10 techniques narcissists use to control and manipulate you

What is a narcissist?

It is important to note that there is a difference between someone who is self-centered and a person suffering from Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). According to Mayo Clinic, NPD “is a mental condition in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for excessive attention and admiration, troubled relationships, and a lack of empathy for others”. While the traits of a narcissist vary depending on the person, some of the most common traits include:

  • Feeling that they deserve special treatment
  • Lacking empathy for others
  • Exaggerating their qualities
  • Lashing out at criticism
  • Lashing out when they are not given special treatment
  • Difficulty in cultivating healthy relationships

Yet, underneath all of these traits, narcissists tend to harbor deep feelings of insecurity.

“Some people try to be tall by cutting off the heads of others”

Paramhansa Yogananda

10 techniques narcissists use to control, manipulate and dominate you:

They use emotional appeals.

A narcissist will aim to appeal to your emotions, making you feel guilt, fear and loyalty instead of using reason; this tactic makes them feel powerful and ensures that they ‘win’ an argument.

They dismiss your arguments.

When arguing, narcissist believe they are always right. What is more, they purposely challenge you to prove them wrong, but dismiss the points you make.

They use the bandwagon fallacy.

The bandwagon fallacy refers to the act of pressuring someone into doing or believing something because everybody else does. A narcissist will use this technique in order to persuade you to see things their way.

They use false flattery.

Narcissists know the power of compliments and flattery better than anybody else; subsequently, they use false flattery and compliment you in order to persuade you to do what they wish.

They compromise unfairly. 

Even when debating between two choices where one is evidently fair and the other unfair, a narcissist will likely want to compromise. That is, they will refuse to take blame and admit that they  might be wrong; instead, they will come up with a compromise which suits them but is most likely unfair to you.

They make empty promises.

Narcissists often make promises they cannot keep – or rather, have no intention to keep in the first place. They may promise to do something or give you what you want only to get something in return.

They ridicule you. 

Your emotions, feelings and arguments will most likely be mocked, dismissed and ridiculed. Narcissists use this approach to make you feel inferior and insecure; in turn, by doing so, they make themselves feel superior and powerful.

They use false equivalence.

They attempt to justify their actions by comparing things which are not the same. Narcissists frequently use this technique to excuse their behaviour by comparing their actions to something you have done – when the two things are actually not equivalent.

They use repetition.

During an argument, a narcissist may repeat a word or phrase while talking over you; in doing so, they are ultimately dismissing what you have to say. What is more, this technique of repetition also works to trick you into believing that what they are saying is true and that you are wrong.

They use scapegoating.

Scapegoating refers to the act of assigning blame, fault and responsibility onto someone; more importantly, it is a method of deflecting the blame away from oneself. This technique makes narcissists feel superior while simultaneously making their victim feel guilty and inferior.

It is important to recognize these techniques so as to not become susceptible to a narcissist’s manipulation and control.

 

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