The most dangerous part of having a narcissist in your life is that you usually don’t realize it until it’s too late. Narcissists are really skilled at coming off charming and manipulating you into falling for their act. It’s only once you fall in their grasp that they start to show you their true colors.
Be careful as a narcissist will attempt to turn the tables on you every time that you confront them. They will do anything to not take accountability even if it means tearing you down in the process. But, it doesn’t mean that you have to let them. Here’s how to pick up on their own game.
Being In Complete Denial
Deny, deny, deny. That is a narcissists’ favorite philosophy whenever you attempt to confront them. It’s not always clear whether they’re simply lacking the self-awareness to realize how hurtful their actions are or if they refuse to take accountability.
It can be quite confusing to be on the receiving end of someone who claims to care about you, but then doesn’t care for your needs when you express them.
Using Fear To Control You
Remember how you thought it was really sweet at first that they were being completely open and vulnerable with you? Often this encourages their victims to do the same, revealing their worst fears and struggles.
When a narcissist feels like they are being called out, they’ll do anything to gain back control. Fear is a powerful weapon that they know will make you retract. Don’t cave into their threats. If they’re telling you they’ll leave you and no one else will ever love you, prove them wrong!
Lying Their Head Off
This manipulation tactic throws so many statements at you that you can’t even keep up anymore. Either they’re attempting to delude themselves or lose you in their web of lies, or they’re trying to convince both you and themselves of an alternate reality.
This makes you question your own version of events and by the end, you don’t even understand what’s going on anymore.
Projecting Their Failures
Narcissists tend to assume that everyone is just as toxic as they are,. They convince themselves that what they’re doing is “obvious” so it’s clearly your own fault if you are affected by it.
What they’re doing is projecting their own failures onto their victims. This includes their own insecurities. So if for example, they’re cheating, they’ll accuse their victim of doing it too.
Shifting The Blame
Somehow everything is your fault even if you are completely removed from it. If they had a bad day at work and took it out on you, it’s somehow your fault for not being supportive enough.
They’ll make up completely unreasonable explanations for your supposed involvement simply because they refuse to take control of their own actions. Change is not on their list of priorities.
Play The Victim Themselves
In their logic, narcissists assume that if they claim the victim role first then you can’t have it. Clearly, it doesn’t exactly work that way. They want to get rid of all responsibility by making you have to be the one to apologize.
It’s just a distraction tactic to shift the attention from their wrongful actions to the way that they claim you hurt them, as if being called out makes you even.
Rely On Your Pity
If you wonder why victims stay so long with narcissists it often has to do with guilt. Narcissists are great at telling sob stories, and making you feel like their lifeline.
They often use their bad experiences as a way to justify their actions, so they no longer seem like the bad guy but rather someone who needs your help to do better. Remember that it’s not your responsibility.
Framing Their Stories
It’s all about perspective right? Narcissists have a way of framing the story from such angle that your reaction to it seems unwarranted. They’ll tell you that you’re overreacting because it was just a joke or that you’re too sensitive as no one else would be upset over their actions.
Be careful because eventually the repetition of the same frame makes you start to see things from their perspective over yours. This is when you become completely blind to the red flags and start justifying them.
Pulling away is their way of giving you a taste of life once they’re gone. It’s like punishing you so you learn to “appreciate” them better once they give you attention back. They’re instilling a reward system in you so that you think that you have to live to please them, or you’ll suffer the consequences.
Except you don’t. If they can’t communicate or be there when you need them, then ignore them back. You’re better off without them.
Showering You With Affection
A narcissist goes from zero a hundred real quick. One day they’re mad at you and won’t give you the time of the day and the next they’re making you feel like the luckiest person in the world. They do this for two main reasons. First, it’s a way to condition your behaviour, so that you’re always trying to earn their affection.
Second, it’s a way to pull you back in, that they resort you as soon as they feel like they might be stating to lose you. Don’t fall for it again.
Spreading Their Gossip
Another tactic that narcissists use to try to impose their version of reality is by spreading it to other people. it’s a way to gain power in numbers. Plus it gives them an alibi that they can throw back in your face.
These kind of tactics are what end up making you feel crazy and alone. You end up wondering if you’re in the wrong for being the only one to see them for who they are are.
Talking To Your Loved Ones
Narcissists love to feed their ego by having everyone on their side. They have no problem going to your loved ones behind your back, claiming to need advice, only to paint you as the bad guy. They want empathy at any price.
This is also a way to isolate you and make you lose your support system so that you feel like you have no one left to go to expect your narcissist.
Hogging The Conversation
Having a conversation with a narcissist isn’t exactly a two-way street. They love to hear themselves talk. This is a way for them to shift the power dynamic so that they have complete control over the conversation. If you can’t even get a word in, then you won’t have a chance at defending yourself and they’ll assume they “won” the argument.
Or, you might just feel so drained after listening to them, that you won’t express yourself for the sake of ending the conversation.
Raising Their Voice
Similarly to hogging the conversation, yelling and raising their voice is their intimidation tactic. Often victims will be so focused on the tone and volume being used against them that they’ll feel powerless to it.
What they’re yelling about isn’t as much of the focus as the actual yelling. It’s just to make you feel small so that you don’t even bother responding to it.
Critiquing Your Every Move
In an effort to completely break you down, a narcissist will critique everything from your accomplishments to the way you dress. They want to take away every ounce of your self-esteem to ensure that you don’t stand up to yourself, that you simply say yes to them, and more importantly so that you feel too weak to ever be alone without them.
What they don’t realize is self esteem can be built back up.
The Silent Treatment
Being ignored and made invisible may be one of the worst feelings in the world. By giving you the silent treatment, you start to feel like you don’t matter so much that your only focus becomes fighting back to be noticed.
When a narcissist feels at a loss for words, they’ll start to ignore you. Although you may think you’re winning at first, after long enough, victims will feel like they’re willing to do anything to end the silent treatment.
Higher Perspectives Author is one of the authors writing for Higher Perspectives