Offense/defense with a Narcissist or toxic people.
Offense/defense with a Narcissist AND the solution to their chaos.
From my Book: Greg Zaffuto – From Charm to Harm and Everything Else in Between with a Narcissist
They will use ‘bait and switch’ to keep you off balance and always feeling as if YOU have done something wrong when in fact their behavior was offensive and toxic. Often times they will intentionally START an argument and then react negatively when you react to their harsh behavior and make YOU out to be a negative person because YOU were defending YOURSELF. It is intentional and enables them to get away from abusive actions and making you accept what they do AS WELL as accepting blame too! One of many controlling tools that they use!
On a personal note what I learned through my recovery is that our boundaries are so important for OUR future in all situations where we are dealing with verbally aggressive people. There are toxic people out there that fall in the spectrum of being narcissistic but maybe not malignant narcissists. Again this is where our boundaries are important to avoid their circular conversations or their passive/aggressive behaviors that drag us back to that feeling of being pulled into that verbal roller coaster ride.
For instance I still deal with toxic people (minimal contact) and a simple conversation where I may be describing a project I have done or anything for that matter ends up being completely shredded with a nice comment followed by AND outweighed with negativity. An example to drive the point home – I showed someone (that in essence should be close to me in a normal situation) some landscaping work I did in my backyard. The first comment was the bait – or it looked nice. From there the ‘switch’ or pointing out everything else that was wrong – this was a work in progress. Some of the other areas that had overgrown landscaping that I WAS working on were a mess. That and I had too much of everything. How would I maintain it. I must get bored with life because I like to change everything. How much is all of this costing me. Even if I said that I saved money by doing it myself and buying reduced plants – the response was WOW that is still expensive. It would go on and on (and could be anything) and the result would always be diminishing my words, my work, and being maligned.
So the lesson here is that I avoid ANY conversations with these type of people because they are circular and poisonous. In the past the abuse I experienced made me believe I had to react to fix situations or proving myself somehow because that is all I ever knew or negativity and being wrong – and that is where we fail by responding to fix what we were told we were doing wrong. There is no fix that will ever happen with these people. When I would respond, I was TOLD that I was overreacting and getting mad when I wasn’t – I was trying to make it OK. Normal people appreciate, embrace, and value other people – they do not put them on trial for simple and good things like landscaping or anything for that matter. Yes there will always be criticism in life but never to the limits that a controlling and toxic person does. The lesson is that the only person we need to really affirm what we work so hard on, or our natural goodness is ourselves – and that is where our healing begins or believing in ourselves and practicing self-compassion.
KNOWLEDGE IS OUR POWER in knowing how these ABUSERS intentionally manipulate, malign, and emotionally and psychologically harm all people. The only way to stop their behavior is to disengage or disallow them to create their chaos. Turn around and walk away without responding – they may continue with their negativity and verbal attack but you do not have to allow it any space in your head or a response. The truth sets us FREE and that happens with knowledge/education, support from other targets/victims, and time. No/minimal contact to start on your journey to recovery. Greg