocolate.” Slowly over time, making digs at you, or more obvious ways. The overt narcissist. “You need to diet.” ” you look fat in that.” Or through triangulation. ” Your friend said you’d gained weight, but I think you look okay-ish.” They will use children, anything from your past, whatever they know will hurt your feelings. They’ll attack through more manipulative words. They even put down those people that you care the most for or go after those you care the most about to get at you.
A narcissist will go after the things you care about the most, as these are the things you’ll most passionately defend.
You can then become angry, scream, shout, cry, and the narcissist will then step back with a smirk on their face, knowing they got to you.
I knew something was wrong when you sat and watched me cry over the pain you had caused, with a glint in your eye, no apology, yet still, I stayed to help you, destroy me.
This is when a narcissist will gaslight you with ”You’re crazy.” or ”You have Mental issues.”
We then feel bad for reacting, or they’ll gaslight us with. ”You’re too sensitive.” so we end up doubting and blaming ourselves.
Provoking. A narcissist will provoke you to get a reaction from you, so they can blame it all on you.
From our reactions which are perfectly understandable given the situation we are in, we often then believe everything is our fault. The narcissist will only ever tell their side of the story that they want others to know in their smear campaign against you, the one where they miss out on everything they did, the one with only our reactions, where you looked bad, what you did to them, what you said to them, they’ll not tell people the lead up to what happened, it’s just further manipulation for the narcissist to play the woe is me, victim, to those around them and make you feel like your in the wrong and need to apologise.
Abusers love the reactive abuse as it’s proof in their minds that the person who reacted is unstable and crazy, that the one who’s reacted is mentally ill. They will use it against you for years to come. Narcissistic people rewrite their own history, they change the stories they tell themselves, they are never accountable, they say so many lies they often believe their own lies and reality, and they will use reactive abuse against you for years to come.
False accusations. They will bait you by accusing you of actions, thoughts or feeling that you don’t even have, the classic ”You’re jealous.” when you’re not even jealous, you just know they’ve done something. Yet they’re hiding it from you, part of the intrigue and provoking to cause reactive abuse, so they can blame you for the things they do; this type of bait is used because all too often, we instinctively want to defend ourselves, justify ourselves, correct false information, or deny things we haven’t even done. With those able to communicate, this works well. With a narcissist, we are the ones left feeling worse, we are left feeling like we’ve done something wrong, and the original question we might have asked is wholly forgotten. Or the initial conversation somehow got twisted onto us.
The silent treatment, To bait us into behaving exactly how they want us to behave. They can do this after we’ve been out with friends or met the family. They didn’t want us to go, to punish us, so next time, we think twice. They do it, so we tiptoe on eggshells around them to avoid the psychological pain of the silence from them. They do this, so we chase after them, to make it up, beg them, and give them attention; they use the silent treatment to get their way.
The silent treatment is another form of psychological manipulation the narcissist uses against others. It is another form of emotional abuse to keep power and control over you, to avoid taking accountability for something they have done, and to avoid responsibility for their own actions. To maintain their dominance over you. It’s used to punish you for something you have or haven’t done. They believe you are beneath them, and they want to do it, so you conform to their demands.
Smear campaign. ￼The smear campaign is the narcissist’s protection as they lie to others about what we’ve been doing to them, which indeed is most often precisely what they did to us.
The smear campaign is when a narcissist wants to destroy you any way they can.
”When they can no longer control you, they will try and control how others see you.”
This is to bait you into still playing their games, defending yourself to them and to others; they will do their best to get you to react in front of others to back up the lies they are telling about you.
The best defence in a smear campaign is don’t play.
How to handle.
It’s so easy to react and want to defend ourselves; it’s effortless to overlook their toxic behaviour and make excuses for their toxic behaviour, especially when we are the ones left saying, “They’re not that bad.” ”It doesn’t happen often.” ”It was my fault because.” ”They are my parents.” ”It’s my best friend. I grew up with them.” ”who would employ me.” ”What about the children.” These are often limiting beliefs that keep us locked in a relationship we shouldn’t be in. These are lies the narcissist fed us when we have to say, “It doesn’t happen often.” it shouldn’t happen at all.
Even when we are out, we can want to stand up for ourselves and let them know who they are in the hope they’ll change into the person we want them to be, which, even if they could change that person, is the illusion. Who they are is the person who lies, cheats, lets us down and causes us pain.
We have to remember they have a disorder. The more we react, the more we give them attention, the more we give in to their demands, the more control they have over our minds, and the more it reinforces to the narcissist that they are superior, they are entitled to treat us how they want, and they are in control.
We can retreat, we can rethink and become more mindful of seeing their games for what they are, and then only respond if we need to do so.
Please do not take what they say or do personally; their opinions of you are not for you.
When you’re being baited, when they keep coming after you with game after game, you must practice Self-care and look after yourself as they are energy draining. It can negatively affect your mental and physical health and also have people to talk to the understand the unbelievable yet, believable behaviour of a narcissist.
Bait and switch.
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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.
The nine characteristics.