14 Tactics Narcissists Use To Confuse You.

Narcissists play so many games to distract us, confuse us, give us false hope, create doubt within our own judgment, thoughts, feelings and abilities. However, they do it under the radar just enough so we don’t recognise what they are doing, so we can find ourselves rationalising away the narcissist’s irrational behaviour with the help of these 14 narcissistic games.

Love bombing.

Narcissists often manipulate to take control over our minds through the love bombing stage of the relationship. The narcissists love bombing is to manipulatively influence us into believing something that isn’t true by playing on our beliefs, our hopes, our dreams and our emotions. Narcissists shower us with attention, affection and support. Just as we become addicted to being treated so right, they take it away, leaving us craving more. At the same time, the narcissist blames us for taking it away, reinforcing within our mind that we are the problem, leaving us working a little harder to please them, not realising they are destroying us.

How to disarm.

When meeting new people, take it slow, get to know them for who they are and not who they sell themselves to be.

Selling us an illusion.

Some say being with a narcissist is all an illusion, which yes it is and not it is not. We live that actual life. We live those actual moments while we are with them on a day to day basis, as confusing and as hurtful the experience is, the reality we lived was real, what is the illusion is the narcissist and what they do to us, hideous mind games, to distort our memories, our realities, to sell us something, that isn’t even real, yet because it feels real, because at that moment when they are treating us so well, we live that reality it’s hard to see the extent of the dire situation we are indeed in. Before we know it, we are in deep and have to climb our way back out.

How to disarm.

Radical acceptance of who people are.


When a narcissist mirrors, it’s done on a conscious level as they study us to purposefully reflect back to us what we want to hear, often accompanied by Future Faking. Some narcissists will stalk our social media. Others will ask friends and family about us. They are literally gathering data. As a narcissist lacks in their own authentic personality, they are testing yours. They want to build your hopes up, which creates the Trauma Bond. So when their mask slips and their envious face comes out in full force, they will then project their negative qualities onto us, so we doubt ourselves, they downplay their toxic behaviour, and exaggerate things we haven’t even done to get us to conform to their demands and walk on Eggshells around them.

Mirroring is simply an Illusion as the narcissist sells us those dreams of what we want to hear, and once hooked, they begin to Devalue us in horrific ways. Still, as they’ve given us the hope of the illusion when they mirrored us in the love-bombing, we don’t see what’s truly happening and do our best to bring that person we first met back. Yet, while in that mirroring stage, the narcissist has also learned the things that matter to us the most, and they use these against us to provoke our Reactions or to hurt our feelings, so they can twist the story to blame it all on us, they use our own insecurities against us.

How to disarm.

When meeting new people, see how much they know about the things you enjoy.

The narcissists bait and switch.

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. A narcissist will bait you into getting the response they need from you so that they can use your reactions against you.

How to disarm.

As kryptonite is to Superman, no reaction is to a narcissist, learn the games they play and no longer take the bait.

Reactive abuse.

Reactive abuse happens when someone who’s been abused, mind games or controlled, either physically or psychologically, reacts to their abuser, standing up for themselves, either by screaming, shouting, slapping, spitting, throwing things, either throwing insults with the words or lashing out physically. That’s all the abuser needs to then blame it all on the one they’ve been provoking.

How to disarm.

Do not react. The best method is the three R’s, Retreat, Rethink, respond, and only respond if you really need to, keep response to the point, say it once and do not let them take you off-topic, avoid being alone around them, avoid spending too much time around them.

Future Faking.

The narcissists future faking it’s where the narcissist will use the future to get their needs met in the present by getting us to focus on the future promise that they will not deliver to gaslight us by selling us an illusion of something that was never meant to be.

Future faking is to hide things from us to distract us from the reality of what’s truly happening. They will promise something, and then when they don’t deliver on that thing, if we question them about it, it’ll be a case of. ” I’m sorry if only you.” to blame you for things that you possibly didn’t even do. Future faking is to sell you that hope that if only you did something, they would do something for you, to make you feel gratitude, so if they promise you something, then don’t deliver. You asked them about it, they will come up with something they have done, or they will gaslight you into believing they did something they didn’t. They will say. ”what about when I.”

How to disarm.

A promise is one thing that can be broken without being touched. If someone wants to keep uses false promises of the future to break you, recognise that’s who they are. The problem is within them and not you.


Gaslighting is psychological manipulation to distort someone’s reality, to make someone doubt themselves and reality so much they feel like they are going crazy, often by the very person who’s sending them the way, the narcissist saying. ”You’re crazy.” so that we doubt ourselves and doubt reality all the more.

How to disarm.

To become free, you need to understand the narcissist, just wants your attention, your emotional reactions, and wants to keep control over your life and keep your mind all over, with them constantly in your thoughts.

Remain in your truth, your reality, keep your diaries.


Narcissists projection is a mix of their manipulative Gaslighting and their manipulative Blame-shifting. As they go all out, distracting you from the truth, as they do their best to cover the truth with distorted lies, as they hide the truth of their toxic, hurtful, negative behaviour from you. At the same time, they get you to doubt and blame yourself and take on the responsibility of the narcissist actions, they get you to defend yourself to them for how you think or feel due to their hurtful ways, so they escape accountability, so they remain in control, and so they get away with their actions time and time again, while slowly sinking you further under their trance.

Psychological projection is a defence mechanism used by a narcissist to defend their own ego against their own negative qualities, by denying the existence of their own inner faults and placing them onto others. A way to deny theirs and our reality A way of denying something they have done and passing the blame for their behaviour, thoughts or feelings onto others. They can be projecting thoughts, flaws, emotions, characteristics, actions and feelings that they don’t like within themselves.

Silent treatment.

The narcissist’s silent treatment is passive-aggressive manipulation to distort your reality, so they can feel superior and gain further control over you.

The silent treatment is a form of manipulation a narcissist use to punish and control others.

Their silence is their refusal to communicate. When a narcissist completely ignores someone because the narcissist feels contempt, due to their personality characteristics of a belief they are special, entitlement, envy, preoccupied with self, narcissists feel superior, and others are beneath them.

Narcissists deploy the silent treatment to avoid taking responsibility, to avoid discussing things, to evade consequences, to punish those around them, to break down peoples boundaries, and it is coercive controlling behaviour. It is a form of psychological manipulation.

How to disarm

Observe the narcissists behaviour for what it is, for the games they are playing, don’t absorb. Know thy enemy. Let them be silent. Trying to raise them up only brings you down. Focus on you. Use the time to do the things you enjoy doing. You can not help those unwilling to help themselves. Don’t chase them. This just teaches them that their behaviour is acceptable when it isn’t.

Word salad.

Word salad is another form of narcissist gaslighting. By not directly denying reality, it’s used to confuse your reality, to change your emotional state or your thought process. Word salad is when a narcissist might appear to be answering your questions, while not taking responsibility for their behaviour, seem like they’re will communicate with you without having an actual conversation with you, as no solution is found. When you bring it up again, they twist that they don’t want to keep going over the same thing, they don’t want to argue, they don’t have time for that again, you’re always bringing it up, you never let things drop, so the narcissist can avoid talking about very rational things that need discussing. At the same time, you’re left with endless problems and no solutions. Even when you try to sort it out for yourself, a narcissist will come at you, claiming you’ve made matters worse. If you mention you tried to talk to them, they’ll lie, deny, shame and blame.

How to disarm

Retreat, rethink and only respond if you need to do so, such as co-parenting, court orders. State your points and leave them to it stand in your truth. Don’t continue the conversation if they’re trying to take you away from the conversation. Don’t defend yourself to their projection. Remember, what they say about you says more about their character than it ever will yours. Remember, they like playing these games, more often than not playing these games to get you going, and once they’ve got you going, they feel smug, they feel happy, learn to step away from their games.


Triangulation is where the narcissist will act as a messenger between two other people.

Triangulation is where the narcissist will write the script to change peoples reality, Gaslighting. He said, she said, they did, they didn’t.

Triangulation is when they will not communicate directly with one person. Instead, they’ll bring a third person into the conversation, to manipulate the person they are talking with, to get them to do something they wouldn’t usually do, to get others to doubt themselves or to bring attention to the third persons’ behaviour truth or made up, so the narcissist can avoid accountability, or to make the narcissists own behaviour seem reasonable.

How to disarm

The best method to help with triangulation for you is to take yourself out of the triangle, grey rock or no contact, just remove yourself from the situation and stop playing. Narcissistic people find it incredibly hard to play their games with you when you’re no longer playing.


The narcissist’s devaluation causes those feelings of shame within us, so we question our worth, we underestimate who we are as a person, we question our emotions and our capabilities, often becoming more dependent on the narcissist as all the stress we are under causes many health problems, as well as different anxieties.

How to disarm

Develop your mindset, teach your brain, consciously throw out those negative thoughts and find the positive each and every day, learn new things and give yourself new knowledge and wisdom, new skills, when it gets hard to keep going, think creative, think constructive, think big, dream big, then take those small steps to learn and go for it. Work on your mindset, work on your knowledge, use your brain the right way to benefit you.


Narcissists intimidation is used to threaten or frighten those around them so that the narcissist can remain in control. Narcissists can intimidate in the obvious overt ways or those subtle, covert ways. Narcissists intimidate to persuade those around them into doing something they don’t want to do, believing in something that’s not true, fawning to the narcissist’s behaviour to avoid conflict or drama, appeasing the narcissist to avoid any arguments, to avoid pain.

The threats can be the double bind, where you receive mixed messages, where no matter what you choose, it’ll be a lose-lose for you and a win-win for the narcissist.

How to disarm.

Don’t try to prove your point. They’ll lie, deny, blame-shift, gaslight, project, stay in your truth within your mind.

Don’t blame yourself. Threatening behaviour, intimidation shows the narcissists lack of control, their lack of self-awareness and their lack of empathy don’t excuse their behaviour. Abuse is abuse, and there is no excuse.

Don’t threaten back. Your safety comes first, and narcissists are known to threaten first then play the victim as they use your reactions against you.

Find a safe way out.


Insolation. The state of being in a place or feeling alone, leading to feelings of loneliness, depression and anxiety.

The narcissists will isolate you. Not only can they cut you off from support to isolate you, but they can also make you feel so alone that you’re isolated from emotional support.

Narcissists can isolate you from friends, family, finances, freedom. They isolate you from any form of support.

Why do narcissists isolate people?

Captivators, use withholding any emotional support, criticism, followed by no emotional support. When you study narcissism, you’ll notice this pattern in almost everything, if not everything, they do.

How to disarm.

Stay in your reality, pay close attention to their gaslighting, know and remember your intentions, recognise the narcissists games, pity-plays, guilt-trips, silent treatments, projection, word salad, conflict, triangulation, gossip, don’t get drawn in, don’t explain yourself to them.

Find the right support for you, to gain the clarity, the help and the understanding of what you have been, or you are going through, work on those limiting beliefs the narcissist has most often placed within you, work on creating your inner confidence again.

For more information about the minds games narcissists use to control you.

Click on the links below to join Elizabeth Shaw – Life Coach, on social media for more information on Overcoming Narcissistic Abuse.

On Facebook. 

On YouTube.

On Twitter.

On Instagram. 

On Pinterest. 

On LinkedIn.

The online courses are available by Elizabeth Shaw.

For the full course.

Click here to sign up for the full, Break Free From Narcissistic Abuse, with a link in the course to a free, hidden online support group with fellow survivors. 

For the free course.

Click here to sign up for the free online starter course. 

To help with overcoming the trauma bond and anxiety course.

Click here for the online course to help you break the trauma bond, and those anxiety triggers. 

All about the narcissist Online course.

Click here to learn more about the narcissist personality disorder.

The narcissists counter-parenting.

Click here for more information on recovery from narcissistic abuse, and information on co-parenting with a narcissist.

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.

Leave a Reply