5 Ways The Narcissist Wins Power Over Your Trust
Those words were carefully chosen for what really happens when we are coming to trust a narcissist. The narcissist literally “wins” “power over” our ability to trust ourselves and demands we trust them despite their behavior; Strong arming us out of it. What a maladaptive (and controlling) way to gain trust.
It’s entirely lost on a narcissist what types of positive actions are required to EARN our trust and that we have a choice in the matter.
This is how they gain control of your trust:
By cleverly phrased explanations, sometimes “too much information” (too many details) or by telling you you’re silly, paranoid, or simply can’t trust others…they get you to doubt yourself when you’re questioning valid red flags. You literally mind wrestle between trusting your own gut instinct or trusting the narcissist.
Secondly, they exploit a strength of targets in that we frequently extend the benefit of doubt to others in an act of goodwill. They feel entitled to exploit what they think we “owe them”. Although they don’t deserve it, we give it to them blindly because we are accustomed to giving that to people who don’t exploit it. In the process of doubting ourselves and ignoring our intuition, because of their sheer will and our exhaustion or desire to be loved (or not abandoned) we give up (and lose) our internal locus of control.
The narcissist needs us listening to THEM and not ourselves. Being divided and extending the benefit of doubt to the narcissist gives them the upper hand. Instead of believing in and helping ourselves to avoid the disaster before us, we’ve simply made it easier for the narcissist to abuse us.
But, Why do they do this? You might ask. It’s the first stage of grooming you as a target; an object to be controlled. “Good” targets will ignore themselves and listen to the NPD; which gives them our trust (control) and causes us to stop trusting and protecting ourselves.
Tip: Ultimately, if we maintain good boundaries and keep clear headed, we are not going to let a narcissist cross our boundaries and cause us to question ourselves no matter how twisted or exhausting their mind games are. Pay attention when you begin wrestling with yourself and fighting your intuition. This is a warning sign. It is healthy to trust ourselves so well that we respond to and act on our intuition quickly.
2. They Argue With and Belittle You Out of Your Feelings
When your first doubt about the narcissist creeps in because you see that their actions are very different from what they’re telling you, before their abuse has kicked in fully at this stage, you feel safe and comfortable enough to speak up to them about it as you always had with others.
However, a narcissist, not amenable to “attack” or “criticism” or “being called out on things”, will shoot back with a deflection technique. Any maneuver to avoid discussing your doubt about them. So they may belittle your feelings or you personally for having them. They may deny entirely that they are doing what you are witnessing, they may call you names, shutting you down from talking about it further or make you doubt some aspect of yourself as if you can’t trust anyone.
The result is that you are no longer discussing what you felt or observed, but you are now feeling horrible about yourself or confused; probably both. This will happen repeatedly until you get to the point where In the future, you will remember the exhausting tirade or shame attack you endured when bringing up a similar issue in the past and you will avoid doing so again. The narcissist effectively wins the power they wanted to have over your feelings of mistrusting them by getting you not to talk about it.
A narcissist will only do 3 things with your feelings:
1. Ignore them or downright deny they exist
2. Argue you out of them or belittle them
3. Get you to the point where you shut your feelings down and stop sharing and/or having them
Tip: Our feelings and concerns matter and are worthy of our attention and those that love us. Recognizing that we have the right to express and ask questions that we feel are important to our safety and well being. Taking care of ourselves by asking questions is perfectly allowable in a Healthy, fair and loving relationship. Someone who respects you will honor your feelings and not attempt to wrestle you out of them especially so that they can gain leverage to exploit you.
3. They Isolate You
Any abusive schema involves isolation because the lesser the outside influences on you, the better chance that the narcissist will gain complete control over you.
4. They Get You to Focus on Their Words ONLY and Not Their Actions
Flattery, Declarations of soul mate love early on, Lip Service, Hype, Tall Tales, Exaggerated Stories, Stretched truths (Which later turns into broken promises, put downs, shaming, blaming, projection, statements about who they know you really are, or what you’re “really” doing, ie: verbal abuse.)
Early on, the sweet, flowery and charming words are meant to put you at ease. It’s the one part of the relationship where we “feel loved” by them. When spoken by someone who truly loves us, these words usually mean that we are cared for and treasured, but with a narcissist these are words used with one purpose: to manipulate us. This feeling creates intimacy and safety.
It occurs during the stage most know as “love bombing”. By creating a positive dependency on their words, the narcissist’s behaviors can easily slip under the radar. His/her excuses and justifications are much easier to swallow when he/she has been buttering you up with sweet nothings. And sweet nothings is all they are.
Dangling the carrot of their “love” (approval) if you let them demolish your boundaries and get your trust despite all the evidence to the contrary is nothing more than manipulation to get you to do what they want instead of what’s best for you, which would be to look at their actions, hold them accountable and if they can’t cut it: walk.
Narcissists are perpetually lazy creatures, thus they want to get the greatest rewards for the least amount of output. What better way to get you to trust them quickly than to flatter you into submission. A notable quote has stated it perfectly,
“You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar”
Tip: Always pay attention to someone’s actions. Ignore the words. Actions will tell you EXACTLY who a person is regardless of what words are being said. Actions reveal patterns and habits which reveals the person’s character over time.
5. They Bust Over Your Boundaries With Relentless Tenacity
They demolish your boundaries so many times, that eventually they just wear you down. They’re like the used car salesman, who comes on strong, and despite your protestations, come on stronger. Eventually you come to believe that their relentless pursuit “means something” and you forego your sensibilities that this is simply a well played tactic of someone trying to sell you a bag of shit.
Your reservations = the narcissist NOT getting their way with you; and remember, their agenda is what it’s all about. A narcissist WILL NOT stick around for posterity sake if he or she has summed up what you can do for them and found you to be “worth nothing”. Remember, Ultimately NO ONE is worth anything to a narcissist other than what they can do for them. As they use you up and suck you dry, they’ll see your value decline and throw you away as quick as they swept you off your feet.
Tip: Boundaries are necessary to our survival and well being. They protect us from harm and people whose intent it is to hurt and use us. If someone is coming on very strongly, especially early on, assert your right to decide for yourself and pump the brakes. You don’t have to go quickly just because someone else is “insisting” you “should”. Pay attention to how someone responds to your assertiveness. If they refuse to listen and respond to your limits, they don’t respect you.