An injury is a physical trauma to the body with an external force, it can also be actions or words that trigger an emotional trauma, a psychological trauma.
Emotional or psychological trauma can be just as painful as physical as it hits those same pain pathways within our brains. We can all suffer from an emotional injury.
With many narcissists, once they’re received a narcissistic injury, they seek to punish those who the narcissist believes has hurt them. When a narcissist feels threatened in some way, they seek to hurt those who they believe to have threatened them. There are many ways to injure a narcissist.
- Real or perceived judgment or criticism.
- You tried giving them advice.
- You had a different opinion.
- You’ve set a boundary. You said no, the narcissist didn’t get their own way.
- You attempted to hold them accountable for their actions.
- You tried to talk about something they wanted to ignore.
- Indifference, you showed a lack of interest in their subject.
- Not giving them the attention they believe they’re entitled to.
- Their need for grandiosity and entitlement, wasn’t met.
- They fear you might expose them.
- They feel you might abandon them.
Once a narcissist has suffered a narcissistic injury, they seek to punish those the narcissist believes has injured them either.
Some narcissists might straight out rage at you, however with many narcissists they prefer to use a covert method, so their behaviour isn’t easy to recognise by those around them, so the narcissist can hurt others and not face any consequences for their actions as they’re to busy hiding their behaviour or creating distractions
Where the narcissist will direct the context of the conversation away from their behaviour and onto your character, rather than answering a question, a narcissist will attack you. A narcissist will flirt with someone in front of you. Then when you question them, they’ll accuse you of being insecure or jealous, so you question your feelings and not their behaviour. If you keep asking, they’ll claim their ex never minded, so you think you’re the one with the problem. When you say no, they’ll claim you’re awkward, so you question if you are awkward as the narcissist tries to break down your boundaries.
They want to invalidate you, shame you, blame you, humiliate you. Lie to you.
Appeal to popular opinion.
When a narcissist is trying to claim you’re going crazy, they might add. “Even your mother thinks you’re crazy.” “My family thinks.” “Everyone thinks you’re.” to get you to doubt yourself. Or when they’re driving too fast, and you ask them to slow down as they’re scaring you. “Everyone drives at this speed on this road, what’s your problem?” even though the narcissist is breaking the speed limit because they believe they’re entitled to do so.
The narcissist’s slippery slope is used in an argument to stop you from doing something for fear of what they’ll do next. From those intimidating covert threats of “ You’ll wish you hadn’t.” to the overt “If you do, I will.” if they find out you’re thinking of leaving, so they claim. “You’ll never see the children again.” or “If you don’t, I’m cutting you out of the will.” whatever it is you’re thinking of doing if you take action A, the narcissists will take it to B and then into C, usual, so you fear doing A, sometimes when it comes to leaving a narcissist we have to step over the fear safely, onto that slope, and ride it out until we are free from their controlling behaviour.
Where they answer with the start. Which is also the end. A cheating narcissist uses this to distract you from the fact they’re cheating. “You don’t trust me because you’re hung up on your past, so you went through my things. It’s wrong to go through my things because you’re hung up on your past. You have trust issues.”
The term gaslighting comes from the 1944 psychological thriller movie Gaslight. The film is adapted from Patrick Hamilton’s play Gaslight in 1938. The play is about a husband who slowly manipulates his wife into believing she’s going insane.
Gaslighting is psychological manipulation, In which the narcissist covertly plants seeds of self-doubt, so we end up questioning our memories, our opinions, our perceptions, our values, our beliefs, our judgment and our reality. Causing things such as anxiety, codependency, ruminating, cptsd, memory problems, brain fog, lack of concentration, sleep deprivation, physical health problems, lack in confidence and cognitive dissonance, as we are living with two or more conflicting beliefs or realities, as we have the one we believe and the one the narcissist is psychologically manipulating us to no longer knowing what to believe.
Instead of answering the question at hand, a narcissist will use manipulation of your emotions. The narcissist wants to win the argument by using your very emotions against you. It is also a type of red herring as they avoid the original topic as they don’t answer the question. Instead, they appeal to your fear, appeal to consequences, appeal to pity, appeal to spite, appeal to ridicule, appeal to flattery, appeal to guilt. The narcissist wants to use your emotional thinking such as fear, joy, guilt, shame, obligation when you’ve said no, and they’re trying to take a boundary. “If you loved me, you would.” If they fear exposure. “What would your friends think if they knew.” If they fear abandonment. “After all, I’ve done for you.” Or they’ll suddenly have an illness or things like “What about the children.”
They might detach and withdraw, emotional neglect, those passive-aggressive silent treatments and sulks.
A narcissist wants to provoke you, so you feel invalidated, frustrated, confused, hurt, angry, upset, so you feel pain, they want to get you back, and they want to trigger a response within you, once they have this response, they want to shift all the blame over to you. So they can avoid consequences for their actions.
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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.