Blame Shift & Deflect
A narcissistic tactic where the narc shifts blame for something he/she has done to then convince his/her victim they were responsible. Example, “I would have never hit you if you hadn’t made me so angry about that sorry excuse for a dinner.”
A term I use to describe the narcissist’s constant need to charm people into believing they are someone they are not. Narc’s are amazing actors and can charm anyone into believing their lies. Rich, poor, influential to educated–nobody is immune to the narcissist’s carefully applied charm to woo, sway, win-over or convince an unsuspecting victim/target. Even members of the royal family have fallen prey to narcissistic manipulation and abusers.
The stage in the relationship with the narcissist where he/she is starting to get bored with you. They are done lovebombing and aren’t focusing all their attention on you because you are not providing them with the pure and nonstop love, attention and affection they crave and must-have. In this stage of the relationship the narc is relentlessly cruel and relishing the pain and torment he/she is creating. They are cruel now just simply because they are entitled and they can be.
In the relationship with a narcissist, emotional abuse is a slow, undermining of the victim’s self esteem, self identity, and will power. The narc applies various emotional tactics to erode the victim and mold him/her into the image of the narcissist. The narcissist does not like to be challenged, but prefers a victim who can be easily manipulated or worn down to be wholly compliant to the narc’s nonstop needs and wishes.
Kindhearted, empathetic, caring and genuine–the empath is the perfect target for the narcissist. Empaths believe in the natural goodness in others and strive to correct and repair emotional imbalance or unhappiness by applying their loving attention to the situation. The empath is a good person who believes in the good in others and trusts the rest of the world operates in the same accord (which the narcissist exploits). The empath will try again and again to correct or mend the ever evolving and damaged relationship with the narcissist.
A term I use when an empathetic victim is emotionally, physically and mentally exhausted from the demands, whims, insults and emotional swings of the narcissist. Some empathetic victims experience PTSD from the abusive mind games, schemes and violent attacks of the narc. Empath exhaustion can manifest itself through increased fatigue, migraine headaches, depression, lack of focus on physical appearance and self care, insomnia, anxiety, stress, and other health-related aliments. In my opinion, radical change in the empath/narc relationship occurs at this point, because the victim has endured more than he/she can bear and must leave or be completely consumed by the narc’s plots.
A form of abuse where the narcissist increases isolating the empathetic target by limiting funds to mutual accounts, removing access to checking/savings accounts/credit cards, and dolling out funds when the narcissist sees fit. Often narcissists make their victims “earn” money to purchase the most basic of goods for their families. By limiting the victim’s access to money, the narc is exerting another form of control and limiting their opportunity to escape because they have no funds to pay for gas, a hotel or income to move to a safer environment.
The narc keeps a circle of close friends around to do his/her bidding and controls them through perverse manipulation, lies or schemes. Some of the people in the narc’s inner circle are even aware of his/her bad behaviors–but will continue to help the narc abuse, deceive, and manipulate victims and targets. The narc’s flying monkeys can be friends instructed to spy on the victim through social media, family members who follow and stalk the victim, or a close/secret friend of the victim’s the narcissist has manipulated in betraying.
Some narcissists express their anger in the devaluation stage through an unfiltered rage referred to as Fury. Abusers who experience fury will experience rapid mood swings, creating an unstable environment where the victim never understands if he/she is going to receive a horrific insult, punch or worse. Many victims have been fatally wounded in domestic violence assaults due to the abuser’s uncontrollable rages.
Gaslighting is taken from the 1944 movie, Gaslight, with Ingrid Bergman where her husband manipulates her into believing she is insane through a sinister process of carefully planted lies and control. It is a form of psychological manipulation that sows seeds of doubt in a targeted victim that makes them question their own memory, perception, and sanity. Using persistent denial, misdirection, contradiction, and lying the narcissist attempts to destabilize the victim and delegitimize the victim’s belief system.
- Withholds information from the victim
- Counters information to fit his/her perspective
- Discounts information
- Verbally abuses (almost always jokingly)
- Blocks and diverts the victim’s attention from outside sources
- Trivializes the victim’s worth
- Undermining the victim by gradually weakening them and their thought process
Three most common methods of gaslighting are:
The abuser may hide things from the victim and cover up what they have done. Instead of feeling ashamed, the abuser may convince the victim to doubt their own beliefs about the situation and turn the blame on themselves.
The abuser feels the need to change something about the victim. Whether it be the way the victim dresses or acts, they want the victim to mold into their fantasy. If the victim does not comply, the abuser may convince the victim that he or she is in fact not good enough.
The abuser may want to fully control and have power over the victim. In doing so, the abuser will try to seclude them from other friends and family where only they can influence the victim’s thoughts and actions. The abuser gets pleasure from knowing the victim is being fully controlled by them.
A form of communication between the victim/narcissist where the victim gives the narcissist no direct feedback, limits all communication and ignores bait attempts for the narcissist to get a verbal or emotional reaction. Often victims who must coparent with a narcissist use gray rock tactics to limit communication to the bare minimum for the care of the child.
As many narcissists are serial cheaters (addicts to the sexual thrill and highs of wooing and bedding a constant supply of lovers) they keep a constant string of lovers in their lives at any given time. These love interests have no social or relationship appeal to the narcissist other than to satisfy a constant need for physical and emotional praise (positive/negative).
A relationship with a narcissist is often never over for a victim and getting free or leaving is often a complicated, long and harrowing process. The narcissist exhibits Borderline Personality characteristics by pushing the target of his/her affection to the breaking point they leave them, but then lashing out for the victim going. The narcissist often will cause a breakup only to stage an elaborate makeup where he/she charms the victim into coming back to the relationship again (looking for the fuel for getting even or great makeup sex). In the Hoovering stage, the narcissist pulls all the tricks in the book to convince the target he/she has changed, didn’t mean to cause harm or pain, and will never do it again. This of course, is all a lie. A Hoover is never about being nice or changing, but about what the narcissist wants. It is during the Hoovering stage victims must be their most vigilant about not having contact or seeing the narcissist. Leaving a narcissist is never enough to keep them away for good. A victim must apply severe “no contact” boundaries to stop the narcissist from coming back again-and-again to woo or coerce the victim back into their clutches to suffer more abuse.
The narcissist is at his/her best when they are in the role of seducer. The narcissist uses passion and sex to lure and ensnare a victim to draw them closer. The narcissist understands empaths only want sexual relationships if they are emotionally attached to a partner. The narc exploits this and creates a false sense of attachment by overwhelming the victim/target with a false magnetic attraction that forces a physical relationship quickly. Once bedded, the empath is cemented into a whirlwind and often sadistic sexual bond with the narcissist.
The early/first stage of the relationship with the narcissist where the victim/target is made to feel like the only person in the world. The victim will be flooded with complements, the narc will make them feel like the ONLY person on the planet. Sex will be amazing, gifts will be lavish and they will feel as though they are walking on a cloud. Until the narcissist swings the pendulum and devalues and discards them.
The abuser and emotionally disconnected antagonist in the empath/narc relationship. Narcissism exists on a spectrum, much like many mental health disorders. There are lower narcissists and extreme narcissists–it’s good to familiarize yourself with the key levels to understand which type you are dealing with:
- Vulnerable Narcissist (VN):
Often shy and more quiet by nature, the VN attempts to ensnare you through playing his “woe is me” trump card. These narcissist lure you in with tales of their failures, how a spouse is not giving them enough sex or attention, or make you feel sorry for them. Make no mistake they are still very much a narcissist. They lack true empathy, think highly of themselves and have little or no regard for others feelings. As with all narcissists, they do not know authentic love and care nothing for victim they are emotionally manipulating. They are highly insecure and have inner feelings of self-hatred and unworthiness. To hide their inner insecurities they take on the characteristics and personality traits of other people they admire.
- Invulnerable Narcissists (IN):
Highly self confident, cold and calculated the IN is what we typically think of when we hear the word: narcissist. They are not like VN’s because they are very thick skinned and are absolutely shameless in whatever they need to do to rise to the highest position for power, glory and recognition. Some even have god-like complexes and their sense of entitlement drives a pathological need for the world to know how great they are. They also believe they are far superior in everything than everyone else. Both types share similar traits such as using others to fuel their narcissistic delusions, blaming and criticizing, lack of empathy, unfaithfulness and the need for power.
- Amorous Narcissist:
This narcissist takes his/her self worth by the number of their sexual conquests. They are extreme users of charm to seduce with flattery, bribes and gifts. The aim is to gain a false sense of trust so the narcissist can add the target to his/her harem of lovers to use and dispose of at whim. This narcissist is highly unfaithful and will never stay with a lover long. They bore easily and once the sexual thrill or the challenge is over–they are on to find a new high by seducing and conquering a new lover. They are complete relationship con artists and many “black widows” are notoriously criminals of this category. They make and break hearts as quickly as they can and devour anyone who is foolish enough to land in their web.
- Compensatory Narcissist:
This narcissist is out to prove he is larger than life. They foster grand illusions of themselves and their achievements and seeks emotionally vulnerable people to oppress to make themselves feel more superior. But don’t be fooled. What seems as mighty armor has a dent. In reality, they are horribly sensitive to criticism of any kind and will imagine or look for negative cues from others. Emotional abuse and manipulation are this narcissist’s favorite weapons of choice.
- Elite Narcissist:
The elite narcissist is cut-throat in doing anything to reach the top, win, and dominate others. In domination, the narcissist feels in total and complete control. They are completely convinced they are the best at everything and everyone else is simply minions around them. They are most definitely entitled to do, say, think or feel whatever they like and deserve only the VIP treatment. Their self inflated image of grandeur makes them amazing self-promoters, braggarts and one-uppers. Resistance is futile and every target in their path will be complete consumed and disposed of to the elite’s satisfaction.
- Malignant Narcissist:
Not far from complete psychopaths and harboring often hidden antisocial personality disorders, this narcissist is the most dangerous. Malignants have zero interest in morality or what is considered “acceptable” behavior because the world revolves around them and is only in existence to serve them as it’s master. They have no remorse for their actions and emotionally dissociate any feelings of compassion, love, empathy, sympathy or kindness–these emotions are considered character traits of weakness. Being completely emotionally void, the malignant seeks empathetic victims to mimc, copycat, use, abuse and brutally discard. . .in whatever sequence, fashion and appetite he/she chooses. They are highly arrogant and nothing gives them more delicious satisfaction than outsmarting a victim or people in their work and personal lives. Most refuse to recognize any authority (including the law) and will manipulate courts and legal systems to their advantage.
The constant need for the narcissist to receive positive or negative feedback and praise by his/her harem, flying monkeys, Primary Supply Source (PSS) or Secondary Supply Sources (SSS). To the narcissist, any attention is attention and giving them a temporary high. Some narcissists even take pleasure in plotting evil schemes in their minds (not ever intending to act upon them). A narcissist takes equal pleasure in saying something nice to someone, as he/she does in insulting and harming them. It matters not which way they get supply, as long as they are constantly riding the high of making people happy/excited and hurting/harming people.
A leaving strategy that requires completely removing the narcissist from your life. Victims who go “no contact” change their phone numbers, change jobs, move, block all friends, family and peers who are friends with the narcissist and do everything to make it difficult for the narcissist to find or recontact them again. Sometimes this method requires a legal restraining order, but extreme narcissists believe they are above our legal system and will simply ignore it, etc.
Non-Binary Sexual Identity
To a narcissist the source of the supply means little, that’s why many narcissists identify as non-binary (or as gender fluid). They seem perfectly at home having intimate and/or sexual relationships with both sexes (even though they may outwardly claim to be heterosexual).
Primary Supply Source (PSS)
This target/victim is the narcissist’s go-to primary relationship partner. Generally this is the person the narcissist sees themselves having a “committed” relationship (but narc’s don’t bond or have committed relationships). The bond for the PSS is the strongest in the narc’s harem. These victims often endure lifelong abuse.
A tactic where the narcissist projects the reason for his/her bad behavior onto the victim/target. The narc sees the target/victim as a mirror of him/herself. So when the narcissist behaves poorly or knows he/she has committed a wrongdoing–their conscience is cleared by projecting that behavior onto the victim. This allows the narcissist to avoid accepting fault or acknowledging they are wrong.
A less sophisticated form of abuse, physical abuse is physical contact to hurt, bruise, bloody, or harm the victim/target. Some narcissists who experience uncontrolled fury/rage brutally attack their primary and secondary supply sources. I’ve read stories where victims have had their hair ripped out by the roots, kicked in the stomach, had ribs broken or worse.
If you are afraid for you/your child’s safety, please call 911. If you are not in immediate danger, contact the National Domestic Hotline at 1−800−799−7233 or seek shelter in a local safe house.
Secondary Supply Source (SSS)
This supply source is the secondary to the primary partner the narcissist is in a relationship with. The secondary supply source could be a casual sexual partner met on an online dating site, a waitress in a regular bar, a connection in a sexual chat room, their child’s elementary teacher, sports coach, married friend, sister or other relative! That’s why victims of narcissistic abuse have to go “no contact” with people they aren’t absolutely certain they can trust.
A common tactic applied to the narcissist to spread lies about the target/victim about things the narcissist is actually doing to the victim. If the narc is cheating, he/she will tell family and friends the victim/target is the cheater. It’s a way to discredit the victim so when they start to talk about their abuse, others will downplay their story, not believe them or even side with the narcissist.
Often victims coming out of longterm relationships are surprised when they are callously rejected, dismissed and even shamed by friends and loved ones for being cruel to the narcissist. This happens because the clever narcissist has been setting the stage with everyone he is the kindest most caring person on the planet and the victim is crazy and has been smear campaigned all along. In reality, he’s been an abusive monster and had numerous affairs with multiple partners throughout the relationship.
One of the most sinister forms of abuse, the narcissist uses sex to further manipulate, intimidate, and blackmail victims/targets. Many narcissists are sexual deviants and take pleasure in hurting their supply sources during this time when they are most vulnerable. Some victims endure extreme sexual abuse in their relationships and experience horrific sexual trauma.
An unusual form of abuse where a victim/target comes to depend on the trauma in their relationship. Trauma is such a common occurrence, the victim becomes desensitized to it, learns to dismiss it entirely, or downplays the abuse completely: creating a false but deep bond in the toxic relationship with the narcissist.
A clever tactic where the narcissist presents victims/targets to each other to fight it out to win his affection or attention. Narcissists will use this this tactic to parade a mistress in front of a spouse to consume the fuel it gives him to see his spouse hurt, confused or angry. A narcissist will also use triangulation to cause friction between his lovers (taking messages from another lover while spending time with the other. Narcissistic parents even go as far as to triangulate their own children against one another. Praising a child favorite child against another they make work harder to prove their love to earn their good graces and affection.