Narcissists Use Bait & Switch Maneuvers


Narcissists charm their targets as an enticing lure and effective tool to keep you from examining the potential costs and toxicity of the relationship until you’re HOOKED.

The Vanishing Act

After promising you and previously showing you an inordinate amount of attention and availability, he/she suddenly DISAPPEARS. With no acknowledgment or contrition, they accuse YOU of being selfish and needy when you become upset over their sudden unavailability.

The Set Up

Having solicited your ideas, opinions, thoughts and feelings on EVERY subject under the sun they hold this in their arsenal for future uses. They’ll first ask for your opinion and contribution, yet when you give it, they shoot you down with criticism, deference, and a million reasons your idea won’t work.

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

In the beginning they’ll seize every opportunity to become your hero. They’ll be overly protective when people are unkind to you, they’ll tell you they don’t know what they’re talking about. They’ll say you’re a superstar; you’ll believe it. Before you realize it, they take every opportunity to tell you how you bring bad things upon yourself, how you deserve these negative criticisms because you’re just so __________ (fill in the blank). 

Adding Insult to Injury

They’ll show up unexpectedly, with the most sweeping grand gestures of love & begging for your forgiveness. You second guess yourself & feel obligated to extend your benefit of the doubt.  Ultimately though, nothing, including your forgiveness and understanding is EVER enough to bridge the huge chasm between his unstable thoughts of what a good person “would or should do” vs. what comes natural for him to do. It’s all about him, yet again.

Devil’s Advocate

Like the president of the debate club or judge with gavel in hand, the narcissist invites you into conversations that if not an endless soliloquy, becomes an argumentative and highly competitive conversation about nothing. No matter WHAT your response, even if its to IGNORE THEM, fight back, plead, scream, give in, or shut down – the narcissist is impervious, oblivious and this will always end in it being your fault, your flaw and evidence of how emotionally unstable, “YOU” are.



Posted on October 5, 2013, in Narcissism and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. I come home from work and my wife often complains / disrespects me in front of the kids, ” we can’t do ____ because your father this and your father that”.
    Always a speech of powerlessness that is aimed at my alleged failures. If I ever get upset and even raises my voice, then she tries to make me out to be a villain, and say, ” Your scaring the children and I will not put up with this abuse.” I will divorce your ass, I don’t need you”.
    I admit, and say,” I will tell anyone what I said and did in an argument, but I didn’t come home with anything against you.”
    I would like to hear her complain just once and it be her sharing about what’s going on inside of her, instead of attaching it to me being at fault, or never being enough as a Father or Husband.
    it’s really strange I don’t hear her talk honestly about what she Is thinking or feelings, I think her father had shut down alot of her dreams. He is king of small talk, never very deep, and critical of creativity.
    My wife at times calls me a narcissist, but I introspectively examine myself and ask in what ways could this be true? I have learned that true narcissism is not introspective or especially open to talk about seeing problems and weaknesses in themselves.


  2. l understand everything about what is happening with me. I am in relationship with a narcissist but am not able to get out of it. Seems so difficult.


  3. In my experience, they do not beg for forgiveness, ever. The hallmark of a narcissist, to me, for those of us who still wonder, is the fact that, after going totally no contact, there was no ‘I’m sorry, what are you hurt about, let’s talk about it. I take responsibility for my actions’ from the people. Nothing. Nada. None at all. No acknowledgement. Not all of them are affected by ‘supply’ cut off. You do not take away their ‘supply’ when you go nc with them (imo). They could not care less. They simply move on to someone else. This shows, once again, that they absolutely never cared about you and never truly loved.
    They ignored huge accomplishments that others congratulate for and encourage you in (like an MCAT score)totally. You want to be a doctor? You’re great at physics? You just won the Academy Award? I am telling you.. That is totally ignored by NPDS (plural). No response. No acknowledgement of any sort. This,,above all, shows they indeed are NPD, with probably a few other disorders thrown in. Where they congratulated you in the past, as long as you did things their way, now that you no longer do, your accomplishments go completely unacknowledged.

    The average, non-disordered person will apologize, will say ‘what is wrong? Did I do something to bother you?” when a person cuts them off suddenly and has no contact.


    • There is a danger here that you might confuse other problems with Narcissism. You are presumably not a trained therapist so always be wary about ‘diagnosing’ others; everyday problems can manifest in strange and surprising ways.

      What you described is certainly cause for concern, but it is not the only symptom of NPD.


  4. Yeah – stay out of it.


  5. This is amazing to me. My nephew is dating a narcissist and I am afraid for him. I fear she will pull an Arias on him. part of me feels it’s worth it to lose his confidence in me if it means showing him how important it is that he break up with her before she hurts him physically or plain old ruin his life if he proposes. To add to the drama, all 3 of us work together. So even if he were to break up with her, there would still be 40 hours in the week he would have potential to see her. During which i am sure she would convince him to get back together. Is there anything i can do?


  6. Action for action…. phrase for phrase… it’s as if you were a fly on the wall


  1. Pingback: You Are A Victim Of Narcissistic Abuse | Narcisistic Abuse Recovery Network

  2. Pingback: Narcissists Use Bait & Switch Maneuvers | Tattoomommie's Cyber World

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