10 Manipulation Techniques Narcissists Use To Get Inside Your Head

A narcissist can get inside your head and manipulate you.

Those who suffer from Narcissistic Personality Disorder have a mental condition which gives them an inflated sense of importance and a deep need for people’s admiration. Narcissists believe that they are superior and thus, think that they deserve to be treated as though they are special. In addition to this, narcissistic people tend to have a complete lack of empathy and so, they can be extremely manipulative and deceitful. According to Stephanie Reeds, a writer at The Power of Silence, there are 10 techniques narcissists use to get inside your head and control you:

1. Devaluation

When you first meet a narcissist, they will be charming and attractive. They will flatter and compliment you, making you believe that they think you are perfect. Then, all of a sudden, they will start to tear you down, criticize, and devalue everything that you thought they admired about you. By showering you with affection and then abusing you, they gain control.

2. Triangulation

According to Elinor Greenberg Ph.D., triangulation refers to a ‘form of manipulation in which one person seeks to control a three-person interpersonal situation for their own benefit. It often involves the use of threats of exclusion or strategies that aim to divide and conquer’. An example of triangulation would be bringing a third person to back up their side of the argument and invalidate your points.

3. Playing the victim

Narcissists act as though they are the victim and can even convince others that you are the abusive partner. They do this by explaining the reaction that you had as a result of their toxic behavior without admitting what they had done to provoke it. In doing so, they end up looking like the victim and making others sympathize with them.

4. Shaming

After they have gained your trust, narcissists will use their knowledge of you and your insecurities in harmful ways. That is, in order to make themselves feel superior they will try to tear you down by pointing out your insecurities and making you feel ashamed of things you already see as flaws.

5. Gaslighting

Like psychopaths, narcissists use this extremely abusive technique to make you feel as though you are crazy. They will make you question reality as they claim that the things you are saying did not happen. After long exposure to this toxic behavior, victims of gaslighting can begin to lose trust in their own conscience.

6. Brainwashing

Narcissists can make you feel ashamed of your beliefs and moral codes. They are skilled at manipulation and with time, they can convince you that everything you believe in is wrong. Eventually, you will find that you cannot recognize yourself as you have been brainwashed into thinking and believing the things they tell you.

7. Name calling

When narcissists feel their sense of superiority being attacked, they can get lost in their rage and resort to name calling. You will find that they can be so harsh and cruel that you will begin to think that they could not possibly love you and call you these names.

8. Monopolizing conversation

People who have narcissistic personality disorder tend to have no interest in anybody else apart from themselves. For this reason, when you are having a conversation with a narcissist, you will find that they seldom (if ever) ask you questions or listen to what you have to say.

9. Projection and scapegoating

Narcissists never admit when they are wrong. Unsurprisingly, this is a consequence of their belief that they are superior and therefore, always right. This means that whenever something happens as a result of a mistake they have made, they will find a way to blame you for their own errors.

10. Aggression

Narcissistic rage is powerful and intense. It can take numerous shapes and forms: outbursts of anger, passive-aggression, deliberate neglect, sarcasm or silent treatment. The difference between normal anger and narcissistic rage is that the latter is usually brought about out of the blue and is completely unreasonable. Through displays of aggression, narcissists manipulate and control their victims.

Being aware of these ten control tactics will make you better prepared to face a narcissist without succumbing to their demands and becoming their victim. 

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