Divert, divide, conquer, isolate, and control – the Narcissist’s mode of operation.
The Narcissist’s modus operandi – or mode of operation. Divert, divide, conquer, isolate, and CONTROL!
From my Book – Greg Zaffuto – Author – From Charm to Harm and Everything else in Between with a Narcissist!
The Narcissist is basically grooming others WITH a deceptive agenda – divert, divide, conquer and control. In a normal relationship, people go out of their way to prove that they are trustworthy, but a Narcissist does exactly the opposite. They are constantly throwing subtle hints out there that make you and keep you feeling insecure. Perhaps they may be pursuing other people, other options, or spending their time with other people, so that you can never really settle down or feel secure or have any sense of a real connection with them. Mine sure did! They want to keep you on the edge of confusion and chaos constantly. They will always compound this manipulative ploy by denying it if you should bring it up in a conversation, calling you jealous, possessive, ALWAYS starting a fight, or even crazy. The Narcissist works everything they do into every possible vantage point (or spin) to control and manage you down. Where you started off and became accustomed to such a high level of charm and flattering attention – after they first lured you in with the extreme charm and love bombing – NOW feels very personal and unnerving because they are directing that attention elsewhere and they know what they are doing – devaluing you and controlling you through managing you down.
They have a methodology to put all of this into place, so some examples. They will perhaps totally cancel plans with you or spend a day with a ‘good’ friend AND perhaps the very one that supposedly complains about or dislikes YOU, or a friend you have never even heard mentioned before. They will ignore you perhaps saying they are spending more time with their family or close friends, and again they have probably told you that they were all horrible people and trouble makers in the first place but now they want to spend time with them – those mixed messages that confuse! They will keep you waiting until the last minute as far as it concerns finalizing plans and perhaps cancel at the last moment. They are never clear about plans perhaps suggesting something and then never mentioning it again. They will say they are going out to dinner with work friends out of the blue and it just doesn’t seem to make sense! They will seek the sympathy of an ex when there is a problem or tragedy in their personal life, and then explain that they just have such a “special bond or friendship” that you wouldn’t or couldn’t understand. More than often that ex is someone they first claimed was crazy, a problem, abusive and unstable. Remember everything is all concocted garbage to manage you down and to make you feel detached as if you are not worthy, important or their first ‘go to person.’ In my particular situation most of these themes were used repeatedly but in reality ‘my Narcissist’ was never with whomever ‘my Narcissist’ said they were with. You can use your imagination to figure out the rest.
When you are going through this it is never apparent because so much abuse is circling around all of your conscious thoughts that you never have the time to think anything through with any sense of reality or realizing the real truth that what they say is just more of their ‘crazy making!’ You never truly get through one level without other levels piling up on top of each other. The Narcissist is basically pitting YOU against a false situation AND people to make you feel that you just don’t meet up with the Narcissist’s expectations or what they expect of you. It is the process of managing what you do or have done down through the Narcissist’s incredulous and fake stories to make everything and everybody seem so much better than you OR anything they do better than what YOU do. Think about this and then ask yourself this very important question is any type of relationship a competition? Then ask yourself why you felt you had to try harder and harder.
So what it boils down to is that this is just an attention seeking tactic that the Narcissist procures by managing us down to make us feel that we are not worthy enough by constantly comparing us to other people to make us feel that they are better and worthier than us. You in turn feel that the Narcissist should be embracing your unconditional acts of love or caring AND seeking comfort in you as they did in the beginning – this is how normal people relate in a normal relationship. You’ve always helped and healed them in the past, and been there for them, so what is up or what is different now? They once proclaimed their unending love as well as claimed that you were the reason they were so happy. But now, they turn to friendships or past relationships instead of you, and they embellish the situation with subtle hints to make you feel that YOU ARE NOT GOOD ENOUGH. This is also part of the devaluation phase for sure and you wonder if perhaps you are jealous, or you SHOULD do better – and there you have it!
Let’s take it a little further and look at technology. We now live in an era where technology makes it so much easier for Narcissists to manipulate and triangulate on social media sites that we all seem to use. It can be as simple as the Narcissist liking a comment from a complete stranger, old friend, or an ex, while ignoring ones from you. They will upload photos where they are with an ex, family or anybody they claimed to dislike or hate before. Everything APPEARS to be unintentional and you attribute it to the Narcissist’s insensitivity toward YOU but make no mistake – it is carefully calculated and placed there with an agenda in mind. They are always looking for supply by seducing anyone and everybody into their game as well as being braggarts and using media as a form of Narcissistic public relations.
They will strategically post ambiguous statuses that suggest you might be “losing” them. They will share things that are intentionally meant to lure in new and old targets by keeping their status as single. For example, the Narcissist may have an ongoing conversation with someone that is a stranger to you and more than likely a possibility for a new source of supply for the Narcissist. This does many things to the target/victim by first leaving them feeling confused, anxious, isolated and YES probably jealous – BUT it also makes and this new person (or potential new supply) NOW feel confident, loved, and special.
That Narcissist is looking for and grooming others as they erode your identity and essentially killing two birds with one stone. They are putting themselves out there for whatever may come their way (as they always do in reality – but now you can see it in writing)! They are very subtle, strategic and efficient with their agenda ALWAYS. They seriously bump this up after the discard to really disable you to feel completely worthless, as well as rub their new and amazing life in your face – just a little more abuse to already add to the devastation. Nobody with any integrity or empathy would make someone that loved them and they supposedly loved back feel this way. A Narcissist seriously gets off on this. You have to wonder just how the new supply doesn’t see through this, but they don’t (in time they will experience it too.) Narcissists are masters at controlling people and spinning situations.
It is just simply described as bait and switch! They actually want you to confront them about these things, because they are MADE to seem minor in nature BUT by you mentioning something it will make you appear crazy and jealous just for bringing it up. They will calmly provide that ‘excuse’ for everything and then blame you in a manner to make you seem obsessed, jealous, etc. It is basically impossible to prove, because it is always strategically placed and ambiguous. You can’t prove that they’re luring in new supply with some sort of personal connection, but you know it – and THAT is called your intuition. This is the icing on the cake or how they finalize their crazy-making.
Think about mentioning or complaining about a social site status or comments that the Narcissist makes, and it does seem immature to ask, and that is exactly how they want you to feel, and that is how they strategize and trap you. Seriously there are no secrets or surprises when you love another person in a normal relationship. Intuition is always a strong indication and something I believe we have all ignored in favor of trying to fix the relationship or make things right! Hind sight is always 20/20 as they say and looking back at all of this it is so much clearer to me personally – but when your mind and heart are enmeshed with the manipulation, chaos, crazy making and everything else it is too confusing and it overwhelms you at too many levels to think clearly as you can when you are away from the situation.
You will try to give them more positive reinforcement in response to the managing down, but it will NEVER be enough. The Narcissist WILL eventually get bored with you BECAUSE they can’t form healthy human bonds. There will always be a current entourage of new supply and fans that will always be there spoiling and admiring them, making you believe that the Narcissists really is a great person. Think of it ONLY as the Narcissist’s public relations plan, always recruiting and using any opportunity for new supply!
But take a careful look at your own thoughts because most of these fans are just a fleeting fantasy that the Narcissist capitalizes on and most don’t have that strong personal connection, or they were just a sexual conquest that hangs around. All that praise on the social sites is just carefully placed because the Narcissist is networking for future support or supply. Social networking sites are an extension of the fake mask they wear in public. Many of those pictures are just selfies to support their stories and lies and more than likely the person in these pictures with them may be wise about how disordered this Narcissist, and it was just a photo opportunity that the Narcissist took advantage of to say, ‘look at me, I am just that special!’
In the end we HAVE to internalize the truth even as hard as it is to do so. The sad reality is that this becomes clear once you are well on your way to recovery, so be patient because it is a process. If we would have understood this in the beginning, we would not have suffered through the abuse. BUT real information is necessary to move forward so you become clear and CAN recover. KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!
After the discard you are dealing with so many corrupt messages meant to only abuse AND control you more and more into a submissive and silent role. It is done to basically silence you by making OR pointing you out to be the ‘crazy one’ or the trouble maker so the Narcissist avoids exposure. Very much of the destruction that the Narcissist inflicts on us is ALWAYS done well in advance before we are aware of their real motives during the discard phase and they just embellish it a bit more by puling us into more chaos. They will keep pulling you into this crazy making for one reason – to use as more proof that you are only obsessed and crazy by turning it all around. My Narcissist kept it up for a year after I decided I was done. Begging me, pleading with me, to stay, etc., and then turning it around if it was me doing the begging and pleading and I was scorned or obsessed. Again, just a trick to make you believe in them once more – but that Narcissist is gathering proof while you are believing their sincerity and they will use it against you. Even when there is absolute proof staring them in the face they will still lie and deny! I had the clarity to establish ‘no contact’ and THEN and only then was I able to accept all of the distorted truths that I met up with a real-life monster! Don’t stay stuck to this monster because you will only remain a puppet to their disordered and abusive agenda and running in circles. No/minimal contact to live and love again. Greg