Narcissists. We’ve all met one at some point in our lives. If you are familiar with who these people are, I am guessing that you’ve already gone through all the trouble of escaping their cage.
But if you aren’t, pay close attention and keep reading.
Narcissists are masters of making people feel worthless and insecure. These individuals are well known for their excessive need for constant admiration and attention from others. Their personality is a solidly created construction of a fake, superficial self that interacts skillfully and charmingly with others. Narcissists have an exaggerated sense of importance. And they would do anything, and I repeat anything to get what they want.
That is why, most of the time, they are not really hard to recognize. Their needs are the only thing they really care about. However, there are some who are usually very careful when it comes to maintaining a shiny public image. These individuals blend with the rest of the world. They are masters of disguise.
Here are 5 covert manipulation tactics that these social predators have up their sleeves:
This is one of the narcissist’s most powerful method to gain control over you and question your sanity. Gaslighting is a technique these people use to convince you that your perception of the emotional distress they inflict on you is unreal. This gives them the power to rob you of your self-confidence and gaslight you into thinking that their abuse is actually your fault, or worse, that it never even happened. If you’ve heard the phrases “It’s your fault”; “You are too sensitive” or “You provoked me” more than once, keep in mind that you might be dealing with a narcissist.
If healthy and functional relationships are based on security, then unhealthy relationships rest on uncertainty, infidelity and manipulation games. Narcissists never let anyone question their point of view. When they feel that their victims start to doubt them, narcissists tend to bring the opinion of others in order to validate their actions. The method of triangulation involves bringing a third person into the dynamic of the relationship, be it an ex-partner, a friend, or a complete stranger. This is a distraction that they use to make you compete for their attention instead of looking for a way out of the relationship.
3. IDEALIZATION-DEVALUATION-DISCARD METHOD
It all starts with a few, romantic, out-of-this-world dates with them. At first, they do everything to let you know how blessed they are to have found you. They make you the center of their world, they shower you with affection and they simply adore you. This method is commonly known as “love-bombing”. But just when you think that it cannot get better than this, BAM, they hit you with a surprise. The devaluation phase. You are suddenly off the pedestal they made for you. The narcissist that adored you now criticizes you, puts you down and compares you to every single person out there. It is during this phase that you get to witness the narcissist’s true colors. The last phase is called the discard phase. This is when the narcissist abandons you in the worst and most painful way possible.
4. FALSE SELF VS TRUE SELF
The narcissist always hides behind an armor of “fake self”. This mask is a construct of traits and qualities this person usually likes to present to the world. This can make it quite difficult to comprehend the full extent of the narcissist’s real intentions and lack of empathy until the final, discard phase. The victims of these social predators suffer from a great deal of cognitive dissonance trying to comprehend the illusion that the narcissist presents to them, while the reality is more than clear.
5. EMOTIONAL WITHDRAWAL
Last, but not least, keep in mind that a narcissist will never give a damn about your feelings. If you think that you can communicate with this person in a quiet, respectful manner, you are mistaken. A narcissist will shut down the minute you show emotions. You will be forced to apologize for literally nothing and cope with the consequences of the silent treatment that will follow. If this is something that happens to you on a regular basis, know that you might be stuck in a relationship with a toxic, narcissistic individual.