Manipulation is one of the narcissists’ most useful tools. Among those tools are words and phrases they are quite adept at twisting and using against you like a sharp weapon. Unless you are familiar with these phrases, you may find yourself agreeing to something you know you shouldn’t be agreeing to.
Words As Weapons
1. “You are too sensitive.” The narcissist will never take responsibility for what he or she does, so, the problem becomes you – if you allow it.
2. “You’ve said that a thousand times.” – usually followed by an eye roll. The implication is that the fault lies in you having brought up the subject. And it further implies that he or she will continue not to listen. Again, it’s your problem.
3. “I know what I am talking about.” Left unstated are the words: “And you don’t.” This sounds very confident, which in itself is not a narcissistic flaw. While certainty is not a sign that he or she is right, it can become a tool to silence you into submission.
4. “Just trust me.” This phrase has narcissism written all over it. If you know the person, he or she shouldn’t have to insist on your trust. And if you don’t know him or her, why would you trust them?
People may say anything at any time. The use of any of the above is not automatic proof of narcissism. But if they are used consistently, it pay to be aware and not allow yourself to act against your better judgment.
Narcissists Are Remarkably Predictable
The major trait of narcissists is that they know what they want, and they are determined to get it. There is a pattern to their actions. They like to think of themselves as unique, but if you learn to see through the pattern, it becomes obvious that they are remarkably alike. It’s like watching the same movie over and over again.
- Upon first meeting you, they will act as if they have known you for a lifetime. They will profess to love what you love. They will agree with whatever you say. You will find yourself “love bombed” within a few minutes. You find you are being idealized (I’ve never met anyone like you! or I’ve just never felt this way, or We were simply meant to be together.). Those words can turn into an addictive high. It’s not easy to give them up. One tried and true way of love-bombing you is with the words, “You are so different from my ex …” Truly, just reading the words can be flattering. But how real can they be?
- Once you are hooked, the narcissist moves on to phase two. They have put you on a pedestal, now you need to be knocked down. Yesterday, you may have been “perfect,” but today, you appear to have a weight problem, perhaps an intellect problem, or your tastes are substandard. Any put-down will do to diminish your confidence. Why? It will set you up to try and please them even more. They vary their behavior with enough affection and put-downs to keep you trying. Some of the put-downs are:
“Why are you so insecure?”
“I really hoped for better ….”
“You don’t act as if I am important.”
“Stop trying to be so manipulative.”
“I hoped things would be different with you.”
“I don’t know what you expect of me.”
This can escalate to “You always aggravate me,” or “You always ruin everything.” Or, finally, “I deserve someone better than you.” They will begin to badmouth you to mutual friends. The devaluation of being someone’s soulmate to being stomped into the ground can happen quite quickly. Their love-bombing can turn into vengeful behavior at the drop of a dime.
Should they be challenged on their behavior, they will turn instantly into a victim with a ready reply:
“I went through a rough time with my ex.”
“My parents never understood me, either.”
“I hope we can work things out.”
“Think of me instead of only you.”
“Stop blaming me for everything.”
A narcissist will continue with the put-downs, moving on to your friends and interests.
“Why do you have such low-life friends?”
“How can you watch such a horrible show?”
“You need to spend more time with me instead of your friends.”
Notice how at each step along the way, they are making you feel less than good about who you are and are expecting you to work harder to please them. When the narcissist has done his or her all, they will most likely become tired of the game and are ready to move on. That is when their put-downs are at their worse. They are determined to leave you as crushed as possible.
“Not a single person likes you.”
“No one will ever love you.”
How To Stop A Narcissist
The best way to deal with a narcissist is to be outside of his target range. Remove yourself from that person as best as you can. The more you try and please him or her, the more the narcissist will criticize you. Stop apologizing for your lack of “perfection.”
Narcissists have a massive ego. One of the best ways to disengage with one is to stop feeding the ego-monster. Nothing irritates and turns off a narcissist than being treated as ordinary.
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