How Targets Respond Emotionally To The Bait & Switch
The narcissist doesn’t feel bound by the same rules we do. The tactics they use to manipulate us are unfair and duplicitous. The narcissist’s disordered personality does not allow for open discussion, honest sharing, or the normal give and take of healthy relationships.
When the narcissist is performing the disappearance act, the instability of their mood, the unreliability of their presence left you feeling alone and insecure. These feelings can connect you to another time in your life where you felt alone and insecure, amplifying your anxiety. When you mention your feelings of the impact or the narcissist’s departure, you are shut down. You’re called names, told you are insecure for no reason (as if you suddenly started acting insecure in reaction to nothing) and let you know what a bother your feelings are; which further increase your sense of insecurity. Even though they blame and shame you, this isn’t an internal insecurity, it is insecurity about the reliability of this relationship and the narcissist.
When narcissists ask for your opinion, they do it to engage in battle rather than engage in conversation, they can be downright intimidating. They coax you into the water, only to find that you’re having your toe bit off by a piranah. You start to realize that the narcissist doesn’t ask for your opinion to really HEAR it, they elicit any kind of input from you to do two things: CONTROL AND BELITTLE YOU. This reaction serves to teach you that in the future – your input will not be valued nor required. Just sit there and look pretty. I often told the narcissist that abused me that he treated me like a vase on a shelf. Pretty to look at, well placed and permanently available to him to pick off the shelf whenever he needed something from me. I was not to have a life outside of being that vase that couldn’t move.
When the narcissist goes back and forth between Dr Jekyl and Mr Hyde, your anger and resentment go through the roof! How dare he treat you like a subservient object, then waltz back in as if nothing happened, simply because he needs some feel good from you. It’s exasperating. Their pure selfishness and inability to see things from your point of view, is AGGRAVATING! It’s important to get resolve when you’ve had a misunderstanding with a person. You want them to hear your side of things and understand your needs, so that in the future, this hurt can be avoided. With a narcissist, it falls on deaf ears, because their ONLY reason for wanting a disagreement to be over, is so their IV drip of honey from your arm, is uninterrupted.
How does the narcissist manage to turn on the superficial charm again and again while abusing you simultaneously? And why do we fall for it time and time again? It’s not because we’re foolish, it’s because we want to be loved, it feels good to be cared for, to have the love we feel for the narcissist returned to us, its nice to have moments of kindness even if they’re short lived. To suddenly have the narcissist turn on us while we’re least expecting it, is a truly unfair and cruel provocation.
The Devil’s advocate tactic is a way of elevating their unique and special form of knowledge on whatever topic they’re pontificating about. You feel like you’re in a no win situation. If you don’t concede, they’ll keep you up all night proving their point. You just want the madness to stop, so you acquiesce. It just seems easier. Your feelings can resonate back to those of a child, how powerless children are to have any say in matters of importance, and with a narcissist, of non-importance. If you learned to subjugate your voice to a narcissistic person in your past, you’ll surely do it again in the presence of this narcissist’s sheer will to be in control of EVERYTHING; even your opinions.