Once the narcissist has us hooked through the Idealisation Stage of the relationship, where they plan the Fake Future with us, that con artist that through the idealisation stage mirrors us to sell us our dreams, then comes the devaluation as they begin to devalue us and deliver us our worst nightmare.
A narcissist wants you to.
- Doubt yourself by invalidating yourself.
- Blame yourself while they play the victim.
- To justify all your decisions through them.
- To sabotage you.
- To fear them.
- To play you off against others.
- To isolate you.
- To punish you.
- To have no friends.
- To see, you fail.
- To control your finances.
How do they devalue us without us even knowing?
We are often being gaslighted from the very start as they don’t show themselves to be the very person they indeed are. Gaslighting is an insidious form of emotional abuse, a tactic the narcissist uses to get us to lose our version of reality. You might have heard phrases such as, “That didn’t happen.” “You’re imagining things.” “You’re crazy.” ”I’m only joking.” ”It wasn’t that bad.” ”You made me do it.”And many more from the narcissist.
These phrases disable our Self-Trust. Our ability to trust in others and it slowly distorts our reality, events that did or did not happen, and who we indeed are. With prolonged gaslighting abuse, we are often left with inner conflict. We can potentially end up gaslighting ourselves, as gaslighting causes cognitive dissonance, where we live in one reality yet being brainwashed into believing another within our minds.
As a Narcissist believes they are entitled to do as they like, to get their own needs met, and to them, it’s up to others to clean up after them. They often don’t see any faults in their own behaviour. When they do, they change the story to suit themselves, often forgetting facts and changing the truth to their lies which most narcissists actually believe. They will play the victim or the hero, depending on the situation and the people. Yet, they will never admit to being the villain, as to them, it’s always someone else’s fault. Those around them often believe what they say, as they say it with such truths, even when our instincts are trying to tell us otherwise, as we can not see evidence of their wrongdoings, we find it hard to lose the image of the nice person they sold to us in the idealisation stage and see the nasty person that stands in front of us, then with their gaslighting, we are the ones often left questioning. What did I do wrong? We did nothing wrong. You are a genuine, kind, caring person that wanted to help. They have a disorder. It’s who they are, and you can not help them. You can, however, help yourself.
The Narcissists Silent Treatment is another form of psychological manipulation the narcissist uses against others. It is another form of emotional abuse to fill their need for power and dominance, to keep power and control over us, to avoid taking responsibility for something they have done, avoiding being held accountable for their own actions. To maintain their dominance over us. It’s used to punish us for something we have or haven’t done to their liking. They believe we are beneath them, and they want to do it, so we question ourselves, doubt ourselves, chase them and conform to their demands.
The silent treatment can last for hours, days, weeks or months. Some people do this because they are genuinely hurt and unable to speak. When they do feel able, it’ll be a two-way conversation when they are ready. A narcissist uses the silent treatment to punish us. They want you to conform. There is no give and take. To the narcissist, it’s always our fault, and with all that self-doubt their manipulation causes, we believe it’s our doing when it is not. They are grown adults responsible for their own behaviour.
The silent treatment makes us feel powerless, invisible, confused, intimidated, guilty, angry, frustrated, hurt, lonely, depressed, anxious and insignificant.
This is the narcissist’s self-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. So they can exploit those around them and get away with it. They are unwilling and often unable to ever see themselves as the problem. Whatever they do wrong, to a narcissist, 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’d prefer to pass it all over onto someone else. They will blame and shift everything onto other people. The only time they will Apologies is when 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 to you to avoid any responsibility for their actions.
The Narcissists’ Triangulation is another form of manipulation of those around them. 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 do this to gain control of others, divide and conquer people, drive a wedge between people, gain supporters and flying monkeys for the narcissist by playing people off against each other as they are often jealous of others’ friendships or relationships and will happily seek to destroy those who are happy.
Through triangulation, they get others to doubt each other, to fight each other over the narcissist, and they gaslight people into questioning themselves and shattering 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.
Pressure. “Everyone else is doing it. My ex used to let me, my friend’s partner lets them.” “You’re brother/sister would.” Again making you feel guilty or inadequate to get you to break down your boundaries.
The main reason a narcissist uses Intimidation is, so we fear them, so they can continue to dominate and keep control over us. Through that fear from their intimidation, we will often conform to their demands out of fear. They also use it to manipulate us and cause us more confusion within our own minds, with subtle threats that make us wonder if it’s a real threat, if they’re messing around, and if they will act on this threat or leave it be. They do this on purpose, so we are worried about the threat, but at the same time, we don’t want to make a fuss, or we also fear if we speak out or to other people, they might think we’re overreacting, as the narcissist will tell us and others, over and over “You’re too sensitive.” “You’re overeating.” or things like “You are imagining things.” the more it’s repeated, the more our subconscious believes the narcissists lie, the more we believe it, the more our own thoughts match the manipulative, gaslighting, lies of the narcissist.
The types of intimidation they use.
1. Standing over us, looking down at us, or getting in our face, breaking things, punching things, raising their voice, all to get us to fear them.
2. Isolation, destroying our personal property or hiding passports, giving us no access to finances, or when driving in a car so there is no way out. Taking us to isolated places, cutting us off from friends and family, making sure we have no support, taking our phones off us. Or as the one I knew did, throwing it out of the window that first time I was to call for help, for them to make a whole joke about it afterwards because, of course, I was apparently far too sensitive.
3. Restraining us, blocking doorways, locking doors and hiding keys, taking our car, physically holding us back, often claiming “it’s in our best interest.” Anything to cause us to feel trapped with no escape, threats of “I’ll tell everyone you’ve done this.” Often using your biggest secrets against you, so we conform to the narcissist’s demands for fear of others knowing things we don’t want them to, for none of us are perfect. We are all imperfectly perfect. Trapping us is then causing us to feel trapped with no choice but to do as the narcissist says.
4. Aggression. There are many types of aggression they may use. Spitting, slapping, pulling hair, strangling, pushing past us, shoving, playfully sitting on us, yet you’ve requested them to stop as they are hurting us, so they do it all the more, saying, “You’re boring.” Or “It’s only a game.” Only it’s not a game to them, and it’s causing you pain, it is them trying to let you know they are strong, so you fear them. Things like making you feel guilty over saying no to sex and trying to guilt-trip you, or they may sulk to break down your boundaries and get you to change your mind.
5. As those close to the narcissist become used to the behaviour and gain a level of tolerance to the abuse, the narcissist can recognise that if we haven’t fawned to their demands (fawn meaning complying to what they ask of you, walking on eggshells around them to protect yourself from further harm.), some will escalate their intimidation to verbal threats of killing you or your loved ones, physical violence becoming more regular often with the “If you hadn’t, I wouldn’t.” And “who would believe you? You’re crazy. ”
Not all narcissist turns to physical violence. Most stick with intimidation.
They take any and all of your resources.
Without care for us, as they are lacking In the Empathy to care, with pity plays, threats, blame-shifting, making us feel guilty, or sinking our mental health, so we become dependent on them. Most move into our homes, don’t pay the bills and eat our food. To them, it’s merely what’s yours is theirs, and what’s theirs is their own. They spend our money, try to take our home, and some will vandalise our property, again blaming us. Some will try to get us to sell up and move you miles away, leaving us completely isolated. A lot will walk out and leave us with nothing, feeling empty on the inside as well as the outside, slowly manipulating everything we once had away from us.
They are selling a dream to deliver a nightmare.
Our hopes and dreams. At the start of the idealisation, they pretend to love all that we do, false promises to fulfil all those dreams with our soul mate. Then during devaluation, they slowly take all our dreams, hobbies, passions and hopes away from us. Most of us are left with nothing, an empty shell of our former self, full of self-doubt, fear and anxiety to get up and go again, with no idea as to who we are.
Ruin emotional health, often our physical health also.
They take over our emotional health, like a virus slowly taking over and swooping in for the kill, the idealisation where they get all the positive attention and emotions from us, joy, happiness, we want to please and love them any way we can. Our praise to them and about them, to the devaluation where they’ll happily make us angry or cry, they’ll sit and watch us cry, or walk out on us, and then they’ll blame it all on us, leaving us hurt and confused. Even the discard is done each and every time with no closure leaving you hurt and confused, the hoover when they come to ’rescue’ you. Then when you finally wake up and see them for all that they are, they use any and all your weaknesses against you, cutting you wide open for more emotional torture. All this is extremely draining on our physical health also.
Take our trust.
They are viruses and infect our hearts, mind and soul. Not only are they a parasite in our home, but they’re also a leach draining us through manipulation slowly over time, from songs they play us to the words they say to us, so we no longer know who we are, from the idealisation and always being at our side in the start, to the sudden disappearing acts, leaving you wondering what we did wrong, planting seeds of self-doubt in your mind not only with their actions also their gaslighting words. From “you’re too sensitive.” And “That never happened.” Too ” You’ll never find someone like me.” And ” Who’d want you? You’re crazy.” during devaluation, our subconscious is slowly programmed over time to grow those seeds of self-doubt into our own thoughts as we are slowly losing our self-worth.
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, our Boundaries will be broken. We’ll have no clue as to what actually just happened, although if we question the narcissist, they’ll tell us exactly how to think as they throw word salad our way and completely mess with our mind. They will gaslight, project, blame-shift, Intimidate us, talk over us, shout at us, they’ll do all they can to send us feeling confused, frustrated, or scared, to distract us from the truth or the real conversation, and make us feel guilty or to blame. In their minds, if you disagree with them, we are in the wrong.
Changing the goalposts and always nitpicking at us. 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 us to fail. They will pull people down, nitpick and scapegoat others. Anything we do well at, they will find a way to take credit for. Or drag us down over it. They will also raise the goalposts. Every time we believe we’ve got it all worked out, and life’s right again, they will up the ante. They will make sure by the time they’ve finished with us that we’re an empty shell of our former selves, lacking in self-work, self-confidence, and self-respect. Instead of helping us with our insecurities and weaknesses, they will rip them all wide open and watch us bleed out. We will bend over backwards to help and please them, and they will continue their hideous manipulation to cause us pain.
They will invalidate who we are. Name-calling, they do this to fill us with self-doubt and insecurities and alter our beliefs, opinions and reality. Things like ” are you going to wear that.” The Covert way or “you look fat/ far too thin in that.” The Overts way. Due to their real lack of self-worth and sense of entitlement, they will call us “idiot, stupid, insecure, sensitive.” Anything they can to break us down. They are envious of others and believe they are special. They don’t want to see others succeed or do well unless the narcissist can take credit for it. They want to pull people down.
They are appealing to our emotions.
Instead of using any form of logic, they will appeal to our fear, guilt, loyalty, and caring side. A narcissist is lacking in emotional empathy, so they can not feel how someone might feel, yet they often have a cognitive understanding of empathy, meaning that they can think empathetically and use our caring side against us. Whatever the situation requires them to do, it’s always 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.”
If they look like they’re going to meet us halfway, think again, so if we pay for a holiday when they say they’ll pay us half, they might not pay at all once paid, or they might offer 25% and justify with something they’ve done for us. Or something we haven’t done as to why they shouldn’t pay anymore.
Walking on eggshells.
Walking On Eggshells is the term most commonly used when a narcissist trains us to be careful of who we are when around them, for fear of reactions from them, fear of them getting angry with us, or fear of abandonment.
We begin to shut down and hide our real selves, as when we are ourselves around a narcissist, they gaslight us with, “Are you going to wear that?” Or “You look bad in that.” Causing us to doubt ourselves. The same with our true feelings. We begin to hide them through those fear, as often, when we try to express our feelings to a narcissist, they will come back with,” You’re too sensitive.” We give up on our opinions for fear of causing an argument or them giving us the silent treatment. We slowly lose who we are to please the narcissist. Mental abuse is often a subtle form of abuse by the narcissist cohesive controlling us, and it’s gradually training us on how we should behave.
Walking on eggshells is what people end up doing around negative, toxic or abusive people. Most often, unconsciously, we end up doing this over time in order to protect ourselves from further abuse. Usually, when we still can not work out the situation we are in, we are being abused, and we are slowly losing our own values, beliefs and boundaries. –
Most of the time, we don’t even realise we are being abused. Most abusers will create an environment of insecurity, instability, confusion and fear, so they gain full power and control over us, all while telling you they love you. –
You can, and you will recover from this.
- Safely get away from the narcissist, removing the source of the pain and confusion from your life—no contact or grey rock.
- Set up your boundaries, block them and any flying monkeys. Learn a million ways to say no and stick to your no.
- Learn about narcissist personality disorder, put your reality back together, and forgive yourself for things you didn’t know. Any reactions you gave, learn to tune into your instincts that your mind and heart choose to ignore.
- Start filling your human needs for love and connection. Certainly, significance. Growth, uncertainty contribution. By learning new things, making new friends, connecting with those who understand you, this will help overcome the trauma bond. Fixing any trauma you had as a child, working on you.
- Finding your focus and creating new dreams for yourself. Starting new hobbies or taking up old ones.
- Practice observing and not absorbing their toxins and those around you. Listen to people’s actions, not only their words.
- Be patient and kind to yourself. Most of us slip up on the road to recovery. Keep taking those baby steps until you make it.
- Smile at all others. Don’t fear reactions. You never know who’s a day you might brighten. A simple smile can infect the world.
- Develop your mindset, teach your brain, consciously throw out those negative thoughts and find the positive each and every day, learn to know 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, and then take those small steps to learn and go for it. Work on your mindset, work on your knowledge, and use your brain the right way to benefit you.
- Pay others compliments. How do you feel when you receive a compliment? Give compliments out to those you know and those you don’t. Lift other’s spirits with a simple compliment. When others compliment you, you automatically like them more. It feels good receiving praise, and it also feels good giving them. Giving out genuine compliments helps you develop your own people skills, leading to more confidence within yourself. Only sincere compliments, and if it’s easier to start, do it within your mind until you read to compliment someone verbally.
- Your sense of humour, whatever that is to you. Laughter truly helps lift your mood.
Getting the narcissist out of your head.
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The narcissists counter-parenting.
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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.
Click here for Elizabeth Shaw’s Recommended reading list for more information on recovery from narcissistic abuse.
Social media mind games.