Narcissistic manipulation comes in many different forms. In order not to become a victim of this dark personality type, it’s important to know which manipulation techniques narcissists use.
If you have ever been in a relationship with a narcissist, you might have wondered how on earth you got involved with someone so self-absorbed, one so selfish and so wrapped up in themselves? Narcissistic manipulation is to blame.
A narcissist uses many tricks of manipulation in order to trap their so-called victims. The truth is that if we ever knew their intent, we would all run a mile.
However, there are signs of narcissistic manipulation to look out for. You just need to know how to recognize these sneaky manipulation techniques that narcissists use.
Here are 8 sneaky tools of narcissistic manipulation these individuals use in order to manipulate us:
1. They use shaming in public and private
It doesn’t matter to the narcissist whether you’re in a public or private place. They will use every opportunity to shame you and belittle you. Why? Because it lowers your self-esteem and makes you hungry for their praise or validation.
A narcissist wants you to hang off their every word. They will say things like “I was only joking” or “I’m just trying to help you” to excuse their awful behavior. This keeps you clinging to the hope that one day, you’ll be good enough for them. But of course, you never will.
2. They control everything
From the topic of conversation (usually themselves) to the money, where you eat, literally everything to do with your relationship, they control everything. Even if you manage to slip something into the conversation about you, they won’t hear it. They will ignore you and you will pay for bringing it up later.
A narcissist you are dealing with will immediately turn the conversation back to themselves and make you feel bad about mentioning yourself. Soon enough, you will stop doing things you love doing and forget all about your needs.
3. They were super-charming at the start of the relationship
Were you swept off your feet at the start of your relationship by the most charming person you’ve ever met? Have those compliments stopped now and is the charming nature out the window?
A narcissist will try everything in their playbook to ensnare you and trap you so they have a victim to play with. If someone you have just met is so charming, so over-the-top with their comments and compliments that you think it’s too good to be true, guess what, it probably is.
4. They play the role of the victim all the time
Had a bad day? Your narcissist partner will have had a worse one. Literally anything that happens to you, something worse will have happened to the narcissist. Despite them victimizing you, they will appear to be the victim because it gives them the platform for attention. Eventually, you’ll start questioning whether you really do have problems or you are just being over-sensitive about things.
Narcissists love to play the role of the victim because not only do they get extra attention, they use it as a tactic to be nasty to you and get away with it. By you focusing on their problems, you are more open to narcissistic manipulation tactics.
5. They use other people to back them up
Narcissists sometimes use other people to help with their mind games. They will bring in a third person for back-up if they feel you slipping away from their clutches. They will then pit you against the third party to draw attention from their acts. This other person is also there to manage the narcissist’s massive ego.
This needs frequent stroking and if you are not complimenting them enough, they’ll get someone else in to do the job.
6. They play mind games or use ‘Gaslighting’
Gaslighting is where a person plays mind games in order to upset a person’s sanity. This is a typical tactic of narcissistic manipulation because they want you in the role of the helpless victim, with only themselves in the picture, ready to carry on the mind games until you are totally under their spell.
Gaslighting makes you feel as if you are going crazy and can be particularly damaging to your mental health. This is why it’s perfect for the narcissist.
7. They downplay your achievements
Narcissists have to be on the top of the pedestal. This means you cannot have any success yourself because it detracts from their achievements. When you first meet a narcissist, they will be over-complimentary about your successes.
But soon afterwards, they’ll show their true colors and start demeaning anything you’ve done. This is because it gets you working harder to make them notice you, which leads to them getting more attention.
8. They make everything your fault
It doesn’t matter if it is totally obvious that something is the fault of the narcissist. They will always turn it around so it is your fault. Their bad behavior will be down to something you have done. It doesn’t matter what the situation is or what has happened – the narcissist will blame you.
If you are experiencing any of the above signs of narcissistic manipulation, then do not lose heart. It is not you that is crazy, things are not always your fault and you shouldn’t keep on doubting yourself.
The narcissist you are involved with is only concerned about themselves. So if you do recognize any of the above signs, it is time to free yourself from their control and live the life you were meant to.