A Narcissist’s Top 6 Manipulation Techniques Exposed!

manipulation by a Narcissist

How is it that Narcissists able to manipulate others so well?

Narcissists are able to manipulate others so well because they are continually are the lookout for our vulnerabilities.  Once they hone in on what’s important to you, they will use these things against us.  Some examples of vulnerabilities might be our children, any self-esteem issues or insecurities we might have (weight, appearance, finances, etc.), fears–such as being alone, or losing someone we love.  Narcissists find out many of their victim’s vulnerabilities during the “love bombing” and “good listener” stages of the relationship.

Targets of Narcissists may be codependent; they may have come from abusive backgrounds, or raised in homes with Narcissistic family members; they may have a ton of other issues with their self-esteem and self-worth, but honestly, I think the biggest reason why people stay in a relationship with a Narcissist, is because they simply don’t realize that they are in a relationship with a Narcissist.

Normal people operate from what sociologists refer to as a “Just World” perspective. This “Just World” perspective means that we tend to think that how we treat people is how they will treat us–that the world is “just” or fair, and that our morals and values are similar to those around us.  And this perspective is true the vast majority of the time–except when we are dealing with manipulative people, such as Narcissists or Sociopaths/Antisocial Personality type people.

Most people tend to think that their partner is normal, and that any bad behavior they exhibit is fixable and changeable–again, we operate from that “Just World” perspective, where we think if we were doing something that was hurtful or harmful, that we would want to change this.  But the reality is that Narcissists and Sociopaths don’t care if their actions hurt others, in fact, they often take great enjoyment out of causing pain.  After all, the more of a reaction they can get out of people, the more important they feel, and the more their ego gets fed.

There is no better manipulator out there than a Narcissist or a Sociopath–especially if they are “covert“.  A covert Narcissist/Sociopath will (convincingly) pretend to have the same morals and values as the rest of society, all with the end goal of manipulating us into giving them access to whatever it is that they might want: sex, attention, money, food, clothing, shelter, status, etc.  But the reality is that they don’t have the same morals and values as us.  They don’t really have morals and values at all–even though they might pretend to. They might even go to great lengths to show the world that they have higher morals and values than the rest of us, by holding some sort of position of authority at their church, volunteering on a regular basis, verbally condemning those who exhibit any kind of morally or ethically questionable behavior, or going to great lengths to make sure that others view them as a wonderful person, friend, coworker, father, neighbor.  But after time, those that really know the Narcissist begins to see that there is a Dr. Jekyll/ Mr. Hyde duality about them–that their words drastically differ from their actions, all the things that they so strongly profess to be against, are the exact things that they are doing. (Bill Cosby, Jim Bakker and Scott Peterson are great examples of this type of behavior.)

In short, Narcissists are nothing more than emotional con artists.

It takes normal people awhile to realize this because the chance that our partner might be an emotional con artist isn’t even on our radar of things to watch out for.  So when the Narcissist does have bad behavior, we treat them like we would other normal person who has bad behavior: we work through it; we give second chances; we try to understand our part in things; we go to therapy, marriage retreats, and read self-help books. We understand that relationships require work, and that all relationships have their highs and lows.  And maybe deep down we believe that there is some sort of value in sticking through all the bullshit and celebrating being together through it all.  Many victims hold onto these beliefs for years, sometimes decades, until they are too tired to ride this merry-go-round anymore and decide to hop off.

We might even feel guilty for leaving, until we start to learn about Narcissist and Sociopaths…and then all their behavior starts to make total sense, and then we often feel like a fool for staying as long as we did.  (Even though feeling this way is normal, please don’t be so hard on yourself.  You didn’t know that you were in a relationship with a person with a fixed personality disorder.)

So, how can you tell a normal relationship from a Narcissistic one?

What separates a Narcissistic relationship from a normal relationship is that normal people in normal relationships verbalize true remorse for their bad behavior, offer to make amends for their bad behavior through consistent action, and live in a transparent way until their partner is okay with not having them live in a transparent way.

What they don’t do is give insincere apologies (if you even get one!), have a desire to change that lasts only as long as you are upset, and they continue to sneak around and live their life however they see fit.  In normal relationships, the same issues (generally lying, cheating, stealing, and/or verbally, emotionally, physically, or financially abusive behavior) with their partner time does not happen over and over again. Normal relationships don’t keep having the same issues, without some sort of change or resolution.  If they do, then one person doesn’t really want to change, and the other person is being manipulated…and you are not in a “normal” relationship, you are in an emotionally abusive relationship. 

Narcissists are master manipulators–they do know what they are doing, and yes, they can control themselves–but they don’t want to.  They love being this way.  They thrive off of the thrill of keeping you sucked in, and they thrive off the thrill of following their every whim.  (This is why their behavior is “erratic” and doesn’t make any sense to anyone but them!) But a person can only manipulate you if you let them.  The easiest way to not be manipulated is to see their manipulation techniques for what they are.  Once you realize what they are doing isn’t sincere, and is instead a series of calculated moves, you’ll be less inclined to fall for them.

Here are a Narcissist’s 6 Favorite Manipulation Techniques:

1. Denial.  When confronted with their bad behavior, a Narcissist will generally deny that it ever happened–even if you confront them with hard evidence!  If you can get them to admit to anything, they will generally only admit to the bare minimum, and deny that what they did was that bad, or to the extent that you think it really did happen.  Victims stay sucked in because the manipulative person won’t own their behavior–then the victim begins to question their own perceptions of what they saw.  Because Narcissists and Sociopaths are such master manipulators, and are well-known for using a multitude of “gas lighting” techniques, that the victim is often more inclined to believe them rather than their own eyes.

If denial alone doesn’t work, they’ll combine it with one or more the following five strategies:

2. Triangulation.  Triangulation is similar to a love triangle, although there doesn’t have to be lovers involved. Triangulation can happen in any dynamic that involves three people: at work, with children, with friends, you name it.  A triangle is created with two other people that the Narcissist pits against each other to where the other people believe that each other are the problem, and not the Narcissist.  This can be done with a Narcissistic parent pitting two of their children against each other, or with a Narcissist pitting his wife and the other woman against each other.  This is a great trick, and works to keep the blame off of the Narcissist, as well as creates an ego feeding frenzy for them.  They get their kicks from other being fought over (wife vs. the other woman), or from knowing that they have enough power and control to upset people to such an extent that they cause a lot of conflict and stress.

3. Pity.  A Narcissist knows that if they can get you to feel sorry for them, then they can manipulate you into switching your focus from their bad behavior to all their trauma or other underlying reasons for their behavior.  They’ll try to get you to focus on their bad childhood, stress at work, their alcoholism, maybe their terrible ex-wife, or how depressed they’ve been.  They may tell the victim that they are suicidal, need to go to rehab or detox, or perhaps that they think they have cancer.  There are no lengths that these manipulators won’t go to, and many times their pity inducing stories aren’t even real.

4. Guilt. It’s all your fault.  Somehow in someway, his cheating, lying, and other bad behavior is also your fault.  Perhaps he’s telling you that you needed to be home more, or to spend more time with him, lose weight, gain weight, dress sexier, dress less sexy–whatever.  According to him, his behavior is your fault. (This is the classic, “Look at what you made me do” cry of an abusive or manipulative person.)  Because there is often a nugget of truth in every lie a Narcissist tells, the partner might fall for the guilt trip, and try to make sure they do better next time.

5. Intimidation.  They might make thinly veiled threats, or they might come right out and threaten you.  Intimidating behavior doesn’t have to always be physical.  It can be in the form of  threatening to tell the courts that you are an unfit parent, and that they are going to go for full custody, or that if you divorce them that they’ll go after your retirement.  Of course, they might also stalk, or otherwise physically intimidate you as well–by hurting you, or by hurting objects around you (punching holes in walls, or breaking things), to scare you enough into letting them return to your life.   Victims often stay because they are too scared to go, and they often feel like they are safer staying so they can at least know what the Narcissist is up to.

6. Hope.  Narcissists do such a oscar-winning performance of getting their victims to believe that this time they really will change, that it’s understandable as to why the victim keeps believing them.  I asked a Narcissist once why he thought women kept coming back to abusive men, and he just smiled and replied, “Because hope dies last.”   Yikes.

And back to the “Just World” perspective–normal people tend to be sorry for their hurtful actions, and believe that their partner must be too.  If the victim has experienced multiple issues of bad behavior with the Narcissist, they probably also tend to think that this time will be different, as the Narcissist’s behavior is so outlandish, that they think he must have hit rock bottom.  The truth is that there is no rock bottom for a Narcissist.  They make decisions based off of their whims and not much more.  Their increasing bad behavior is what’s referred to as “managing down of expectations.”  This is where the victim’s expectations of the Narcissist, and of their relationship, become less and less while the Narcissist gets away with more and more.

On a side note, you can tell you are in a toxic relationship if you are minimizing or justifying your partner’s behavior to yourself or others.  Or, if you find yourself not telling  your closest friend certain things that your partner is doing because you are concerned about what they would think, or because your partner’s behavior is so outrageous, then there is a problem.

Can therapy or medications help a Narcissist change?

The short answer is no.  Victims always want to believe that the Narcissist can change.  After all, most people are capable of change–but not Narcissists.  They never, ever change for the better.  This is, in part, because they see nothing wrong with their behavior.  After all, they have a staggering degree of entitlement.  And for these reasons, counseling doesn’t help–in fact, therapy often makes a Narcissist worse, as they just learn to hide their destructive behavior better.

If you are experiencing any of these six manipulation techniques, just know that you aren’t crazy, you aren’t alone, you aren’t making things into a bigger deal than they really are, and it’s not your fault.  I strongly urge you to find a therapist or a narcissist support group, and to develop a safety plan to help you leave.   (((Hugs))) to you.

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Dana

I am a self-help junkie, former advocate for victims of domestic violence, current psychiatric RN, as well as being a recovering victim of Narcissistic abuse.

My goal is to educate, empower, and inspire other abuse victims in understanding more about what happened to them (and how to prevent it from happening again), as well as how to go on and rebuild an amazing life.

Even though I have had a lot of "in the trenches" experience with highly manipulative people of all kinds, I consider myself to be a student of Narcissism, mindset, motivation, healing, and life in general, and am by no means an expert on any of these topics.

It's for these reasons, that when you are reading my information that I encourage you to hold to what helps, and let the rest go.
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About Dana 308 Articles
I am a self-help junkie, former advocate for victims of domestic violence, current psychiatric RN, as well as being a recovering victim of Narcissistic abuse. My goal is to educate, empower, and inspire other abuse victims in understanding more about what happened to them (and how to prevent it from happening again), as well as how to go on and rebuild an amazing life. Even though I have had a lot of "in the trenches" experience with highly manipulative people of all kinds, I consider myself to be a student of Narcissism, mindset, motivation, healing, and life in general, and am by no means an expert on any of these topics. It's for these reasons, that when you are reading my information that I encourage you to hold to what helps, and let the rest go.

18 Comments

  1. I met a woman who was still living with her ex boyfriend. She came out and told me everything on our second date and said she just wanted to be totally honest and transparent with me upfront. In my gut, this had red flags all over it, but I was really lonely at the time in an area where there are not many people. She said that she had not been intimate with him for months and that she would be moving out soon. She was going to move to a bigger city and even got a job in the city and was moving out of his house but her boss got injured at her new job and with him being a dentist the practice needed to shut down so she moved back. She moved out of her ex’s house and back into her parent’s place and I helped her get a great job. We were already telling each other that we loved each other and with tears she would tell me how amazing I was and that she’s never loved another man like me before. She started looking for places for us to live. She said she was so excited about our future together. She always used to tell me that she loved me even more than I loved her. I took the bait hook line and sinker. Then when she started her new job that I connected her to, she stopped returning my calls and texts. Keep in mind that I had spent plenty of time around her family at this point and they really liked me. They said she finally found a good guy. I was worried about her so I finally went over to her parent’s place and her mom said, “you mean she hasn’t talked to you in a week?” “That’s so messed up!” Her mom sat me down on the couch and said she abruptly moved back in with her abusive, addicted ex, who is a millionaire and happens to be 20 years older than her with one ex wife, a baby mama, and a three year old. She had always told me she hated this guy and never wanted to see him again, but then she dropped me “her one true love” and didn’t even have the common decency of telling me ahead of time. She is a 29 year old woman and her ex is almost 49. I have a great job and make a great income but he is a millionaire. I am not, at least yet. She didn’t even take me through the devaluation phase. She discarded me with no prior warning. I am better looking than this guy and am nearly 15 years younger than him (5 years older than her). It feels like I was side swiped out of nowhere. Her mom called her while I was at their house and then gave me the phone. Her only explanation was that she just wasn’t really feeling it the last few weeks and hopefully we could be friends. She’s going back to a guy that abused her verbally, emotionally, threatened her physically (according to her at least) and totally tried to isolate and control her. She used to tell me she was so happy I came into her life and that she never loved him. This was only a few weeks ago but I think she was still seeing us both at the same time and telling us each completely different stories. I thought she really loved me, was a kind person, and had a good heart. Out of nowhere, she discarded me without even going through the devaluation phase. I treated her so well and still love her. Any thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

  2. Hi there,

    It sounds like you have clarity that (at best) she is manipulative and insensitive. Her breaking up with you has nothing to do with you. Nothing. Manipulative people use others to get what they want–whatever that might be at the time: money, sex/attention, housing, clothes, a car, social status, or to increase their public image. Maybe she was seeing you to make the other guy jealous. Maybe it was for attention. Maybe she missed all his money. We’ll never know for sure, and she’ll most likely never be truthful about her reasons even if you ask her.

    You mention that you didn’t go thru the devalue stage with her. This is only partially true. The more likely reality is that you did go thru a devalue stage–it just wasn’t done to your face.

    What’s important here is that this woman doesn’t respect you, or your feelings. For these reasons you’d be wise to cut off all contact with her and keep her (and anyone else like her) out of your life for good.

    With that said, here’s some concerns I have when I read your story, that I think are worth your time to reflect on:

    1. White Knight Syndrome. She sounds like a very troubled woman. Your job is not to rescue her–only she can rescue herself. (Assuming that everything she’s even said about this guy is true.) Trying to rescue someone who is drowning in their own life is a recipe for disaster. In a healthy relationship no one needs to be rescued–each person can hold their own.

    2. You are comparing yourself to this other guy. Who cares if he’s a millionaire? Or older? Or balder, or anything else? What matters is how she treated you when she discarded you. That matters. That’s what is messed up about the situation. Don’t ever forget how she treated you when she left. This is who she is. When people show you their true colors, it’s your job to see them (and then react accordingly).

    3. She wants to remain in your life and be friends. This is way messed up right? Who needs friends like that? Friends don’t build each other up and then toss them aside like garbage. She will most likely continue to circle around you until she gets what she wants (and who knows what that is), so prepare yourself for hoovering: http://www.thriveafterabuse.com/you-tube-video-on-hoovering/

    4. You still love her. I know you think you love her, but I don’t think you really do. I think you love the idea of the person she pretended to be. The real person is the one who dumped you and just walked away. Those feelings of love will fade faster if you remind yourself that there is a difference between the person who promised you the world, and the person who kicked the chair out from underneath you. Love is based on honesty, respect, compassion, dignity, and an appreciation of the other person. None of these factors are present in your situation. You might feel really addicted or drawn to her, but that’s not the same as love.

    Nothing will mess up your life faster than being involved with an unstable person. This whole hot/cold, I love you/I want to be friends, I need help/I don’t need help is crazy making. When we are dating someone, it’s important to view dating as a screening process for a partner that you’d want to run a three-legged race with. You can partner up with someone who you work well as a team with, or you can partner up with someone who won’t communicate with you and is basically dead weight that you need to carry. I encourage you to get crystal clear on this, and then to be VERY selective when you are dating from here on out.

    As far as how to proceed, I vote that you continually ask yourself, “If I really valued myself, what would I do in this situation?” This question applies to not only dating, but to anything in life.

    (((hugs)))

  3. Dana, thanks so much for your timely and most thoughtful response. You brought up many valid points and also have caused me to reflect on how I can value myself and not get sucked back in by her and someone similar to her. Yes, I have the white knight syndrome but I know that now and can appropriately address that aspect of myself and learn from the pain it’s caused me. You are incredibly insightful and I will read your advice again when I’m tempted to fall into a similar situation. Thank you so much for taking the time to write out such a thoughtful and insightful response. You are helping so many people like me deal with and understand these situations. I think for me that I need to give up having closure because I never got it and will never get it. The most important thing is I need to focus on how I was treated at the end and have enough self respect and value for myself to never have any contact with this woman again and also be more discerning in future relationships. I can’t thank you enough 🙂

  4. I have finally ended a long term friendship with a person who displayed these traits. Pattern was – bad behaviour, then excuses followed swiftly by a list of my faults… It completely threw me. Reality check is no one else in my life held that list of faults, just him. It’s so weird and disorientating but I don’t want him in my life anymore.

  5. I’m so glad that you were able to end this one-sided friendship. It can be SO exhausting to have a friend who is manipulative and who lacks all accountability for their behavior. …Not to mention crazy making! I don’t blame you for not wanting him in your life anymore, and the cool thing is that you have total control over that! Just be prepared for him to not handle it well, or if he does handle it well, for him to come back periodically every couple of years to try to suck you back in again, as that’s what they tend to do. Here is a video series that might help you to avoid a person with this kind of behavior in the future: http://www.thriveafterabuse.com/youtube-video-playlist-on-narcissism/ (Scroll down until you see the title: How to Avoid Dating (or Befriending) Another Narcissist, Sociopath, or Other Type of Manipulative People.)
    (((hugs)))

  6. I have recently ended a 5 year relationship with a narcissist. I didn’t realize exactly what he was until my therapist mentioned it after the breakup. After doing some research on this subject I totally believe it to be true. The entire relationship EVERYTHING was my fault. And I believed it every time. He lacked any empathy for me or anyone else. HUGE red flag should have been when he said he never cries, even tears of overwhelming joy. I just chocked it up to the whole society teaches men not to cry thing. But nooooo he truly didn’t feel anything. Although, he did put on a good face. I knew all along it was a total cover. I just didn’t want to believe it. At this point after the torture and chaos I have broke free and I’m a surviror picking up the pieces and trying to love myself again. However, he is now trying to get full custody of our 3 year old. He filed within months after I broke up with him. I’m so scared he is going to smear me into an emotional wreck. Which, I was when I was with him. I wish I could cut off ALL contact with him. But it’s just not possible sharing a child together. I’m also worried that he, and his mother who he lives with which is also a narcissit in my opinion, will manipulate my daughter with their tactics. It’s a mess. These people really have NO hearts. Does narcissism run in families? Can a mother, father, and 2 children have this trait? Looking back all the signs were so clear. But I just didn’t want to believe it. Any input and advice on the situation is greatly appreciated! Thank you!

  7. Please help me, i really don`t know if i`m crazy or if my boyfriend is an narcissist. I do really love him and we have been together for 3 years now. The reason why i am so insecure is because i feel like whenever we have a fight, i am always the problem, everything i do is bad and he can`t see that he is wrong sometimes too, he will NEVER apologize and when he does something stupid he gets mad at me for reacting but i just do one small little mistake the worlds ends, and i`ve tried to break up before but we always end up together, he kind off sucks me in again, by crying and say he will be better, but then it`s too late, i get angry, frustrated and sad and i really don`t know if im the crazy one here, i don`t have anyone to talk too either, he doesent like that i use my sparetime on others, he needs to be in the spotlight all the time and always have it worse then i have, i can`t have problems because i`m just “stupid”.
    He was flirting and more with a girl before and when i catched him i was the bad person, when i broke up he came crying and said he would never do it again, but when i speak of it now he gets really mad and calls me a cheated, even tho i`ve never EVER done anything like that against him, and deep down he knows it too..
    what am i going to do? what is this? he have asbergers/autism.. so am i crazy or is he really manipulating me? i feel really bad, but i am so frustrated.
    -18y/o

  8. He may or may not be a Narcissist, but he for sure has a lot of problematic behavior. It’s impossible to have a healthy relationship with someone who not only isn’t accountable for their behavior, but who blames you for everything that goes wrong. What you are describing is verbal abuse, and it’s not only crazy making, it’s, well, abusive. I would strongly encourage you to read the book (or at least my notes on the book) “The Verbally Abusive Relationship”. It speaks a lot about situations that you are describing. Here is a link to the book and my notes: http://www.thriveafterabuse.com/forum/Thread-Book-club-book-for-December I hope that helps. 🙂

  9. As a person who values herself, and does whatever it takes to get to where I am meant to be, I see nothing wrong with using these particular tactics to use people to help yourself get ahead, isn’t that what everyone wants anyway? And not doing whatever it takes to get where you want is a sign of weakness in my opinion and shows that you deserve whatever sad little life you have now because anything is possible, if you’re willing to do what it takes.

  10. There are so many ways to get ahead with manipulating and abusing people. Sure, someone can lie, cheat, and steal–but frankly, outside of being immoral, and often illegal, but that just seems lazy to me. Why not just do things on the straight and narrow and actually earn success?

  11. Hailey, isn’t that …a narcissist’s doing? To get ahead, you step on people’s toes to get to the top, on top of that plus manipulation? Because the whole point of that IS to get to the top, AT THE EXPENSE OF NOT ONLY PEOPLE, but also at the expense of people’s health, feelings (emotional blackmail), and personal lives. In order to do this (to get to the very top), somebody WILL GET HURT in the process on order to get to the top as soon as they can, pulling out of ALL the stops, even if it means cheating, making somebody work 100+ hours a day, with no regards to health concerns and threatening a work-life balance of others, and manipulation and emotional blackmail and emotional abuse to the point of others either being drained or…even committing suicide. And using people to get what you want…means that their time and life are not valued, unless it’s within legal means (using a career counselor to help you get a job is VERY different from using a relative to get you a job plus building a bond, THEN dropping that person and never calling him/her back and never spending time with that person).

  12. You ask a really great question about if these traits can run in families. Generally they do, however, it’s not really clear if it’s due to nature (genetic) or nurture (how they were raised) or a combination of both. …Oftentimes Narcissists have a parent who is a Narcissist, but I’ve also spoken to many parents who have Narcissists/Sociopaths for children and they (as well as the rest of their children) are “normal”. …As far as raising a child with a Narcissist, I think you’ll find a lot of benefit in joining the support group: http://www.NarcissistSupport.com/forum as there’s a lot of people in there who can give you ongoing support and feedback as you go through this. (((hugs))) to you.

  13. Hi, My ex husband is a mnaipulator. Whilst we were together he managed to did nothing with either the children or the house, even though he wither finished at 2 or started at 2 our daughter would have to be in childcare 8-7, to cover my work hours. This left me walking her there and back every day, despite being pregnant with spd. I did every bit of the houseowrk, paiud all the bills etc. He was out most nights drinking and, I later found out, sleeping around. The worst part is, I didn’t even realise how un bvalanced this was until 2 years after the split, I suddenly realised how he had been. He always told me how fat I was ( was a us 0) aftter we split I stopped eating. He arrely saw our kids after the split and it took me 5 years to get him to see them on a regular basis. He would however, call me and pretend to have an argument, this completely baffled me, I would put him on loudspeaker and let whoever was with me listen. It was only my mum who pointed out that he was probably making me look like an awful person to the woman he had left me for. She reasoned that he would want the woman to think he had good reason for having the affair with her. My youngest daughter has always had a poor relationship with er father, to put it bluntly, she doesn’t like him. The eldest had always idolised him and would do anything to make him happy. He got his new partner pregnant and, started saying things to the school such as asking them if they thought the children were unkempt and if my eldest was okay as she seemed unhappy. They started to question her not long after and at first she was fine but sklowly started to say she was unhappy at home. Tjis was over a period of around 5 months, there was a change in the eldests behaviour but I had no idea why as no-one had spoken to me. My ex then asked if he could have the children more ‘to help with uni so rthey did not have to attend childcare’ he also wanted to pay no maintenance for the children, making his new child affordable. I agreed it would be helpful and asked what he proposed, only he did not want them on the two days they went to childcare so i declined. The next thing he did was to call social services and telll them a lot of lies about the childre, one came out to me and one to him, the one who came to me found no problems BUT the one who came to hiom decided, without meeting me that I was a terrible person. I reacted badly and said he could not see them, though 12 hours later, I amended tjis to supervised visits as I did not trust him. He had dragged my youngest from my house a couple of weeks prior so she took the chance to not have to see him at all. During this time we had to call the police twice as he was being extrememly aggressive and breaking my door down, there were witnesses. I also had to call the police again and go to court as he removed them from school with no warning, on a day he wouldn’t have been due to have them even if he ewas seeing them. I got to the school rto no children and no idea where they were. He would not answer my callds and it took the police some time. The social worker ignored all this and claimed he was within his rights, something I was told he was not. The social worker talked to me, but reported completely different thingsd to what I had said,. I complainbed to her supervidsor and asked for a different one, but got told no. I aksed if I could record meetings so I could prove what had been said and got told no. This social worker was very hard to contact if I or the school called, however he always got hold of her straight away. The teacher he had started talking to at first gave ‘evidence’ that the children were unkempt when at my home, as he had suggested to her. However, when asked what days they were at home and what days they were at their fathers, she got it wrong as she had just assumed the neater days they had been to his. The social worker ignored this. We went to court and the social worker changed evidence for the court, it was overlooked as a mistake. All she had to so was print something off rfom the school, she had physically changed it and the school evidenced thsi for me. He took in photos to show his relationship with them, I took in evidence ti show these were photos from my facebook. It still made no difference. They decided that as the youngest did not want to see him, i must be manipulating her, they didn’t care it was because he physically abused her. The children went the live there and have had mental health problmes since, they have reported on numerous occassions of the physical vioence experienced there and the eldest has been in floods of tears after admitting, to several people, that he lied to live with her dad as she thought it would be more fun (she had only ever seen him on his day off). The court suggested we be able to talk as much as we wanted on the days the children were not with me, the social worker and him stopped this straight away and we are limited to 15 minutes each at 6.30. Last year he tried to take away the holiday visitation, when the kids were already at mine. They refused to go, he refused to come up and talk to them, or even talk to them on the phone. We had to involve social servbices again, for our protection, the woman was understanding and listened, bt said she had to talk to others. They decided to just go with what had been said before. The children were adament about how unhappy they were, but they just decided I had made them say it. The eldest comes under his fire all the time and it shows, she shows lots of signs of manipulation and has very little self confidence, is scared to speak up and still tries to please her father. The youngest, is okay, but desperately wants to come home, He ignores her as he cannot manipulate her. The youngest is the one they claim I manipulate, yet she shows no signs and her mental health is okay. She si much clingier than she used to be with me and resents anyone invading our time but is okay. I am now moving away and want to take the kids, I am terrified of the lies this man will tell and very concerned that no-one ios going to see through him, as the people that make the decisions do not have to get to know him at all. Last time at court he had a barristor and 2 solicitors. I had me. I still manged ti get more than he was offering though, which si good. My name has been dragged through the mud, no0ne listens to me or the kids, despite all the evidence we have put forward. I am terrified and do not know what to do or how to helpo my children. After 15 years of abuse from him, I just want to be free. Themaddening poart is, when he is nice or helpful, I always believe he is changing. My neighbours, friends and partner are not as easily fooled, but are always there for me when we find out the reason for his sudden kindness, I feel so stupid all the time. I wish I knew how to help myself and teh kids. The man destroyed me when we were together, seperating me from family and friends. When we split I was ill for a long time with an eating disorder as I believed all his vileness about people not wanting me because I was fat and ugly. I lost my house, dignity and job due to that split but I kept my kids. Years later, he comes and takes them as well. They are my everything and he knows it. I am attempoting mediation, which will end up in court, I am terrified to even be in the dsame room as him

  14. I am so sorry that you are going through all of this. …You are SO not alone though. Your story is, unfortunately, a very common one. You can do this, and you can get through this. If you haven’t already joined the support group, I strongly encourage you to do so: Support Group (((BIG HUGS))) to you. <3

  15. Had a weird open relationship of sorts these past two years. I started sleeping with a classmate, who ended up being my best friend, and we set some rules in place. No sleeping with other people in our classes, and when we did sleep with others we would use a condom. We’re graduated and trying to make a friendship work now (definitely not a relationship) but he lied to my face yesterday about sleeping with classmates we both knew. And I found out he didn’t use a condom, to boot. And he still calls me his best friend! I’ve given him so many chances at this point (there was plenty of other manipulative/controlling behavior in the mix), and I don’t think I can do it anymore. Not to say I was perfect these past few years, but I know I was honest and respectful. He’s still my best friend, which is the worst part. I’ve told him things I haven’t told anyone else. But to have the audacity to lie to my face multiple times, he really must not respect me at all. Breaks my heart. And I’m still the sucker, trying to decide if I can keep him in my life. But I can’t trust him anymore, so I guess that’s not much of a friend. Man, people can really be a disappointment sometimes. Bummer. Any tips on picking up on the red flags earlier, or tips on how to not ignore them, would be greatly appreciated. This has not been my first emotionally abusive relationship.

  16. Narcissist/sociopath female partner -my experience… she told me before that she’s have an issues with anxiety and depression but i thought that is something normal.. and my toxic adventure begins:
    Love bombing stage:: ask so many questions about me and listen very well, she loves the same things i love, she is religious like me, she is even virigin like me ( 1st red flag – although she insists that it wasn’t a lie”subconscious lies”), she listen to my same music ( different language tho), she’s very charming like an angel, cute, lovely.
    And then always force me by questions like do you like me/love me( overwhelming)
    She is always in touch ( attention) texting, calling … etc.
    Jealous to hell( checkin my phone, she doesn’t want me to have any gals even my fb friends)
    When calling i hear charming and lovely voices once she get me to come visit her she starts to acts completely different than what she were really saying ( manpulation), (e.x. i love you so much and when i see her she tells me nothing serious bet. Us right?!!!!!)

    All of the above features i mentioned above was completely in the opposite way( she is rude, mean, lack of feeling, numb, loser, lazy, control freak, not religious, doesn’t listen to my music, never watch that movie( our favorite one!!!), not a virgin( probably she slept with +1000 guy before), bad jobs, many diplomas, even cheating ( my gut was always telling me that)…
    One day she asked me to check my phone so i allowed her (nothing… im very loyal to her) and then i check her phone and i found naked pics of men on her phone * her exes) everything changed and she knew it although i forgave this loser….
    Devalue stage::::
    Mask Slightly sliped since she knew that im not really into her right now… so rude, disrespectful, no love, no empathy, perosnal jokes ( when i try to be polite to stop her she say im being too sensitive) and i asked her not to pass her boundaries and always does…
    Sex with her is ( all abt her — nothing for me— all my preference will be like nothing— she is in control of everything adding to that shame, gulit and threatened me in case i don’t show up if she wants sex ( pregnancy games every time we had sex by tellling me that she didn’t get her period while it’s all lies to get me to see her NOTE: she refuse to use condom to point that she said i will not have sex anymore)
    She uses pregnancy cuz she knows that im really scared of this pregnancy issues since im not ready
    She break up with me during final exams each time……( envious)
    Discard stage:: happened because i learned about her and her strategies and i start applying same things to her so she knews that all her games has exposed
    She has a very low self esteem and confident so i started attacks those points to point she told me that she loves me and need me back(( hoovering!!!!)) —- she was lying and i can tell that she is not only envy but hates me and trying to seek revenge.
    I was very kind and caring and geniune with her, i thought that she is normal or has feeling
    But no i couldnt help it she is totally damaged since she was child ( more likely)
    I thought i was in love but all i got was manpulation, drama, lying, cheating, hate, degraded….etc.
    It was my 1st relationship and was too much abuse( sexual and emotional) to the point that my self-esteem is very low.. i didnt notice all of that because i was just busy with school ( she tried to makes me fail in school but seems that god protects me in somehow),
    She offered me the friends card but i refused ( trying to keep as an option because she knows that i still have feeling about her maybe just texting and calling and maybe sex) she got very upset and mad after my (no ) since i use to never aruge with her or she will turn the table on me immediately.
    It was 8 months relationship but it was a highly toxic one.
    When she knows that i knw about her as a psycho she starts to make jokes of me and that she didn’t even loved me or missed me( she uses to tell me this all time)
    I didn’t mention everything of her actions here, however it was hell, and im trying to recover now by myself especially on the sexual and emotional level.
    Sad fact that we only read those articles after we had the damage i just wished if i know about psychology before.
    Thank you so much for your vids and articles

  17. Hi Dana

    Thank you for the article. I read it and I know that a narcissist has and still is doing all these things but I still think I am the crazy one! We are divorced with a child, I am re married and have another child with my current husband. He still does what he always has. Every e mail talks about how he is the better parent, how I am the bad guy and to blame for everything and I’ve picked up that he is parental alienating me with my daughter. Please if you have any advice of how to stop this cycle and how to not get affected by him I would appreciate it. He is a destroyer of lives, but he has money and the support of his parents even when he was a terrible alcoholic. I want to get more assessments done to prove the parental alienation, but am worried he manipulate the assessment for his en game.do these people even care about their children?or is his hatred for me for exposing him the driving force of his relationship with our child? He professes to love her but blocks me on any decision I want to make with her, only accepts what he thinks is good about her and discards the rest of her which is part of her. We all have faults, he doesn’t seem to want to see that with her, almost like his child has to be brilliant and she can’t have any issues. And he constantly is trying to not pay, I am constantly fighting him to pay for her. Please tell me if I am crazy from this brief description because he has tried to convince the world he is a wonderful normal human being, and most believe it! But his actions show something compeletely different and sometimes it’s so subtle no one seems to notice. How do I ignore his manipulations and move on ?

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