Narcissists have a habit of ruining everything they touch. They will sour every event, every interest, every season, and every joy their victim has until their world becomes grey, until the narcissist becomes the only beacon in that darkness.
This can be especially felt during the holidays when narcissists will grab onto feelings of good cheer and drag them down into the depths. They'll even break out specific tactics to use during this time that feels more covert so their victims don't know what's happening until it's too late.
This free and simple quiz will help you uncover the origins of your present-day struggles. Defeat your self-sabotaging beliefs and watch yourself thrive, click here to learn more and get started today!
The holidays are meant to be a time of love, of friends and family gathering together to share gifts, stories, laughs, and moments together. Sure, there are also stresses that come with planning and cooking, but it's usually outweighed by the time spent together.
However, there are those who don't hold that sense of holiday joy, who will take a cheery time of year and twist it to serve their own purposes. A common perpetrator of this behavior is narcissists, who will use holiday-specific tactics such as these to bring attention back to themselves at all costs.
1. Being A Grinch On Purpose
During the holidays, narcissists often experience heightened feelings of entitlement, anger, and general selfishness. Whether or not they'll directly express this depends on the type of narcissist they are, but either through words, actions, or vibes, their discontent will become apparent.
This stems from them no longer being the focal point of attention, as well as their victims finding fulfillment and joy in festive gatherings. This shift in focus and this garnering of external validation can make the narcissist feel overlooked, leading them to sabotage your celebrations. They want your attention on them and them alone, no matter the time of year. No matter their victim of choice, be it a romantic partner, family member, or close friend, they won't stand for happiness being found elsewhere. This means ruining whatever brings that person joy.
To accomplish this, their tactics often involve sulking throughout the season (being Grinch-like), dismissing your joy, and/or attempting to spoil special events through arguments or passive-aggressive criticism. This creates a link between the holidays and emotional abuse for their victim. A season of joy is no longer joyful.
For instance, they might deliberately provoke their romantic partner before a planned visit to their family, making them seem upset, crazy, or a general 'downer' during what is supposed to be a fun, happy event. This strategy allows the narcissist to play someone far more charming, engaged, and liked during the holidays. This both leaves their partner even more upset and paints the narcissist in a better light.
2. Purposefully Getting You Gifts You Don't Want
Wanting a thoughtful gift or gesture from a partner or family member doesn't make you materialistic, selfish, or any other negative trait a narcissist might want to paint it as. A thoughtful gift represents empathy, reciprocity, thoughtfulness, and consideration. Unfortunately, a narcissist doesn't even want to show these basic respectful traits, even to those they claim to love, even during the holidays.
Instead, they'll continue only thinking of themselves. They'll deliberately give you the opposite of what you want, something that's close but decidedly not what you asked for, or something that's almost right but wrong in a way that affects the quality. This is all to make you feel conflicted and distraught.
After all, you're supposed to be grateful for gifts. You wouldn't want to upset them by saying you don't like what they got you, right? Even more than just getting you something you don't want, their gift might, in turn, be something they wanted that they'll use through you or take from you in the wake of your disappointment. It was never about what you wanted, it was about them.
Such disruptive and manipulative tactics can really ruin the holiday season for someone. When you can't even look forward to something like receiving a gift, which is supposed to come from someone's sense of goodwill and love, what can you look forward to? When your friend, partner, or family member can't listen to a basic gift request, what will they listen to? What will they do to show they care if not this or anything else?
3. Using A Season Of Good Will In Their Favor
This one is specifically for those with narcissistic exes, be they ex-partners, friends you've let go, or family members you've cut off. You may find that they're reaching out to you around this time of year, seemingly to wish you well or extend an olive branch, leaning on the good-natured energies of the holiday season.
However, these gestures aren't driven by genuine care or thoughtfulness. It's extremely likely that they haven't changed (as they might promise), they just want to regain control again. Even if they're no longer part of your life, they aim to ensure you're still thinking about them, rekindling memories of past toxic holidays and the abusive dynamics you endured.
Some may go to extremes, attempting to provoke you with messages mentioning new partners or happy moments they've had recently. They might even try being apologetic, wanting to talk through what happened so they can be absolved of guilt.
It's crucial to recognize that if any of these claims were true, they wouldn't be reaching out to an ex, and meaningful change would have occurred long ago. Protecting your peace during the holidays involves understanding these manipulative tactics and shutting them down as soon as you spot them.
While this time of year is often busy, that doesn't mean that it should be spent completely stressed out. If you identify one or more of these behaviors in someone in your life, especially if it's someone who causes you distress, it's worth examining your relationship and really recognizing their issues for what they are.
You deserve to have a holiday that's free from this type of abuse, and you're justified in doing whatever it takes to ensure that. Your peace and happiness should be held above all else during every month, season, and day of the year.
Happiness can feel far away if you're still feeling the effects of long-standing childhood trauma. You can take the first steps towards a new life today with something as simple as this quiz. Unlock the hidden elements of your past and use them to heal, click here to learn more.