Vulnerabilities Exploited by Narcissistic Manipulators

Narcissistic manipulators exploit the following vulnerabilities (buttons) that may exist in victims:

the “disease to please”
addiction to earning the approval and acceptance of others
Emotophobia (fear of negative emotion)[clarification needed]
lack of assertiveness and ability to say no
blurry sense of identity (with soft personal boundaries)
low self-reliance
external locus of control
naïveté – victim finds it too hard to accept the idea that some people are cunning, devious and ruthless or is
“in denial” if he or she is being victimized
over-conscientiousness – victim is too willing to give manipulator the benefit of the doubt and see their side of
things in which they blame the victim
low self-confidence – victim is self-doubting, lacking in confidence and assertiveness, likely to go on the
defensive too easily.
over-intellectualization – victim tries too hard to understand and believes the manipulator has some
understandable reason to be hurtful.
emotional dependency – victim has a submissive or dependent personality. The more emotionally dependent the
victim is, the more vulnerable he or she is to being exploited and manipulated.

Manipulators generally take the time to scope out the characteristics and vulnerabilities of their victim.

too trusting – people who are honest often assume that everyone else is honest. They commit themselves to people
they hardly know without checking credentials, etc. They rarely question so-called experts.
too altruistic – the opposite of psychopathic; too honest, too fair, too empathetic
too impressionable – overly seduced by charmers. For example, they might vote for the seemingly charming
politician who kisses babies.
too naïve – cannot believe there are dishonest people in the world or if there were they would not be allowed to
too masochistic – lack of self-respect and unconsciously let psychopaths take advantage of them. They think they
deserve it out of a sense of guilt.
too narcissistic – narcissists are prone to falling for unmerited flattery.
too greedy – the greedy and dishonest may fall prey to a psychopath who can easily entice them to act in an
immoral way.
too immature – has impaired judgment and believes the exaggerated advertising claims.
too materialistic – easy prey for loan sharks or get-rich-quick schemes
too dependent – dependent people need to be loved and are therefore gullible and liable to say yes to something
to which they should say no.
too lonely – lonely people may accept any offer of human contact. A psychopathic stranger may offer human
companionship for a price.
too impulsive – make snap decisions about, for example, what to buy or whom to marry without consulting others.
too frugal – cannot say no to a bargain even if they know the reason why it is so cheap
the elderly – the elderly can become fatigued and less capable of multi-tasking. When hearing a sales pitch they
are less likely to consider that it could be a con. They are prone to giving money to someone with a hard-luck

Posted on July 22, 2012, in Narcissism. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Amazing insights!


  2. wow very well said ! its amazing how much we allow the narcissits to take from us without even knowing , all for the sake of loving them … They believe it is their privlage to do so n expect that it is owed to them…. There is so much good information that is avaliable to all ! google all things lol alison the biggest thing is the co dependant behavior … love yoursself first


  3. I don’t even know how I found this website but decided to read a bit. I just had to fire a (who I thought) was a good friend. She was stilling money from my company. HR wouldn’t let me talk to anyone “outside” about it but I heard she was telling everyone that I WAS THE ONE STEALING and SHE took the FALL for ME!!! Even though she’s on VIDEO doing it 8 times in 2 weeks. At first I couldn’t understand why she just wouldn’t admit to doing it. But now it all makes sense! I caught her in SO SO many lies over our 2 yr friendship. She’s the biggest fake ever, she has no money, kids are screw ups, bad marriage but tells everyone the complete opposite and talks bad about everyone. I just feel sorry for the people who are still her friends…


  4. All so true! Great list. The amazing thing is that we only need to fix our confidence, love ourselves, trust in God or the Universe to lead us, trust our gut when someone makes us feel bad, stop the co-dependent behavior and the rest falls into place! When we become confident and stand up for ourselves, these people leave us alone. We don’t need everyone to like us!


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